Whitesnake (album)

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For the 1977 David Coverdale solo album with a similar name, see White Snake (album).
First edition of the album with new logo
Studio album by Whitesnake
Released 7 April 1987
Recorded September 1985 – April 1986
Genre Glam metal, heavy metal,[1] hard rock
Length 53:00
Label Geffen/Warner Bros. (US/Canada)
CBS/Sony (Japan)
EMI (rest of world)
Producer Mike Stone & Keith Olsen
Whitesnake chronology
Slide It In
Slip of the Tongue
Alternative cover
20th Anniversary CD release
Singles from Whitesnake
  1. "Here I Go Again '87"
    Released: 3 February 1987
  2. "Is This Love"
    Released: 23 March 1987
  3. "Crying in the Rain '87"
    Released: 9 April 1987
  4. "Still of the Night"
    Released: 7 June 1987
  5. "Give Me All Your Love"
    Released: 27 May 1988
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[2]
Robert Christgau (D+)[3]

Whitesnake is the self-titled seventh studio album by British rock band of the same name, released in 1987. The album produced a major power ballad hit, "Is This Love". The album was a major crossover hit eventually selling over eight million copies in the US (and thus going eight times platinum).[4] The album peaked at No. 2 on the US Billboard 200, and No. 8 on the UK Albums Chart.[5][6] Its success in the US boosted its predecessor, Slide It In, from gold to double platinum status.[4] Its success would see the band receive a nomination for the Brit Award for Best British Group in 1988.[7]

This album was released in Europe as 1987 and as Serpens Albus in Japan with a different track listing (see below). A remastered reissue of this album, featuring a DVD with video clips and live performances, was released in 2007 as the 20th anniversary special edition.


Personnel changes prior to the writing[edit]

During the supporting tour for the band's previous album, Slide It In, singer David Coverdale and drummer Cozy Powell's relationship had started to strain. In 1985, after the band's performance at the Rock in Rio festival in Brazil (the last show of the Slide It In tour), Powell left the group. Prior to his leaving, Coverdale was actually about to fold the band, but executives at Geffen Records (with whom Whitesnake had recently signed with in the US only, while outside the US they remained with EMI) asked Coverdale to continue working with guitarist John Sykes, as they saw potential in the two.

Early writing process[edit]

In the spring of 1985, Coverdale and Sykes decamped to the town of Le Rayol in the south of France to start writing material for a new album (according to Coverdale, bassist Neil Murray also helped with some of the arrangements). Two songs that would emerge from these sessions would be two of Whitesnake's biggest hits: "Still of the Night" (based on an old demo by Coverdale and Deep Purple guitarist Ritchie Blackmore) and "Is This Love" (originally written for Tina Turner).

Rehearsing, recruiting a new drummer and early album development[edit]

Coverdale, Sykes and Murray then moved to Los Angeles, where they rehearsed and started auditioning for drummers. Legend has it that the band auditioned 60 drummers before they found Aynsley Dunbar. With their line-up complete Whitesnake headed up to Vancouver, Canada, to lay plans for the new record. One of the first issues the band faced was John Sykes' desire to achieve a specific guitar sound that he wanted, which he eventually found with the help of Coverdale's friend, engineer Bob Rock (who had previously worked with Bon Jovi on the multi-platinum album Slippery When Wet).

Coverdale's illness and return to the recording[edit]

The next problem the band faced was a sinus infection with which Coverdale was stricken. This put the album's production behind schedule, especially when Coverdale underwent surgery and a six-month-long rehabilitation program. Sykes grew impatient and suggested bringing in a new vocalist and carrying on without Coverdale, which eventually led to the end of Coverdale's relationship with both John Sykes and producer Mike Stone. After Coverdale recovered, he started work on his vocal tracks with Ron Nevison, before soon switching to Keith Olsen, who also helped mixing the album. Keyboard players Don Airey and Bill Cuomo were brought in to record some keyboard parts, as well as Dutch guitar player Adrian Vandenberg to record the guitar solo for the re-recorded version of the song "Here I Go Again". Coverdale was also discussing the possibility of Vandenberg soon joining Whitesnake.

