Here I Go Again

Album: Saints & Sinners (1982)
Charted: 9 1

Songfacts®:

  • Whitesnake leader David Coverdale wrote the lyric 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.
  • In 1987, "Here I Go Again" was a #1 hit in America, all over the airwaves and MTV, but the song was written in 1981 and first released in 1982 when Whitesnake was a very different band.

    David Coverdale wrote it with their guitarist, Bernie Marsden, after the group toured their native UK. They released it on their Saints 'N' Sinners album and issued it as a single in the UK, where it went to #34. By 1987, the band had a different lineup, with Coverdale the only constant. They re-recorded "Here I Go Again" and included it on their 1987 self-titled album. That summer, it was released as a single in America for the first time and rose to #1 in October, thanks in no small part to the music video. In the UK the re-release, labeled the "US Mix," went to #9.
  • David 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 album in 1987 that took off. When they toured America to support it, they did so as opening act for Mötley Crüe.
  • The original 1982 version runs 5:08, building slowly as Coverdale sings over a gospel organ played by Jon Lord, his bandmate in Deep Purple. The drums don't come in until 1:20.

    The 1987 album version runs 4:35 with a more assertive keyboard intro by Don Airey. It's still a slow build, with drums entering at 1:15. This is the one used in the video.

    Whitesnake's label, Geffen, ordered a new, super-radio-friendly version of the song for the single, so Coverdale went back in the studio with Airey and a set of studio musicians and made another recording. This one runs 3:52 and gets right to the action, with the drums and guitar coming in right away. Coverdale's vocal doesn't come in for 22 seconds, plenty of time for DJs to talk it up.
  • In the original 1982 version, the line is, "Like a hobo I was born to walk alone," which was changed in 1987 to, "Like a drifter I was born to walk alone." Clearly a better word choice.
  • 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 to Marty Callner, 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 (young boys) 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.
  • The 1987 radio version was produced by Keith Olsen, known for his work on Fleetwood Mac's 1975 self-titled album. Olsen produced the 1983 Heart album Passionworks, and brought in their rhythm section - drummer Denny Carmassi and bass player Mark Andes - for the session, along with guitarist Dann Huff. Speaking on the Songfacts Podcast, Andes said the musicians were feeding off the energy from Coverdale's vocal. "David Coverdale, who had a cold or something, was such a pro and really sang the song," he said. "That translates into the vibe of the musicians playing the song."
  • "Here I Go Again" was a popular song title in the '60s and '70s. The Raeletts, The Miracles, Country Joe & The Fish, Archie Bell & The Drells, and The Hollies all released different songs with that title that charted in America.
  • 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)
    Adventureland (2009)
    Old School (2003)
    I Still Know What You Did Last Summer (1998)
  • The song was used by retail giant Walmart in an August 2016 "Back To School" commercial.
  • 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.

