Angel Air SJPCD074.
Mr Big were the English band in the mid-1970's fronted by Dicken, who hit the big time with their 1977 top-5 hit Romeo. They'd toured the UK supporting Queen on their Night At The Opera tour, and fame and fortune seemed just a step away. So it was that they entered the studios early in 1978 to record their third album, with Ian Hunter producing.
If you've never heard Mr Big before, I'd say their style is similar to Styx, with Dicken sounding very much like Tommy Shaw. Senora is a great power ballad and briefly a single (why EMI withdrew it instead of pushing it is beyond me). Both Woman and Place Your Bets are lightweight, but that just throws a curve, because now's the time to test you audio system to its very limits and shake your house to its foundations.
Here It Comes Again starts in the lightweight vein, with some soft piano before in comes some crunching guitar. The pace picks up for Tonight which really rocks. Lucy is great, a lovely ballad which just hits the spot. Dicken has a way of hitting the emotional nail right on the head.
The pace picks up again for Goosestep, and its a adrenaline-fuelled dash for the finish as rocker after rocker hits you. Come Rock With Me is great, a total flat out rocker, and Death Boy finishes the album off in fine style.
The CD comes complete with a 16-page booklet chronicling Mr Big's (and Dicken's) career and contains a complete Dicken worldwide discography.
I find it unbelievable that EMI chose not to release this album first time round (in 1978). It is to Angel Air's credit they have tracked down the master tapes and finally released this album. It is not just a good album, it is a great album that will appeal to anyone who likes guitar-based rock. Essential.
Oxford Rocks is Sven Gusevik's Mr Big/Broken Home/Dicken website. There used to be a Japanese Mr Big fanpage called Sweet Silence, but it seems to have gone.Adrian Perkins