1978's Northwinds, David Coverdale's second solo album after the demise of Deep Purple, is a powerful dose of blues- and R&B-influenced hard rock. This album -- the final new release on Purple Records -- is also a huge leap forward in quality from the previous year's White Snake, a tentative and generally cautious record. As with White Snake, Northwinds was produced by Deep Purple bassist Roger Glover and is anchored by guitarist Micky Moody and keyboardist Tim Hinckley. Bassist Alan Spenner and drummer Tony Newman comprise the rhythm section. "Keeping on Giving Me Love" is loose and funky and a blowout jam wraps it up. The gorgeous ballad "Northwinds" builds to a gospel-like fervor; Coverdale's voice is warm and smooth and Hinckley's dominant keyboards are supported by Moody's tasteful rhythm guitar. "Give Me Kindness" is a slab of R&B-based hard rock with horns present to add spice. Initially, Coverdale's slow, soft vocals and Hinckley's effective keyboards provide the soul of the splendid "Time & Again," but Graham Preskett's electric violin and, ultimately, Coverdale's surging voice aid the overall swell of power at the finale. "Only My Soul" offers a rich musical stew of introductory organ and acoustic guitar, steady drums, biting little guitar fills, supple bass licks, Glover's synthesizer fill and more electric violin lines from Preskett, but Coverdale's ethereal singing holds it all together. The hard-charging rocker "Breakdown" is about the disintegration of Deep Purple. Spitfire's 2000 remastered CD reissue includes two solid bonus tracks: the spry groove rocker"Shame on the Devil" and the melodic pop/rock song "Sweet Mistreater." The reissue liner notes include an informative essay by Simon Robinson and a handful of rare photos.
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AllMusic Review by Bret Adams