Slip of the Tongue

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Slip of the Tongue
Slip of the tongue.jpg
Studio album by
Released7 November 1989 (US)

13 November 1989 (Rest of the World)

18 November 1989 (Japan)
StudioRecord Plant, Los Angeles
GenreHard rock, heavy metal, glam metal
LabelGeffen (North America)
CBS/Sony (Japan)
EMI (Rest of the world)
Whitesnake chronology
1987 Versions
Slip of the Tongue
Whitesnake's Greatest Hits
Alternative cover
20th Anniversary CD release
20th Anniversary CD release
Singles from Slip of the Tongue
  1. "Judgement Day"
    Released: 1989 (promo)
  2. "Fool for Your Loving '89"
    Released: 1989
  3. "The Deeper the Love"
    Released: 1990
  4. "Now You're Gone"
    Released: 1990

Slip of the Tongue is the eighth studio 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.[1][2] Four singles were released from the album: "Fool for Your Loving", "The Deeper the Love", "Now You're Gone" and "Judgement Day". All the singles hit the US Mainstream Rock Tracks Top 40, two of which, "The Deeper the Love" and "Fool for Your Loving" cracked the Top 5.[3] Slip of the Tongue has sold over one million copies in the US, reaching platinum status.[4]

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

Songwriting and production[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, the writing process for a new Whitesnake album started at Lake Tahoe with singer David Coverdale and guitarist Adrian Vandenberg. Some material, including the title track, had already been written while on tour and some lyrics were finished by Coverdale in Bora Bora.

Adrian Vandenberg had planned to record for the album, but the worsening of an existing injury made it painful for him to play, requiring surgery.[5] For the recording, 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 him. Adrian Vandenberg 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.[6]

Most of the backing vocals are by Tommy Funderburk and Mr. Mister lead singer Richard Page; Coverdale's friend and former Deep Purple bandmate Glenn Hughes contributed backing vocals to three songs.[7] 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 make the final cut of the album.


The album was finally released in late 1989. It reached number 10 on the US Billboard 200 chart,[2] going platinum.[4] 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.


Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic3/5 stars[8]
Christgau's Record Guide(D)[9]
Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal7/10[10]
Rolling Stone2/5 stars[11]

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!


The world tour for the album was the biggest the band had undertaken yet, and included their third appearance and second headlining of the famous Monsters of Rock festival. 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•Page.

Track listings[edit]

All tracks are written by David Coverdale and Adrian Vandenberg, except where noted.

1."Slip of the Tongue"5:20
2."Cheap an' Nasty"3:28
3."Fool for Your Loving '89" (Coverdale, Bernie Marsden, Micky Moody)4:10
4."Now You're Gone"4:11
5."Kittens Got Claws"5:00
6."Wings of the Storm"5:00
7."The Deeper the Love"4:22
8."Judgment Day"5:15
9."Slow Poke Music"3:59
10."Sailing Ships"6:02
Total length:46:47



Additional musicians




Country Organization Year Sales
USA RIAA 1990 Platinum (+ 1,000,000)[4]
UK BPI 1989 Gold (+ 100,000)[29]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Whitesnake - Official Charts". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
  2. ^ a b c "Slip of the Tongue Billboard Albums". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 18 May 2015.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h "Slip of the Tongue Billboard Singles". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 18 May 2015.
  4. ^ a b c "RIAA Searchable Database: search for Whitesnake". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 8 May 2015.
  5. ^ Andrew Catania (27 November 2018). "Adrian Vandenberg Discusses Moonkings, David Coverdale & Whitesnake". All That Shreds. Retrieved 14 June 2019.
  6. ^ "Interview with Adrian 2005". Whitesnake Official Site. 2005. Archived from the original on 20 May 2015. Retrieved 18 May 2015.
  7. ^ Botts, Tom. "Slip of the tongue - The wagging tongue edition". David Coverdale - The Soldier of Fortune website. Passagen. Archived from the original on 11 December 2000. Retrieved 18 May 2015.
  8. ^ Jurek, Thom. "Whitesnake - Slip of the Tongue review". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 12 May 2015.
  9. ^ Christgau, Robert. "Whitesnake Consumer Guide Reviews: Slip of the Tongue". Retrieved 13 August 2011.
  10. ^ Popoff, Martin (1 November 2005). The Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal: Volume 2: The Eighties. Burlington, Ontario, Canada: Collector's Guide Publishing. p. 412. ISBN 978-1-894959-31-5.
  11. ^ Neely, Kim (8 February 1990). "Album Reviews: Whitesnake - Slip of the Tongue". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 16 June 2007. Retrieved 12 May 2015.
  12. ^ Pennanen, Timo (2006). Sisältää hitin - levyt ja esittäjät Suomen musiikkilistoilla vuodesta 1972 (in Finnish) (1st ed.). Helsinki: Kustannusosakeyhtiö Otava. p. 263. ISBN 978-951-1-21053-5.
  13. ^ "Whitesnake – Slip of the Tongue (album)". Media Control Charts. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
  14. ^ "Whitesnake – Slip of the Tongue (album)". Media Control Charts. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
  15. ^ "Whitesnake – Slip of the Tongue". (in German). Media Control Charts. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
  16. ^ Oricon Album Chart Book: Complete Edition 1970-2005. Roppongi, Tokyo: Oricon Entertainment. 2006. ISBN 4-87131-077-9.
  17. ^ "Top Albums/CDs - Volume 51, No. 5, December 02 1989". Library and Archives Canada. 2 December 1989. Archived from the original on 20 May 2015. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
  18. ^ "Album - Whitesnake, Slip of the Tongue". (in German). Media Control Charts. Retrieved 16 May 2015.
  19. ^ "Whitesnake – Slip of the Tongue". (in German). Media Control Charts. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
  20. ^ "Whitesnake – Slip of the Tongue (album)". Media Control Charts. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
  21. ^ "Whitesnake – Slip of the Tongue (album)". Media Control Charts. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
  22. ^ "Whitesnake – Slip of the Tongue". Dutch (in Dutch). Media Control Charts. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
  23. ^ "Whitesnake – Slip of the Tongue (album)". (in Spanish). Media Control Charts. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
  24. ^ "Whitesnake – Fool for Your Loving (song)". Media Control Charts. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
  25. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  26. ^ "Whitesnake – Fool for Your Loving". Dutch (in Dutch). Media Control Charts. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
  27. ^ "Top Singles - Volume 51, No. 9, January 13 1990". Library and Archives Canada. 13 January 1990. Archived from the original on 20 May 2015. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
  28. ^ "Top Singles - Volume 51, No. 17, March 10 1990". Library and Archives Canada. 10 March 1990. Archived from the original on 20 May 2015. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
  29. ^ "Search for Artist Whitenake". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 26 April 2015.

External links[edit]