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Articles Home » 1996 Articles » Mr Big (UK) - 1996 Rainbow Bridge
Mr Big (UK) - 1996 Rainbow Bridge

ALBUM: Rainbow Bridge
YEAR: 1996


LINEUP: Featuring: Dicken, Mike Higgins, Steve Clarke, Paul Gibbons, Ian Campbell, Chris Hutchinson, Nick Holland, Chris Bayliss, Chris Wiles, Pete McFail, Simon Saunders

TRACK LISTING: 01 Rainbow Bridge * 02 Death Boy * 03 Broadway * 04 Not For Glory * 05 Babylon * 06 Oxford Rock * 07 The Way To Find A Heartache * 08 Hollywoods * 09 Highways * 10 Wild Winds And Lonely Hearts * 11 Down That River * 12 Strong Tower


Not to be confused with the American Mr Big, this English band released two albums 'Sweet Silence' (1975) and 'Mr Big' (1977) and had a hit with the song 'Romeo'. They obviously had top notch booking agents opening shows for Slade, Nazareth and the coveted slot on Queen's 'A Night at the Opera' tour in the UK. They supported Sweet in Europe and even made it across the pond hooking up with Journey, Kansas and The Runaways in 1977. Yet, despite the huge push from record companies and endless gigs, Mr Big failed to do much in sales. A third album 'Seppuku' produced by Ian Hunter was recorded but never saw the light of day and Mr Big split up, which is why it was such a surprise to see another Mr Big release in 1996. Upon further inspection, this was not actually a Mr Big reunion, but a collection of songs lead vocalist Dicken recorded as a solo artist in the early 1980's in between work with the band Broken Home. Not sure why the Mr Big moniker was applied, but hey, you can't keep a good name down and it was Dickens's voice that carried the band so who am I to judge?

The Songs
And about that voice.. the guy has pipes that are along the lines of Steve Perry without the nasal roar, or Geddy Lee albeit less irritating. Musically the material sounds vaguely Canadian like a mixture of Aldo Nova and Streetheart. Lyrically it seems Dicken had a religious conversion at some point and while I wouldn't call this a Christian AOR album, it does have that feel in spots. Standout songs are the title track and 'Broadway' which was released as a single. It's got a good hook, but I seriously doubt anyone was interested in 1996. The remaining album is average really and nothing to get too worked up about, seriously lacking in the fun pop rock sound of the original Mr Big albums which were more akin to Pilot and The Arrows.

In Summary
The two Mr Big albums have been reissued on CD at least twice that I am aware of and copies of 'Rainbow Bridge' are still available on Dicken's web site 'Oxford Rocks'. 'Seppuku' has finally been released by Angel Air and just another reason why the label is quickly becoming a personal favourite. For American readers, the album 'Photographic Smile' can still be found in a good used record store or on eBay, but keep in mind this was a compilation of both Mr Big records and you would be better off picking up the CD reissues of the original UK albums.

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#1 | david on December 21 2006 08:35:15
Check out the title track Sweet Silence, hard rock at its best.
#2 | Explorer on April 15 2014 12:50:01
A fantastic band that fell between the cracks, saw them on the Queen tour and went straight out and got 'Sweet Silence'.Dicken is still active to this very day and,I believe, is in the process of recording new material for use under the Broken home banner.
#3 | melodiapositiva on February 04 2017 18:59:49
Broken home albums (Borken home and life) deserves a review .A very original sound and dicken has a very special voice, i love everything he has done.
#4 | Explorer on February 05 2017 14:33:29
The first Broken Home album produced by Mutt Lange is fantastic, the follow up whilst still very good doesn't match up to its predecessor. Will look into reviewing at least one of the Broken Home albums in the near future.
#5 | Jez on February 05 2017 16:38:39
Love that Broken Home Album...'Death of Gog', and 'Last Chance' along with 'Jerusalem' were 3 real standout tracks from a brilliant debut album
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