Starting back on August 1st, 2019, we started the David Coverdale Series of reviews. It was a long process and after 36 reviews, we are capping off the series with not one, but two album rankings. The first one, this one, is going to cover only the Whitesnake albums. The second one, next week, will cover ALL albums that David Coverdale has done. The list are only studio albums. No E.P.’s, no live albums and no greatest hits.
Whitesnake started back in 1978 and was a result of David going solo after his stint in Deep Purple and he realized he enjoyed the band aspect and Whitesnake was born after 2 solo albums. The name was taken from the title of David’s first solo album and now David is the only original member. Hell, it was really his band anyway. One of the few bands it doesn’t matter who is in it as long as David is singing. If you want to read the reviews of each album, check out the list at the bottom of the post and click away and go explore each album in more depth. Thanks
The really cool thing I discovered when I went back to compile my list is that no album saw a score of less than a 3.0 out of 5.0 Stars. How many bands can say that. Probably not a lot. Enough chit chat, now let’s get started…
THE WORST – ‘THE PURPLE ALBUM” (2015):
As I said above, no album received below a 3.0 out of 5.0 StarsThe overall feel of the album is definitely more Whitesnake than Deep Purple and that is what it should be, but I have to admit the lack of Glenn Hughes funk-filled bass and those hellacious backing vocals do leave something missing. I did enjoy the album, but if I want to hear these songs I am going to pull out my Deep Purple albums, let’s be honest. I am glad it is in my collection, but it won’t get pulled out that often. There are some great moments and you can tell that David really does love and cherish that time in his life and you have to respect that. He doesn’t lack passion for his songs.
#12 – ‘GOOD TO BE BAD’ (2008):
The first outing with Doug Aldrich as lead guitarist and there are some really good tracks here and a few not so great. The album opens really strong, but starts to fade after the 5th song with too many misses then hits. One thing that bugged me was 9 out of the 11 songs were over 5 minutes which can make the album drag on too long and this one did just that at moments. But David sounds fantastic and although his range isn’t what it used to be, he is still one of the best rock vocalist in the business.
The biggest issue was that overall it wasn’t memorable enough for me. That doesn’t mean there weren’t some great songs because there were. Most importantly “Best Years”, “Can You Hear the Wind Blow”, “Good To Be Bad” and “Call on Me”.
#11 – ‘TROUBLE’ (1978):
The first full length album from Whitesnake was a great starting point, however, a few issues. The guitar playing is sensational on this album, but the guitar sound was lacking a little punch in sonics. Also, there are no real stand out tracks that I would consider Whitesnake classics, although, there are some contenders.
The top songs for me were “Belgian Tom’s Hat Trick” (an instrumental), “Don’t Mess With Me”, “Take Me With You” and “Nighthawk (Vampire Blues)”. Now, there is one song to avoid at all cost and that is the Beatles’ cover of “Daytripper”…really, did we need this…NO!
#10 – ‘COME AN’ GET IT’ (1981):
The band’s fourth album is a favorite of some people, but I am not one of them. Despite a kick ass Side One, Side Two was atrocious for me, therefore, hurt the standing of this release. What are those 3 songs? “Child of Babylon”, the cheesy “Would I Like To You” and the horrendous “Girl” which might be the worst song they have ever done.
Now, what did they get right? Side One as I said. The biggest standouts are “Wine, Women an’ Song”, “Hot Stuff”, “Come An’ Get It” and “Don’t Break My Heart Again”. I do love the blues sound on a lot of the songs and that is something this early Whitesnake did best.
#9 – ‘RESTLESS HEART’ (1997):
This album is really a David Coverdale solo album, let’s be honest. Due to contract requirements, it had to have the Whitesnake logo. What I loved about it was that the album does take me back to the early blues and R&B Whitesnake albums, but still keeps a little of the modern sound. The only problem was the album had too many slow tracks which would be my biggest complaint.
Now there are some memorable tracks that are essential to the Whitesnake family such as “Woman Trouble Blues”, “Restless Heart”, “Crying” and “Too Many Tears” to name a few. I also really liked the Lorraine Ellison song “Stay With Me”. I felt the band really captured the essence of that song. This one is worth a try and it will be having a Deluxe Box Set treatment some time in the very near future (2021 perhaps??).
