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Formed by bass guitarist Billy Sheehan in 1988, Mr. Big also comprised singer Eric Martin, guitarist Paul Gilbert, who was replaced by former Poison guitarist Richie Kotzen after Paul left in 1997, and drummer Pat Torpey.

Mr. Big Mr. Big (Atlantic) 1989

1.      Addicted to That Rush (4:44)
2.      Wind Me Up (4:09)
3.      Merciless (3:53)
4.      Had Enough (4:54)
5.      Blame it on my Youth (4:10)
6.      Take A Walk (3:56)
7.      Big Love (4:45)
8.      How Can You Do What You Do (3:54)
9.      Anything for You (4:31)
10.     Rock and Roll Over (3:45)
11.     Thirty Days in the Hole  (4:13)

Mr. Big is a hard rock group formed in Los Angeles, California, US in 1988 and was composed of Eric Martin (vocals), Paul Gilbert (guitar), Billy Sheehan (bass), and Pat Torpey (drums). Each of the individual members of this band had been in other bands with varying success, the biggest being Billy Sheehan and his stint with David Lee Roth. Sheehan's bass sound is quite prominent in parts of this album. However, he is not necessarily the only star of the show here, as the songs are driven by the world-class chops of guitarist Paul Gilbert (Racer X) as well as Eric Martin's clean, rambunctious vocals. The music is mostly vanilla, 80's, melodic hard rock. However, the band spices things ups with spatterings of blues and funk. At times they remind me of Y&T, or perhaps Whitesnake.

The albums lead off track is also the first single from the album and it is a lively mover and shaker. The song was even a minor hit for the band. Other songs like "Wind Me Up" and "Merciless" are driven by a strong groove. And what would a good 80's band be without the obligatory ballads. On their debut, Mr. Big produced two of them, "Had Enough" and "Big Love". "30 Days in the Hole" is a Humble Pie cover. Sure, some of the lyrics are cheesy, cliché 80's ("zip the lipstick on, like BBQ sauce"), but so what! These were the days when rock 'n' roll was suppose to be about fun and good times, not about anger, depression and grunge.

Lean Into It Mr. Big - Lean into It (Atlantic) 1991

1. "Daddy, Brother, Lover, Little Boy (The Electric Drill Song)" (3:54)
2. "Alive and Kickin'" (5:28)
3. "Green-Tinted Sixties Mind" (3:30)
4. "CDFF-Lucky This Time" (4:10)
5. "Voodoo Kiss" (4:07)
6. "Never Say Never" (3:48)
7. "Just Take My Heart" (4:21)
8. "My Kinda Woman" (4:09)
9. "A Little to Loose" (5:21)
10. "Road to Ruin" (3:54)
11. "To Be With You" (3:27)

"Lean Into It" combines hook laden melodic rock (AOR) with plenty of virtuoso solos from guitarist Paul Gilbert (Racer X) and bassist Billy Sheehan (David Lee Roth/Talas). Eric Martin's bluesy wail adds the appeal as well. "Daddy, Brother, Lover, Little Boy" is a speedy, blues based romp. Perhaps one of the discs best is "Green-Tinted Sixties Mind", a smokin' Paul Gilbert penned rocker. "To Be With You" is a beautiful, sing-along ballad that gave the band a hit single and helped push this album over gold status. Overall, nothing here is earth shattering, but the entire disc is enjoyable listen, which I think is exactly what Mr. Big was going for. Picked up this disc after hearing the stellar "Live Like Sushi II" for a mere $2.99 at

Raw Like Sushi II Mr. Big - Raw Like Sushi II (Atlantic/Japan) 1992

1. "Daddy, Brother, Lover, Little Boy (The Electric Drill Song)" (4:58)
2. "Voodoo Kiss" (5:34)
3. "A Little Too Loose" (5:59)
4. "Road to Ruin/guitar solo" (12:54)
5. "CDFF-Lucky This Time/bass solo" (12:47)
6. "Shyboy" (4:11)
7. "Woman From Tokyo-Baba O'Riley" (7:30)

Yet another band that I ignored for years; and for reasons unknown to me. This live album is spectacular, although a bit haughty in that much of it is made up of individual solos. Still who would have thought a bass solo could be so intriguing. On top of the insane guitar and bass solos, there are three covers; Deep Purple's "Woman From Tokyo", which becomes a medley with The Who's "Baba O'Riley" and Talas' "Shyboy". Of course Talas was bassist Billy Sheehan former band after a short stint with David Lee Roth. (David Lee Roth also recorded "Shyboy".)

