Mr. Big Biography
Formed in Los Angeles, California, in 1988, Mr. Big forged its place
in Rock history by combining trademark “shredding” musicianship
with awesome vocal harmonies; their music ranged across a wide array of
Rock genres: ballads, Heavy-Metal, Blues-Rock. The original line-up consisted
of monstrously talented musicians: lead vocalist Eric Martin, guitarist
Paul Gilbert, bassist Billy Sheehan and drummer Pat Torpey.
Each of the members of the band is also a reputable virtuoso in the music industry; Sheehan has won dozens of Best Bass Player awards in numerous magazines, including an unprecedented 14 years in a row from Player Magazine, Japan's number-one music magazine. Paul Gilbert is recognized as one of the top guitarists of this generation, aside from the albums he released since his departure from Mr. Big, he frequently holds clinics and designs guitars for Ibanez. Pat Torpey has been conducting clinics for Tama drums and has been releasing instructional albums as well.
In June 1989 the group issued their self-titled debut album on Atlantic Records; it reached #46 on The Billboard 200 and the lead single, "Addicted To That Rush", scraped the lower reaches of The Mainstream Rock top 40 chart.
Two years later, in the spring of 1991, Mr. Big scored a huge hit album with its sophomore effort, "Lean Into It"; the disc peaked at #15 on The Billboard 200 and the main single, "To Be With You", rose to #1 on The Billboard Hot 100 with similar praise in other 15 countries for weeks, propelling the quartet to international success and record sales in the multi-millions. The album also contained "Just Take My Heart", which crested at the #16 spot on The Billboard Hot 100 and at #18 on The Mainstream Rock listing and another Active Rock radio top 40 single: "Green-Tinted Sixties Mind".
The band delivered their third album, "Bump Ahead", in mid-1993 to relatively poor success in U.S. where the CD made it only to the #82 niche on The Billboard Top 200 chart while the lead-off single, the cover of Cat Stevens' "Wild World", reached #27 on The Billboard Hot 100 and #33 on The Mainstream Rock Tracks. The second single, "Ain't Seen Love Like That", didn't rise higher than #83 on The Billboard Hot 100.
Mr. Big's American success waned in the second half of the '90s but the band kept pumping out albums, especially in Japan where "Hey Man" debuted at #1 upon its March 1996 release.
Paul Gilbert left the band the following year to pursue a solo career;
he was replaced by ex-Poison guitarist Richie Kotzen.
The new line-up released the fifth Mr. Big studio album, "Get Over It", in Japan in 1999 but not in America until March 2000.
The group continued to reign supreme in the land of rising sun with their next offering, 2001's "Actual Size".
In December 2010 Mr. Big resurfaced with their first studio album in 14 years by the original members. The record entitled "What If..." was released on Frontiers Records, preceded by the single "Undertow".