By 1989, the newly formed quartet had already inked a recording contract with Atlantic, resulting in the release of a self-titled debut the same year. Despite causing a buzz amongst musicians, the album failed to crossover to a mainstream rock audience stateside; however, Mr. Big was an immediate smash success overseas in Japan.
The quartet broadened its horizons on its sophomore effort, 1991's Lean Into It, which included the melodic psychedelic rocker "Green Tinted Sixties Mind," as well as a pair of ballads that would become sizeable hit singles: the number one smash "To Be With You" and "Just Take My Heart." Despite issuing further releases (1993's Bump Ahead and 1996's Hey Man), Mr. Big was unable to sustain their commercial success in their homeland, but over in Japan, the group's popularity continued to soar (resulting in countless sold-out tours and such Japan-only live albums as Raw Like Sushi I, Raw Like Sushi II, Japandemoniumi, Mr. Big in Japan, etc.). Gilbert split from the group in the late '90s to pursue a solo career and was replaced by former Poison guitarist Richie Kotzen. The new lineup issued a pair of studio recordings, Get Over It and Actual Size, before launching a "farewell tour" in Japan. ~ Greg Prato, All Music Guide
Written byGreg Prato