Manic Eden: Whitesnake Alumni ’93 Classic Revisited

Manic Eden, the self-titled album from Adrian Vandenberg, Rudy Sarzo and Tommy Aldridge, has been re-released today. The Whitesnake trio decided in 1993 to put a band together. Whitesnake was then on hiatus as David Coverdale was working on an album with Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page.

“Rudy, Tommy and I just came out of the glamorous ’80s,” Vandenberg recalls, “having surfed the world’s biggest stages on the waves of the multi-million-selling Whitesnake albums 1987 and Slip Of The Tongue. The expensive, polished Whitesnake videos had been all over MTV nonstop. Then the Grunge scene hit.”

Manic Eden - Manic Eden
Manic Eden – Manic Eden

Vandenberg wanted a more organic sound. He was after a sound that reminded him of Cream, Free, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin and Mountain, bands he grew up listening to.

“They still sound timeless and exciting and a bit rough around the edges,” he says. “Pretty much always recorded in a very short period of time, so the spontaneity, dynamics and emotion in the musician’s performances are right in your face. Mixed in such a way that the listener feels he or she is right there in the room while the band is playing.”

Vandenberg, Aldridge and Sarzo spent a couple of weeks rehearsing in Palm Springs, they moved to a small, funky, authentic ’70s recording studio in Los Angeles.

Ron Young, the singer from American hard-rockers Little Caesar, had been recruited for vocals on the recording. Young had released two acclaimed albums with Little Caesar and had made a cameo appearance in the Hollywood blockbuster movie Terminator 2.

Manic Eden had already recorded the instrumental tracks, and Young adapted his vocal lines to the tracks. His instantly recognisable signature style fitted the songs and their approach perfectly. The recordings were completed in about two weeks, ’70s style.

“When the album got its worldwide release,” Vandenberg says, “it was tough to get radio airplay because of the drastically changed music fashion of the week.

“Of course, we were anxious to hit the road and tour all over the place, but in the end, we only did an acoustic tour in France, which was a lot of fun. While in Paris, we recorded an extremely budget-friendly video for the song Do Angels Die, filmed by two students from the film academy in Amsterdam.

“It’s still one of my very favourite videos and songs of my career.”

Thirty years later, honest, authentic hard rock is flying high among both the original torchbearers and those inspired by it. What better time for Manic Eden to resurface as a hidden gem from a bygone era?

“Personally, this album is a timeless work of honest, organic blues rock with a twist,” Vandenberg says, “by four musicians who have always been in the music business out of passion for music and who play from the heart.

“I’ve always been very proud of the Manic Eden album that my friends Ron, Rudy, Tommy and I recorded in 1993. After hearing the songs a million times, I still play the album regularly, which says a lot.

“It’s the real deal.”

Manic Eden is available from https://lnk.to/maniceden.

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