In 1987 WHITESNAKE released a self-titled record that was legendary and genre-defining. This was a band born anew, a Phoenix rising from the ashes. And since this landmark album celebrated a birthday recently I thought it would be fun to take a look at a piece of art that has meant so much to so many of us.When you see the old videos it’s crazy because none of those musicians played on the record. But that’s okay because they gelled as a band and did successful world tours. I spent a week in Puerto Rico that summer with this tape as my soundtrack. David Coverdale’s machine was full steam ahead and there was no stopping him. So here we are with Classic Albums…Whitesnake.
“Crying in the Rain” is such a fucking killer opener because the song really means business. As soon as I got a copy of the tape and put it in the trusty Walkman I knew we were getting GOLD. “Bad Boys” has been a perennial show opener for years, and rightfully so. On this number, when I’ve seen them live, the band is totally on fire, and it remains one of the best for me. John Sykes really did some fantastic guitar work on this album, and this song is proof positive of that. “Still of the Night”, what can I possibly say about this song that hasn’t already been done? This was the video that introduced me to the band during MTV’S Metal Music Half Hour and I was fucking FLOORED!! I guarantee you were too!!
Does anybody here remember “Here I Go Again”? Not that bitchass keyboard heavy radio version, but the quintessential one done on this record? Of course you do, as do I. Tawny Kitaen doing ballet across several luxury cars was the stuff of tent-pitching pants, and the nip slip during the video was exactly what PAUSE buttons were made for back then, amiright? All that aside, it’s still a great fucking song, and I totally loved it. Hell, when it comes on now I still yank the volume all the way up. Am I alone here? Don’t think so. “Give Me All Your Love” was a favorite then, and it’s a favorite now. I got to see the band last year and this one totally got the crowd going. The guitar solo on this is fucking EPIC!
So here comes “Is This Love” right? Let me tell you this. When it first became a hit I didn’t apply it to anyone, even though I did pretty well with the ladies. But in 1990 I met this girl at my part-time job who stopped me in my tracks. When I looked at her this song would come up in my cranial jukebox every time. And lucky me, she became my girlfriend of two years before wisely jumping ship. “Children of the Night” is a 100% USDA Prime balls-out rocker and the song still kicks ass all these years later. When performed live it still kicks fifty shades of ass, by the way. “Straight For the Heart” is catchy as all get-out, and it’s one that has always made me smile. Why? Because deep down I’m a softie, and I love songs about, well…love.
The album ends with “Don’t Turn Away,” a very anthemic tune that probably had all the girls in a tizzy back then. It still rocks, and I wouldn’t be surprised if those girls were still in that same tizzy all these years later. I know I am. I recently had the hook stuck in my head for days, which was probably the impetus for this piece, not just the birthday. Look, at the end of the day this record from WHITESNAKE is fucking timeless. The music is amazing, and the hooks are embedded in our heads for all eternity. Any old school metalhead that doesn’t like this monster is likely fucked in the squash. But who cares? How about we just rock out to an awesome addition to Classic Albums, yeah? ~dc