While the duo's union, brokered by Geffen Records' John Kalodner, made a lot of noise at the time, there was always a sense that it didn't live up to its potential, without a follow-up or extensive touring. Coverdale blames that on shifts within the label. "Geffen was going through a transition," he recalls. "We did very well with it, but it was a great disappointment that the new faces of Geffen weren't behind it more.
"I remember sitting on the roof of the hotel with Jimmy, where we were doing promo, and this young woman who was in charge of videos -- and you know how successful we'd been with (Whitesnake) videos...I was talking about ideas and this, that and the other. Here's two guys who'd sold, collectively, half a billion records or so, and this woman just leans over and taps me on my knee in a condescending way and goes, 'Things have changed since you've been on MTV, David.' And I'm going, 'I'm still ON f---ing MTV!' So that was a clue."
Besides Coverdale-Page, the singer also has "some ideas" for Whitesnake, whose last album, Flesh & Blood, came out in 2019. A boxed set reissue of 1997's Restless Heart is on tap for later this year, and Coverdale notes that "I've got two Christmas songs -- which, to get them out by this Christmas, I have to deliver by July. How festive!"
Coverdale has, however, enjoyed grouping Whitesnake's catalog into the Red, White and Blues collections, which started with The Rock Album (white) last spring and Love Songs (red), during the fall. "There's a lot of work to be proud of," he says. "The music stood up, but a lot of my work didn't stand up sonically. It's been an ambition of mine to be able to put together a Whitesnake mixtape I could enjoy and not be distracted by, like, 'Oh, that sounds muddy.' That was a big deal to me. So doing these we took all the...echo off, that '80s reverb, and I took all the tinkling keyboards off, 'cause that tortured me. I describe it as absolutely the same house of Whitesnake, but with a fresh coat of paint and the furniture rearranged."