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Mick Moody & Bernie MarsdenMick Moody & Bernie Marsden
Album: Real Faith
Label: Talking Elephant
Tracks: 15

Moody & Marsden - a couple of names many may recall from the denim clad / embroidered jacket wearing days of their youth as the twin guitar pairing in the David Coverdale fronted Whitesnake. That's before they went all AOR/MOR/hair metal - call it what you will - but it drifted a long way from their roots in exchange for chasing the American/MTV dream. No denying though that they were a top blues rock band with some Purple tendencies. With Coverdale's pipes and with Jon Lord and Ian Paice in the team so they should have been. Yet many will testify to the fact that it was the Moody/Marsden pairing that added the spark to the band in those days. You may wonder what happened to them. I do. And now I find that they've been - doing what they do best.

Originally, and criminally released only for 'tour purposes' only back in 1994 and as a repackaged shortened version under the guise of 'Ozone Friendly' in 2000, it now gets a fully remastered treatment from Talking Elephant. If you know your early Whitesnake you'll know what to expect. A couple of guitarists from the old school, working out together, in harmony, switching and swapping leads never too far from the hard rock base.

Micky's trademark slide raises its head in the likes of 'Silver Upon Her Person' and the title track is a piece of country blues rock. The blues colour template goes deeper with the swampy acoustic blues on '2000 Miles To Hell' where 'I Got A Mind to Get Even' and 'I'll Sing The Blues' are more slow paced electric blues. And there are some recognisable hooks in some of the numbers. 'Someday' sounds like it would fit comfortably in The Eagles songbook with its relaxed country vibe but you can't always escape your roots though and there's a detection of a 'Give Me All Your Love Tonight' 'Snake style swing in 'Can't Ever Happen To You' with the backing of some brass.

Surprisingly, or maybe not, the songs are compact and the temptation to lapse into some indulgent guitar tomfoolery is resisted - the songs are concise and offer up all sorts of variation on the blues rock theme. Paired up with the live document from the era - 'The Night The Guitars Came To Play' where you'll find the duo and their band giving way to some more extended pieces in the live arean - hats off Talking Elephant for flying the flag to bring the trademark blues rock sound of Moody & Marsden to a potential new audience.

Mike Ainscoe