Following the remastered release of their greatest hits via Greatest Hits compilation 2022, Whitesnake took it upon themselves to revisit each of the highlights from his past. On the turn of “Is This Love”, David Coverdale confirmed that his very successful single was originally created for Tina Turner.
In a series of video shorts promoting Whitesnake’s new Greatest Hits compilation, Coverdale discusses the popular ballad and whether there was any fear that a radio-friendly piece like “Is This Love” would drive away rock and metal listener.
“Slightly, yeah,” Coverdale begins (transcribed by Blabbermouth), “The original idea was for Tina Turner. My friends and associates at EMI Records were looking for songs to follow up Tina’s astonishing story. The album with ‘What’s Love Got To Do With It’ was huge, global, and they were looking for songs. And they knew I was going away to do the old correlation of song ideas and said, ‘If you come up with anything that you think might be good for Tina’ — ’cause they knew I was a huge fan — let us know. So that was the idea — the original idea for ‘Is This Love’ was for Tina.”
Coverdale recounts that he and guitarist John Sykes had diametrically opposed work habits, with the vocalist preferring to get out of bed in the afternoon and Sykes preferring to get out of bed in the morning.
Sykes overheard “Is This Love” when Coverdale was writing it, and Coverdale tells what happened next, “And he said, ‘Oh, what’s that? That’s nice.’ I said, ‘Oh, it’s not for us. It’s for Tina Turner.’ Anyway, he gets his coffee, sits down and starts playing these… It was just this organic thing. These ideas just fed really beautiful things that I wouldn’t have come up with. Maybe John wouldn’t have come up with the chords, but the embellishments were just part of the whole package of the song. And when Geffen heard it, I said, ‘No, no, no. This is for Tina Turner.’ [And they said,] ‘No, it’s not.’ And it’s one of the biggest songs that we have.”
“Is This Love” is one of several classic songs included on the new Greatest Hits album, and fans who want to hear it live will still be able to do so because Whitesnake is on a farewell tour.