David Coverdale recalls how he didn’t want ‘Restless Heart’ to be branded as a Whitesnake album
Whitesnake frontman David Coverdale was recently interviewed by Eamon O’Neill for UK’s eonmusic. Coverdale has been working extensively on revitalizing his music catalogue with his latest release being Restless Heart, which was originally released in 1997.
O’Neill noted that some people view albums as untouchable sacred cows, but Coverdale seems to relish the chance to reshape them to which the latter commented: “Oh, completely, otherwise you wouldn’t have them in your hand. It was a very challenging record for us. Michael was with me, and my wife Cindy and I were pregnant with our son Jasper, so I wanted to be on location, so Michael, of course had the impossible task of renting somewhere. Donna Summer, god rest her soul, we rented her house on the south shore or Lake Tahoe, and Michael built an SSL studio there, and it was just technical issues after technical issues. But we fought through it, we got through it.”
In terms of what he remembers about the making of Restless Heart, Coverdale indicated: “I called Adrian [Vandenberg], who’s one of my dearest friends, and a fantastic collaborator, and said; “right, I’m going to do a solo album, are you doing anything? Do you want to fly over?”, and he did, and he lived with us for about six months. It was amazing, and another testament to how strong our friendship is; a great cook, great wine, a raconteur, a lovely man, superb guitarist, and you couldn’t ask for a better song writing partner. So, we were near the end of this thing, after doing the extravagant albums like ‘Slip of The Tongue’  and ‘Coverdale Page’ , I wanted it to be a bit more organic, strip it down a little bit.”
With respect to Restless Heart being originally billed as David Coverdale & Whitesnake, Coverdale stated: “It was supposed to be a David Coverdale solo album after I’d worked with Coverdale Page, and the guys at EMI promoted the idea of this working under my own name, which I’ve got to say, I wasn’t that enthusiastic about. I like being in a band, I like being in Whitesnake! Obviously, there’s going to be elements of Whitesnake because I’m the principle writer for the band, but the circumstances, the new executives came in from EMI, and at least showed me the respect of flying over to Reno and sitting down to listen to the album. I bought a case of Puligny-Montrachet so we’re all quaffing that, and then they asked if they could have a word with me, and I thought; “aye aye, what’s this?!” They said; “we want this to be a Whitesnake album”, and I’m going; “but it isn’t – not as it is!” , and they said; “well, contractually, we can demand that, and we’d rather you were in agreement”. So I said; “fine”.”
On thinking that Restless Heart would not work as a Whitesnake album, Coverdale indicated: “I felt the songs were really strong, but if it was a Whitesnake album I wouldn’t have used girls on it [female backing singers], I wouldn’t have done ‘Stay With Me Baby’ [Lorraine Ellison cover], and ‘Don’t Fade Away’ very likely would not [have appeared on it]. I sat with Adrian and Michael going; “well, we can turn the guitars up a bit, we can turn the drums up a bit”, but I always felt it wasn’t doing it good service. And then the mastering was tough, and even more different executives came in, and it was just a really challenging record, so revisiting it was just an utter pleasure for me.”
You can read the rest of the interview with David Coverdale at eonmusic‘s website.
Whitesnake‘s “Restless Heart” video (from 2021 album Restless Heart):