David Coverdale Reveals Whitesnake Hit Was Initially For Tina Turner

David Coverdale Reveals Whitesnake Hit Was Initially For Tina Turner | Society Of Rock Videos

via Whitesnake TV / Youtube

Whitesnake hit song “Is This Love,” has been a mainstay in their live shows ever since it was released as their second single from their self-titled album in 1987. It was their second-biggest US hit after “Here I Go Again,” reaching number 9 in the UK Singles chart and number 2 in the US singles chart.

Although recently, frontman David Coverdale revealed the song was actually intended for a different artist. In a newly posted video released via the Whitesnake TV YouTube channel, Coverdale explained:

“The original idea was for Tina Turner.

“My friends and associates at EMI Records were looking for songs to follow up Tina’s astonishing success story. The album with ‘What’s Love Got to Do With It’ was huge, global, and they were looking for songs.”

The record label executives suggested that Coverdale should create something for Turner. The rocker recalled:

“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 — because 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.”

Coverdale retreated to the south of France, where he and Whitesnake guitarist John Sykes worked on new material in a rented villa. One afternoon, Sykes heard a power ballad that the singer had been working on.

“And he said, ‘Oh, what’s that? That’s nice.’ I said, ‘Oh, it’s not for us. It’s for Tina Turner.'”

The duo then began working on the song. Coverdale continued:

“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 [record label] Geffen heard it, I said, ‘No, no, no. This is for Tina Turner.’ [And Geffen responded] ‘No, it’s not.’ And it’s one of the biggest songs that we have.”

The band ended up owning the song, but even if Coverdale was happy with the outcome, he admitted there’s a tiny part of him that wonders what Turner would have done with it. He added:

“I’d still love to have heard her sing it. If you were to imagine it in your mind’s ear, you know she’d do a superb job on it.”

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