REVIEW: Mr. Big – Mr. Big (1989)


Scan_20160811MR. BIG – Mr. Big (1989 Atlantic)

Mr. Big started as a “supergroup” of sorts, with bassist Billy Sheehan being the most well known due to his stint with David Lee Roth (and Talas before that).  Because of his bass prowess, we know his band Mr. Big would be heavy on the shred.  What set them apart was the blue eyed soul of singer Eric Martin.  Their debut record possessed the speediest chops imaginable, but used sparingly.  It’s a song-oriented album, with “Addicted to that Rush” leading off with heavy space-age playing.  Unfortunately nothing else is as memorable, except the Humble Pie cover “30 Days in the Hole”.

Tracks like “Had Enough”, “How Can You Do What You Do”, “Rock & Roll Over” and “Merciless” are all competent rock tunes, and due to Billy’s bass, the bottom end is unbelievable.  Unfortunately it took Mr. Big one more album to really come up with the songwriting goods.  Their debut is fine enough indeed, but folks who dig the playing will be sticking around.  Those looking for soul and memorable hooks will have to dig deep.  There is good stuff here, but little that will make repeated spins in the CD player months and years down the road.  Good, but not quite good enough.

3/5 stars

 

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62 comments

    1. Hahaha true they did open up for Rush, which made Addicted to that Rush all that more poignant!

      Thanks for noticing the redesign, I am still tweeking. It doesn’t look right on mobile to me.

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        1. Links should all function! Unfortunately I find the biggest issue with functionality comes down to youtube videos. So many of the music videos I embedded over the years are now gone due to copyright violation! It’s easy to go and find a new video to replace it with, but that’s a lot of time too.

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  1. I never got around to this debut at the time (or since) but was intrigued because, while unaware of Talas, I was a fan of shredder Paul Gilbert from those first Racer X records. Sounds like I shouldn’t regret failing to pull the trigger for this one. Thanks for letting me off the hook!

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      1. I totally agree with that. Racer X were a band full of brilliant musicians but they didn’t have the songs, very mediocre in that department. But it went really well for some of the guys, like Gilbert and Scott Travis.
        Bruce Bouillet (guitar) and John Alderete (bass) went on to form The Scream with John Corabi later on.

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  2. Looking kinda professional around these parts!!? Hahaha….I like it! I bought this on Billy’s deal with Roth so I was onboard with that…
    Fair review and points for….
    So much music that came out that year….

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Believe it or not, other than the big hit, I hadn’t heard any Mr. Big. I wasn’t even aware they were a super group. Or are (still on the go!). A friend threw me their second album a few months ago (the one with the big hit), but I haven’t listened to it. Perhaps I should?

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        1. In my opinion, the better band was called Talas. That was Billy’s band before he joined David Lee Roth. Mr. Big often covered his old Talas material live like Shy Boy.

          Anyway Talas did a couple studio albums and a couple live albums. They were nothing unique except the bass player, but I really enjoy their albums.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. I’ve been listening to him and STP a fair bit recently. Not that that’s unusual, but I guess I’m just missing the music… specifically the fact there’ll be no new music.

          Liked by 1 person

        3. My opinion. Do a search like STP did. Tell the fans they are doing a search for a new lead singer. Going back to the “early days”. Find someone that sounds just like Dubrow.

          Put out an album of guest stars singing QR songs in 2017, then 35th Anniversary Tour of Metal Health with new singer in 2018, reissue album with some new songs and outtakes, limited edition etc. Then the same thing on anniversary of Condition Critical.

          Also hire some writers. That has always been their biggest downfall.

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        4. He’s a busy dude. He has 2 jobs. One is running the drive thru. The other is writing new songs for Quiet riot. He’s working on the newest one now called ‘Do you want fries with that?’

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  4. Never heard this one, back in the day. Everyone had the one that contained To Be With You on it, though. A train crashing through a building on the cover? Anyway. A 3/5 here isn’t sending me running towards it, but I do like the players involved here.

    Did you know that the Kick Axe’s Vices album has their cover of 30 Days In The Hole on it? Oop, apparently only my cassette version did. My LP and CD don’t. Alas.

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  5. I wore my cope of this LP out when it came out. Re-bought in CD later. I love this record even tough there are a couple of fillers. I’d give it 9/10 without hesitation.
    The follow-up Lean Into It was a let down, very underwhelming, but they made a couple of really good albums after that one, like Bump Ahead and Hey Man.
    Their two album that they recorded after the reunion were fantastic and easily their best work to date. And they’re an amazing live act.

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    1. Hey Man is an incredible album! That song Take Cover alone should have been the biggest hit of their career. But nobody heard it. What a true shame. As for Bump Ahead, I think that album really could have been huge too. Their cover of Wild World would have been huge only 2 years before.

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  6. Dug this album back in the day. Had Enough was probably my favorite with the bass solo at the end. I was a little let down that Gilbert and Sheehan did go more songwriting than progressive but still a great band. Met them in San Diego after a show at a club, late 80s i think…good times!

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    1. Oh that Had Enough bass playing is awesome. I’d love to see Sheehan live. And yeah they tipped their songwriting balance towards hits, but on the other hand, that’s perfect for Eric Martin’s vocal style.

      Bet they were super nice guys.

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