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David Coverdale founded Whitesnake, a rock band that achieved wide fame in the late 1980s, with the No. 1 song "Here I Go Again."
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This ultimately led to the exit of guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, whose own personal musical interests varied from their new sound. After his departure, Coverdale persuaded the group to continue with new guitarist Tommy Bolin, with whom they released one more album, Come Taste the Band (1975). The album proved less successful than previous records, leading to the band’s demise the following year. Coverdale stated of his exit, "I was frightened to leave the band. Purple was my life,
Purple gave me my break, but all the same, I wanted out."
Discouraged, but ready to move on with his career, Coverdale began work as a solo artist. Despite the era's growing punk movement, he stuck true to his bluesy, rock and roll roots. In February of 1977, he released his first album titled White Snake, with all songs written by both himself and guitarist Micky Moody. In 1978, he released his second solo album, Northwinds, with an even better reception than the previous. Both albums reflected Coverdale's growing confidence in a future career outside of Deep Purple.
Before his second album was even released, Coverdale had begun to form his new band, Whitesnake. Originally a touring band for Coverdale's first solo album, Whitesnake became a full-time rock group consisting of Coverdale, guitarists Bernie Marsden and Nick Moody, drummer David "Duck" Dowle, and keyboardist Brian Johnston. Their first official release, "Snakebite" (1978), proved to be a hit in the United Kingdom. Their debut album, Trouble (1978), was released in the fall of that year, peaking at No. 50 on the U.K. album charts. Next came Lovehunter (1979), which despite turning heads with a rather risqué album cover, made the Top 30 hit list in the U.K. The success of their first few albums helped Whitesnake develop a huge European following.
The band first initiated American interest in 1980 with the hit "Fool for Your Loving," off their third album, Ready an' Willing (1980). The track reached No. 53 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The band soon crossed the Atlantic to serve as an opening act for hit groups AC/DC and Jethro Tull—a big adjustment, as the band was used to having American celebrities open for their shows. Whitesnake continued its success with its next three records, Live in the Heart of the City, Come An' Get It and Saints & Sinners, all of which landed a spot on the British Top 10 hit list.
Whitesnake took a new direction in 1982, with the emergence of several new members, including drummer Cozy Powell and bassist Colin Hodgkinson. In 1985, the band's self-titled album marked the their first mainstream success in the U.S. The album continued to sell throughout 1987 and 1988, and peaked at No. 2 on the U.S. album charts. The albums biggest hits included the ballad "Is This Love" and the No. 1 hit single, "Here I Go Again." After years of success, Coverdale took a break from music in 1997 and folded the band, returning for a reunion tour in 2002. In 2008, the band released Good to Be Bad, its first studio album in more than ten years.
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