DAVID COVERDALE Says WHITESNAKE's 'Is This Love' Was Originally Written For TINA TURNER
May 25, 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 on May 6 on digital and streaming services.
WHITESNAKE founder and lead singer David Coverdale had 16 tracks remixed and remastered for this collection, including "Is This Love", which was a hit, reaching No. 9 on the U.K. singles chart and No. 2 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 singles chart. "Is This Love" was WHITESNAKE's second-biggest U.S. hit after "Here I Go Again", which topped the charts.
Asked if there was any trepidation about how the WHITESNAKE rock audience would accept such a radio friendly ballad, Coverdale said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "Slightly, yeah. The original idea was for Tina Turner. My friends and associates at EMI Records were looking for songs to follow up Tina's astonishing story. The album with 'What's Love Got To Do With It' was huge, global, and they were looking for songs. And they knew I was going away to do the old correlation of song ideas and said, 'If you come up with anything that you think might be good for Tina' — 'cause they knew I was a huge fan — let us know. So that was the idea — the original idea for 'Is This Love' was for Tina."
Regarding how the song came together, David said: "[Then-WHITESNAKE guitarist] John Sykes and I… I rented a villa in the south of France, and John and I had different hours. He had owl hours and I had daytime hours. He'd sort of stagger out of his room to get coffee as I was tinkering away and turning the volume up about four in the afternoon. And he said, 'Oh, what's that? That's nice.' I said, 'Oh, it's not for us. It's for Tina Turner.' Anyway, he gets his coffee, sits down and starts playing these… It was just this organic thing. These ideas just fed really beautiful things that I wouldn't have come up with. Maybe John wouldn't have come up with the chords, but the embellishments were just part of the whole package of the song. And when [WHITESNAKE's then-record label] Geffen heard it, I said, 'No, no, no. This is for Tina Turner.' [And they said,] 'No, it's not.' And it's one of the biggest songs that we have.
"Whenever we play really big heavy metal festivals around the world, I'm going, 'Should we do it?' Man, everybody's hugging, 'cause usually by that time of the day, people need a good sonic hug. So we're only too happy to oblige with that.
"Sorry, Tina," Coverdale added. "I would still love to have heard her sing it, though. If you were to imagine it in your mind's ear, you know she'd do a superb job on it."
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.
"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 current 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.