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Articles Home » 1998 Articles » Big Bad Wolf - 1998 Big Bad Wolf
Big Bad Wolf - 1998 Big Bad Wolf

ARTIST: Big Bad Wolf
ALBUM: Big Bad Wolf
SERIAL: 199652
YEAR: 1998


LINEUP: Rolf Hartley - lead vocals, acoustic guitar, keyboards * Craig Chaquico - guitars, vocals * Brett Bloomfield - bass, vocals * Kenny Stavropoulos - drums, vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Midnight Angel * 02 Whereyawannago * 03 I Can't Get Over You * 04 Walk Don't Run * 05 Crystal * 06 Shot Down By Love * 07 Cutting Edge * 08 Three Chords Of Steel * 09 Light On For You * 10 Blame It On Rock * 11 Don't Say Goodbye

Formed from the ashes of San Francisco rockers Le Mans (Bloomfield and Stavropoulos) along with Starship's Craig Chaquico, Big Bad Wolf were probably ten years too late to make any real impact on the hard rock scene. Chaquico must have felt like he needed to rock out a little, after releasing a spate of new age acoustic guitar albums during the early 90's. If you thought that Starship's 'Love Among The Cannibals' was a Def Leppard tribute album, then Big Bad Wolf's sole album takes it up another notch. It's a big sounding album, the backing vocals have definitely taken some of the Lepp's style, perhaps that's why many people compare it as such, but there's more to this band than being left in the same petri-dish as Elliot and co. For instance, some of the songs have a Winger vibe to it. The only guy without a profile in this band is lead singer Rolf Hartley, who comes off like a grittier version of Tony Harnell.

The Songs
I really liked this album when it first appeared, and I occasionally drag it out for a spin. Opener 'Midnight Angel' is a massive wall of sound, but it's the vocals of Hartley that impress, so too the guitar overkill from Chaquico. 'Whereyawannago' exhibits hair metal tendencies from the late 80's, complete with big gang chant vocals and booming drums. 'Walk Don't Run' is a smokin' track with unusual rhythm guitar lines, while 'Shot Down By Love' is a prowling 5 minute monster. BBW also offer up a couple of ballads in 'I Can't Get Over You', 'Crystal' and 'Light On For You'. Plus the closer 'Don't Say Goodbye' is an electric power ballad with big anthem like vocal choruses. Some might say there are too many ballads here, and on that count, I'd probably agree.

In Summary
Admittedly, 1998 wasn't a great year for melodic hard rock, in fact, the latter part of the decade was a bit of a write-off to be honest. Big Bad Wolf came and went like many other one-off wonders during this timeframe. Would be interested to know if the band had more than just these songs in the bag, I have heard rumours that there were, but they haven't surfaced to my knowledge. Chaquico reverted back to releasing more acoustic material, and continues to do so today.

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#1 | spearroom on July 30 2011 09:34:29
gdazegod - thanks for the review. I think it's a pretty honest and straightforward take on what BBW was all about. A point of correction, though, is that Craig, Brett and Kenny were all part of Starship just prior to the start of the BBW project; and Craig hadn't begun to record or write any of the Acoustic Highway album yet. Of course Acoustic Highway went on to define a new genre in music, and preceded many hits and much loved music by Craig for his thousands of fans around the world.

Also, there are several remaining BBW songs which were recorded but not released. They were meant for a follow-up in the event that the first album was well received. Craig and I talk about making them available one day, though; maybe we will sometime.

With best regards,

Rolf Hartley
#2 | gdazegod on July 30 2011 12:42:20
Thanks for that Rolf. You guys must have been hovering around the SF scene in the early 90's then?

If Craig wasn't doing his new age thing when BBW were active, then it must've been around 1990-92 perhaps? I believe Craig's 'Acoustic Highway' and 'Acoustic Planet' CD's came out in 1993 and 1994 respectively. Re: the Starship thing. Yeah, consider that an overlook on my part. Thanks for dropping in, and yeah, have a think about those unreleased material.. Cheers.. G
#3 | spearroom on July 31 2011 18:59:21
Yes, G...thereabouts. Craig's timing on Acoustic Highway was soon after we had spent time showcasing in San Francisco (at the I-Beam) and in LA (the Whiskey). Just prior to that, Brett did a tour with Ian Gillan, which was exciting too. And because Brett was away, I remember that when we played four of the new BBW songs for Mike Clink, we asked our good pal Mario Cipollina (Huey Lewis) to play with us.

Craig and I are recording a new blues based album which will be published next year under his brand. It's quite a departure from his base, and because I'm singing on it, I already hear BBW overtones to the production. Funny...

...and Craig and me turn to BBW every now and again... It's a gem.

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