It may have been their third album, but there was nothing “difficult” about Whitesnake’s Ready An’ Willing. Initially released in the spring of 1980, the record provided David Coverdale’s group with their mainstream breakthrough, cracking the Top 10 and going gold in the UK with a little help from their first bona fide UK hit, Fool For Your Loving.
Listen to ‘Ready An’ Willing’ here.
In broader terms, Ready An’ Willing was also a landmark record in that it marked the debut of what many still consider to be Whitesnake’s “classic” line-up, with Coverdale and keyboard maestro Jon Lord drafting in their former Deep Purple bandmate Ian Paice after the release of Whitesnake’s second album, 1979’s Lovehunter. As lead guitarist Bernie Marsden later revealed, Paice’s presence behind the drum kit allowed everything else fall into place.
“Personalities within the band were gelling nicely”
“I just remember Ian Paice coming into the band and the difference that he made,” Marsden told Ultimate Classic Rock in 2015. “That’s not being detrimental to the original drummer [Dave Dowle], who was great, but when you’ve got the ‘The Guv’nor’ wanting to join your band, you know, what are you going to do?”
Having both played with Paice in Deep Purple, Coverdale and Marsden looked at each other during that first session with the drummer “and we didn’t have to say anything – we just realized and knew”, Marsden continued. “We could write a certain way knowing what Ian Paice and Jon Lord would put into that material and, they never let us down.”