Wow, talk about a misleading album title. In 1987, pop-metallists Whitesnake finally scored their massive U.S. breakthrough, with their highly anticipated self-titled release (scoring three big-time radio hits and accompanying steamy videos). So with an album title of Rock Breakout Years: 1987, you'd think you'd get an album that focused heavily on this aforementioned Whitesnake release, right? Wrong. What the 2005 release does is repackage Whitesnake's entire 1982 album, Saints & Sinners, but with a different title and cover (although the cover photo is of singer David Coverdale in all his full-on 1987 glory). Sneaky indeed. But there are certainly direct links between this album and their 1987 release, as fans often consider it as the first Whitesnake album that signaled the group's obvious desire to focus more on streamlining its sound for radio. But the obvious link between both albums (and something that many non-longtime Whitesnake diehards may not be aware of) is that two of their best tracks from their 1987 studio album were re-recordings of tracks that first appeared on Saints & Sinners -- "Here I Go Again" and "Crying in the Rain." But again, it's the original versions that are featured here -- not the better-known (in the U.S., anyway), re-recorded versions. Don't be fooled!
AllMusic Review by Greg Prato