Slip of the Tongue

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This article is about the Whitesnake album. For cognitive or unconscious mind slips, see Freudian slip. For the song by Faster Pussycat, see Wake Me When It's Over.
Slip of the Tongue
Studio album by Whitesnake
Released 18 November 1989
Recorded 1989
Genre Hard rock, Heavy metal
Length 46:47
Label Geffen/Warner Bros. (USA/Canada)
CBS/Sony (Japan)
EMI (Rest of World) (USA)
Producer Mike Clink & Keith Olsen
Whitesnake chronology
Slip of the Tongue
Whitesnake's Greatest Hits
Alternative cover
20th Anniversary CD-Release.
Singles from Slip of the Tongue
  1. "Fool for Your Loving '89"
    Released: 1989
  2. "The Deeper the Love"
    Released: 1990
  3. "Now You're Gone"
    Released: 1990
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[1]
Robert Christgau (D)[2]

Slip of the Tongue is the eighth album by the British hard rock band Whitesnake, released in 1989. The album peaked at number 10 on both the UK Album Chart and US Billboard 200.[3][4] Three singles were released from the album: "Fool for Your Loving", "The Deeper the Love" and "Now You're Gone". All the singles hit the Mainstream Rock Tracks top 40, and "The Deeper the Love" and "Fool For Your Loving" were top 5. Slip of the Tongue has sold over one million copies (platinum).

"Fool for Your Loving" originally appeared on the Ready an' Willing album, but it was re-recorded for this album.


Personnel changes and writing process[edit]

After the tour for the band's previous multi-platinum self-titled album, guitarist Vivian Campbell left the group due to musical differences. Even with Campbell's leaving, work on a new Whitesnake-album started. Singer David Coverdale started the writing process, with guitarist Adrian Vandenberg, at Lake Tahoe (although some material, including the title track, were written while on tour) with some lyrics being finished by Coverdale in Bora Bora.

Prior to the recording process, Adrian Vandenberg sustained a serious wrist injury, making it impossible for him to play without experiencing great discomfort. After Coverdale waited long enough for Vandenberg to heal, he had no choice but to find a new guitar player to finish the album. Coverdale chose ex-Frank Zappa and David Lee Roth guitarist Steve Vai. Coverdale was unfamiliar with Vai's work with Zappa or Roth, but had seen him in the 1986 film Crossroads, in which Vai had greatly impressed Coverdale. Adrian Vandenberg has revealed in several interviews that he thinks Vai's flamboyant guitar playing was somewhat inappropriate, and that a more bluesy approach would have suited the album better.[5]

Recording process[edit]

With Vai on board the recording process began. Coverdale had asked his old friend and former Deep Purple bandmate Glenn Hughes to fly in and do some of the backing vocals, but unfortunately at this time, due to Hughes's ongoing drug problem, Hughes was in no shape to sing properly.[citation needed] Even though some of Hughes' material was used (Hughes states that his backing vocals appear in three songs) most of the backing vocals are by Tommy Funderburk and Richard Page. Once again, keyboardist Don Airey (along with session musicians Claude Gaudette and David Rosenthal) was brought in to do some keyboard parts, but just like with Hughes, much of his material didn't see the light (some of the material that Airey played on didn't make the final album).


The album was finally released in late 1989. It reached number 10 on the US Billboard Top 200 charts going platinum. Adrian Vandenberg was credited as a major co-songwriter, while Steve Vai was credited with "fulfilling all guitar responsibilities" on the album, and appeared in all the band's music videos.

The album was met with mixed reactions, with many saying the album's sound was too far from the original Whitesnake-sound. David Coverdale himself has also seen the album as one of the weakest in the band's catalogue, but has since found somewhat of an appreciation for it. He summed his feeling up by saying:

"For a long time, I felt the album lacked a certain Whitesnake feel in the music, but, countless people thro' the years have assured me that they enjoyed and enjoy the album, nonetheless. So, now I happily accept it as a significant part of the Whitesnake catalogue and to be honest, I enjoy it more now than I did back then. It was an album plagued with challenges and obstacles for me, personally, from many avenues, but hey...nobody said being successful is supposed to be easy!"

Tour, and Coverdale folds the band[edit]

The tour for the album was the biggest the band had undertaken yet, playing all over the world including the famous Monsters of Rock festival (their third time appearing and second headlining). After the tour Coverdale folded the band and took a break from the music business until late 1991 when he started to work with Jimmy Page which resulted in the 1993 album Coverdale and Page.

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Slip of the Tongue"   Coverdale, Vandenberg 5:20
2. "Cheap an' Nasty"   Coverdale, Vandenberg 3:28
3. "Fool for Your Loving '89"   Coverdale, Marsden, Moody 4:10
4. "Now You're Gone"   Coverdale, Vandenberg 4:11
5. "Kittens Got Claws"   Coverdale, Vandenberg 5:00
6. "Wings of the Storm"   Coverdale, Vandenberg 5:00
7. "The Deeper the Love"   Coverdale, Vandenberg 4:22
8. "Judgement Day"   Coverdale, Vandenberg 5:15
9. "Slow Poke Music"   Coverdale, Vandenberg 3:59
10. "Sailing Ships"   Coverdale, Vandenberg 6:02
20th Anniversary Edition Bonus Tracks
No. Title Writer(s) Length
11. "Sweet Lady Luck" (Single B-side) Coverdale, Vandenberg 4:37
12. "Now You're Gone" (US Single Remix) Coverdale, Vandenberg 4:07
13. "Fool for Your Loving" (Vai Voltage Mix) Coverdale, Marsden, Moody 4:17
14. "Judgement Day" (Live: In the Shadow of the Blues) Coverdale, Vandenberg 5:38
15. "Slip of the Tongue" (Live at Donington 1990) Coverdale, Vandenberg 5:41
16. "Kittens Got Claws" (Live at Donington 1990) Coverdale, Vandenberg 4:58

20th Anniversary Edition DVD[edit]

No. Title Length
1. "Fool for Your Loving '89" (Music Video) 4:27
2. "Now You're Gone" (Music Video) 4:09
3. "The Deeper the Love" (Music Video) 4:17
4. "The Deeper the Love" (Live: Starkers in Tokyo) 4:02
5. "Sailing Ships" (Live: Starkers in Tokyo) 4:06
6. "Judgement Day" (Live... In the Still of the Night) 5:22
7. "Slip of the Tongue" (Live at Donington 1990) 5:54
8. "Kittens Got Claws" (Live at Donington 1990) 5:01



Guest musicians[edit]

Other credits[edit]



Billboard (North America)

Year Chart Position
1989 The Billboard 200 10
1989 UK Albums Chart 10


Name Billboard Hot 100 Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks UK
Fool for Your Loving '89 37 2 43
The Deeper the Love 28 4 35
Now You're Gone 96 15 31
Judgement Day 32


  1. ^ Allmusic review
  2. ^ Robert Christgau review
  3. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums. London: Guinness World Records Limited
  4. ^ "Allmusic (Whitesnake charts and awards) Billboard albums". 
  5. ^ "Interview with Adrian (2005)".  To access interview, select Extra tab
  6. ^ Wagging Tongue promotional version – Interview with David Coverdale

External links[edit]