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Mr. Big Biography

Home > Music > M > Mr. Big > Biography

Birth Place: USA
Years Active: 1988-2002, 2009 (reunion)
Genres: Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, Rock

Mr. Big is a hard rock group that formed in Los Angeles, California in 1988. The band is a quartet composed of Eric Martin (vocals), Paul Gilbert (guitar), Billy Sheehan (bass), and Pat Torpey (drums). For a time, Mr Big also included Richie Kotzen, a reputable blues-based guitarist who replaced by Gilbert in 1999 before Gilbert ultimately rejoined the band.

In 1989, they signed with Atlantic Records and released their self-titled debut the same year. The record did not gain the band a mainstream rock audience stateside, but was a success in Japan.

In August 1990, two songs, "Strike Like Lightning" and "Shadows," performed by Mr. Big were exclusively released on the soundtrack album of the action film “Navy SEALs.”

Mr Big's second album, 1991's “Lean Into It,” was a major commercial breakthrough, especially two ballads, "To Be with You" (#1 in fifteen countries) and "Just Take My Heart," as well as the song "Green-Tinted Sixties Mind."

In 1993, another ballad, a cover of Cat Stevens' "Wild World," (from their third album, “Bump Ahead”) peaked at #27 on the Billboard Hot 100. The band also contributed the soundtrack to the Sega Mega CD release of “The Amazing Spider-Man vs. The Kingpin.”

They released “Hey Man” in 1996. The song "Take Cover" was included on the soundtrack to the cartoon series “Mega Man.”

Although the band never replicated its earlier success in the US market, their popularity continued to soar in Japan and in the rest of Asia, where they continued to sell out tours, resulting in a number of live releases for the Japanese market.

Gilbert left the band in 1997 and was replaced by Richie Kotzen. Two studio albums were released by this lineup: “Get Over It” in 2000, and “Actual Size” in 2001. “Get Over It” was released in September 1999 in Japan, and yielded "Superfantastic," a multi-platinum #1 hit in Japan.

In 2001, Mr. Big released “Actual Size” in Asia. The LP peaked at the #3 spot and "Shine," the first single, went to #1. The song was also used as the ending theme for the animation series “Hellsing.” Mr. Big broke up in 2002 after a farewell tour.

In 2009 the band reformed with their original line-up. In September 2010, Mr. Big recorded a seventh album with producer Kevin Shirley at a Los Angeles-area studio. “What If..,.” their first album of new material in nearly 10 years was released in Japan in December 2010, in Europe in January 2011 and in the US in February 2011. The first single from the album, "Undertow," was released in November 2010.