Tuesday, 27 September 2022

Namesakes #5: Mr. Big

Last week's Namesakes vote was the first unanimous result of the series, with The Charlatans soundly thrashing The Charlatans, even though the winners were actually Charlatans. I think I've run that joke into the ground now.

This week's choice will be much harder. I mean, how can you choose between two of the BIGgest one hit wonders in rock? 

MR. BIG #1

Our first Mr. Big formed in the late 60s, when they stumbled along using the name Burnt Oak to not much acclaim. Attempting to big them up, their manager changed their name (without telling them) to Mr. Big just before a 1972 gig at the Marquee Club in London, and the rest is a very small piece of history.

This Mr. Big went onto support Queen, The Sweet, Tom Petty, Journey, Kansas and The Runaways before scoring their one Top Ten hit despite (or perhaps because of) a BBC radio ban because of it's "saucy" lyrics.

Those "saucy" lyrics? I know you're dying to know. OK. Well. Cover your eyes if you're easily shocked...

I am the morning, you are the light
You make the morning such a beautiful thing
I am the green grass, you are the rain
Fall on me, make me grow
No-one will ever know
Fall on me make me grow again

Step back in time dear Romeo she said
Step back in time please take me to your bed
Step back in time dear Romeo
My Juliet and take me home

If you ask me, far more shocking is the fact that most of them couldn't afford buttons for their shirts...

Also: someone's been watching the Bohemian Rhapsody video on repeat. Which wasn't that easy to do in the days before video recorders.

MR. BIG #2

Our second Mr. Big turned up about ten years after the original bunch called it quits, way over on the other side of the Atlantic, as part of the burgeoning L.A. rock scene spearheaded by Guns 'n' Roses. Unable to score any big hits with rockier tunes such as Blame It On My Youth and Addicted To That Rush, they unveiled their more commercial sensitive side with To Be With You, a global number one hit (although it stuck at #3 in the UK) that promised big things... 

After that, Iffypedia tells us they were mostly just Big In Japan. 

You may well find this video unintentionally hilarious... consider that a warning.

Which Mr. Big is Biggest? Only you can decide...


  1. Mr Big mark1 were the first band I ever saw live supporting Queen at the Glasgow Apollo in 1975.
    Therefore they get my vote

  2. You skipped past Mr Big #1's 1975 debut LP 'Sweet Silence', which is a bona fide late period glam-rock classic and miles better than their 'Romeo' containing second album. The less said about Mr Big #2 the better.

    1. Further investigation is clearly required, Swede. But my investigative journalism only goes so far when I have just 1 week to put these together in. If only I didn't have to work!

  3. Number 1 for me.

    Presumably you left this one track wonder out because of some sort of Russian cultural boycott (or possibly just because it is utter drivel): https://mrbig.bandcamp.com/releases

    1. Automatically discounted due to the use of the words "fresh mix DJ".

  4. Far too much hairspray and Ozone layer bothering in that second one.
    The voice may be a tad annoying in number 1, but it takes the point.
    Sits nicely alongside other AOR stalwarts like Journey, REO Speedwagon, Kansas et al

    1. "Far too much hairspray and Ozone layer bothering in that second one."

      When's that ever stopped you, RD?

  5. Definitely #1. Dicken, their strangely named leader, would go on to form Broken Home; a hugely underrated band whose debut album still sends shivers up my spine whenever I listen to it.

    1. I like the fact that he used the pseudonym "Jeff Pain" while with Mr. Big. Very Spinyl Tap.

  6. Oof, it's like choosing between warm ice cream or a cup of cold tea, all a bit insipid for me but I'll opt for the open shirts over too much hairspray. And that certain rush of '77 memories which Mr Big #1 evoke.

  7. Yes, it's Mr Big #1 for me too but more because they're from my favourite era (although I obviously had never listened to the lyrics properly before, Mr Big indeed).

  8. Yep 70's Mr Big for me too, hadn't heard this in years, takes me back, still sounds great.


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