Bump Ahead Mr. Big - Bump Ahead (Atlantic) 1993

1. "Colorado Bulldog" (4:12)
2. "Price You Gotta Pay" (3:56)
3. "Promise Her the Moon" (4:06)
4. "What's It Gonna Be" (3:57)
5. "Wild World" (3:28)
6. "Mr. Gone" (4:32)
7. "The Whole World's Gonna Know" (3:52)
8. "Nothing But Love" (3:45)
9. "Temperamental" (4:55)
10. "Ain't Seen Love Like That" (3:31)
11. "Mr. Big" (4:14)

"Bump Ahead" continues in a similar AOR direction as prior CDs, but seems to me to be a bit mellower overall. The disc starts of with some guitar and bass pyrotechnics before jumping into one of the albums more rockin' songs, "Colorado Bulldog". "What's It Gonna Be" also rocks pretty hard, although this track adds a bit of funk and groove. Eric Martin belts out a few impressive screams. "Wild World" is an excellent acoustic cover of Cat Steven's hit. I love this track. Once again, Martin's vocals are superb and just come to life here. As with any Mr. Big album there are plenty of ballads, and "Bump Ahead" is no exception. The better of the many ballads is "Nothing But Love", which sounds to me like it could have been a single. Overall, probably not the band's best, but not bad either.

Hey Man Mr. Big - Hey Man (Atlantic) 1996

1.   Trapped In Toyland (4:24)
2.   Take Cover (4:37)
3.   Jane Doe (3:35)
4.   Goin' Where The Wind Blows (4:19)
5.   The Chain (3:46)
6.   Where Do I Fit In? (4:22)
7.   If That's What It Takes (4:48)
8.   Out Of The Underground (4:05)
9.   Dancin' Right Into The Flame (3:03)
10. Mama D. (4:33)
11. Fool Us Today (4:22)
12. Little Mistake (3:45)

"Hey Man" is the fourth studio album by Mr. Big and their last with guitarist Paul Gilbert. (Richie Kotsen replaces Paul Gilbert in the follow-up album.) "Hey Man" is exactly what anyone would expect from Mr. Big; slickly-produced, well-performed, like-able, hard rock. This time around the band seems to take on a bluesier vibe, reminding me at times of Badlands.

The album opens with one of the album's heavier numbers. "Trapped in Toyland" is a meaty hard rocker with a gritty guitar tone and nice hook. "Take Cover" is a melodic, radio-ready AOR song with a driving rhythm section that is catchy and should have been released as a single, if it wasn't. Eric Martin's raspy voice fits this song perfect. For whatever reason, the song reminds me of Ray Gillen and Badlands. "Jane Doe" follows-up with a funk-rock vibe. These three songs are easily some of Mr. Big's best numbers.  "Out of the Underground" is a hard rocker with a heavy edge, a gnarly bass guitar tone and some nice guitar work. The album features a number of ballads, including "Going Where the Wind Blows" and the ultra-bluesy "If That's What It Takes".

 "Hey Man" stands in stark contrast to much of what was coming out on major labels in 1996. It's pretty much a straight-forward hard rock album with lots of blues influences.

Mr. Big - Get Over It (Atlantic) 2000

1. "Electrified" (4:12)
2. "Static" (3:07)
3. "Hiding Place" (4:46)
4. "Superfantastic" (3:45)
5. "A Rose Alone" (3:52)
6. "Hole in the Sun" (3:46)
7. "How Does It Feel" (4:14)
8. "Try to Do Without It" (4:54)
9. "Dancin' With My Devils" (3:43)
10. "Mr. Never in a Million Years" (5:40)
11. "My New Religion" (3:20)

Exit Paul Gilbert who left to pursue a solo career as well as to continue recording with Racer X. Mr. Big reformes with ex-Poison guitarist Richie Kotzen. Because of the popularity in Japan, "Get Over It" was released in there in 1999. Finally in 2000 it was released in the U.S. Without Gilbert, Mr. Big have a slightly bluesier sound. However, I think the material here is not as strong as some of the material from the band's past but still an enjoyable, albeit laid back, listen. Some outstanding bass work in album opener "Electrified."

Also see:
Navy Seals: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

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