Years: 1977 -
Styles: Blues Rock, Glam Rock, Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, Pop Rock
David Coverdale - Lead vocals, Percussion, Piano, Vocals
Dave Dowle - Drums (in band: 1978 - 1979)
Bernie Marsden - Backing vocals, Guitar (in band: 1978 - 1982)
Neil Murray - Bass Guitar (in band: 1978 - 1982; 1984 - 1987)
Micky Moody - Backing vocals, Guitar, Lead guitar, Slide guitar (in band: 1978 - 1984)
Jon Lord - Keyboards (in band: 1978 - 1984)
Ian Paice - Drums (in band: 1979 - 1982)
Mel Galley - Backing vocals, Lead guitar (in band: 1982 - 1984)
Colin Hodgkinson - Bass Guitar (in band: 1982 - 1984)
Cozy Powell - Drums (in band: 1982 - 1985)
Richard Bailey - Keyboards (in band: 1984 - 1985)
John Sykes - Backing vocals, Guitar (in band: 1984 - 1987)
Aynsley Dunbar - Drums, Percussion (in band: 1985 - 1987)
Vivian Campbell - Guitar (in band: 1987 - 1988)
Rudy Sarzo - Bass Guitar (in band: 1987 - 1991)
Adrian Vandenberg - Guitar (in band: 1987 - 1991)
Tommy Aldridge - Drums (in band: 1987 - 1991; 2002 - 2007; 2013 - present)
Steve Vai - Guitar (in band: 1989 - 1991)
Warren DeMartini - Guitar (in band: 1994)
Paul Mirkovich - Keyboards (in band: 1994)
Denny Carmassi - Drums, Percussion (in band: 1994 - 1997)
Guy Pratt - Bass Guitar (in band: 1995 - 1997)
Brett Tuggle - Backing vocals, Keyboards (in band: 1995 - 1997)
Steve Farris - Guitar (in band: 1997)
Tony Franklin - Bass Guitar (in band: 1997)
Derek Hilland - Keyboards (in band: 1997)
Marco Mendoza - Bass Guitar (in band: 2002 - 2005)
Doug Aldrich - Guitar (in band: 2002 - 2014)
Reb Beach - Guitar (in band: 2002 - present)
Timothy Drury - Keyboards (in band: 2002- 2007)
Uriah Duffy - Bass Guitar (in band: 2005 - 2010)
Chris Frazier - Drums (in band: 2007 - 2010)
Brian Tichy - Drums, Percussion (in band: 2010 - 2013)
Michael Devin - Bass Guitar (in band: 2010 - present)
Brian Ruedy - Keyboards (in band: 2011 - 2013)
Joel Hoekstra - Guitar (in band: 2014 - present)
Michele Luppi - Backing vocals, Keyboards (in band: 2015 - present)
Whitesnake are a rock band formed in England in 1978 by David Coverdale, after his departure from his previous band Deep Purple. Their early material has been compared by critics to the blues rock of Deep Purple, but they slowly began moving toward a more commercially accessible rock style. By the turn of the decade, the band's commercial fortunes changed and they released a string of UK top 10 albums, "Ready an' Willing" (1980), "Come an' Get It" (1981),"Saints & Sinners" (1982) and "Slide It In" (1984).
The band's 1987 self-titled album was their most commercially successful worldwide, and contained two major US hits, "Here I Go Again" and "Is This Love", reaching number one and two on the Hot 100. The album went 8 times platinum in the US, and the band's success saw them nominated for the 1988 Brit Award for Best British Group. "Slip of the Tongue" (1989), was also a success, reaching the top 10 in the UK and the US, and received a platinum US certification.
After leaving Deep Purple, Coverdale recorded two fine sets of bluesy hard rock, “White Snake” (1977) and “Northwinds” (1978), taken their name for his new outfit from the former and retaining a core of musicians which include such seasoned veterans as Micky Moody, Bernie Marsden and Neil Murray. Signing to EMI International, he/they debuted with the “Snakebite” EP in summer ’78, the record’s highlight being a smoky cover of Bobby Bland’s “Ain’t No Love In The Heart Of The City”.
The group subsequently hit the UK Top 50 with their debut album, “Trouble” (1978), the record adding the keyboard skills of ex-Deep Purple man, Jon Lord,. While they followed it up with the overlooked “Love Hunter” in 1979, they only really broke through with “Ready An’ Willing” (1980) set, the success of its attendant single pushing the album into the UK Top 10. The band were certainly ready, willing and able to fill the gap in the market jeft by the now defunct Deep Purple, their musical prowess securing them an enviable live reputation if not quite measuring up in the songwriting department.
The band also released "Live...In the Heart of the City", which contained recordings made in 1978 and 1980 at the Hammersmith Odeon in London, and achieved a No. 5 ranking in the UK album charts. In 1981 the band recorded the album "Come an' Get It", which climbed to No. 2 in the UK album charts and produced the Top 20 hit "Don't Break My Heart Again" and the Top 40 hit "Would I Lie to You". During 1982 Coverdale took time off to look after his sick daughter and decided to put Whitesnake on hold.