#8 – ‘FOREVERMORE’ (2011):
The second album with Doug Aldrich is better than “Good To Be Bad”, but not by a ton. The back half of the album is way better than the first so hang in there as it will pay off, but overall the whole album is still lacking a little extra punch. The thing I do like about it is there a lot of elements of different eras of Whitesnake in these songs. You get some “Slide It In”, some of the bluesiness of early Snake and even a little Coverdale/Page.
Being at #8 you would expect a few essential, classic Whitesnake songs on here and you would be right. One of my favorite tracks in years is on here called “Forevermore”. I think David has outdone himself with this one. You also get “My Evil Ways”, “Whipping Boy Blues”, “Dogs in the Street”, “Love Will Set You Free” and “Steal Your Heart Away”. All-in-all, not a bad album.
#7 – ‘LOVEHUNTER’ (1979):
The follow-up to ‘Trouble’ finds David really is starting to come in to his own as he delivers the lyrics with more control and bravado and he really believes what he is singing. His confidence grows with each passing song and the songs are a step up from ‘Trouble’. And the album cover is one of the best! The only negative is there are a few songs that sound a little dated.
But there are some classic songs to like “Walking in the Shadow of the Blues”, “Mean Business”, “Long Way From Home” and the title track “Lovehunter”. The guitar work of Bernie Marsden and Micky Moody as well as Jon Lord’s playing make any early Snake worth a listen.
#6 – ‘FLESH & BLOOD’ (2019):
The band’s most recent release is one of the strongest albums since ‘Slip of the Tongue’. I found the songs more memorable and the way Reb and Joel play off each other is fantastic. Their guitar playing helped make this album what it is…a Beast!! And don’t forget David. Coverdale is laying waste to those lyrics and he still sounds great (in the studio). He is still one of the best in the business.
The best songs on the album, there are so many, are “Good To See You Again”, “Trouble Is Your Middle Name”, “Shut Up & Kiss Me” and “Hey You (You Make Me Rock)”. There are a few that can be ignored, but the rest are so good it took this album all the way to #6 in my book. Man, I hope they do more with Beach and Hoekstra!!!
#5 – ‘READY AN’ WILLING’ (1980):
The songs were the strongest yet of the Whitesnake albums up to 1980, but really, they are still strong by even today’s standards. My only negatives, the album was missing some dual guitar solos with Marsden and Moody which I think adds to the songs. The album was also lacking a Bernie Marsden lead vocal song…okay, it really isn’t missing that I guess.
There are some Essential Whitesnake songs on here, more so than the others and this album gets better with every listen. You have to check out the original version of “Fool For Your Loving” which might be better than the 1987 version. You also have “She’s a Woman” which gives you a killer solo by Jon Lord. The rest are “Ain’t Gonna Cry No More”, “Sweet Talker”, “Ready an’ Willling” and one of my all time favorite tracks, “Blindman”. Overall, this is a killer album
#4 – ‘SAINTS & SINNERS’ (1982):
The band still hadn’t caught on in the US, they were starting to fall apart as a band and seems to be going wrong everywhere. Yet, they still captured one of their best albums. The first side of the album is top-notch and the second side has 3 stellar song that push this over the top. This album also the original versions of two of the most iconic Whitesnake songs, “Crying in the Rain” and “Here I Go Again”, you be the judge if they outshine the remakes.
Those aren’t the only songs worth checking out. I would tackle “Blood Luxury”, “Saints an’ Sinners”, “Young Blood” and “Rough an’ Ready”. Not too much to skip and I think the band was starting to hit their stride before the rails came off and this Whitesnake was soon ending.
#3 – ‘SLIP OF THE TONGUE’ (1989):
Although Whitesnake had gotten further away from their Blues rock sound by this time in their career, the songs on here are really strong thanks to the great relationship between David and Adrian Vandenberg. The addition of Steve Vai’s guitar playing added so many layers and textures that it sounded like an entirely new band. They were big going in to this album and got even bigger. It was an almost perfect album from beginning to end, and stands up as one of their best.
There are so many great songs that their might be too many to list, but I will let you know some essential tracks. Two of my favorites are “Sailing Ships” and “Judgment Day”, but most people might say “Slip of the Tongue”, “Now You’re Gone” or “The Deeper the Love”…people love some ballads. And you get the re-imagined version of “Fool For Your Loving” originally off our #5 album. You can’t go wrong with this one.
