David Coverdale On John Sykes’ Key Role In Whitesnake’s Success

Whitesnake frontman David Coverdale recently shared a video on the band’s YouTube channel. Coverdale opened up about John Sykes‘ key role in the group’s success.

David Coverdale formed Whitesnake after parting ways with Deep Purple in 1978. The band achieved early success, especially in the United States, United Kingdom, and Japan. It debuted with the album ‘Trouble,’ which reached number 50 on the UK Albums chart. Later, the band gained considerable success with upcoming records like ‘Come an’ Get It’ and ‘Saints & Sinners,’ which ranked in the top 10 on the UK Albums chart.

The band’s success was on the rise in the mid-’80s, and John Sykes was one of the musicians credited for this achievement. Following Thin Lizzy’s break-up, Sykes was asked to join Whitesnake and debuted with the band in a live performance in 1984. He did a great job while recording new guitar parts for the US release of the group’s sixth album ‘Slide In It.’ 

Sykes played a vital role in the band’s mainstream success during that period by contributing with his dynamic sound and style. He also wrote powerful lyrics by working with Coverdale on the albums. However, while they were in the creation process for their following record in 1985, Coverdale fired all members, including Sykes, because of some issues within the band. The 1987 self-titled album became the group’s most commercially successful record, to which Sykes contributed as the guitarist and back vocalist.

Recently, Coverdale recalled this album’s recording process, mentioning the successful song ‘You’re Gonna Break My Heart Again.’ The rocker opened up about Sykes’ key role in the album, stating that he was an excellent guitarist who reflected all emotions with the instrument.

As David Coverdale revealed, the guitarist was very passionate about what he did, and thus, he felt exhausted after completing a performance, which he found similar to Jimmy Page. Coverdale noted that the record was much better than what he had expected and credited Sykes for his outstanding contribution.

David Coverdale said the following about John Sykes’ contributions:

“John would come in with his intense energy. When he finished doing a tape, he was red-faced with exhaustion, even if he was sitting down doing the performance. The only other person like that was Jimmy Page, that I’ve seen dig really deep into the instrument. You feel it and hear it on the record.

So, there once again, Mr. Derek Sherinian came in, and we found guitars that hadn’t been used before, and we cleaned up some of the rest. I’m really pleased with the track. Some of these tracks have come out better than I thought and certainly better than they were originally, although it’s all the same elements, just with a different perspective and different feeling. It’s a good tune.”

You can watch the video below.