DAVID COVERDALE Looks Back On Making Of WHITESNAKE's 'Still Of The Night': JOHN SYKES 'Took The Riff To Cosmic Levels'
May 11, 2022
WHITESNAKE has revisited its multi-platinum career by remixing some of its biggest hits for a new collection, "Greatest Hits", which was made available last Friday (May 6) on digital and streaming services.
WHITESNAKE founder and lead singer David Coverdale had 16 tracks remixed and remastered for this collection, including "Still Of The Night", the first single from the band's self-titled 1987 album. It reached No. 16 in the U.K., No. 18 on the U.S. Mainstream Rock Tracks and No. 79 on the Billboard Hot 100 when it was released on March 9, 1987.
Speaking about how "Still Of The Night" came together, Coverdale said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "I really didn't have a band after [1984's] 'Slide It In', so it was coming to America to start over, as it were. A huge element was me getting to work with John Sykes, the guitar player. He came with a bunch of ideas; I had a bunch of ideas. I wanted more 'electric' musicians, more 'notice me' — you know, not afraid to come on stage and just walk up and own the crowd. And John had that energy, and as people can testify, [he was] an extraordinary, gifted musician.
"So we were jamming on ideas," he continued. "I'd had this riff for a while; I'd found it in my mother's attic on an old cassette. I wanted a kind of 'Jailhouse Rock', which is one of my favorite rock songs ever — my introduction to Elvis Presley courtesy of my auntie Sylvia.
"So I played these things to John, and he took the riff to cosmic levels. And the rest is history. It just unfolded really well — all the fates and the muses were aligned. It was an amazing, amazing time. And we came up with super stuff, which fed the next 35 years of WHITESNAKE."
Coverdale previously stated about the new "Greatest Hits" collection: "We've definitely expanded on the original 'Greatest Hits', took them all out of the sonic time capsule of the '80s and '90s, and brought them up to date, sound-wise … as always, we have the original albums for those who consider them holy relics."
Keyboardist Derek Sherinian (DREAM THEATER, SONS OF APOLLO),who also appeared on WHITESNAKE's recent "Red, White And Blues" trilogy, adds Hammond organ to more than half the songs on the collection. His scorching contributions can be heard on the No. 1 smash "Here I Go Again", "Fool For Your Loving", "You're Gonna Break My Heart Again" and more. New performances by former WHITESNAKE guitarist Adrian Vandenberg can also be heard on "The Deeper The Love" and "Judgement Day" from the 1989 album "Slip Of The Tongue".
Along with those new additions, Coverdale also went back to the vault to unearth vintage performances by Sykes that didn't appear on the original recordings, including a solo on "Slide It In" and rhythm guitar on "Give Me All Your Love".
"Greatest Hits" focuses extensively on three blockbuster albums the band released during the 1980s: 1984's "Slide It In" (double platinum),1987's "Whitesnake" (eight times platinum),and 1989's "Slip Of The Tongue" (platinum). But the collection goes deeper with songs like "Sweet Lady Luck", a B-side on the 12-inch single for "The Deeper The Love" and "Forevermore", the title track from the band's 2011 album.
WHITESNAKE has just embarked on a farewell tour with special guest EUROPE. The first leg of "Whitesnake: The Farewell Tour" kicked off on May 10 in Dublin. Coverdale said: "I pray every day we can all make this happen and once again share unforgettable evenings together and celebrate the amazing journey we have been on for almost 50 years."
"Greatest Hits" CD/Blu-ray track listing:
01. Still Of The Night 02. Here I Go Again 03. Is This Love 04. Give Me All Your Love 05. Love Ain't No Stranger 06. Slide It In 07. Slow An' Easy 08. Guilty Of Love 09. Fool For Your Loving 10. Judgment Day 11. The Deeper The Love 12. Now You're Gone 13. You're Gonna Break My Heart Again 14. Sweet Lady Luck 15. Crying In The Rain 16. Forevermore
WHITESNAKE will team up with the SCORPIONS for a North American tour this summer and fall. The two-month-long Live Nation-produced trek will kick off on August 14 in Toronto, with additional concerts in Los Angeles, Detroit, Chicago, Dallas, and Denver, among others. Also appearing on the bill will be the Swedish band THUNDERMOTHER.
Last July, WHITESNAKE announced that it had enlisted Croatian singer/multi-instrumentalist Dino Jelusick for its upcoming tour. Jelusick is a member of multi-platinum selling band TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA and was previously part of DIRTY SHIRLEY (with George Lynch),ANIMAL DRIVE and recorded with many others. The 29-year-old Dino has been singing, touring and recording since the age of five. Other than being a frontman, his main instrument are keyboards but he also plays bass, guitar and drums. He finished music academy and did theater work.
Coverdale, who turned 70 last September, recently confirmed that he plans to retire from touring after WHITESNAKE's next batch of concerts around the world.
Coverdale had both his knees replaced with titanium in 2017 after suffering from degenerative arthritis. He later explained that he was in so much pain with arthritis in his knees that it hampered his ability to perform live.
WHITESNAKE had been touring in support of its latest album, "Flesh & Blood", which was released in May 2019 via Frontiers Music Srl.