Would Whitesnake Have Rivaled Guns N Roses...

...if Coverdale had kept the ‘87 lineup (Sykes, Murray, & Dunbar) for the long haul?

I was all of 6 years old when they and AFD came out but I vaguely remember both bands being very popular at the time. The singles off of the ‘87 release got every bit as much airplay as anything off of AFD.

Difference was GnR’s legacy grew whereas Whitesnake seemed to vaporize after the follow up.

Looking back, was It a mistake for DC to let go of that lineup?




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Comments

  • Dinosaur David BDinosaur David B Posts: 17,480
    edited May 2018
    If they had kept the 84 lineup -- Sykes, Powell, Murray (Dunbar is terrible), the might have done better.  But frankly, I prefer the Blue Murder lineup.  If Sykes had signed Blue Murder with ANYONE other than Geffen (who blackballed them on Coverdale's say-so), they might have gone on to become the Zep of the 80s. 

    GnR's popularity -- in my opinion, was a backlash TO hair metal -- of which WS 87 and Blue Murder was at least somewhat a part. They were Cock Rock part. The part that came from Zeppelin. 

    The positive response to GnR was a harkening back to baudy, boozy, comparatively slop rock (in a good way) ala Aerosmith and the Stones. It's the difference between Hair Metal, Cock Rock, and sleazy blues Rock.

    Post edited by Dinosaur David B on
    I ain't falling for no banana in the tailpipe.
  • Coverdale With the Blue Murder Lineup would have kicked ass-would have been a much better alternative than what he wound up doing with his lineup in retrospect.

    I heard a story that the reason Coverdale did what he did was pressure from the label to make his lineup look more MTV friendly, which might lead one to believe the lineup wasn’t ‘Hair Metal’ enough...

    Also, I know the personalities would have probably been oil and water, but could you imagine if Sykes had been the one who replaced Slash?
  • AgrippaAgrippa Posts: 5,872
    I never look at sales when I assess bands, never did.

    So having said that, I love "Appetite...", fun Rock'n'Roll record but I don't get anything else by the band, like, at all.
    Not to piss off fans, remember I'm just an old man with too many records, this is just my opinion.

    However, in my book G'nR was like a one hit wonder boy band, with more in common with backstreet boys than real musicians like whitesnake up until the album 1987.

    Whitesnake was more or less a band up until 1987, which is a Coverdale solo album, whose carrere the moniker Whitesnake carry to this day.

    So the question is:
    did G'n'R rival David Coverdale solo?

    I believe they did, and do.
  • Duojett71Duojett71 Posts: 9,318
    edited May 2018
    Agrippa said:

    However, in my book G'nR was like a one hit wonder boy band, with more in common with backstreet boys than real musicians like whitesnake up until the album 1987.


    So the question is:
    did G'n'R rival David Coverdale solo?

    Sorry you kind of lost me here. I don't see the correlation between Guns n Roses and a boy band, especially a boy band that was a one hit wonder. GNR had several hits on 'Appetite..' alone and then there was the stuff off 'Lies" and the Use Your Illusion  albums were pretty big also. I think the musicianship was pretty solid to. I certainly view those guys as real musicians. I am not even the worlds biggest GNR or Slash fan either.....but surely Slash can never be accused of being a hack.

    ...and I don't think that was the question at all....the question was would Whitesnake have been as big or successful as GNR had the '87 Lineup stayed together. GNR rivaling Coverdale is not even a question anyone would bring up....it's the other way around.
    Post edited by Duojett71 on
  • Dinosaur David BDinosaur David B Posts: 17,480
    I'm with Mark on this one. 
    I ain't falling for no banana in the tailpipe.
  • VenomboyVenomboy Posts: 3,601
    Completely different bands whose record companies had different agendas. Both were huge at the time. GnR could be marketed as an alternative to what many would perceive as Hair Metal. 

    GnR presented themselves as a filthy band and Whitesnake was never that physically dirty. 

    Whitesnake then went full on glitter and got poppier. Both have catchy songs but they’re vastly different bands. I don’t care for either but can tolerate them. Even still they were both big and did the right things at the right times for their careers
  • bourbonsamuraibourbonsamurai Posts: 1,488
    edited May 2018
    GnR was a game changer for so many reasons that have nothing to do with record sales.  there was always the element of danger.  a riot, a terrible trainwreck, or maybe some of the most transcendent live rock n roll to ever be played.  the 1987 Whitesnake was surely bad as a motherfucker, but, no fault of theirs, they didn’t capture the zeitgeist of the time to anywhere near the extent of GnR.  watch the MTV Live at the Ritz GnR show.  Out ta Get Me, by itself, is enough to turn you inside out.  aside, this show is hilarious to watch Steven Adler
    swing his ass off all night wearing the dumbest, drunkest grin to never appear on EVH’s face..
    Post edited by bourbonsamurai on
  • AgrippaAgrippa Posts: 5,872
    edited May 2018
    To me G'n'R really wasn't that successful, artistically speaking.
    I made a point out of the fact I don't care about MTV rotation or sales numbers.
    That G'n'R failed to be able to make another record as good as "Appetite" is why in my book they were one hit wonders, but I still prefer Appetite to 1987, it's wastly overrated in my book.
    To explain that; I've been a fan of Coverdales band Whitesnake since Coverdales Whitesnake album.
    My fave Whitesnake album is by far "Live In The City" and "love hunter", and in my book "Saints And Sinners" were the last real Whitesnake album.
    So the question is, is 'appetite' a better album IN MY OPINION than 1987 ?
    IN MY OPINION, Hell yeah.

