Mr Big Ad­dicted To That Rush

Steve Allsworth guides you through the fre­netic awe­some­ness of a clas­sic Mr Big track. Get ready for a typ­i­cally out­ra­geous Paul Gil­bert solo!

Guitar Techniques - - PLAY: SHRED -

Ja­pan (which is still true to­day). it wasn’t un­til their sec­ond re­lease Lean into it (1990) where they fi­nally made their com­mer­cial break­through. against the back­drop of Ex­treme’s huge hit More Than words, Mr Big also hit the big time with their bal­lads, To Be with You and Just Take My Heart. This then spawned fur­ther main­stream suc­cess with green Tinted six­ties Mind (a gym­nas­tic tap­ping clas­sic) and a cover of Cat stevens’ wild world which was part of the fol­low-up al­bum Bump ahead (1993). although the band never quite repli­cated this com­mer­cial suc­cess with later al­bums, their pop­u­lar­ity in Ja­pan and south East asia con­tin­ued un­abated, cul­mi­nat­ing in sev­eral live re­leases and sell-out tours in the Far East. Paul left in 1997 to re­form his orig­i­nal band racer X and was re­placed by another shrap­nel main­stay and for­mer Poi­son gui­tarist richie Kotzen. The two al­bums re­leased with this lineup, get Over it (2000) and ac­tual size (2001) re­ceived a luke­warm re­sponse by their high stan­dards and per­haps was a sign of things to come. The band’s ul­ti­mate demise in part came about from grow­ing ten­sions be­tween Billy - who be­gan tour­ing with steve Vai’s band - and the rest of the mem­bers. Most of their writ­ing out­put was with­out him and fur­ther con­flict even­tu­ally led to his sack­ing. Un­for­tu­nately, a Mr Big with­out ar­guably its most im­por­tant mem­bers in the form of Billy and Paul just wasn’t pop­u­lar amongst its loyal fan­base. Per­haps un­sur­pris­ingly, the orig­i­nal lineup re­formed in 2009 and past dif­fer­ences were put aside. De­spite Pat Tor­pey’s tragic di­ag­no­sis of Parkin­sons Dis­ease, the band have to date re­leased their 8th stu­dio al­bum. Our track is taken from their de­but and is a typ­i­cally fu­ri­ous and tech­ni­cal work­out, yet still has all the hall­marks of great song­writ­ing that typ­i­fied their mu­sic. All the mem­bers are great singers and multi-in­stru­men­tal­ists (check out some of their lat­ter-day live ver­sions of this track where they all change in­stru­ments mid-song). Like many gui­tarists of his gen­er­a­tion, Paul’s sound and rhythm play­ing is just as in­ven­tive and groovy as the fright­en­ing lead work.

The most ex­cit­ing day of my guitar life was when I learned how to bend a string. I still love bending strings so much - it gives the guitar a voice. Paul Gil­bert

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