Band members fired, the album's release and new members[edit]

By this time (late 1986), with the recording process done and the album slated to be released in early 1987, Coverdale made the decision to let the other members of the band go, due to personal differences. But when the album was finally released (now titled Whitesnake in the US) in April 1987 it reached number 2 on Billboard Top 200 chart, spawning two hit singles: "Here I Go Again '87" (which reached number 1 in the US) and "Is This Love" (which reached number 2 in the US). Both "Here I Go Again" and "Crying in the Rain" had previously been recorded with a different line-up and released on the 1982 LP Saints and Sinners.

In Europe the album was called 1987, featuring a different running order and two extra tracks, "Looking for Love" and "You're Gonna Break My Heart Again"; in Japan the album was titled Serpens Albus (in reference to the illustrated text on the album's artwork which, in Latin, means "Whitesnake"). The two extra European tracks would be released in America in 1994 on Whitesnake's Greatest Hits. In Australia, the album was released as 1987 but had the North American track order on the original vinyl and the European order on CD.

For the new line-up of the band, Coverdale enlisted guitarist Adrian Vandenberg (with whom he had already discussed plans), second guitarist Vivian Campbell (ex-Dio) and the rhythm section of the newly defunct M.A.R.S. project, bassist Rudy Sarzo (ex-Quiet Riot and Ozzy Osbourne) and drummer Tommy Aldridge (ex-Black Oak Arkansas, Pat Travers, Gary Moore and Ozzy Osbourne). This line-up toured in support of the album, and all appeared in music videos for "Still of the Night" (which was the most requested video on MTV when it was released), "Is This Love", "Here I Go Again" and "Give Me All Your Love".

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by David Coverdale and John Sykes except where noted.

North American version
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Crying in the Rain"   Coverdale 5:37
2. "Bad Boys"     4:09
3. "Still of the Night"     6:38
4. "Here I Go Again"   Coverdale, Bernie Marsden 4:33
5. "Give Me All Your Love"     3:30
6. "Is This Love"     4:43
7. "Children of the Night"     4:24
8. "Straight for the Heart"     3:40
9. "Don't Turn Away"     5:11
European version (1987)
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Still of the Night"     6:38
2. "Bad Boys"     4:09
3. "Give Me All Your Love"     3:30
4. "Looking for Love"     6:33
5. "Crying in the Rain"   Coverdale 5:37
6. "Is This Love"     4:43
7. "Straight for the Heart"     3:40
8. "Don't Turn Away"     5:11
9. "Children of the Night"     4:24
10. "Here I Go Again"   Coverdale, Bernie Marsden 4:33
11. "You're Gonna Break My Heart Again"     4:11
Bulgarian version
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Still of the Night"     6:38
2. "Bad Boys"     4:09
3. "Give Me All Your Love"     3:30
4. "Looking for Love"     6:33
5. "Here I Go Again '87"   Coverdale, Bernie Marsden 4:33
6. "Crying in the Rain"   Coverdale 5:37
7. "Is This Love"     4:43
8. "Straight for the Heart"     3:40
9. "Don't Turn Away"     5:11
10. "Children of the Night"     4:24

20th Anniversary Edition DVD[edit]



Special guests[edit]


  • Produced by Mike Stone and Keith Olsen
  • Mixed by Keith Olsen at Goodnight LA
  • Mastered by Greg Fulginiti at Artisan Sound Recorders
  • A&R by John Kalodner
  • Cover by Hugh Syme
  • All songs published by Whitesnake Music Overseas Ltd./WB Music Corp., except "Crying in the Rain" and "Here I Go Again" (published by Seabreeze Music Ltd./C.C. Songs Ltd./WB Music Corp.)

Chart positions[edit]


Year Chart Position
1987 The Billboard 200 2
UK Albums Chart 8


Year Single Chart Position
1987 "Here I Go Again '87" UK Singles Chart 9
The Billboard Hot 100 1
Mainstream Rock Tracks 1
"Is This Love" UK Singles Chart 9
The Billboard Hot 100 2
Mainstream Rock Tracks 13
"Still of the Night" UK Singles Chart 16
The Billboard Hot 100 79
Mainstream Rock Tracks 18
"Give Me All Your Love" Mainstream Rock Tracks 22
1988 UK Singles Chart 18
The Billboard Hot 100 48