In a few recent blogs, hair metal has come under a little fire, with an equal riposte, but one of the bands castigated in that era was Whitesnake…
Now I’ve always been a Whitesnake fan, almost from day one (1978 or so), in a career spanning 30 years now they only made 2 metal albums, all the rest have been far more bluesy affairs.
To give a little history, Whitesnake is one person, the singer David Coverdale. They were originally formed from the ashes of the final version of Deep Purple (prior to their $$ reformation in the 80s), with Coverdale doing a solo album (Northwinds) and then “David Coverdale’s Whitesnake, very bluesy, very British affairs (think early Bad Company or Free), this set up the next few years – Trouble, Lovehunter, Ready and Willing, Come and Get It, Saints and Sinners and finally the transition album – Slide it In.
From the titles, yeah, its definitely cock rock, but there were also some gems of ballads and soulful blues numbers too, Coverdale once quoting “It’s a shame people don’t know me for the songs I’m proudest of, and I’m only known for the fondle my nipples songs”
After hair metal he released a few solo albums which were much more introspective affairs before renewing Whitesnake in the early 2000s, I’ve seen them twice since then, probably the strongest line up he’s ever had, capable of delivering the metal tunes with flash and aplomb, but also capable of holding back on the older numbers as well.
As a piece of trivia, not one of the musicians on those hair metal videos actually played on the 1987 album, he had to fire the band as a result of being broke, so the only thing any of them played was the guitar solo on “Here I go Again” (on the US release only).
For those that don’t believe me, below are a couple of early videos, including the first version of “Fool For your Loving” (“Here I go Again” was also a case of covering themselves). Both show what a truly great and soulful voice that Coverdale posseses…oh and “Here I go again” from 2004 (his voice is a bit rough..but its at the end of a 2 hour show..)
Oh, and don't even get me started on Thin Lizzy ;-)