    If 'appetite' were a slam dunk failure in sales and I was the only person on the planet who ever got and listend to that album, I would still feel that way.
    Post edited by Agrippa on
  • Dinosaur David BDinosaur David B Posts: 17,480
    The line between WS in 87 and GnR IS the proverbial line in the sand of distinction between two genres heading in opposite directions at the same moment in time.  By 1987, WS -- rightly or wrongly got lumped into the Hair Metal category.  With DC and Sykes in the band, it's easy to understand why -- they both had great hair, chiseled features and looked like Adonis-like sex symbols of that archetype. Blown dry and quaffed.  

    GnR drove and rode the backlash against hair metal and shred guitar.  Despite having plenty of long hair of their own, as Cary mentioned, they looked dangerous, not sober -- as if everyone in the band was Keith Richards and Joe Perry. And their music-- despite still having abundant guitar solos didn't play into the technique-based shred guitar that people (other than us here) were getting tired of at that moment in history. 

    Again, the 70s analogy would be the difference between Zeppelin and Aerosmith. 

    To me, I truly enjoyed Appetite when if first came out, but whereas a generation of people 10 years younger than me thought GnR's music was this great new thing, I thought it was just a return to the kind of music Aerosmith had been doing 10 years prior -- with a little more punk influence.  I thought Slash (of 1987) wrote great riffs and was good, tasty lead player, but I certainly didn't feel he was in the same league with the lead players I like best. But to those younger folks, he was their guitar hero, and for all intents, THE LAST true "guitar hero."  Now, I think Slash is a lot better player now than he was then, but he still in 2018, for example, doesn't have the chops Sykes had in 1987.  But that doesn't really matter at all because what he does have is his own distinctive voice on guitar and that's ultimate all that matters where lead work is concerned. 

    I was quite fortunate to purchase my 1954 Les Paul a year or so BEFORE the GnR album hit, because in those days, it was custom painted Charvels going for $1500 and Jacksons going for $2500. In that environment, I paid $800 for my Les Paul.  And you could EASILY get a 1950s LP Jr. for around $500.

    GnR hit and Les Pauls started coming back, and the super strats started fall out of favor. Slash changed all that. Sykes didn't Zakk didn't.

    As for the two albums, they were both way, way overplayed, and I got sick to death of both of them.  But after a long time avoiding them, these days I can once again listen to Appetite and enjoy it a lot. Not so WS 87.  To me WS87 was a HUGE disappointment to me on so many levels.  I had major gripes with it from the day it came out, and I still have those same gripes.  For me, it's no contest that Appetite is a better album as a whole. It's a young, hungry band on the way up -- playing road-tested songs as a cohesive unit -- as a band.  You can't say any of that about WS87. 

    That said, I enjoy the first Blue Murder album considerably more than both of the others. To me, Blue Murder is sort of the fully realized version of WS87 SHOULD have been.



    I ain't falling for no banana in the tailpipe.
  • bourbonsamuraibourbonsamurai Posts: 1,488
    The line between WS in 87 and GnR IS the proverbial line in the sand of distinction between two genres heading in opposite directions at the same moment in time.  By 1987, WS -- rightly or wrongly got lumped into the Hair Metal category.  With DC and Sykes in the band, it's easy to understand why -- they both had great hair, chiseled features and looked like Adonis-like sex symbols of that archetype. Blown dry and quaffed.  

    GnR drove and rode the backlash against hair metal and shred guitar.  Despite having plenty of long hair of their own, as Cary mentioned, they looked dangerous, not sober -- as if everyone in the band was Keith Richards and Joe Perry. And their music-- despite still having abundant guitar solos didn't play into the technique-based shred guitar that people (other than us here) were getting tired of at that moment in history. 

    Again, the 70s analogy would be the difference between Zeppelin and Aerosmith. 