Comments: 29

  • AnonymousTawny Kitaen Died Saturday May 8,2021
  • Juan Quintanilla from Carver, MnI was just wondering, but did MTV aired both the 1982 music video or the 1987 music video?
  • Candy from Augusta, KsTo Jeff....if you watch the YouTube video attached to this page, you can see said breast at 2:19. Sorry you're not the only one who "has" the video.
  • Laurent from Manama, BahrainThere are actually 3 versions of this song: 1) On the "Saints & Sinners" album in 1982, 2) the album version released in 1987 and 3) the radio version that actually went to no. 1 in the US. The radio version doesn't feature any of the musicians playing on the 1987 album and was recorded with Dann Huff on guitars, Denny Carmassi on drums and Bill Cuomo on keyboards. I think Mark Andes played some bass on it too.
    The solo on the 1987 album version was played by Adrian Vandenberg, the only member who appeared on the album (he only played that solo) and eventually joined the touring band. Most people in the US think that the touring line-up of Vandenberg, Campbell, Sarzo, Aldridge and Coverdale recorded the album. That is wrong as the album was played by Coverdale, John Sykes, Neil Murray and Aynsley Dunbar with the help of a few keyboards players of which Don Airey.
  • Charity from London, United KingdomI love this video, Mr. Coverdale is clearly loving every minute of it and they look great together....
  • Diann from Evansville, InI have a great appreciation for this song. Figure this, your leaving something thats not working.. Your heading out on your own. You may not be a drifter however, but just a person of selfworth and perseverance. It's always tough going out on your own. Then there's a song that can make it all make sense for a moment or two. We all associate life with a song. Just turn it up and feel strong for that moment, or maybe for a day. Just a little thought.
  • Edo from Willemstad, Netherlands AntillesDavid Coverdale already approached Dutch guitar player Ad(rian) Vandenberg in 1980 to join Whitesnake. David was impressed with Adrian's playing, but even more about his songwriting skills. It took six years to convince Vandenberg to finally join Whitesnake. He was the one playing that übercool guitar solo in 'Here I Go again'. After the album was released, Adrian also did the tour, for almost all other bandmembers were fired by Coverdale when the recordings were completed.
  • Chase from Miami, Flthis song is literally my theme song i am a very lonely person. My other theme song is behind blue eyes by the who partly because i have blue eyes both awesome songs
  • Dale from Santa Fe, NmAnd NOT ONE PERSON has mentioned Bowling for Soup's 1985 ??: She was gonna shake her ass
    on the hood of Whitesnake's car
  • Laura K. from Toccoa, GaThis song is referenced in "Talladega Nights" when Ricky Bobby (Will Ferrell) is sitting at a table and the girl he falls in love with starts dancing on the table, just like the girls in the video on the car do. And he says "This is just like in the Whitesnake video!"
  • Maggie from Optional?, OhI meant he is pretty cool in the video the other comment just sounds stupid
  • Maggie from Optional?, OhThis song is amazing, the chorus sounds so good. The guy is pretty singing is pretty cool when he is in the music video
  • Brandon from Peoria, IlOkay, here is a very obscure reference. If anyone is familiar with the website homestarrunner.com they will understand. In a Strong Bad E-mail where The Cheat fills in for him, the e-mail asks Strong Bad if he can do a cartwheel. While cartwheeling, the Cheat's computer says "here i go again on my own." I nearly fell on the floor laughing becuase Strong Bad is a rock fan. I'm sure that this was the reason that it was put in there. Now...back to your regularly scheduled program already in progress...
  • Myles from Seal Beach, CaI don't think "Still of the Night" sounds like Black Dog, but it definitely has a Zeppelin-esque sound to it (almost like Plant was telling Coverdale how to sing it). Here I Go Again is pretty much a perfect song.
  • Kory from Atlanta, GaThis song's about a guy who is having a hard time with love and he knows he can't dwell on it so he's gotta go on his own like's he's done all along.........
  • Mia from Wellston, MiTotally agree Phil. Has anyone heard the whitesnake song Still of the night. it sounds JUST like led zeppelins "black dog"
  • Victor from Vienna, Vai love this song, but what exactly is it about? To me it seems as if it were about someone trying to find themself. Am I right?
  • Jonothan from Adelaide, AustraliaThis song was in the recent movie "Old School"
  • Megan from Ozark, AlI though David Lee Roth was in this band too.
  • Aj from Cleveland, GaWasn't this pretty much Whitesnake's only hit in the US at least??
  • Phil from San Jose, CaI saw Whitesnake open for Jethro Tull (Oakland), back then it was mainly members from Deep Purple, and of course Coverdale, such a Robert Plant rip off! Later remember Coverdale / Page?
  • Guisseppe from Bradford Uk, EnglandPossibly my favourite band... Seen em about 12 times, and have all my guitars signed by coverdale marsden and moody!! They bloody rock dude!!
  • Toby from Wolverhampton, Englandplays quite a large part in the film "old school" starring vince vaughn and will farell
  • Anoop from Bangalore, IndiaTawny Kitaen, David's ex-wife was also the subject of the Whitesnake song "Kitten's Got Claws"
  • Charlie from Thomaston, Cti love the guiatar solo, its a really underrated solo
  • Kurt from Downers Grove, IlMy favorite song of all-time. This song is a perfect example of why the 80's rocked!
  • Jordan from Kissimmee, FlFor my generation, I think the first thing that comes to mind is Will Ferrell in "Old School". Awesome movie, with awesome songs to back it up.
  • Krie from Ft. Drum, NyI once had a dream I was going to marry Dave Coverdale...it was really weird...at any rate, this song is one my all-time favorites. And my old college roommate said that this was the class song for her sister's graduating class, which was in 2000...
  • Jeff from Oscoda, MiThe original video showed Kitaen leaning out the window of the car and the wind blew her dress open a little to much revealing her left nipple. Although only shown for a split second, it was edited out but I've still got the original on video...
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Fire On The Stage

Fire On The StageSong Writing

When you have a song called "Fire," it's tempting to set one - these guys did.

Susanna Hoffs - "Eternal Flame"

Susanna Hoffs - "Eternal Flame"They're Playing My Song

The Prince-penned "Manic Monday" was the first song The Bangles heard coming from a car radio, but "Eternal Flame" is closest to Susanna's heart, perhaps because she sang it in "various states of undress."

Rupert Hine

Rupert HineSongwriter Interviews

Producer Rupert Hine talks about crafting hits for Tina Turner, Howard Jones and The Fixx.

The 10 Bands Most Like Spinal Tap

The 10 Bands Most Like Spinal TapSong Writing

Based on criteria like girlfriend tension, stage mishaps and drummer turnover, these are the 10 bands most like Spinal Tap.

Mike Campbell

Mike CampbellSongwriter Interviews

Mike is lead guitarist with Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, and co-writer of classic songs like "Boys Of Summer," "Refugee" and "The Heart Of The Matter."

Michael Bolton

Michael BoltonSongwriter Interviews

Into the vaults for this talk with Bolton from the '80s when he was a focused on writing songs for other artists.