Monday, June 18, 2007


Here I Go Again

Whitesnake are an American hard rock and glam metal band, founded in 1977 by David Coverdale (formerly of Deep Purple). They were active primarily in the 1980s, but still tour, albeit with an entirely new line-up (bar Coverdale and Aldridge), to this day.
Throughout its career, the band has been compared by critics to Deep Purple, not only because three past members of the band were once in Deep Purple, but also because of their sound and influences.

David Coverdale founded Whitesnake in 1977, after he had released two solo records; White Snake (1977) and Northwinds (1978).

Early years (1977–1981)
During the band's early years, its music was primarily blues rock (although, Coverdale himself described Whitesnake's early style as, "progressive R&B"). At this time, the band was made up of Coverdale, Bernie Marsden, Micky Moody and Neil Murray. The drummer and keyboard slot changed a few times.

Their first 7" EP, Snakebite (1978), includes the well known track, "Ain't No Love in the Heart of the City", a re-arrangement of Bobby "Blue" Bland's song, which was the first hit from the band and a classic from their gigs, even today. Subsequent reissues of this EP included four bonus tracks from Coverdale's second solo album Northwinds produced by Roger Glover. All four tracks from the original EP have been included in a 2006 reissue of Trouble. The album had varied success throughout the UK.

In August 1978, some months after the release of the EP, Jon Lord joined the group, and helped to record, Trouble. After Trouble was recorded, Whitesnake toured Europe to promote it. Their first live album, Live at Hammersmith (1979) was the result of this tour. Also in 1979, Ian Paice joined the band, helping to record Ready an' Willing.

As a result, the early recordings of the band were very successful in Europe, with singles "Fool for Your Loving" and "Don't Break My Heart Again" (B/W "Child of Babylon") entering the UK charts. Although popular with European fans, Whitesnake had yet to find commercial success in the US.

From blues to rock (1982–1986)
The first major change in the band's line-up occurred right after the recording of 1982's Saints & Sinners album, when most of the band (including lead guitarist, Bernie Marsden, drummer, Ian Paice, and bass player Neil Murray) were fired (or "quit" depending on who you ask). Marsden was replaced by Mel Galley (of Trapeze fame), Murray was replaced with Colin Hodgkinson while Cozy Powell became the new drummer. This line-up recorded and released the original European and Canadian release of the Slide It In album (released January 1984).

After another major personnel shift (including the firing of Moody and hiring of John Sykes and firing of Hodgkinson and re-hiring of Neil Murray) and a major recording deal with the Geffen Records label, Whitesnake released a partially re-recorded and fully remixed version of Slide It In (guitar parts redone by Sykes and bass parts by Murray) for the U.S. market in 1984 (released April 1984), which later went double platinum in the US on the back of 1987. The Slide It In album spawned the American album-oriented rock hits, "Slow an' Easy", "Love Ain't No Stranger" as well as the album's title track – although in Europe the band had a run with other songs, "Guilty of Love" and "Give Me More Time". While touring the first few months in support of the album Mel Galley was forced to leave in the spring of 1984, due to an accident involving a broken arm, leaving John Sykes solely handling the guitars for the rest of the dates. A few weeks after Galley's departure, the next to leave was Jon Lord, who left to reform Deep Purple MKII. Keyboard duty was then handled by an off-stage keyboardist, Richard Bailey. At the end of the tour, after their last gig in Rio, Cozy Powell left to join Emerson, Lake & Powell. Veteran drummer Aynsley Dunbar (of Journey & Jefferson Starship fame) was brought in for the rehearsals and recordings of the 1987 Whitesnake album.

U.S. success (1987–1989)
Their next album, Whitesnake (entitled 1987 in Europe and Serpens Albus in Japan) marked the band's first mainstream success in the U.S. Thanks to the guidance of A&R guru John Kalodner, the album sold over eight million copies in the U.S. and also pushed sales of Slide It In from its RIAA certified gold status to over two million copies. The band's style was now quite different from that of their earlier years and was now more similar to glam metal.

The album's biggest hits were the power ballad, "Is This Love" and the #1 hit single and above video, "Here I Go Again" (a re-recording of a song on Saints & Sinners in 1982). Other hit singles from the album were "Still of the Night" and "Give Me All Your Love".

The album's exposure was boosted by heavy airplay of its videos on MTV, which featured actress Tawny Kitaen, whom Coverdale later married. None of the band members who played on the album appeared in these videos, as Coverdale had fired all of the band members (John Sykes, Neil Murray and Aynsley Dunbar) prior to the album's release, except session musician Adrian Vandenberg, who had been hired to complete the album after the others were dismissed. The resulting music videos from Whitesnake featured new band members Rudy Sarzo, Tommy Aldridge, and Vivian Campbell.

The band's line-up changed yet again for the 1989 album Slip of the Tongue, when Vivian Campbell left in late 1988 (he later joined Def Leppard). While preparing for the recordings of the album, Adrian Vandenberg suffered a debilitating hand injury related to isometeric exercises and was unable to participate in the recording. With all of the foundation tracks completed, guitarist Steve Vai was called in to record all the guitar parts. The resulting album sold a disappointing three million copies.

The 1990s
In 1992, Whitesnake went on hiatus, Coverdale going off to work with Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page on their Coverdale-Page project. The album became a #5 platinum record upon release in 1993.

In 1994, "Whitesnake: Greatest Hits" was released and the band went on a short tour in Europe, with former Ratt guitarist Warren DeMartini playing lead guitar and Denny Carmassi on drums. After the tour the band again went on hiatus again.

In 1997, Restless Heart was released in Japan and Europe, though not officially in the United States. The band also released an unplugged -style show recorded in Japan entitled Starkers in Tokyo.

The 2000s
In 2003, Coverdale reunited Whitesnake for a 25 year anniversary tour. Joining Coverdale was; Doug Aldrich (guitar), Reb Beach (guitar), Marco Mendoza (bass), Tommy Aldridge (drums), and Timothy Drury (keyboards). That same year, they headlined the "Rock Never Stops Tour", with other popular 1980s rock bands. This line-up remained stable until early 2005, when Mendoza left to pursue the Soul SirkUS project and was replaced by Uriah Duffy.

In February 2006, Whitesnake released a live DVD titled, Live... In The Still of the Night, and announced a Spring/Summer tour taking in Japan and Europe.

External links
Official Website

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