Mr. Big were an English hard-rock/art-rock band from Oxford that released a trio of singles on Epic circa 1974/75, followed by the album Sweet Silence on EMI in 1975. In 1976, the band recorded a second album in Los Angeles that was half-released stateside, along with select cuts from the debut, on the Arista album Photographic Smile, which made several songs available in the U.S. a year prior to their release on the band’s self-titled sophomoric longplayer for EMI in 1977. In 1978, the band recorded a third album that was ultimately released in 2001 by archivists Angel Air Records.
Members: Dicken (lead vocals, guitar), Pete Crowther (bass), John Burnip (drums), Vince Chaulk (drums), Edward Carter (vocals, guitar), John Marter (drums)
Mr. Big originated as Big Oak, an unsigned band on the late-sixties London club circuit. In 1972, the Marquee billed them incorrectly as Mr. Big and refused to rectify matters. They decided to keep the name: a slang term for high-ranking mobsters (in particular, American prohibition-era racketeer and gambling kingpin Arnold Rothstein. “Mr. Big” is also the title of a song by Free on their 1970 third album Fire and Water.) Guitarist and songwriter Jeff Pain (aka “Dicken”) led Mr. Big, which featured bassist Pete Crowther and two drummers: John Burnip and Vince Chaulk.
In 1974, Mr. Big secured a deal with Epic Records, which earmarked “Genevieve” for an intended June release as the band’s first single (cat. S EPC 2464). However, Dicken cancelled its release and salvaged its b-side (“I Ain’t Been a Man”) for “Eee I’m All Right,” which became their debut single. Mr. Big made their UK television debut on the Granada TV variety program Lift Off With Ayshea, hosted by Ayshea Brough. Their second single, “Christmas With Dicken,” appeared in mid-November.
A. “Eee I’m All Right” (2:42)
B. “I Ain’t Been A Man” (3:45)
A. “Christmas With Dicken” (2:54)
B. “Time For a Laugh” (2:53)
On March 7, 1975, Mr. Big released “Lucky Man” (b/w “Josephine”), their third and final Epic single.
A. “Lucky Man” (3:00)
B. “Josephine” (3:33)
Mr. Big came under the wing of Mott the Hoople manager Robert Hirschman and signed with EMI for their debut album.
A1. “Time Base” ()
A2. “Wonderful Creation” ()
A3. “Golden Lights” ()
A4. “Uncle John ‘B'” ()
A5. “I Ain’t Bin a Man” ()
A6. “Sweet Silence” ()
B1. “Zambia” ()
B2. “Enjoy It” ()
B3. “Violet May” ()
B4. “For the Fun to Find” ()
B5. “Appeared a Shining Throne” ()
B6. “Throne Second Amendment” ()
Recorded At – Rockfield Studios
Overdubbed At – Air Studios
Mixed At – Air Studios
Bass, Acoustic Guitar – Pete Crowther
Drums, Percussion – John Burnip
Drums, Percussion, Backing Vocals – Vince Chaulk
Written By, Arranged By, Lead Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Harmonica, Cowbell – Dicken
Producer, Engineer, Synthesizer, Percussion [Additional Percussion] – John Punter
Engineer [Assisted By] – Nigel Walker, Paul Nunn
Trombone, Double Bass, Executive Producer – Robert Hirschman
Keyboards – Ian Blunsdon
31 Oct 1975
A. “Wonderful Creation”
B. “Enjoy It”
30 Jan 1976
A. “For the Fun to Find”
B. “Golden Lights”
A1. “Photographic Smile” () Keyboards – Dicken
A2. “Romeo” ()
A3. “What Color Is the Wind” ()
A4. “Louisiana Street” () Acoustic Guitar – Peter Crowther
A5. “Feel Like Calling Home” ()
A6. “Goodbye World” () Congas, Synthesizer – Edward Carter
B1. “Vampire” ()
B2. “Hold Me” ()
B3. “Can We Live / Angel of My Life” ()
B4. “Easy” ()
Recorded At – Morgan Studios
Overdubbed At – The Sound Factory
Guitar [12 String] – Edward Carter
Drums – Jim Keltner, Simon Phillips
Drums, Backing Vocals – Chaulky
Drums, Keyboards, Percussion – John Burnip
Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals, Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Sitar [Electric] – Dicken
Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals, Harmonica, Tambourine – Edward Carter
Bass Guitar – Peter Crowther
Arranged By [String] – David Campbell
Organ – Keith Barbour
Percussion – Andrew Gold
Piano [Acoustic], Electric Piano – Jay Winding*
Trombone – Robert Hirschman
Producer – Val Garay
Engineer – Val Garay
Photography By – Gered Mankowitz
1. “Senora” ()
2. “Woman” ()
3. “Place Your Bets” ()
4. “Here It Comes Again” ()
5. “Tonight” ()
6. “Lucy” ()
7. “Goosestep” ()
8. “You Won’t See Me” ()
9. “Behind Enemy Lines” ()
10. “Come Rock With Me” ()
11. “Seppuku” ()
12. “Death Boy” ()
Recorded At – Scorpio Studios
Recorded At – The Sound Factory
Recorded At – Chipping Norton Recording Studios
Producer – Ian Hunter
- Sweet Silence (1975)
- Photographic Smile (US comp, 1976)
- Mr. Big (1977)
- Seppuku (2001, recorded 1978)
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