Yet another solo cover… Here’s John Sykes’ solo from Whitesnake’s Still of the Night.
I had a few interesting comments on this on Facebook, not least one from the great Neil Murray (Whitesnake’s longtime bassist who played on the original!), who told me that the solo was originally in a different place in the song and that David Coverdale and producer Keith Olson moved it – I never knew that! Also, it’s amazing that some people still think that Vivian Campbell played this solo (as he mimes to it in the promotional video, along with Adrian Vandenberg). All the guitars were done by the very excellent John Sykes – one of England’s finest.
Something that has always bugged me about the Whitesnake 1987 album is how the lead guitars are so buried in the mix. The guitar tone on the original is very “wet” with a ton of reverb, compression and goodness knows what else, but it sits so low in the mix, you can hardly make out what’s being played. When I first mixed my version, I kept the guitar loud and clear, but it just sounds wrong like that… I guess after nearly 30 years of hearing this song, it’s hard to imagine it any other way!
Performance-wise, it’s quite hard to get right. Aside from the speed of the picking, it’s difficult to capture the feel of that section. As with most of the guitarists that I like, John Sykes doesn’t play like a robot – there is a very human aspect to how he plays and I think that’s a good thing.
I received some very nice compliments about the tone for this on my Facebook page. Once again, it’s just my trusty Laney IRT Studio and a stock TS9 Tubescreamer on the lead parts. There’s also a delay added in Logic X to the solo track. Hope you enjoy it!