Whitesnake (album)

Whitesnake is the self-titled seventh studio album by British rock band of the same name, released in 1987. It produced a major power ballad hit, "Is This Love", along with the number one hit "Here I Go Again". The album was a major crossover hit eventually selling over eight million copies in the US (and thus going eight times platinum).[6] It peaked at No. 2 on the US Billboard 200 for ten nonconsecutive weeks, barred from the top spot by three different albums. The album remained at or near its peak position over the course of six months, from June to November, 1987.[7] and No. 8 on the UK Albums Chart.[8] Its success in the US boosted its predecessor, Slide It In, from gold to double platinum status[6] and would see the band receive a nomination for the Brit Award for Best British Group in 1988.[9]

Whitesnake (album).jpg
First edition of the album with new logo
Studio album by
Released7 April 1987
RecordedSeptember 1985 – April 1986
StudioLittle Mountain Sound Studios, Vancouver, and Phase One Studios, Toronto, Ontario, Canada,
Compass Point Studios, Bahamas,
Cherokee Studios and One on One Recording, Los Angeles
GenreHeavy metal, glam metal
LabelGeffen (North America)
CBS/Sony (Japan)
EMI (Rest of the world)
Whitesnake chronology
Slide It In
1987 Versions
Singles from Whitesnake
  1. "Still of the Night"
    Released: 9 March 1987
  2. "Crying in the Rain '87"
    Released: April 1987 (promo)
  3. "Here I Go Again '87"
    Released: July 1987
  4. "Is This Love"
    Released: October 1987
  5. "Give Me All Your Love ('88 Mix)"
    Released: February 1988
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4.5/5 stars[1]
Christgau's Record Guide(D+)[2]
Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal8/10[3]
Record Collector4/5 stars[4]
Rolling Stone(favourable)[5]

This album was released in Europe and Australia as 1987 (with a different track listing – see below) and as Serpens Albus in Japan. A remastered reissue, featuring a DVD with video clips and live performances, was released in 2007 as the 20th anniversary special edition. A 30th anniversary "super deluxe" reissue came on 6 October 2017, a 4CD/DVD package containing the original album in a newly remastered format along with a live recording from their 1987-1988 tour, demos/rehearsals, remixes and the DVD of music videos and tour bootlegs.[10]


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 in the US and Canada only, while outside North America they remained with EMI) asked Coverdale to continue working with guitarist John Sykes, as they saw potential in the two.

Songwriting and productionEdit

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.

Coverdale, Sykes and Murray then moved to Los Angeles, where they rehearsed and started auditioning for drummers, and hired Aynsley Dunbar. With their line-up complete, Whitesnake headed up to Vancouver, British Columbia, 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 and engineer Bob Rock, who had previously worked with Bon Jovi on the multi-platinum album Slippery When Wet.

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.


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 and Canada) in April 1987 it reached number 2 on the Billboard 200 chart,[7] spawning two hit singles: "Here I Go Again '87" (which reached number 1 in the US[11]) and "Is This Love" (which reached number 2 in the US[11]). 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 & 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 "white snake"). The two extra European tracks would be released in North 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. In Bulgaria, the album was released as 1987 and used a slightly modified version of the European track order; "Here I Go Again '87" was replaced by "Here I Go Again '87" (Radio Mix) and moved to the end of side A.

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 ListingsEdit

All tracks are written by David Coverdale and John Sykes, except where noted.

North American version
1."Crying in the Rain '87" (Coverdale)5:37
2."Bad Boys"4:09
3."Still of the Night"6:38
4."Here I Go Again '87" (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)
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



Additional musicians


  • 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.)



Country Organization Year Sales
USA RIAA 1995 8x Platinum (+ 8,000,000)[6]
Canada CRIA 1988 5x Platinum (+ 500,000)[32]
Italy AFI 1987 Platinum (+ 200,000)[33]
New Zealand RIANZ 1988 Platinum (+ 15,000)[34]
UK BPI 1988 Platinum (+ 300,000)[35]
Germany BVMI 1989 Gold (+ 250,000)[36]
Sweden GLF 1988 Gold (+ 50,000)[37]
Switzerland IFPI 1989 Gold (+ 25,000)[38]
Total available sales: (+ 9.340.000)


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