If you were disappointed to learn that Whitesnake's new album rose out of a botched reunion effort between former Deep Purple bandmates David Coverdale and Ritchie Blackmore, you may want to stop reading this now, because the project could have been even more tantalizing than we realized.

Coverdale discussed what might have been during a recent interview with Classic Rock Revisited, explaining that part of the reason he wanted to reconnect with Blackmore — aside from a desire to honor the wishes of their deceased fellow Purple vet Jon Lord — was to say "thank you" for giving him an early career opportunity. "Ritchie doesn't really bother reading rock mags and stuff like that," pointed out Coverdale. "When I've said these things before, he doesn't see them. It was important for me to reach out to him for those reasons, with no other agenda whatsoever."

Once the prospect of a reunion started to take shape, Coverdale found himself overflowing with enthusiasm — and presenting some very definite ideas regarding who should join the duo. Asked by one of Blackmore's representatives to weigh in on who should play bass on the project, he recalled, "I said, 'I really appreciate the musicality of [Roger Glover], and he produced two of my solo albums, but [Glenn Hughes] is my soul brother.' I recommended Keith Emerson as the keyboard player. He was a fan of Purple, and Jon and Keith had a very healthy musical rivalry. Keith is a breathtakingly gifted musician."

Alas, it didn't pan out, and instead, those ideas ended up taking shape as Whitesnake's new Deep Purple tribute The Purple Album, which finds him revisiting songs he recorded during his stint in the group — and, in Coverdale's eyes, filling a void in the Purple discography.

"Quite honestly, as Glenn and I have discussed for decades, the people that were running the Purple organization never thought of putting out a best-of [for the] Mach III and IV [lineups]," he said. "We never understood it … f---ing whatever … so this is my best-of, and everything is done with love and respect."

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