Doug Aldrich and Reb Beach are the best guitar duo Whitesnake’s ever had. All you need for evidence is the new live 2-CD set, Made in Britain/The World Record. Sure, you can jump to the track called “Pistols At Dawn” on the second disc (The World Record) where Aldrich and Beach trade licks, but their electric stamp is all over this live album, and it is top-notch, hard rock six-string.

Of course, there’s David Coverdale’s singing, too. He can still hang with the best of them, even after all these years. It’s not easy keeping vocal cords healthy in the business of rock ‘n’ roll, but Coverdale has done it. And then there’s the fact that Whitesnake has always been a great live band. No secret there. But here you have them at their absolute best, and in Britain. The home turf of the U.K. also brings out a special energy from the audience, and you hear it on Made in Britain. In a Powerline interview at the beginning of the year, Coverdale was asked about releasing a live album recorded in Britain — and here it is. The point being: Whitesnake in Britain makes an effective live performance that much better. Just listen to the crowd kickback throughout the disc.

“Best Years” actually comes off as the ‘best,’ live. There’s the heartracing noisemaker, and Deep Purple-pronounced, “Burn/Stormbringer,” too, but ”Best Years” is so nice and heavy as it thrusts into a fast gear. And then there’s the classic ooomph of  “Bad Boys” and “Slide It In.” It’s only the live ‘love’ ballads that lack rock star testosterone and create a bit of a lull. You know the ones. Why mention their names? Call it a guy thing, but I’ll pass to the next heavy songs.

It’s been a good year for hard rock live albums, and Whitesnake has been a big part of that. It’s Made in Britain/the World Record that may own the year. Taken from performances from the 9 sold-out UK shows of Forevermore World Tour 2011 and a further 87 performances from around the world (The World Record), this is a double-live set you can count on to deliver the hard rock goods..