• Wed. Apr 17th, 2024
Original cover art of the EP.
Original cover art of the 1978 Whitesnake EP.



David Coverdale is one of rock’s most legendary vocalists, and continues to entertain audiences all over the world as the frontman of Whitesnake. But Coverdale’s career actually started long ago, prior to Whitesnake’s 1980s breakthrough. Following three studio albums fronting the legendary Deep Purple, Coverdale released two solo records which helped pave the way towards the next phase of his career; the one that would turn him into a rock legend.

Although the Trouble LP was Whitesnake’s official full length debut album, was preceded by the Snakebite EP. Containing a mere four tracks, it was a major sign of things to come for the fledgling rock vocalist, and many fans continue to hail these songs as classics. The EP was initially released in its original four-track incarnation, with later releases adding four tracks from one of Coverdale’s prior solo albums to make it a full LP of sorts. In more recent years, these songs have been reissued as bonus tracks on remastered CDs of the Trouble LP. Whatever way you get your hands on these songs, they are interesting to explore if you are a fan of David Coverdale’s music.

All four tracks on Snakebite are excellent in their own way, serving as something as a bridge between Coverdale’s Deep Purple and solo album era, and the classic 1980s Whitesnake period that everyone knows and remembers him for. Of the tracks here, only one became a major hit for the band, but all four are essential listening for anyone that calls themselves a Whitesnake fan.


Reissued version of the EP, with Coverdale solo tracks added as a bonus.
Reissued version of the EP, with pre-Whitesnake Coverdale solo tracks added as a bonus.


For this EP, Coverdale is joined by guitarist Micky Moody and Bernie Marsden, bassist Neil Murray, and drummer Dave Dowle. Whitesnake’s lineup, even from the beginning, would be a constantly changing affair, but this is where it all started, and one of the best lineups the band ever had, as they demonstrate beautifully for the all-too-brief duration of this release.

The EP is kicked off with “Come On.” This is just a straightforward classic rocker that gets things started in fine form; that this song did not become a bigger hit for Whitesnake/Coverdale is absolutely criminal. Track number two, “Bloody Mary,” is a fun, piano-heavy bluesy number that represents a change of pace from the opening track, but is still uniquely Whitesnake/Coverdale. It is definitely a fun track to listen to. Of course, the big hit to emerge from the EP was the cover of Bobby Bland’s “Ain’t No Love in the Heart of the City.” This is a slow, melodic blues ballad that could arguably be considered the first Whitesnake hit. This is Coverdale and company at their absolute finest, and it is the only track from this EP the band still revisits in their live concerts. The EP closes out with the bluesy guitar riffs of “Steal Away,” with serves as the perfect conclusion to it all.

Regardless of how you get your hands on these four tracks that were Whitesnake’s first release, they are essential listening for any fan. Your best bet for getting them in this day and age is to buy the Trouble remaster, which has added them as bonus tracks. Whitesnake is a band with a rich history going back well before their 80s heyday, and this is where it all began. Do not overlook the early years!




By Taylor T Carlson

Taylor T Carlson Assistant Editor/Senior Staff Writer Taylor T. Carlson was born August 17, 1984, and has called the Vegas Valley home his entire life. A die-hard fan of classic rock and metal music, Taylor has been writing album and concert reviews since he was 16 years old, and continues to do so, having done well over 1,000 reviews. He is also a fan of video gaming and cinema, and has reviewed a number of games and films as well, old and new alike. His thorough and honest (some would say brutally honest) reviewing style has won him the respect of hundreds of music fans and musicians alike, both local and abroad, and the ire of just as many others. Despite being one of the youngest attendees at classic hard rock/metal shows around Vegas, he is also one of the most knowledgeable, having gained the unofficial nickname of “The Eddie Trunk of Las Vegas.” In addition to reviews, Taylor has written and self-published three books on classic hard rock bands, and is a regular participant in rock and roll trivia contests. Taylor also holds a masters degree in special education from the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV), and has appeared on the hit History Channel television series Pawn Stars. His dream is to be able to one day make a living from writing music books and reviews.

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