WHITESNAKE‘s new collection, “Greatest Hits“, arrived on May 6 and frontman David Coverdale has revealed that the band’s 1987 ballad “Is This Love” was originally meant for iconic singer Tina Turner.
When Coverdale was recently asked if there was any reluctance about how the WHITESNAKE audience would accept such a radio friendly ballad, David 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.”
“Greatest Hits” focuses extensively on three major albums WHITESNAKE 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).
WHITESNAKE’s “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