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Bernie Marsden - 'Working Man'



Album

The music world recently mourned the passing of Bernie Marsden, a tragic event now ever so slightly softened with the release of his final album ‘Working Man’. Conquest Music, in the last few years, had built a fantastic relationship with Marsden, and enabled the release of three albums featuring covers of his favourite songs. This led to ‘Working Man’ (a fitting title indeed), which contains largely original songs, with a few songs made famous by Whitesnake, and totalling twenty- two songs (ten of which are available only in the limited first pressing of the CD/LP).


Marsden recorded the album during the Covid period, and he was working on the finishing touches through to the summer of 2023. As always, the musicians performing on the album are of high calibre, allowing the space for him to shine, but also for their craft to come through.


The opening track ‘Being Famous’ is a tongue-in-cheek autobiographical song of life on the road; Marsden’s voice is fantastic – he sounds like a young man, telling first hand of life in the seventies and eighties. Heavy on background vocals, with an organ backdrop to his distinctive guitar work, this is truly an album “Opener”.


The album alternates between mid-tempo transatlantic songs and introspective, Blues-based ballads. Marsden’s voice can handle both with ease. Of course, on top of that there is his legendary Gibson Les Paul, named “The Beast”, providing superb tone and melody throughout. To mix things up a bit, Jaime Kyle handles the vocals on ‘Invisible’, plus there are three instrumentals – the laid back ‘The Pearl’, the atmospheric ‘Steelhouse Mountain’ and ‘Foolish Day’, which has a nod or two to Carlos Santana.


Refreshingly, the unsurprising inclusion of ‘Here I Go Again’ in the bonus tracks provides a different take on this well-known song. It’s almost Country and Western in its approach, and Marsden’s soft voice is sublime; this version, with its acoustic solo, would go down a storm on American radio. His take on ‘Ain’t No Love In The Heart Of The City’, originally performed by Bobby Bland, and made more famous in Rock circles by Whitesnake, contains a well-honed solo based on many performances of the song throughout his career.


The final track, ‘Come On In My Kitchen’, brings Marsden’s musical career full- circle; his Blues-tinged playing shaped the classic Whitesnake line-up, and fittingly, this song was penned by the original Bluesman, Robert Johnson.


 

Reviewer & Album Information

Reviewer: Rob McKenzie

Label: Conquest

Genre: Rock

Issue Reviewed In: 105


 

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