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Mr Big - 1989 Mr Big

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LABEL: Atlantic
SERIAL: 7 81990-2
YEAR: 1989
CD REISSUE: Reissue List..


LINEUP: Eric Martin - vocals * Paul Gilbert - guitars * Billy Sheehan - bass * Pat Torpey - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Addicted To That Rush * 02 Wind Me Up * 03 Merciless * 04 Had Enough * 05 Blame It On My Youth * 06 Take A Walk * 07 Big Love * 08 How Can You Do What You Do * 09 Anything For You * 10 Rock And Roll Over * 11 30 Days In The Hole


Back in 1989, this album had the honour of being the very first CD I acquired for my ever increasing music collection. This, and the first Bad English album. CD's ran the gamut of my collection for decades after, although that activity has since dwindled as downloads and fileshares become better quality and require less physical storage. Still, back in 1989 the 'new' Mr Big was a superstar band in the making. The formation of the band was put together by Billy Sheehan. Billy had spent time with Talas and more recently David Lee Roth, who he departed from in 1988. Eric Martin came from Sacramento band 415, and a healthy solo career including his own Eric Martin Band. Paul Gilbert was one of the two six-string monsters from Racer X, while drummer Pat Torpey had up till then, done session work with Jeff Paris and Stan Bush. Serious credentials all round then.

The Songs
With former Journey manager Herbie Herbert now looking for a job, he become Mr Big's manager, the band were then signed to Atlantic Records for this 1989 debut album, released on June 20th of that year.

Things get off to a rousing start with the infectious 'Addicted To That Rush', which comes hot off the press. This is what supergroups are supposed to sound like. Paul Gilbert is all over this like the India Rubber Man. 'Wind Me Up' settles into a foot-stomping groove, 'Merciless' on the other hand changes up with stutter-step precision. Billy Sheehan opens with a bass tapping intro for 'Had Enough', but the song soon builds into an album highlight, a melodic rock anthem, the star of the show being Eric Martin's wonderful emotive vocal. The chorus is the winner on 'Blame It On My Youth' which is pretty memorable all round.

Gilbert riffs away merrily on 'Take A Walk', the song moves like a high class model on the catwalk. Slinky, and with a sting in the tail. Not quite operating at optimum speed yet, 'Big Love' hovers in the midfield, and strangely, sounding like a Signal track from their 'Loud And Clear' set. No doubt the indelible hand of Kevin Elson is responsible for this, as he produced both albums. By the time 'How Can You Do What You Do' lands, Mr Big set sail for home. The tempo given a bit of a speed boost, just slightly. As an aside, this was a co-write between Eric and Journey's Jonathan Cain. 'Anything For You' is a change of scenery, a classy one at that, while 'Rock And Roll Over' and '30 Days In The Hole' finish things up. The latter is a live effort, a cover of a Humble Pie track from their 1972 LP 'Smokin'.

In Summary
The band didn't do that well commercially with this album, though later tours with Rush and the success of 1991's 'Lean Into It' and several hit singles from that album would send them on their way. Over time, Mr Big would become a huge commodity in Japan, more so than in their own country. Admittedly an under-represented band here at GDM, expect to see more articles on them in future.

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#1 | george_the_jack on July 30 2017 12:30:42
First 2 Mr Big are essential acquisitions! drummer
#2 | englandashes on July 30 2017 23:06:19
Agree with George, on the highlight being Had Enough, my first Cd, either Skid Row debut or Whitesnake Slip of the Tongue, well I know which one I played the most.. even though I wasn't 18' more like 20 and life to go..
#3 | super80boy on September 04 2017 16:50:38
Strong athletic guitar and bass playing is a huge plus on this killer debut. The quick-paced 'Wind Me Up' and 'Addicted To That Rush' are standouts as well as the melancholic 'Had Enough'. 'How Can You Do What You Do' is first-rate melodic hard rock.
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