After putting Whitesnake on hold, David Coverdale took "private time to reflect" and re-assess his career direction. He was soon put in touch with ex-Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page, and after meeting up in March 1991, a joint project was set in motion.
Although the titles Legends and even Led Zeppelin were touted for their new group, they settled on Coverdale Page, and began recording a debut album in late 1991 along with bassists Ricky Phillips (Bad English) and Jorge Casas (Gloria Estefan's Miami Sound Machine), and drummer Denny Carmassi (from Heart). After a great deal of pre-publicity from EMI, 'Coverdale Page' was released in March 1993, hitting the top 5 in both the US and UK album charts. Despite the strength of the album (which was heavily derivative of Led Zeppelin), it disappeared from the charts with unexpected speed, and projected ticket sales for a US summer tour were poor enough for the whole thing to be cancelled. Caught up in a recession which was hitting other 'classic' rock artists at the time (Deep Purple's 1993 US tour also didn't happen), the band were reduced to just playing shows in Japan. A touring band was put together using Carmassi from the album musicians, with new recruits Guy Pratt on bass (who had toured with the post Roger Waters version of Pink Floyd), and ex Dave Lee Roth keyboard player Brett Tuggle. The band performed a selection of new material with Led Zep and Whitesnake tracks mixed in, before going their separate ways after the show in Nagoya on December 22nd 1993. With old Led Zep vocalist Robert Plant now amenable to working with Page once again, he began to plan 1994's MTV 'Unledded' show, while David Coverdale was soon back in action with a new line-up of Whitesnake.
EMI/Geffen's July 1994 Whitesnake 'Greatest Hits' compilation was a resounding success in the UK, reaching no.1 in the album charts, but performed more disappointingly in North America. In conjunction with its release, David Coverdale put together a new lineup of the band, which toured Europe, Japan, and Australia between June and October 1994.
Old hands Adrian Vandenberg and Rudy Sarzo rejoined from their Manic Eden project, along with new members Denny Carmassi (fresh from Coverdale Page), Warren De Martini (ex Ratt), and Cher's keyboard player and arranger Paul Mirkovich. The tour concentrated on the 1984-89 material, although after its conclusion Coverdale pointedly distanced himself from the glitz of the era in question, and began to record an album with the aim of resurrecting the rootsier spirit of the band's early years.
"Restless Heart" was recorded using a mixture of personnel from Whitesnake Mk11 (Vandenberg and Carmassi) along with members of Coverdale Page's touring band (Guy Pratt on bass, and Brett Tuggle on keyboards). Originally intended as a solo project, it appeared with relatively little fanfare under the 'David Coverdale & Whitesnake' banner in June 1997, receiving favourable reviews and modest sales.
The single 'Too Many Tears' (a '1987' era out-take), similarly stalled in the UK chart at #46. It's monochrome promo video (featuring future member Marco Mendoza on bass) was as downplayed as 1990's 'Now You're Gone' had been overdone. The tour (which ran from September to December 1997) took in Europe and South America. It was (prematurely) labelled as Whitesnake's farewell tour, and described at the time by Coverdale as "the last tango.. the last hurrah". The live band included Carmassi and Vandenberg, along with session keyboard player Derek Hilland, ex Mister Mister guitarist Steve Farris, and ex The Firm bassist Tony Franklin. Initial promotion for the album lead to one of the David Coverdale's most worthwhile side projects. While on the European TV and radio circuit, David performed a short acoustic set in Poland accompanied only by Adrian Vandenberg on guitar. This went so well that a show was performed and filmed at EMI Studio 3 in Tokyo on July 5th 1997, and released in Japan as 'Starkers In Tokyo' on CD & DVD. The CD was eventually put out in Europe.
Once the tour was over David Coverdale began work on a new album using Hilland, Franklin, and Carmassi from Whitesnake Mk12, which emerged as a solo album in 2000. 'Into the Light' was favourably compared with 'Northwinds', but failed to sell. As a result of this and an all round shedding of older acts, EMI dropped Coverdale from their label soon after. David's only live appearance around the time was a guest duet with Glenn Hughes on 'Burn' at a special show in America, and aside from involvement in his website he temporarily drifted out of public view.
David Coverdale's career was publicly reactivated on Christmas Day 2002, when he announced on his website that Whitesnake would begin touring in the new year. The personnel only included drummer Tommy Aldridge from previous line-ups, the new men being Marco Mendoza (who had contributed to 'Into The Light') on bass, Doug Aldrich (ex Dio) on guitar, Reb Beach (ex Winger) on guitar, and Timothy Drury (The Eagles) on keyboards.
Whitesnake began their first US tour in over 12 years in Jacksonville, on January 29th 2003, shortly after Geffen's 1984-1989 compilation CD 'Here I Go Again' hit the shops, and spent a large part of the year on the road, largely on the classic rock nostalgia circuit. This was particularly the case in the UK, where they toured successfully with Gary Moore and Y&T under the 'Monsters Of Rock' banner. A variety of compilations also appeared in Europe. Without any new studio product, the 2004 tour was recorded.The show from Hammersmith Apollo was released on DVD as 'Live...In The Still Of The Night' in January 2006 and sold well. By then Marco Mendoza had upped sticks for his Soul Sirkus project, to be replaced by session bassist Uriah Duffy.
Uriah Duffy joined Whitesnake with the band's fortunes on a slow upward curve. They kicked off their June 2005 US tour as "The Rock n' Roll, Rhythm & Blues Show", and have continued to play to large audiences worldwide.
A live album recorded during 2006 was released later in the same year as "Live In The Shadow Of The Blues" (Coverdale having switched labels to SPV for this) with the additional teaser of four new studio tracks. During 2006 Coverdale also oversaw the remastering of half a dozen of his older Whitesnake albums, plus a special twentieth anniversary edition of 1987. With Whitesnake off the road in 2007, Tommy Aldridge went on tour with ex-Whitesnake members Marco Mendoza and John Sykes in the tribute incarnation of Thin Lizzy (including a support slot on Deep Purple's 2007 UK tour). It was eventually announced in December that he was being replaced in Whitesnake by ex Steve Vai band drummer Chris Frazier.
The announcement of Chris Frazier's addition to the ranks mentioned that he had already added drum parts to Whitesnake's new studio album. 'Good To be Bad' was released in the spring of 2008, and was a huge hit in many parts of the world. It reached the top five in the UK album charts, and was backed by a series of tours lasting into August 2009, when a US tour along with Judas Priest was pulled due to David Coverdale suffering voice problems.
The departures of Duffy and Frazier were announced in June 2010, along with news that the new drummer was to be Brian Tichy, formerly of Billy Idol's band, Foreigner and Lynch Mob.
.... 1991-1993 David Coverdale Discography ....
.... 1994-2011 David Coverdale & Whitesnake Discography ....
.... 1994-2008 Whitesnake On DVD ....
.... 1991-2013 David Coverdale & Whitesnake, Further Reading....