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Whitesnake started out as a hard rock band that boiled down to Led Zeppelin-meets-Free, basically, yet enjoyed success in England in the late 1970s, due in part to the fact that the band was led by former Deep Purple replacement vocalist/Robert Plant clone David Coverdale. By 1984, Coverdale and company had carved out something of their own identity, setting themselves apart from the pack of hard rock/metal bands by taking tried and true "snake = penis" imagery to unheard of extremes. The album Slide It In featured a boa constrictor slithering down a headless woman's cleavage on the cover and songs called "Spit It Out" and "Slow an' Easy" as well as innumerable lyrical instances where Coverdale made it clear that he really liked sex. But it wasn't until 1987 that the group managed to make a name for themselves in the States with the release of a self-titled album that marked a total revision of their sound. Whitesnake's note-perfect take on the then-current wave of pop metal became a smash hit on the strength of a blatant Zeppelin ripoff called "In the Still of the Night" and the power ballad "Here I Go Again." As much a part of that song's success was its accompanying video, which featured Coverdale's then-wife, model Tawny Kitaen, wearing a mini skirt and going all the way with two sports cars. In 1989, Whitesnake released Slip of the Tongue, which was a moderate hit and featured guitar whiz Steve Vai in a newly re-vamped lineup. Since then, Whitesnake has appeared sporadically, with Coverdale assembling different musicians each time out. Their last studio album, Restless Heart (1997), did not even see the light of day in America.
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