Formed in 1989 in Connecticut, the band quickly moved to L.A. where they were signed almost immediately and had their debut album out in 1990. The timing was perfect as record companies were over-saturating the market with the next big Glam Band or Hair Band as it has been so horrendously called over the years. Steelheart it that bill nicely as lead singer Miljenko Matijevic had the pipes and the looks. The band exploded on to the scene with their self-titled debut and saw the album go to #40. They quickly released their follow-up, ‘Tangled in the Reins’, in 1992 and it was dead on impact.
Then tragedy struck while on tour for the 2nd record. An unsecured light truss fell on to the stage, crushing Miljenko and breaking his nose, cheekbone, jaw and twisting his spine up severely. It took him years to recover and eventually in 1996 he made a comeback with ‘Wait”. The album didn’t do anything. Years went by and there was nothing from the band. Then in 2006, he re-emerged with a new band, same name, and released their fourth album, ‘Good 2B Alive’ in 2008. Again not much notice then thanks to Frontiers, 2017 saw them return once more with “Through Worlds of Stardust”. And here we are a few years later and finally ranking all five of their albums from Worst to First.
If you haven’t heard them before, they are worth checking out, and yes, even the worst has some great stuff. I hope you enjoy!
When Danish musician, Mike Tramp moved to New York in 1983, he met this guitar whiz by the name of Vito Bratta and a little band was formed by the name of White Lion (I am sure I over simplified things). A bass player and drummer were added, a record label was signed and the debut album was ready. The debut, ‘Fight to Survive’, was finished and the record company hated it and refused to release it. Oh yeah, they dropped the band as well. The album eventually was released and then the bass player and drummer were added, labels went bankrupt and it all started all over again. Not the most auspicious start.
The band’s classic line-up was set with Mike, Vito, James LoMenzo (bass) and Greg D’Angelo (drums). A record deal was in place with Atlantic and in 1987, the band released ‘Pride’ and success was finally had…at least for a few years. One thing the makes the band a little different than other bands of the era is that every album has at least one (usually more) song that is political in nature or at least some social commentary to it. Where this worked on some albums, it totally didn’t work on others. As a kid, I could care less about political or socially conscious songs, give me Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll.
I was a fan of White LIon’s in the late 80’s and early 90’s so I thought I would rank their albums as I have some familiarity with all their stuff and felt I could judge them properly. With only 5 studio releases, this one isn’t as long as some of the others I have done which is a nice change of pace for me.
Sit back and see how the albums are ranked and maybe it will spark an interest to go listen to some White Lion.
Maroon 5 started off their career as a Pop/Rock/Funk band back in the very early 2000s and brought us the masterpiece debut album ‘Songs About Jane’. 15 year later the band is still going strong with the newest album called ‘Red Pill Blues’. The resemblance between these two albums is relatively zero. The Rock/Funk part of the band is non-existent and all you have is glorified POP!
Don’t get me wrong, there is some pop music I like. However, there is something about pop music that irritates me and that is most songs on pop radio seem to think the actually have to be “featuring” a hip-hop artist or at least another artist. Singers and bands today don’t seem to be able to do a song that is strictly their own.
Maroon 5 now believes in that theory whole-heartedly. As a result, they have six songs, that is right 6!!!, on their new album that feature another artist. They are as follows:
“What Lovers Do (Feat. SZA)
“Help Me Out (duet with Julia Michaels)”
“Who I Am (Feat. Lunchmoney Lewis)”
“Whiskey (Feat. A$AP Rocky)”
‘Don’t Wanna Know (Feat. Kendrick Lamar – yeah for like 10 seconds)”
I recently read an article on Mike Tramp that said he was releasing a limited edition box set called “This and That” which would contain 5 CDs and 1 DVD of previously unreleased material as well as some new tracks. It sounds interesting and got me to thinking about his old band White Lion. And I immediately remembered ‘Pride’.
Little did I know at the time that ‘Pride’ was not their debut album. They actually had an album prior called ‘Fight to Survive’ that never amounted to anything. Since “My First Time” is supposed to be the first time I discover a band and it is not on their debut album, then ‘Pride’ worked.
‘Pride’ came out in 1987 slap dab in the middle of the Hair Band explosion. That means BIG HAIR!! Did White Lion have it…uh…YES…