Following up the splendid Saints & Sinners
album was no easy task, but 1984's Slide It In
turned out to be an even greater triumph for David Coverdale's Whitesnake
. From the boisterous machismo of "Spit It Out" and "All or Nothing" to the resigned despair of "Gambler" and "Standing in the Shadow," and the embarrassingly silly title track, everything seems to click. For hit singles, look no further than the twin guitar attack of "Guilty of Love" and the sheer poetry and emotion of "Love Ain't No Stranger," one of the decade's greatest power ballads, bar none. Not to be outdone, "Slow an' Easy" is a masterpiece of sexual tension and the kind of power-blues which no one does as well as Whitesnake. On a quirky historical note, Coverdale fired most of the band soon after the album's release, replacing them with younger, prettier faces with which to better conquer America. For that purpose, Geffen Records even released a re-recorded version of Slide It In
with flashy soloing from new guitarist John Sykes
, sparking an ongoing debate as to which version is better.