Whitesnake were formed in 1978 by former Deep Purple frontman David Coverdale and quickly split public opinion thanks to innuendo-strewn albums like Lovehunter and Slide It In and the singer's 'Rock God' image.
In the mid-'80s their album 1987 (which was titled Whitesnake in the US) had a more hard rock edge and the hit single Still Of The Night suggested Coverdale had been spending time listening to Led Zeppelin.
Whitesnake's last visit to the Midlands was in 2011 when they played Wolverhampton Civic Hall to support the release of studio album, Forevermore. Prior to that the band performed twice at Birmingham NIA in 2006. The first show, part of a scheduled UK tour, was cut short when Coverdale was taken ill on stage after 40 minutes. He returned to Birmingham three months later for the rescheduled show.
To coincide with May's arena tour the band are releasing a live album and DVD, Made In Japan, recorded at Saitama Super Arena on October 15, 2011.
Coverdale says he's keen get back on the road.
"We all wanted the last tour to continue as we got closer to the end. After a year in the studio we're ready to rock on stage again - we're coming back for more."
American co-headliners Journey are enjoying a revival of interest in their music thanks to the TV show Glee which made their Don't Stop Believin' single, a top 10 hit Stateside in 1981, a success all over again in 2009. Journey headlined at Birmingham's LG Arena in 2011 in a show which also featured Foreigner and Styx.
A massive draw in the States, they have enjoyed 19 top 40 singles and 25 gold and platinum albums.
Their current line-up is Neal Schon (guitars, backing vocals), Jonathan Cain (keyboards, backing vocals), Ross Valory (bass, backing vocals), Deen Castronovo (drums, percussion, backing vocals) and Arnel Pineda (lead vocals), a Filipino who joined in 2007 after Schon saw him performing Journey songs on YouTube.
Thunder, who first came to our attention in 1990 with the album Backstreet Symphony, have split and reformed a couple of times.
Singer Danny Bowes was one of the brains behind the 2002 indoor Monsters of Rock tour, headlined by Alice Cooper, for which Thunder reunited after going their separate ways in 2000.
In 2009 the band split again, only to return in 2011 for a triumphant live performance at London's High Voltage festival, followed by two sold out Christmas shows.
Singer Danny Bowes says: "We'd already discussed possibly doing some shows next year, so this is perfect, and it's a great bill, like they used to be back in the day. Let's face it, we could all do with a bit of cheering up at the moment, so hopefully the people who come will get a brilliant night out and go home happy. I'm sure we will."