Review | Manic Eden – Manic Eden

Music Theory Recordings / MLG

When Whitesnake went on a hiatus in the early nineties it gave guitarist Adrian Vandenberg, bass player Rudy Sarzo and drummer Tommy Aldridge the chance to do something for themselves. They started the band Manic Eden and at first recruited singer James Christian (House Of Lords). That combination did not really work out, so Little Caesar singer Ron Young was asked. He was the missing link as his soulful voice was just perfect for the bluesy rock songs in the vein of Free and Bad Company that the band had written.

For the occasion Vandenberg switched for the recording of the album to a Stratocaster instead of his preferred weapon of choice the Gibson Les Paul. A perfect choice again. The album came out in March 1994. To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the release (also because that the album nowadays is difficult to get or at an exorbitant price) the current record company of Adrian Vandenberg snapped up the rights and, is re-releasing the album in April 2024.


Make no mistake about it. In 1994 the first (and last) Manic Eden record was right up there between the best of that year. I reviewed it then and was over the moon with the music, the songs and especially the singing of Ron Young and the depth in the playing of Adrian Vandenberg. The album reminded me a lot of the Dutch band Teaser that Adrian was in during the seventies. A band with singer Jos Veldhuizen who had a voice in the vein of the great Paul Rodgers. ‘Manic Eden’ was a real blues rock classic and the reviews were unanimous. This was something else.  Something with a future…


Manic Eden never really got of the ground properly. In the same year a ‘Greatest Hits’ of Whitesnake was released and David Coverdale decided to tour with that album. Adrian and Rudy Sarzo decided to join him and went back to Whitesnake which meant that Manic Eden was put on ice. Time went by and all involved musicians went their own way. Manic Eden was forgotten about….


Luckily there is a re-release of this super album. It strikes me how fresh and good the songs still are even after three decades. Everyone who missed out then gets a chance now to meet and greet this extraordinaire piece of blues rock music. The playing is superb. Sarzo and Aldridge have put down a solid platform on which Young and Vandenberg can shine. To put it bluntly, for me ‘Manic Eden’ is the best thing Adrian Vandenberg ever has been involved in.

I have been following him ever since his Teaser days. This is different stuff, on a different level with so much feeling, so much depth, so much warmth coming out of that Strat. The singing of Ron Young is out of this planet. His husky and soulful voice is just right whether you hear a rocker like ,,Can You Feel It’’ or a sensitive ballad like ,,Ride The Storm’’. The album stood the test of time.


This record has kept its value and musical integrity. In 1994 this band never took their opportunity to become big. In 2024 they most likely will not do the same either as each member has its own agenda. But it would be nice if these boys could get it together to do a small promotion tour for the album. Or even better, just record a follow up. Pretty sure that Ed van Zijl, the owner of the record company, would support such a move. So how about it, gentlemen?

Release date: 12 April 2024


Dutch guitarist, songwriter, music producer and art painter. Adrian is best known as guitarist for Vandenberg and Whitesnake.


hard rock, classic rock




Logged in as