Mr. Big

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.

Sweet Silence

Mr. Big released their debut album, Sweet Silence, in November 1975 on EMI.

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

Art Direction – Rock
Art Direction, Typography – Ridgeway
Design, Photography – Mick Rock
Typography [Lettering] – Harris

31 Oct 1975
A. “Wonderful Creation”
B. “Enjoy It”

30 Jan 1976
A. “For the Fun to Find”
B. “Golden Lights”

21 May 1976
A. “Zambia”
B. “Time Base”

Mr. Big

Mr. Big released their self-titled second album in early 1977 on EMI.

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

14 Jan 1977
A: Romeo
B: Goodbye World

15 Apr 1977
A: Feel Like Calling Home
B: Photographic Smile

In Germany
A: Hold Me
B: Vampire

Photographic Smile


Mr. Big recorded their third album, Seppuku, for an intended summer 1978 release on EMI.

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

Jul 1978
A: Senora
B: Death Boy


  • Sweet Silence (1975)
  • Photographic Smile (US comp, 1976)
  • Mr. Big (1977)
  • Seppuku (2001, recorded 1978)


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