Geffen Records, 1987


REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen


Back in their early days, David Coverdale and Whitesnake were a hard rock band that mixed some great rock with some down-and-dirty blues. Even their "breakthrough" album Slide It In had a lot of "blooze" on it, and was an incredible record.

So what the hell happened in 1987, when Coverdale came out with this self-titled piece of dog crap? There's a reason that people thumbed their noses at Coverdale, calling Whitesnake a Led Zeppelin ripoff at the time. Whitesnake became a hair band - and, unfortunately, created their most popular album ever. May God have mercy on us all.

With "special guest" Adrian Vandenberg on guitar (as well as John Sykes on 6-string and vocals), Coverdale and crew seemed to throw away their entire past (like "Ain't No Love In The Heart Of The City," "Love Hunter" and "Slow 'N' Easy") and moved to arena-metal to please the hoards. "Still Of The Night" is a prime example of cloning the great bands of the past. Going from "balls-out" rock (and I use the term loosely) to gentle moment, back to rock - didn't The Firm do the my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 exact same thing on "Fortune Hunter"? (Jimmy Page was supposedly also shocked that someone else would use the concept of playing their guitar with a violin bow, as heard in the rhyhm guitar riff in the bridge.)

Wait, it gets worse. "Here I Go Again" is probably better known for the T-&-A video (featuring his soon-to-be wife Tawny Kitaen, best known for such cinematic barfbags as "The Perils Of Gwendolyn") than the half-ass attempt to bridge ballad and rocker. Nevertheless, it got lots of airplay, and Whitesnake soon became a household word - proof that MTV was as much evil as it was good.

Even the true power-ballad "Is This Love" is so much sappy swine fodder that ignores the ten-year past history of Whitesnake, selling out to the almighty gods of airplay. (Gee, does this sound familiar these days, evidenced by four guys calling themselves Metallica?) "Crying In The Rain" is a similar failed attempt to merge ballad and power-rock. Sorry, guys, but I'm convinced that marriage will just never happen perfectly.

Oh, Whitesnake does eventually try to return to their roots, via "Children Of The Night" and "Straight For The Heart," but the glossy production of Mike Stone, topped with the sludge that preceeded these songs, fails to help the band undo the damage.

What is truly a shame is that when Whitesnake was making music that was worth people's attention, we mostly ignored it. (I didn't know better, I was only 6, I think, when Whitesnake first came forth, and was 16 when Whitesnake came out.) With this drivel, people fawned all over them. Maybe it was because they were the exact opposite of some of the popular metal bands, like Poison and Motley Crue.

Whatever the case, Whitesnake is about as palatable as Jack-In-The-Box hamburgers left on the grill overnight. Someone kill this snake before it strikes again.


Rating: F

User Rating: B



© 1998 Christopher Thelen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Geffen Records, and is used for informational purposes only.