1988 Countdown #54: Whitesnake, “Give Me All Your Love”

(New to the countdown? Catch up here.)


Kevin Seal promotes the “Big Bang ’89” celebration with as little sincerity as he can muster: “Oooh, whee, let’s get some excitement.” He then continues with the countdown: “In at a pretty solid 54 is Whitesnake.” He notes that “Give Me All Your Love” was the fourth video from the Whitesnake album, and the first one not to feature “the lovely and talented” Tawny Kitaen. Oh, that makes me very sad.

“Good year for Whitesnake in general,” Seal continues. “I took a train down to Daytona for spring break along with the band. And David Coverdale, he finally found a place where he can get beluga caviar for under $400 a pound. It’s that kind of year for them.” It’s always hard to calibrate Seal’s sincerity–he raises an eyebrow after he finishes that story–but I get the impression the caviar detail is true.


We open with footage of a small private plane flying over the mountains. Given that every expense was spared for the rest of the video, I suspect this is stock footage–if it were actually Whitesnake’s airplane, wouldn’t there be a band logo painted on the nose? Or Tawny Kitaen crawling out a window and then doing a split on one of the wings? (For too many reasons to detail, I’d rather be writing about the chart-topping “Here I Go Again” (1987, alas) than this weak effort to squeeze one more hit out of the octuple-platinum Whitesnake. Okay, I’ll share one reason: I love that David Coverdale makes his girlfriend do all the stunt work.)

A pair of motorcycles emerge from the fog, followed by a limousine. The members of Whitesnake stride through a parking lot, adorned with long white scarves and flowing locks. (Most of this introduction has double-exposed images, so we’re seeing both those things at the same time, along with a crowded arena, presumably filled with Whitesnake fans.) The band walks through the backstage tunnels of the EnormoDome where they will be playing. The drummer has his shirt off; we know he’s the drummer because he’s holding some drumsticks. Other than that, I can’t tell one member from another, and given how many personnel changes Whitesnake had, I suspect that David Coverdale couldn’t either.

Finally, the music starts, and I wish it hadn’t. “Give Me All Your Love” is a big slice of generic uptempo rock pomp. Coverdale does an acrobatic move that involves jumping in the air and bouncing the microphone stand on his knee, sending it flying over his head. One male fan is so overcome by the power of Whitesnake, he has taken off his shirt and is waving it around in circles.


Coverdale struts forward, letting us take a good look at his outfit, which appears to be new white sneakers and fringed denim that somebody has attacked with a Bedazzler. He then struts backward, as if he left his keys by the drum kit. He sings. First line: “When I first saw you, baby, you took my breath away.” Okay, a bit clichéd, but not awful. Second line: “I knew your name was trouble”–and now Coverdale rubs his fingers and thumb together, in the international symbol for “money.” I suppose he’s trying to communicate the notion that the girl he was singing about had expensive tastes, or was actually a hooker, but it just looks like he doesn’t know the idiom, and that he should be singing “I knew your name was Money.”


The bassist holds up his bass and, without ever stopping playing, licks it. Ewwww. Does he know where that thing’s been?

Lots of reaction shots of the crowd, including some of women, who look suspiciously like they’ve been planted by the video crew. Also lots of quick cuts of the band–Coverdale wobbling his left leg, the shirtless drummer pounding on his red kit, a guitarist in a puffy white shirt. Notably absent is a keyboard player, despite the synth riff being the dominant musical element in this song.

A guitarist walks around, playing his instrument over his head. This would be more impressive if the music being played was good. Coverdale throws his microphone stand around some more. He was 37 at the time of this countdown, and he’s looking a bit weather-beaten, but he’s still got a lot of energy onstage, and he’s still got a lot of hair. He periodically shakes it around to demonstrate its volume.


Guitar solo, on a polka-dot guitar. One shot frames the guitarist between Coverdale’s gyrating legs. The director deploys the camera he’s kept stationed in the bass drum. And then the bassist licks his bass again! Why, oh why? Did that trick get him girls? Did the bass taste like cinnamon?

Coverdale clutches the microphone with his right hand and lets his left arm flail around, not completely unrhythmically. I would say that this video seems like obvious source material for Spinal Tap–an aging hack British metal star trying to put himself over in ridiculous fashion–except that it came out four years after the movie.


The band finishes the song in an explosion of random strobes; the video cuts back and forth between the drummer and Coverdale spinning around with the microphone stand. Was there really no way for them to work in Tawny Kitaen doing a cartwheel?

“Give Me All Your Love” peaked at #48 on the Billboard singles chart. You can watch it here. Or you can just watch “Here I Go Again.”

posted 17 June 2010 in 1988 and tagged , , , . 4 comments

4 Comments on 1988 Countdown #54: Whitesnake, “Give Me All Your Love”

  1. azul120 Says:

    Ahhhh, it’s good to see you not take a week off in awhile. Though I’m a little disappointed I wasn’t able to notice and comment on the Bruce Springsteen entry until the day after, when everyone else had moved on.

    Anyways, I’m chalking up this video’s evident performance on MTV (heavy rotation, etc.) to pure momentum. We all know the story: Whitesnake had a damn good year in 1987. According to mrpopculture.com’s MTV playlist scans, “Still of the Night”, their first video from their self-titled album that year, that’s right, preceding “Here I Go Again”, was already in Heavy Rotation, clearly leading to said subssequent video making the “Sneak Preview Video” list, which evidently meant MTV Exclusive. (I’ve seen various old recordings on YouTube of other videos on there pop up as Exclusives.) According to MTV Top 20 commercial break flashbacks, “Here I Go Again” and its followup “Is This Love?” both went to #1, respectively spending 2 and 3 weeks on the top. I don’t have the Top 100 of 1987 list on me, sadly, but from what I’m able to cobble together from memory, “Here I Go Again” was ranked #5, “Is This Love”, owing to coming out later in the year and still carrying out its rotation run on MTV, was #35 or so. I believe “Still Of The Night” was also in there, clocking in at #28 or so. On the decade end ’80s list, they fared even better, with “Is This Love” at #73 and “Here I Go Again” at #14. (On the MTV 500 in mid-’97, they were #301 and #146 respectively.)

  2. Rob Says:

    I guess this is where they stopped trying. This video proves Tawny was the only indispensable member of Whitesnake. Without her, they weren’t even Whitesnake. Yet all by herself, she was able to make the California Angels and “The Surreal Life” Whitesake-related phenomena.

    Like a drifter, she was born to walk alone.

  3. Gavin Says:

    Another way of calculating the two videos’ staying power:

    The “Give Me All Your Love” clip has 41,827 views on YouTube, while “Here I Go Again” has 9,795,581.

    Also: the bassist licks his bass in the “Here I Go Again” video! Apparently that was his thing!

  4. azul120 Says:

    Oh hohoho! That’s a lot of views!

    Can’t wait for the next entry, hopefully tomorrow!

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