1987: British rock band Whitesnake released their self-titled seventh studio album, known as ‘1987‘ in Europe. The album 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). The album peaked at No. 2 on the US Billboard 200 and No. 8 on the UK Albums Chart. Its success in the US boosted its predecessor, Slide It In, from gold to double platinum status. Its success would see the band receive a nomination for the Brit Award for Best British Group in 1988.
Following the tour for the band’s previous album Slide It In, drummer Cozy Powell left the group. Coverdale was actually about to fold the band, but executives at Geffen Records asked him to continue working with guitarist John Sykes (Tygers of Pan Tang, Thin Lizzy and, later, Blue Murder), as they saw potential in the two. The pair began song writing in the south of France, aided by bass player Neil Murray. The first two songs to come out of those sessions were “Still Of the Night” and “Is This Love”, originally written for Tina Turner.
Then, in Los Angeles, they hired drummer Aynsley Dunbar and the new line-up moved to Canada to plan the next album. There Coverdale was struck down by a sinus infection which led to surgery and six months rehabilitation. Sykes dared to suggest bringing in a new vocalist and carrying on without Coverdale, which led to Sykes being fired. After Coverdale recovered, he started work on his vocal tracks and 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 discussed the possibility of Vandenberg joining Whitesnake.
By the time recording had finished and the album slated for release early 1987, Coverdale decided to let the other members of the band go, due to personal differences. For the new line-up of the band, Coverdale enlisted Vandenberg, second guitarist Vivian Campbell (ex-Dio), bassist Rudy Sarzo (ex-Quiet Riot and Ozzy Osbourne) and drummer Tommy Aldridge (ex-Black Oak Arkansas, Pat Travers, Gary Moore and Ozzy Osbourne).
In the UK, were it went Platinum, the album reached No 8 but went as high as No 2 in the US (8x Platinum) and New Zealand. The biggest hit singles from the album were “Here I Go Again” and “Is This Love“.
Listen to Whitesnake/1987 on Spotify.