Some of the more notable musicians who have joined the band for a time were: Jon Lord, Ian Paice, Cozy Powell, Neil Murray, Bernie Marsden, Micky Moody, Rudy Sarzo, John Sykes, Adrian Vandenberg, Vivian Campbell, Tommy Aldridge and Steve Vai.
The band's early material has been compared by critics to Deep Purple, not only because three past members of the band were once in Deep Purple, but also because of their sound and influences. Later, the band took on a sound more in line with the melodic hard rock popular in the mid to late eighties.
Their album, Whitesnake (entitled 1987 in Europe and Serpens Albus in Japan) marked the band's first mainstream success in the U.S. Thanks to the guidance of A&R guru John Kalodner, the album sold over eight million copies in the U.S. and also pushed sales of Slide It In from its RIAA certified gold status to over two million copies. The album continued to sell throughout 1987 and 1988 and hit #2 in the US. The group were slammed as being Led Zeppelin clones at this time, with former Zep frontman Robert Plant referring to Coverdale as "David Coverversion" in interviews. Regardless, the band had never sounded heavier.
The album's biggest hits were the power ballad, "Is This Love" and the #1 hit single, "Here I Go Again" (a re-recording of a song on Saints & Sinners in 1982). Other hit singles from the album were "Still of the Night" (#79) and "Give Me All Your Love" (#48 in 1988).
The album's exposure was boosted by heavy airplay of its videos on MTV, which featured actress Tawny Kitaen, whom Coverdale later married. None of the band members who played on the album appeared in these videos, as Coverdale had fired all of the band members (John Sykes, Neil Murray and Aynsley Dunbar) prior to the album's release, except session musician Adrian Vandenberg, who had been hired to complete the album after the others were dismissed. Vandenberg's only work on the album was the solo on "Here I Go Again" though he became a full time member of the band shortly afterwards.
The resulting music videos from Whitesnake featured new band members Rudy Sarzo, Tommy Aldridge, and Vivian Campbell. Sarzo and Aldridge had played together in Ozzy's band and Campbell had been with Dio for many years.
The band's line-up changed yet again for the 1989 album Slip of the Tongue, when Vivian Campbell left in late 1988 (he later joined Def Leppard). While preparing for the recording of the album, Adrian Vandenberg suffered a debilitating hand injury related to isometric exercises and was unable to participate in the sessions. With all of the foundation tracks completed, guitarist Steve Vai was called in to record all the guitar parts. The resulting album sold in three million copies and hit #10 in US and UK. Hit singles included a re-working of "Fool For Your Loving" (#37 US, #43 UK) the melodic "The Deeper The Love" (#28 US, #35 UK in 1990) and "Now You're Gone"(#96 US, #31 UK in 1990).
Wikipedia contributors. Whitesnake. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. August 3, 2008, 00:16 UTC. Available at: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Whitesnake&oldid=229494859. Accessed August 3, 2008.