Not only is Whitesnake’s ninth album, Restless Heart, arguably the most unsung release in their canon, but its inherent quality is all the more remarkable when you consider that it nearly didn’t get made at all.
Eight long years had elapsed between the enduring hard-rock outfit’s previous release, 1989’s Slip Of The Tongue, and Restless Heart’s arrival, in the spring of 1997, but then frontman David Coverdale was unsure about his band’s continued existence in the 90s.
Listen to ‘Restless Heart’ here.
“It got louder and louder, and so did I”
Even as the group embarked on the extensive Liquor & Poker World Tour in support of Slip Of The Tongue, their singer began to wonder if Whitesnake’s days were numbered. He was especially uncomfortable about his band being lumped in with the likes of Poison and Warrant – just two of many big-haired metal outfits who were so prevalent on the scene on the cusp of the 90s.
“It got louder and louder, and so did I,” Coverdale recalled in an MTV interview in 2006, “to the point where I had to get dressed up like a ‘girly man’ and tease one’s questionable bangs or hair and it’s all becoming a bit… boring.”
The state of Coverdale’s private life also fuelled his desire for change. Having plied his trade since the mid-60s, the singer was tired of the rigours of touring and troubled by his separation (and, later, divorce) from his first wife, Tawny Kitaen. He honoured all the dates on the Liquor & Poker tour but, desperate for time out to take stock of his life, he effectively disbanded Whitesnake in the autumn of 1990.