The iconic rock group Whitesnake helped shape the sound of the 1980s. When we think of hair metal, this band immediately comes to mind.
But many people might only know one or two Whitesnake songs. Typically the ones that hit it big on the radio or MTV.
Join us as we revisit some of this group’s greatest hits and best songs to see if they’re more than a one-hit-wonder band.
The Story of Whitesnake
Lead singer David Coverdale left his band Deep Purple in the late 1970s to start a new project. He gathered up the crew known as Whitesnake and began playing shows in 1978. The U.K.-based rock group drew inspiration from the sounds of bands like Thin Lizzy and Led Zeppelin.
Whitesnake released several albums with a heavy blues rock sound in their early years, including Lovehunter in 1979 and Saints & Sinners in 1982. Then, in 1984, they released Slide It In, which became their first commercial successful album. The group leaned into their hair metal aesthetic from that point forward.
The band released a self-titled album in 1987, and it rocketed to number two on the Billboard 200. The band’s seventh record sold over 10 million copies worldwide, making it their most successful one to date. Surprisingly, the group disbanded shortly after all this great success.
In the late 1990s, Coverdale decided to return to the main stage with the band’s former guitarist Adrian Vandenberg. The duo released a few albums before officially relaunching Whitesnake in the early 2000s. Many fans in the U.S. and Europe have been lucky enough to see this iconic rock group live during their world tours.
Throughout the years, the band has seen several lineup changes. However, Coverdale is the one consistent member of Whitesnake. Since its inception in 1978, it’s had over thirty different members.
Whitesnake’s Greatest Songs
Whether you consider yourself a hard-core fan or just a casual listener of this genre, you’ll probably recognize these tunes. Whitesnake’s greatest songs have stood the test of time and continue to be some of our favorite hits to rock out to.
Here I Go Again
Coverdale wrote this song in 1981, documenting the heartbreak and loneliness that came with the dissolution of his first marriage. The band recorded and released it on their 1982 album Saints & Sinners. It reached number 34 on the U.K. charts.
After the group’s big break in 1984, they re-recorded the tune. Except for the lead singer, the band had all new members. They released Here I Go Again on their 1987 self-titled album, and it quickly climbed the charts to the number one spot. The hit also became known for its iconic music video.
Is This Love
Coverdale and guitarist John Sykes began writing Is This Love while visiting southern France. They intended to write a song for Tina Turner as a followup to her big hit, What’s Love Got to Do with It. However, when record executive David Geffen heard the tune, he insisted Whitesnake should record it instead.
The hit also came from their self-titled album. It reached number two on the charts behind George Michael’s song Faith. The video featured Coverdale’s girlfriend, Tawny Kitaen, and shows a more sensitive side of these notorious rockers.
Fool for Your Loving
Like Here I Go Again, Coverdale found inspiration for Fool for Your Loving in the breakup of his first marriage. He originally intended the song to be sung by B.B. King, but ultimately decided to keep it for his own band. Whitesnake recorded it in 1980 for their album Ready an’ Willing. It reached number 13 on the U.K. charts and 53 in the U.S.
Because of the band’s frequent lineup changes, they had a different sound at the end of the decade. Nevertheless, they decided to re-record the song in 1989 for their record Slip of the Tongue. It fared better on the U.S. charts, peaking at number 37.
When Did Whitesnake Reunite?
Following the band’s biggest album in 1987, the group broke up. After a show in Tokyo in 1990, Coverdale informed his bandmates that he intended to take a long break and encouraged them to look elsewhere for work. He was exhausted from over a decade of constant writing, performing, and touring.
Luckily for their fans, Whitesnake got back together a few years later. Geffen Records released a greatest hits album in 1994, which became wildly successful. It went platinum, and Coverdale agreed to tour with Whitesnake again. He saw this as an opportunity to just have fun and let loose on stage.
In 2003, the group resurfaced again to celebrate its 25th anniversary with a world tour. Some of the band’s previous members reunited to play in Europe, the U.S., and Japan.
What Is Whitesnake Doing Now?
Whitesnake released its most recent studio album, Flesh & Blood, in 2019. It charted in 18 different countries, including the U.K. and U.S. Coverdale intended to tour throughout 2020, but unfortunately, shows and events worldwide had to be canceled. In recent years, the group’s also re-released some of their albums as collectible box sets.
The band embarked on a farewell tour in Europe in May 2022, with the band Foreigner. Unfortunately, when three of the band’s members, including Coverdale, faced health issues, they had to pull out of the tour. At that time, Whitesnake also canceled their plans to tour North America due to ongoing health concerns.
More Than a One-Hit Wonder
Though the band couldn’t complete their farewell tour as planned, we still think they’ve had one heck of a career. The group helped shape the music of the 1980s and stayed relevant for nearly 45 years, as evidenced by their record sales. However, with 13 studio albums featuring over 40 hit singles, we don’t consider Whitesnake a one-hit-wonder band.
What’s your favorite Whitesnake song? Let us know in the comments!