The ballad was the second single released off of Whitesnake's 1987 debut album (after "Here I Go Again") and is the group's second biggest hit.
Whitesnake recently released a 30th anniversary reissue of the album.
Coverdale says the song was originally written with Tina Turner in mind, but then his guitarist John Sykes rearranged it into something that rocked a little more.
"It's a huge, swoony song," Coverdale says. "At times we'll play these big heavy metal, dark festivals and I’ll go, ‘I wonder if we should drop 'Is This Love' – but no, they’re all there, all these big guys in leather coats, Iron Maiden T-shirts, [singing] ‘Is this love … ’ It’s adorable. It’s a good vibe, a very positive vibe song.”
"He said, 'Oh, what is that?'" Coverdale recalls. "I said, 'Oh, it's not for us. It's for Tina Turner'... Anyway, he sits down picks his Les [Paul] up and turns on his Rockman and little speaker and starts playing the most incredible embellishments, entirely naturally. It was so meant to be. And the song just unfolded in a beautiful way."
Coverdale goes on to say that Whitesnake doesn't have any other songs that unfold structurally the way "Is This Love" does, so he still doesn't really think of the song as a Whitesnake song...until he's reminded every time he performs it.