In My Record Collection: Whitesnake, Slip of the Tongue (1989)
Updated: Sep 13, 2020
Slip of the Tongue is the eighth studio album by Whitesnake.The album was released in North America on November 7, 1989 and was produced by Mike Clink (Guns N’ Roses, Metallica, Mötley Crüe, Sammy Hagar) and Keith Olsen (Fleetwood Mac, Pat Benatar, Santana, Heart).
Although the album boasted four singles- Fool for Your Loving, The Deeper the Love, Now You're Gone and Judgement Day and was a platinum seller the record remains an anomaly in the Whitesnake catalogue. I rarely play this album or include any of its tracks on my playlists. Over the years ,besides an occasional anniversary edition or the inclusion of a couple tracks on a greatest hits compilation, we hardly ever hear anything about Slip of the Tongue.
So, I decided to give the album a listen. On paper Slip of the tongue looks amazing. You have two super producers; Keith Olsen and Mike Clink, both very successful producers with a proven track record sitting behind the boards. Then ,of course you have David Coverdale’s all- star touring band made up of drummer Tommy Aldridge (Ozzy Osbourne, Ted Nugent),bassist Rudy Sarzo (Quiet Riot, Dio), guitarists Adrian Vandenberg and Steve Vai (Alcatraz, David Lee Roth).It seemed like the planets were aligning , and we were going to get another huge Whitesnake album.
Therein lies the problem, and now I know why I keep bypassing this record. While Slip of the Tongue is a solid album it isn’t a great Whitesnake album. First ,as technically gifted as Steven Vai is , he isn't a good fit for the band. Second , Slip of the Tongue is sorely lacking in delivering the blues-based rock n’ roll music that we love and come to expect from a Whitesnake album.
In my opinion, Slip of the Tongue is still an enjoyable listen if you treat the record as a one-off Coverdale- Vai project. Highlights on the album include : the rocking title track , the epic Wings of the Storm, the majestic, Zepplinesque :Judgement Day and Sailing Ships .
Slip of the Tongue isn’t as bad as I though it would be. It just misses the mark in living up to the Whitesnake legacy.