#2 – ‘WHITESNAKE / 1987’ (1987):
This album was the gateway album to this band and I have never looked back since. Except when I looked back at their earlier albums, but that isn’t the same thing sorry. The songs were so strong and David hadn’t sounded better. Whitesnake seemed to hit their stride at the right time and finally were able to connect to the North American audience. David had finally reached the success he had been looking for all along thanks in part to John Sykes. It is too bad that relationship didn’t last longer.
The essential songs on here are easy…all of them…okay, not really. But they are at least “Still of the Night”, “Is This Love” and “Bad Boys”. Two of the biggest tracks were the re-imagined versions from our #4 album on the list with “Crying in the Rain” and “Here I Go Again”. Now, if it wasn’t for the last blip of the last song, we would have had another perfect record from Whitesnake.
#1 – ‘SLIDE IT IN’ (1984):
Speaking of perfect…This is the strongest album the band has done, period, end of discussion. There is nothing wrong with any of it. Yes, Side One is stronger, but Side Two is still filled with fantastic, rocking songs. Whitesnake found its groove despite the turmoil within the band. With two versions a UK mix and a US Mix with different band members, they are both just as wonderful (although I do favor the US Mix).
Songs…oh did it have the songs. First, nothing to skip or delete. 100% track list of perfection. You get “Love Ain’t No Stranger”, “Slide It In” and the badass “Slow an’ Easy”. The best opening three tracks maybe on any of their albums. But that is not all, you get “Standing in the Shadows”, and the sleazy “Spit It Out” as well as “The Gambler and “Guilty of Love”. All just pure and utter magic.
And there you have it, Whitesnake’s studio albums in order of how I rank them from the worst to the best. Let me know what you think. Where did we differ and where did we agree. What is fun about these list is how differently each album impacts people. What I like, you might not, but we like the same artist and that is all that matters really. And if as a result, you find something new, then my job is done!!!
Up next…David Coverdale – The Albums Ranked Worst to First
The David Coverdale Series:
- Deep Purple – Burn
- Deep Purple – Stormbringer
- Deep Purple – Come Taste the Band
- Deep Purple – Made in Europe
- David Coverdale – Whitesnake
- Deep Purple – Last Concert in Japan
- David Coverdale – Northwinds
- David Coverdale’s Whitesnake – Snakebite
- Whitesnake – Trouble
- Whitesnake – Lovehunter
- Whitesnake – Ready an’ Willing
- Whitesnake – Live…in the Heart of the City
- Whitesnake – Come An’ Get it
- Deep Purple – Live in London
- Whitesnake – Saints & Sinners
- Whitesnake – Slide It In
- Whitesnake – “Give Me More Time” 12″ Single (Bonus Review)
- Whitesnake – ‘The Best of Whitesnake (Bonus Review – 1982 release)
- Whitesnake – Whitesnake (1987)
- Whitesnake – “Is This Love” 12″ Promo (Bonus Review)
- Whitesnake – Slip of the Tongue
- David Coverdale – “The Last Note of Freedom” – Single Review
- Coverdale/Page – Coverdale/Page
- Coverdale/Page – “Take Me For A Little While 12” Single (Bonus Review)
- David Coverdale & Whitesnake – Restless Heart
- Whitesnake – Starkers in Tokyo
- David Coverdale – Into the Night
- Whitesnake – Live…In the Still of the Night (DVD)
- Whitesnake – Live…In the Shadow of the Blues
- Whitesnake – Good To Be Bad
- Whitesnake – Forevermore
- Whitesnake – Live at Donington 1990: Monsters of Rock
- Whitesnake – The Purple Album
- Whitesnake – The Purple Tour (Live)
- Whitesnake – Flesh & Blood
- Whitesnake – The Rock Album
- Whitesnake – The Albums Ranked Worst to First
- David Coverdale – The Albums Ranked Worst to First
Other David Coverdale Albums reviewed – (Box Sets and Bootlegs):
- Whitesnake – 1987 (30th Anniversary Edition) – Box Set
- Whitesnake – Slide It In (35th Anniversary Edition) – Box Set
- Whitesnake – Unzipped – Box Set
- Whitesnake – Slip of the Tongue (30th Anniversary Edition) – Box Set
- Whitesnake (Snake) – Still of the Night Live in Battle Creek, Mich. July 26, 1987 (Bootleg)