    To me, I truly enjoyed Appetite when if first came out, but whereas a generation of people 10 years younger than me thought GnR's music was this great new thing, I thought it was just a return to the kind of music Aerosmith had been doing 10 years prior -- with a little more punk influence.  I thought Slash (of 1987) wrote great riffs and was good, tasty lead player, but I certainly didn't feel he was in the same league with the lead players I like best. But to those younger folks, he was their guitar hero, and for all intents, THE LAST true "guitar hero."  Now, I think Slash is a lot better player now than he was then, but he still in 2018, for example, doesn't have the chops Sykes had in 1987.  But that doesn't really matter at all because what he does have is his own distinctive voice on guitar and that's ultimate all that matters where lead work is concerned. 

    I was quite fortunate to purchase my 1954 Les Paul a year or so BEFORE the GnR album hit, because in those days, it was custom painted Charvels going for $1500 and Jacksons going for $2500. In that environment, I paid $800 for my Les Paul.  And you could EASILY get a 1950s LP Jr. for around $500.

    GnR hit and Les Pauls started coming back, and the super strats started fall out of favor. Slash changed all that. Sykes didn't Zakk didn't.

    As for the two albums, they were both way, way overplayed, and I got sick to death of both of them.  But after a long time avoiding them, these days I can once again listen to Appetite and enjoy it a lot. Not so WS 87.  To me WS87 was a HUGE disappointment to me on so many levels.  I had major gripes with it from the day it came out, and I still have those same gripes.  For me, it's no contest that Appetite is a better album as a whole. It's a young, hungry band on the way up -- playing road-tested songs as a cohesive unit -- as a band.  You can't say any of that about WS87. 

    That said, I enjoy the first Blue Murder album considerably more than both of the others. To me, Blue Murder is sort of the fully realized version of WS87 SHOULD have been.



    man that Blue Murder album IS sick as fuck.
  • VenomboyVenomboy Posts: 3,601
    At the time I thought Whitesnake was turning into a joke and I thought GNR was a parody band. I really hated GNR. Then I got used to them but never loved them. Saw them live with Metallica and they put on a really good show. I'm sick of Appetite now. Just doesn't do anything for me. Never understood the "dangerous" thing. They're drug addicts, not Thanos' minions ;)
  • SirionSirion Posts: 3,115
    I actually think that the difference between GnR and the glam scene seems overrated. Judging from Mötley Crüe's development (both in music and image) between Theatre of Pain and Girls Girls Girls at least parts of the scene was already going that way. GnR was the next step on that path, and they arrived at just the time that they were instrumental in creating a divide within the commercial hard rock scene.This would only continue into the early 90s: the difference between, say, Slaughter and FireHouse on one side and Skid Row and Spread Eagle on the other. In this way, I wonder if GnR didn't do more to prolong rather than to destroy the scene, by being an agent of diversity.

    (What I can say for certain is that the connection to me always felt intuitive. I basically grew up on GnR in the 90s, but had no clue about the rest of the glam scene, as they just weren't mentioned to people my age; I think I was almost 15 before I first heard of Poison. When I first heard Dokken's Just Got Lucky, almost a decade after I first heard Appetite, but after I had been found DRG and been introduced to all the "canonized" bands GnR were influence, I could intuitively sense that this was where Sweet Child O' Mine came from.)
  • Seven MoonsSeven Moons Posts: 8,700
    Not sure about 1987-snake rivaling GnR as I have the impression that they had different audiences (generally younger people in the case of GnR).  
    I love Whitesnake up to "Saints and Sinners". "Slide it In" was the first huge disappointment. And when "1987" was released, it was the album of a radically different band, which certainly had its merits, but whose sound and imagery did absolutely nothing for me. It was more "David Coverdale's Snake" than "Whitesnake", and I don't mean it as a good thing.   
    As for GnR, I never cared much. Kudos to them for being the introduction to proper rock music for a whole generation, but AFAIC I couldn't see the point in listening to these guys when I already had the (IMO much better) original Aerosmith. 
  • bourbonsamuraibourbonsamurai Posts: 1,488
    Not sure about 1987-snake rivaling GnR as I have the impression that they had different audiences (generally younger people in the case of GnR).  
    I love Whitesnake up to "Saints and Sinners". "Slide it In" was the first huge disappointment. And when "1987" was released, it was the album of a radically different band, which certainly had its merits, but whose sound and imagery did absolutely nothing for me. It was more "David Coverdale's Snake" than "Whitesnake", and I don't mean it as a good thing.   
    As for GnR, I never cared much. Kudos to them for being the introduction to proper rock music for a whole generation, but AFAIC I couldn't see the point in listening to these guys when I already had the (IMO much better) original Aerosmith. 
    there was a punk rock edge to Appetite that i liked.  a lot of Motorhead and Sex Pistols in their sound.  for me, Aerosmith didn’t have that.
  • Andy GAndy G Posts: 996

    Looking back, was It a mistake for DC to let go of that lineup?

    I think it's a damn shame there wasn't any more music from the Sykes/Coverdale partnership. 
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