Lean Into It is an undeniable classic of hair rock, and really launched Mr. Big into the big (sorry) time. It’s littered with classics, from ballads to balls-out belters and it’s about to be reissued with a bunch of extras.
Mr. Big are one of those bands I’d love to see live but have never quite managed to do so. The closest I got was Bloodstock a couple of years ago where they apparently played a blinder… but I had to leave after Jasta to catch a flight to Sweden for Sabaton Open Air. Bugger. Back in the day, “To Be With You” was one of the very few songs that I could play very badly on the guitar as well. I still have my original CD version and it does get an airing now and again. Of course, I dug it out when I heard about this 30th anniversary release just to remind myself of how good it was – and is.
Any rock fan in their 40s or upwards is bound to be familiar with the band and album – “Green Tinted Sixties Mind”, “CDFF – Lucky This Time”, “Voodoo Kiss”… it’s the kind of collection that most bands wish they could collated for a “best of”. All of these tracks are remastered on the new release, and a bunch of additional music has been thrown in as well.
First up are two new songs. Well, new old songs. Previously unreleased, “Stop Messing Around” and “Wild Wild Women” are definite Mr. Big numbers. The choppy rhythms and vocals are right out of their playbook. I can’t even say “I can see why they didn’t make an earlier release” as they’re both good enough to have featured on any other album.
Further, there are a bunch of “novelty” versions including a reggae version(!) of “To Be With You” and a couple of tracks minus the bass or guitar, which is ideal for those wanting to play along! Overall, the second CD is pretty decent and makes a change from the filler often thrown onto reissues.
In terms of sound quality, there are some fancy technical versions and rather than get it wrong, I’ll lift this from the press release!
evoXS has remastered the album using the hi-resolution digital transfers from the original analogue master tapes for MQA-CD(2 CD), hybrid SACD, 180g Vinyl LP and Hi-Res digital. The hybrid multi-channel SACD plays on both SACD and regular CD players. MQA is an award-winning technology that delivers the sound of the studio. MQA-CD plays on all CD players. When a conventional CD player is connected to an MQA-enabled device, the CD will reveal the original master quality. The SACD has a new multi-track mix in 5.1 surround sound which provides the ultimate sound quality experience.
This is an album that has aged really well, much as I haven’t. It’s just so flipping singalong, with so many good songs and it’s great to see it getting a quick kick in the pants. Hopefully it will reach the ears of another generation of potential fans.
Lean Into It (2021) is released on July 23rd