Members: David Coverdale, Doug Aldrich, Reb Beach, Uriah Duffy, Tommy Aldridge, Timothy Drury
The band was formed by David Coverdale (of Deep Purple fame) after two solo records in the late 70's and was originally popular only in Europe and Japan.
During the band's early years, its music was primarily blues-oriented hard rock. Members of the band include Jon Lord and Ian Paice (of Deep Purple), Cozy Powell and Neil Murray. The band has featured many talented guitarists over the years including: Bernie Marsden, Micky Moody, John Sykes, Adrian Vandenberg, Vivian Campbell and Steve Vai.
The early incarnations of the band were very successful in Europe, with singles Fool For Your Loving and Don't Break My Heart Again (B-side of the excellent Child Of Babylon) entering the UK charts, while albums like Lovehunter and Ready An' Willing are still considered the best by many European fans, who never accepted the American sell-out of the years to come.
The first major shake-up happened right after the recording of Saints & Sinners, when most of the band (including main guitar player Bernie Marsden and drummer Ian Paice) was sacked. Marsden was replaced by Mel Galley of Trapeze fame, while Cozy Powell became the new drummer. A few months after that, Jon Lord quit the band to reform Deep Purple.
After another major personnel shift, and a major U.S. deal, Whitesnake released a new version of Slide It In (1984), which went double platinum in the United States. The following album (titled Whitesnake (1987) in the U.S., 1987 in Europe and Serpens Albus in Japan) marked the band's U.S. breakthrough, driven by the power ballad "Is This Love" and the #1 hit single, "Here I Go Again" (a re-recording of a previous European hit). Also important were headbanging tunes such as "Still of the Night", "Give Me All Your Love", and "Bad Boys". The band's style was now quite different from the early years' one, and was now more similar to American hair metal, although with more substance thanks to Coverdale's soulful and powerful delivery, as well as John Sykes creamy, fluid, and intense songwriting and guitarwork. Thanks to the guidance of A&R guru John Kalodner, who successfully had brought Aerosmith back from the dead with 1987's "Permanent Vacation," the album sold over eight million copies in the U.S. and pushed sales of Slide It In from its RIAA certified gold status to over two million copies. The album's exposure was boosted by heavy airplay of its videos, which featured Coverdale's wife Tawny Kitaen, on MTV.
Knowing when the album was released he had a glossy hard rock gem of immense proportions, Coverdale fired all of the band members who recorded Whitesnake (including main axeman John Sykes). He and Sykes already had a tense and strained relationship, and since Coverdale had the mega-album he needed, he threw Sykes out. Only session musician Adrian Vandenberg, who had helped completing the album after the major sacking, was retained. The other positions were filled in with musicians of great talent, and for the most part, MTV-friendly looks. They were Rudy Sarzo, bassist for Angel, Ozzy Osbourne (1981-1982), and Quiet Riot (1983-1985), Tommy Aldridge, drummer for Black Oak Arkansas (1974-1976), Pat Travers (1979-1981), Gary Moore (1981), Ozzy Osbourne (1983-1985), Vinnie Moore (1986), and M.A.R.S. (1986), and Vivian Campbell, guitarist for Dio (1983-1985) and future Def Leppard guitarist (1992-present).
The band was altered again for Slip Of The Tongue (1989), which featured guitar legend Steve Vai; the record did not sell well in spite of his appearance and struggled to go platinum. 1994 saw a Greatest Hits album and a short European "farewell" tour with former Ratt guitarist Warren DeMartini filling in the Sykes, Campbell, Vai lead guitar slot, and Denny Carmassi handling drumming duties (he was featured in Coverdale's early nineties project with Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page, Coverdale-Page, which had a #5 platinum album in 1993, and drummed for Montrose and Sammy Hagar). The band was dormant until 1997. In that year, an album called Restless Heart was released, though not in the United States. Since then Whitesnake has only released an unplugged Japan show Starkers In Tokyo.
In  Coverdale reactivated Whitesnake for a 25-year celebration tour. Joining Coverdale were 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 80s bands. This line-up remained stable until early 2005, when Mendoza left to pursue other projects, 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.
The band was named after David Coverdale's penis, as Coverdale himself recently confirmed. "Totally. Probably if I was from Asia it would be a different colour. But being a Yorkshire lad and all..."
1978 - Snakebite
1978 - Trouble
1979 - Lovehunter
1980 - Ready an' Willing
1981 - Come an' Get It
1982 - Saints & Sinners
1984 - Slide It In
1987 - Whitesnake
1989 - Slip of the Tongue
1997 - Restless Heart
1980 - Live...In the Heart of the City
1980 - "Fool For Your Loving" Ready An' Willing
1981 - "Don't Break My Heart Again" Come An' Get It
1981 - "Would I Lie To You" Come An' Get It
1982 - "Here I Go Again" Saints & Sinners
1984 - "Give Me More Time" Slide It In
1984 - "Love Ain't No Stranger" Slide It In
1987 - "Here I Go Again" (remix) Whitesnake
1987 - "Is This Love" Whitesnake
1987 - "Still Of The Night" Whitesnake
1988 - "Give Me All Your Love" Whitesnake
1989 - "Fool For Your Loving" Slip Of The Tongue
1989 - "Slip Of The Tongue" Of The Tongue
1990 - "The Deeper The Love" Slip Of The Tongue
1990 - "Now You're Gone"
Submitted by OptimusPrime at Thu 03 Aug, 2006 6:34 am
Last updated by Ogan at Tue 04 Jun, 2019 7:59 am