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Rating explanation

White Lion - Big Game (9/10) - USA - 1989

Genre: Melodic Metal
Label: Atlantic
Playing time: 53:03
Band homepage: White Lion


  1. Goin' Home Tonight
  2. Dirty Woman
  3. Little Fighter
  4. Broken Home
  5. Baby Be Mine
  6. Living On The Edge
  7. Let's Get Crazy
  8. Don't Say It's Over
  9. If My Mind Is Evil
  10. Radar Love
  11. Cry For Freedom
White Lion - Big Game
WHITE LION continue exactly where they left off with "Pride"…making sweet, melodic, well-written Hard Rock circa 1989 just like we wanted back then. The full line-up, still very much intact, show much improved playing from the relentless exposure to the road that the sophomore release brought them. Coming off the huge success of the single "Wait", WHITE LION definitely had something to prove…could they continue to release music with similar commercial appeal yet remain a band that most could take seriously. I for one never lumped these guys in with POISON et al…they were much more…they were talented, hard-workin' boys more in the style of TESLA and GREAT WHITE and I was and am still proud to be a fan.

Michael Wagener handles the production and does so very well as he did with so many bands back in the 80's/early 90's. I look for big drum sounds, nice guitar tones and in-key, up-front vocals. That was how it was and should have been in the larger-than-life environment that was the Glam/Hard Rock scene of yesteryear.

Ballads were all the rage on the releases that came out back in the day of this release…there always had to be at least one on every CD whether they fit or not. I think the Bic Lighter people were the ones propagating some of the nastee shit that made its way to the radio back then. It took a special band to write a ballad that shone with honesty and seriousness and never came off as a contrived, label requested (as in label demanded) track. WHITE LION may have been the absolute kings of balladry and melody…or at the very least, they were young Princes in line for the AEROSMITH throne. "Broken Home" and "Cry For Freedom" are two of the finest ballads written by WHITE LION and for that matter, anyone. They are made so successful by their incredible writing and even more so by the voice of Mike Tramp and the melodies of guitarist Vito Bratta.

I really like the opening track "Goin' Home Tonight" which has a great tempo, nice melodies and a very positive feel. "Dirty Women" is the heaviest track on the release and has appropriate sleazy vox from Tramp and a killer Bratta riff to carry it. All the remaining tracks are classic White Lion including their rendition of GOLDEN EARRING'S "Radar Love".

So for collectors of AOR and Hard Rock, this baby is a must-have. Young open-minded Metal-heads that like to explore history will definitely enjoy this. I for one have spun this release hundreds of times and never get sick of it. Sometimes I wonder if today's hardcore Metalheads know that they can still be cool if they were to try and maybe even like the Melodic Rock from 10 to 15 years ago. Keep in mind you don't have to tell anyone…you see WHITE LION can only be one of two things…a stellar Hard Rock band you can rage about or a guilty pleasure you can keep to yourself. Give "Big Game" a try, you may be surprised how much you like it…if not, at least you get the picture of Mike Tramp when he had a way cool 80's doo. (Online September 2, 2003)

Corey Nelson

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