When David Coverdale returned to music he reformed the band and after the recording of the album "Saints & Sinners" (1982) replaced Bernie Marsden, Ian Paice and bass player Neil Murray with Mel Galley from Trapeze, bassist Colin Hodgkinson, and Cozy Powell as the new drummer. "Saints & Sinners" was another Top 10 UK album and contained the hit "Here I Go Again", which featured guest keyboard player Malcolm Birch from Chesterfield-based band Pegasus.
Following up the splendid “Saints & Sinners” album was no easy task, but 1984’s “Slide It In” turned out be an even greater triumph for David Coverdale’s Whitesnake. From the boisterous machismo of “Spirit Out” and “All or Nothing” to the resigned despair of “Gambler” and “Standing in the Shadow,” and the embarrassingly stilly title track, everything seems to click. For hit singles, look no further than the twin guitar attack of “Guilty of Love” and sheer poetry and emotion of “Love Ain’t No Stranger”, one if the decade’s greatest power ballads, bar none.Not to be outdone, “Slow and Easy” is a masterpiece of sexual tension and the kind of power-blues which on one does well as Whitesnake.
At this same time, the band secured a major US record deal with the Geffen label. The "Slide It" In (1984) album had drawn mixed reviews, the negatives particularly focusing on its "flat" mix. While a personnel change saw the touring band replace Moody with former Thin Lizzy guitarist John Sykes, plus the return of bassist Neil Murray in place of Hodgkinson, producer David Geffen insisted that the album be remixed for the US release. In addition to the remix, Sykes and Murray re-recorded the lead guitar and bass parts.
Starting in 1985, Coverdale and Sykes began writing the material for a follow-up studio album. The approach was more modern, adding a slick Eighties studio polish to a band that up until "Slide It In" (1984) had a bluesier sound rooted in the Seventies. Sykes would play the rhythm and lead guitars for almost the entire album. Cozy Powell had left to join Emerson, Lake & Powell. Two musicians from the north of England were brought in for the recording of the album: drummer Aynsley Dunbar, and keyboardist Don Airey from the Ozzy Osbourne band and Rainbow. The album was put on hold for much of 1986, when Coverdale contracted a serious sinus infection that put his singing career in jeopardy. He eventually recovered, and the "Whitesnake" album was finished in 1987.
The album was entitled "1987" in Europe and "Serpens Albus" in Japan and marked the band's biggest mainstream success in the US. The album's biggest hits were "Here I Go Again" and power ballad "Is This Love". "Here I Go Again" was a re-recording of a song originally on 1982's "Saints & Sinners", and another track on "Saints & Sinners", "Crying in the Rain", was also a redone song. 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. The resulting music videos from "Whitesnake" (1987) also featured new band members Rudy Sarzo, Tommy Aldridge and Vivian Campbell.1]
Guitarist Vivian Campbell left Whitesnake in late 1988 due to creative differences, and so the band's line-up changed yet again for the 1989 album "Slip of the Tongue". Although he co-wrote all of the songs, while preparing for the recording of the album, guitarist Adrian Vandenberg sustained a serious wrist injury, making it impossible for him to play without experiencing great discomfort. Coverdale had no choice but to find a new guitar player to record the parts. He eventually found former Frank Zappa and David Lee Roth guitar player Steve Vai, whom Coverdale had seen in the 1986 film Crossroads. Upon its release, "Slip of the Tongue" (1989) sold three million copies and hit No. 10 in both the US and UK album charts. The album also spawned three successful singles: a reworking of the band's 1980 classic "Fool for Your Loving", the melodic "The Deeper the Love" and "Now You're Gone" . Steve Vai became an official member of the band and appeared in all of the band's new music videos.
In 1997 Coverdale and Vandenberg re-grouped to work together on a new Whitesnake album "Restless Heart". This was originally to be a solo album for Coverdale, but the record company pressured them to release it under the Whitesnake name. However, despite a release in both Japan and Europe, it was never available officially in the US. The album marked a return to the band's earlier R&B music. The album reached the UK Top 40 album chart and produced the blues ballad "Too Many Tears", which reached No. 46 on the UK singles chart.
In April 2008 the band released their tenth studio album, "Good to Be Bad", which reached No. 5 in the UK Album Chart. During the summer of 2008 Whitesnake co-headlined a UK tour along with Def Leppard, with Black Stone Cherry opening the UK arena shows in June and Thunder opening the July shows. In early November 2008, Whitesnake received the Classic Rock Best Album award for "Good to Be Bad".
Whitesnake released "Forevermore", on 25 March 2011 in Europe, and on 29 June in North America. They have released a number of scheduled 2011 tour dates on their website, with six scheduled UK tour dates and other European dates. In February 2011, Whitesnake was announced as one of the headliners to play the annual Rocklahoma festival in Pryor, Oklahoma, on Memorial Day weekend.
1. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whitesnake
2. The Great Rock Discography - Martin C.Strong, Four Edition, by Canongate Publishing, Ltd. Edinburgh, p. 910-911
3. All Music Guide to Rock. The Definitive Guide to Rock, Pop and Soul. 3rd Edition 2002. Edited by Vladimir Bogdanov, Chris Woodstra, Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Published by Backbeat Books, page 1220 - Ed Rivadavia
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