Welcome to the musical meandering insights of Aaron Joy. Here you'll find 600 reviews of CDs & DVDs of rock & metal in all its variations, mainstream & indie. What they all share is that the album or band is unique in some way & not every submission was reviewed. Please share these reviews or link to them if you like what you read. Reviews are no longer being posted here but feel free to e-mail Aaron & post comments. (Formerly the Roman Midnight Music Blog) (last update 5/23/2017)

September 1, 2010

Mr. Big ~ Next Time Around: The Best Of ... (hits comp)

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Style: hard rock, glam, heavy metal, progressive rock, greatest hits
Label: Warner Music Japan
Year: 2009
Home: Los Angeles, California

Members: Eric Martin ~ vocals
Billy Sheehan ~ bass
Pat Torpey ~ drums
Paul Gilbert, Richie Kotzen ~ guitars

Mr.B is one of those bands that has a following of faithful fans who love their stuff, many of them living in Japan where Mr.B seems to own the country, then there's everybody else who only know MTV power ballad "To Be With You". I used to be in the later category & picked up this compilation album expecting very little outside of just another glam rock band with a single hit. I'll declare I've had my head turned. This is a great band & amazingly under-rated with some top rate musicians & I'm embarressed for having not listened to the Japanese populace. On one hand there's inherently nothing unique about Mr. Big. They are just another 80's L.A. hard rock/glam band, though more Tesla and Van Halen than Guns'N'Roses and Motley Crue, with a few hits and once upon a time lots of long hair. Even with the guitar slot being held by the incredibly talented Paul Gilbert and later Richie Kotzen, also of Poison, the result is often a David Lee Roth-era Van Halen wannabe (i.e. "Addicted To That Rush" & "Take A Walk"). It might be no coincidence that bassist Billy Sheehan played with Roth. And, that's the secret to this band - the often idolized Sheehan. Though, I prefer a bassist who is a member of a rhythm section not dueting with the lead guitarist, or I should say whose name happens to be Geezer, Sheehan injects a unique rhythmic energy into the band that often is the one key factor in separating Mr.B from their peers & creating a respectable catalog of solid rock (i.e. "Alice And Kickin", "Colorado Bulldog", "Hold Your Head Up", "Green Tinted Sixties Mind") that I thoroughly recommend checking out for anyone whose been curious about Mr.B. But, as is typical of many of their peers, a lot of their repertoire does sound alike let alone like everyone else on MTV, rotating between predictable guitar slinging rampages and power ballads. But, when they focus on the song over guitar wizardry that's where the magic happens, making "To Be With You" one of their weakest hits. "Anything For You" and "Hold Your Head Up" are particular favorites of mine I'd recommend checking out. But, for all weakness of songs, nothing inherently unusual to a lot of 80's glam, this is a great album by the time your done listening, which is not what I was expecting, and you should find yourself with a new appreciation of this one hit wonder. This collection covers their entire career, though as a Japenese import it might be hard to find but any greatest hits collection should be a worthwhile purchase.

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