‘80s were all about that glam rock feel, saturated with polished guitar hooks and melodramatic lyrics. One band almost instantly comes to our mind when we think about those two things – ‘80s rock music scene and glam rock, and of course the band is Whitesnake. Fronted by none other than one of the greatest voices of rock music – David Coverdale, Whitesnake turned into one of the most distinctive and successful bands on the arena.
Whitesnake’s most essential and internationally recognized record till today remains their seventh self-titled studio album. Released back in 1987, “Whitesnake” turned into a major successful hit, producing timeless rock tunes like “Is This Love”, “Looking for Love” and “Still of the Night”. What made this album such an impressive masterpiece is the unique combination of classic solid rock and melodic rhythms. This all became true due to the great songwriting collaboration between singer David Coverdale and guitarist John Sykes. Melody, energy, passion and outstanding production are just some of the characteristics of the album that contributed to its phenomenal success – it reached to #2 on the Billboard chart and got the band a very prestigious nomination for “Best British Group”. The story doesn’t end here…Keep on reading!
Released: April 7, 1987
Recorded: September 1985 – April 1986
Genre: Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, Glam Rock
Label: Geffen/Warner Bros (North America), CBS/Sony (Japan), EMI (Rest of the World)
Producer(s): Mike Stone & Keith Olsen
Singles: “Still of the Night”, “Crying in the Rain”, “Here I go Again”, “Is This Love”, “Give Me All Your Love”
Personnel: David Coverdale – lead vocals; John Sykes – guitar, backing vocals; Neil Murray – bass guitar; Aynsley Dunbar – drums, percussion
Certified: 8xPlatinum (RIAA)
“Crying in the Rain”
“Still of the Night”
“Here I Go Again”
“Give Me All Your Love”
“Is This Love”
“Children of the Night”
“Straight for the Heart”
“Don’t Turn Away”
Whitesnake’s 1987 self-titled album is became such a commercial breakthrough due to its impressive collection of loud and solid hard rockers and a set of melodic and much friendlier pop hooks. David Coverdale is at his best game and proves that his place is indeed among the finest male rock vocalists of all time. Guitarist John Sykes also deserves a round of applause for his impeccable guitar skills and solos that sound like fireworks. Sometimes as I am listening to the album, I feel like his guitar even outshines David’s voice and becomes the only thing people pay attention to while they play the tracks.
The mood of the album is concentrated around themes such as loneliness, heartbreak and of course – love. Whitesnake are the Gods of power ballads and this album is filled with these timeless melancholic rock tunes that people can never get tired of. Their major power ballad hit and probably the song that completely changed the game for them is of course “Is This Love”. This fantastic pop-rock track is a living proof that once you were able to actually listen to some great music on the radio. “Looking for Love” – another quite memorable power ballad from the album was completely outshined by “Is This Love”, despite being much better in terms of lyrics and vocal delivery. “Here I Go Again” is yet another absolute hit that has a nice slow build to very catchy and well-balanced melody, filled with David’s excellent gritty vocals and smooth keyboards, bass and drum playing. The album hits us strong right from the beginning. Their opening track – “Still of the Night” brings us back to the ‘70s with its Led Zeppelin vibes and classic rock sounding. “Children of the Night” has to be the heaviest song from the album and it just requires the listeners to turn their stereo as loud as possible!
“Whitesnake” is full of excellent rock anthems and the greatest thing about it is that is just as rocking and enjoyable as ever even today. These songs are just made to be played forever. The album has its fine moments and despite being described as “too cheesy”, it manages to keep you interested and curious till the very last song. This was perfectly achieved due to the brilliant arrangement of the songs. They don’t just place their strongest songs at the beginning but scatter them all over the tracklist.
Now, let’s listen to some music…
“Here I go Again” was originally released on their 1982 album “Saints & Sinners” and was re-recorded for their phenomenal 1987 album “Whitesnake” with slight changes in the lyrics. The 1987 version of the song immediately topped the charts and the new music video became one of the most played and loved music videos on MTV at that time. Needless to say, the song is an absolute masterpiece and features pretty much all the correct ingredients for success – brilliant lyrics, memorable vocal delivery and chilling guitar riffs. I absolutely adore it.
Here I Go Again
I don’t know where I’m going
But, I sure know where I’ve been
Hanging on the promises
In songs of yesterday
An’ I’ve made up my mind,
I ain’t wasting no more time
But, here I go again
Here I go again…
My absolute favourite song from the album has to be “Looking for Love”. To me this is the perfect power ballad and easily the best song of the album. I’m truly impressed and completely in love with David’s vocal techniques on this one – he effortlessly jumps from one note to a higher one and reaches my heart in an instant. The lyrics are what made this one of my most favourite rock tunes of all time…
Looking For Love
I look in the mirror
Don’t like what I see
In my reflection
A stranger is staring at me
Looking for love
The love of a woman
The needs of a man
I try so hard to belive
But I don’t understand
The search goes on…
I don’t really need to introduce this song now, do I? It’s one of the most era-defining rock tunes and it’s the song that made everyone crazy about Whitesnake and especially David. Interesting fact, the song had originally been written for Tina Turner – imagine that? I think they were quite happy with the decision of keeping it for themselves! The MV is also a must-see – it conquered MTV during that time!
Is This Love
I should have known better
Than to let you go alone,
It’s times like these
I can’t make it on my own
Wasted days, and sleepless nights
And I can’t wait to see you again…
A couple of other fine moments from the album…
Still Of The Night
Crying in the Rain
Overall, it’s an amazing album, filled with influential songs that can’t but touch your heart and soul in a way. Actually, during the ‘80s the rock scene was filled with such glam rockers with gorgeous voices, singing about heartbreak and love. Some might say that Whitesnake were just a band among the many with nothing new or distinctive to offer. However, this album somehow proved that they can write damn good songs and still be as glam as they want. Needless to say, it’s an absolute MUST for your record collection!