Episode #189 – Whitesnake – Slide It In (US Release)

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Deep Dive Podcast Network:

Lead up to the Album:

  • From October-November of 1983 the album was completed at Musicland with Martin Birch.
  • Hodgkinson quit the band sometime during these sessions.
  • The UK tour dates were then canceled.
  • On December 1, 1983 Neil Murray was asked to audition for the band.
  • Between December 12-15 Sykes rehearsed with the band and is confirmed as the new guitarist.
  • From January 19-28th in Los Angeles at Goodnight Studios Murray and Sykes do overdubs on the album.
  • The album would be remixed by Keith Olsen.
  • David Coverdale, from the Japanese US Remix version: “What happened was we finished the album in Europe and we were all delighted with the way it came out. However, the American record company said it was sounding European and not sounding American. Even when I said, ‘I am European”, they said, “However, we’d like it to sound American”, so I gave them carte blanche to remix in the U.S., on the condition that I could include John Sykes, who’d recently joined Whitesnake, and Neil Murray, who recently re-joined Whitesnake, and they accepted that premise. So I got what I wanted, and they got what they wanted. In essence, the difference is that you can hear the voice a lot better, and you have John Sykes and Neil Murray playing on it, whereas on the European mix, you don’t have them.”
  • John Kaloder was the first A&R executive at the newly formed Geffen Records, headed up by David Geffen. Geffen had heard Coverdale was switching management and flew Kalodner to the UK to try to recruit Coverdale for Geffen.
  • Kalodner said he worked very hard to sign Coverdale and eventually sealed the deal.  Kalodner said: “I thought they were a great commercial rock band. The problem is, that I told Coerdale, even though I really loved the other guys in the band, they weren’t as good as him. He was a superstar, and we were entering the age of Bon Jovi, you know, all of the big superstars, and I thought Coverdale’s voice and songs were better than anything.”
  • Moody: “They ended up taking a lof of Mel Galley and me off of it and putting on John Sykes. I was gone by then, so I really can’t tell you anything further.” He goes on to say, “It wasn’t the same, let’s put it that way. That band in 1983 was not the Whitesnake that I knew and loved.”
  • Moody goes on to explain that they never really tried to emulate other bands’ sound but that he could see that’s the direction they were headed.
  • John Sykes was brought in as a flashy, good-looking new guitarist in the style of popular American bands despite being British.
  • Coverdale had toyed with Michael Schenker and even Adrian Vandenberg who he offered the gig to but Vandenberg turned him down, finding success with his own band Vandenberg at the moment who had the hit “Burning Heart.”
  • Kalodner felt strongly about Sykes from his past history with Tigers of Pan Zang and Thin Lizzy and thought his writing would also be the right fit for Coverdale.
  • Kalodner talks a lot about Sykes’ appeal being his looks and hints that he would have wanted Galley out even without the injury.
  • Coverdale describes Sykes’s audition and that Cozy didn’t like him but that Coverdale kept the idea alive despite Cozy writing him off.
  • Coverdale said at this point he hadn’t really given in to the idea that they would have a “guitar hero” in the band.  He describes Kalodner as having to talk to him to tell him that no one else was in his league and he needed someone like this to complement him. He used other combos such as Jagger/Richards, Page/Plant, and Daltrey/Townshend as examples.
  • Coverdale said he was subconsciously against it because of seeing the “abuse of power that Ritchie manifested.” He was nervous to go down that path again.
  • Coverdale said when his mother first saw a picture of John Sykes she told him, “David, are you crazy? Now you’ll never get any of the girl.” “Up until then I really hadn’t thought about that, but he convinced me to get in the best shape of my life.  Getting John int he band not only revitalized us musically – he is an absolutely brilliant guitarist – but it gave us more motivation to make our stage show hot.”
  • Coverdale said he was never crazy about keyboards and Jon Lord’s role in the band was minimal in the years leading up to this.  When he said he was going back to Purple Coverdale elected to just use them to round out the sound.
  • Kalodner thought the UK version was too heavy on keyboards and wouldn’t cut it in the US.
  • Kalodner and Coverdale had a big fight as Kalodner wanted to bring someone else in to mix the album, someone aside from Martin Birch.  He suggested Keith Olsen. He goes on to describe the problems with Martin Birch’s mixes and how “un-American” they sounded.
  • Olsen first worked with Kalodner with Foreigner.
  • Neil Murray said that Sykes was very much into Ozzy and Randy Rhoads.

Core Band:

  • Bass – Neil Murray
  • Drums – Cozy Powell
  • Electric Guitar – John Sykes
    • Had been offered the job to replace Randy Rhoads but allegedly he never heard back from Ozzy after the offer.
    • When Ozzy did get back to him he had already accepted the job with Phil Lynott to join Thin Lizzy.
  • Guitar – Micky Moody
  • Guitar, Vocals – Mel Galley
  • Keyboards – Jon Lord
  • Keyboards – Bill Cuomo
    • Worked with Steve Perry, Rick Springfield, Kenny Rogers, Steve Perry
  • Vocals – David Coverdale


  • Producer, Mixed By – Martin Birch
    • No “Big Ears” on this one.
  • Mixed By – Keith Olsen
    • American version by Geffen Records, completely remixed by Keith Olsen
    • This version features some different guitar solos to the European edition, with the addition of John Sykes as a third guitarist layered on top of the original guitar parts recorded by Mel Galley and Micky Moody.
    • The original bass guitar parts recorded by Colin Hodgkinson were completely replaced by returning member Neil Murray’s bass guitar parts on this version and it also includes some new keyboard parts by Bill Cuomo, differing from the original recording.
  • Mastered By – Greg Fulginiti

Album Art & Booklet Review

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Album Tracks:

This version features some different guitar solos to the European edition, with the addition of John Sykes as a third guitarist layered on top of the original guitar parts recorded by Mel Galley and Micky Moody.

The original bass guitar parts recorded by Colin Hodgkinson were completely replaced by returning member Neil Murray’s bass guitar parts on this version and it also includes some new keyboard parts by Bill Cuomo, differing from the original recording.

Side One:

  1. Slide It In (Coverdale)
  2. Slow An’ Easy (Coverdale, Moody)
  3. Love Ain’t No Stranger (Coverdale, Galley)
  4. All Or Nothing (Coverdale, Galley)
    • Longer fade out on US version.
  5. Gambler (Coverdale, Galley)

Side Two:

  1. Guilty Of Love (Coverdale)
  2. Hungry For Love (Coverdale)
    • Early fade out on the US version, UK version is about 30 seconds longer.john 
  3. Give Me More Time (Coverdale, Galley)
  4. Spit It Out (Coverdale, Galley)
    • Guitar intro, full band on UK version
  5. Standing In The Shadow (Coverdale)
    • Much longer fade out on the US version.

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Bustin’ Out The Spreadsheet

Reception and Charts:

  • The US version of the album was released on April 16, 1984, postponed from April 2.
  • The album peaked at #40 in the US on August 25, 1984.
  • The album is certified platinum in November of 1987. 2x platinum in July of 1992.
  • In 1985 the US remix would be released in the UK.
  • Allegedly when a copy of the US mix had reached David and Mel they hated it.  Mel Galley threw the cassette against he wall.  Coverdale said “It sucks” and “It’s dynamically dull, it’s lost its British bollocks.”
  • Simon Robinson goes on to describe a very long and difficult fight between the band and Geffen about the remix.


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The Final Word:

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