I take music very personally. I support my preferred bands like I do my favorite sports teams.
So, when I first put the “Whitesnake” LP (informally/better known as “1987”) on the turntable, my initial reaction was, “Oh, my God. We’ve won.”
We certainly did.
The “1987” album was Whitesnake’s seventh. I had them all, having followed singer David Coverdale from Deep Purple to his new band. But “1987” cracked the code, especially in America. “Still of the Night” was MTV’s national anthem. “Here I Go Again” gave Whitesnake a No. 1 single.
“1987” went 8x platinum in the U.S.: Over 8 million copies sold.
For those without calendars, I point out that this is the 30th anniversary of “1987.” Snazzy repackaging becomes available tomorrow. A new Whitesnake album (with guitarist Reb Beach of this parish serving as Coverdale’s muse) and tour will soon follow.
There has never been anything like hearing “Still of the Night” blast out of those speakers for the first time. It’s been blasting ever since.
A few dirty little secrets about “1987”:
*Besides Coverdale, the band you saw represent “1987” on MTV and on tour had nothing to do with the making of the LP. Coverdale replaced John Sykes (guitar), Neil Murray (bass) and Aynsley Dunbar (drums) with Viv Campbell (guitar), Adrian Vandenberg (guitar), Rudy Sarzo (bass) and Tommy Aldridge (drums).
*Two songs – “Here I Go Again” and “Crying in the Rain” – originally appeared on Whitesnake’s relatively obscure 1982 album, “Saints & Sinners.” Both tunes were re-recorded with a harder, more polished edge.
*Geffen Records impresario John David Kalodner insisted that Coverdale tweak the lyrics of “Here I Go Again”: “Like a hobo, I was born to walk alone” was changed to “Like a drifter, I was born to walk alone.” The reason: Kalodner thought listeners would hear “homo” instead of “hobo.”
My favorite Whitesnake CD is 1984’s “Slide It In.” But “1987” was the league and cup double. It has absolutely stood the test of time.