Wednesday, March 21, 2012

You Were Robbed – White Lion

"You Were Robbed" features artists and bands that should have gotten much more recognition and fame than they did. Check them out now...better late than never!

The band White Lion roared onto the late 80s melodic rock scene with their “Pride” record, which featured big hits like the catchy “Wait” and the tender acoustic ballad, “When The Children Cry”. The band inexplicably fell prey to the sophomore jinx with their excellent follow up, “Big Game". What should have been the comeback of the year, the band’s third album “Mane Attraction” was tragically ignored.

I was inspired to write this post when I heard that an American Idol contestant actually did a cover of “Broken Heart”, one of the first songs White Lion wrote as a band (and was incidentally re-recorded for “Mane Attraction”).

Here is White Lion’s version from “Mane Attraction”:

The real surprise was that the super catchy leadoff single, “Love Don’t Come Easy”, with a great video to boot, failed to ignite a third chapter in this band’s career.

Infinitely popular at the time was the majestic power ballad – White Lion delivered big time on these with the beautiful acoustic “You’re All I Need” and the piano-driven tune “Till Death Do Us Part”, which I’ve heard at several weddings.

“Mane Attraction” also shows the bad evolving a harder edge with epic cuts like “Lights and Thunder” and “Warsong”. "It's Over" is another well done melodic song. In listening to the closing track, “Farewell To You”, I get the sense that perhaps the band had a gut feeling that the ride was coming to an abrupt end.

The record also contains a stunning instrumental called “Blue Monday”, a tribute to Stevie Ray Vaughan. This song, like all the others on the record, is testament to the sheer brilliance of Vito Bratta as a guitarist. His retirement soon after this record is a catastrophic loss to the entire music community. Anyone know what he is doing now? As for lead singer/songwriter Mike Tramp, he’s gone on to release a number of solid solo records, and his latest work with Rock N Roll Circuz is just fantastic (see review here).

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