Mr Big: Addicted To That Rush

Mr_Big_Self-TitledIn the world of late-1980s US rock, guitar virtuosity was the order of the day.

Eddie Van Halen’s massive popularity had ushered in a huge raft of poodle-haired, fleet-fingered plank-spankers such as Zakk Wylde, Marty Friedman and George Lynch (all of whose playing I’m still yet to actually hear…)

Though I was very definitely a Van Halen man, and also had a real penchant for Steve Vai and Yngwie Malmsteen, I was always much more into people like Scott Henderson, Jeff Beck and John Scofield than the thousand-notes-per-second boys, brilliant musicians though they undoubtedly were.

But then my friend James Broad played me ‘Addicted To That Rush’ by Mr Big.┬áIt had the unmistakable whiff of early Van Halen about it, not least with its double-time groove, similar to ‘Hot For Teacher’ and ‘Satch Boogie’.

Guitarist Paul Gilbert was clearly a veritable fire-breather with an incredible facility for high-speed, heavily-chromatic solos, but also had quite an original tone and refreshing sense of humour.

But basically ‘Addicted’ was a flagrant display of muso shock and awe, not just from Gilbert but also ex-Dave Lee Roth bassist Billy Sheehan (how many other HM tracks have had the balls to start with a bass solo?) and drummer Pat Torpey (check out his intricate hi-hat work in the opening section).

The rest of side one from their 1989 debut album was also great. Side two was not so hot though, and I really hated their pop breakthrough (‘To Be With You’).

But there’ll always be ‘Addicted To That Rush’. We’re rollin’…