Whitesnake leader David Coverdale wrote this song in Portugal. While it's typically thought of as an inspiring song about facing your challenges head-on, it's really a song about heartbreak and the loneliness that comes with it. The song documents the breakdown of Coverdale's first marriage to Julia Borkowski, with whom he tied the knot in 1974.
This was first released in 1982 on Whitesnake's album Saints & Sinners. The album went to #34 in their native UK, but was hardly noticed in the US. In 1987, "Here I Go Again" was remixed with new backing vocals and slicker production for the album Whitesnake 1987. With a very MTV-friendly video to promote it, this version went to #1 in the US and also reached #9 in the UK, where it was released as the "US Mix."
This was written in 1981 after Whitesnake toured the UK. The band went on hiatus when lead singer David Coverdale's daughter got sick that year, but the song was resurrected in 1982 when he reformed the group and released the Saints 'N' Sinners album.
The original 1982 version runs 5:08, building slowly as Coverdale sings over a gospel organ. The 1987 version is 3:52 and gets to the action (the chorus) a lot faster.
Another important change: The line "like a hobo I was born to walk alone" became "like a drifter I was born to walk alone." Clearly a better word choice.
Coverdale formed Whitesnake after leaving Deep Purple. He was well known in the UK so Whitesnake had a built-in fanbase there, but cracking America was a lot harder. They made inroads in the US with their 1984 album Slide It In, but it was the Whitesnake 1987 album that took off. When they toured America to support it, they did so as opening act for Mötley Crüe.
The video features very quick shots of the actress Tawny Kitaen dancing seductively on the hoods of two Jaguars (cars, not cats). One belonged to Coverdale, the other belonged to the guy who directed the video. It was a huge hit on MTV, and one of the first "tease" videos. Especially among hair bands, it became popular to show flashes of beautiful women throughout the video to keep the viewers interested.
Kitaen, who was in the 1984 movie Bachelor Party
, also appeared in the Whitesnake videos for "Still Of The Night," "Is This Love?
," and "The Deeper The Love" (thankfully, there was no video for "Slide It In
"). She and Coverdale were married in 1989 and divorced in 1991.
This song entered the news in 2002 under some strange circumstances. Tawny Kitaen married the baseball player Chuck Finley in 1997. In April 2002, she was arrested for spousal abuse after kicking him with her high-heeled shoes while he was driving. Finley filed for divorce soon after.
Soon after Kitaen was arrested, the DJ for the Chicago White Sox was fired for playing this song to the stadium while Finley was warning up for his team, the Cleveland Indians.
The 2004 Bowling For Soup hit "1985
" is about a housewife who pines for her youthful adventures in the '80s, when among other things, she dreamed about "shaking her ass on the hood of Whitesnake's car." The video stars Tawny Kitaen, now living a sensible, stable life, but still dreaming about dancing on the car.
As portrayed in the 2010 movie The Fighter, this was the theme song for the boxer Micky Ward, who used it for inspiration during training and before fights. Coverdale recalled on the VH1 Classic program That Metal Show that he read the script for The Fighter before he gave permission for the song to be used in the movie. "I [didn't] know how good it [was] going to be," he said. "But to see Christian Bale, 'Batman' singing your tune, are you kidding! It was amazing, very uplifting and inspiring. I thought the movie was great."
This was featured on The Office in the season 2 episode "E-Mail Surveillance." Phyllis sings it during karaoke at Jim's party.
It was also used in these TV shows:
Family Guy ("Brian's A Bad Father" - 2014)
It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia ("Mac's Banging The Waitress" - 2008)
How I Met Your Mother ("Bachelor Party" - 2007)
American Dad! ("Dungeons and Wagons (2006)
Still Standing ("Still Changing" - 2003)
And in these movies:
Man Up (2015)
Rock Of Ages (2012)
Old School (2003)
I Still Know What You Did Last Summer (1998)
In the 2019 "Glory Of Love" episode of the Netflix series Cobra Kai, which uses lots of '80s music, "Here I Go Again" soundtracks a dream sequence where Johnny Lawrence (the guy who got kicked in the face at the end of Karate Kid) is having a tryst with his neighbor. The sequence pulls together an editing toolkit from the '80s, with soft-focus shots of his love interest seducing him with slow motion hair flips.