With their brand of blues inflected hard rock, In the late 80s and early 90s, Great White gained strongly favourable press on a regular basis. On the back of albums like ‘Twice Shy’ and ‘Hooked’ (1989 and 1991 respectively) providing a more sophisticated slant on the big hair sounds that were popular at the time, supported by a tough live show, their fan base was more than solid. Over the years, however, the Great White legacy has been a little sullied. An extremely unfortunate falling out between band members and a long drawn out legal battle over the band name meant that internal politics somewhat interfered with their music. Furthermore, the market has been flooded with various budget compilation packages and a fair amount of recycling material with re-recorded and inferior versions of GW classics.
Bringing in ex-XYZ vocalist Terry Illous resulted in an excellent comeback disc, ‘Elation’, in 2013. Taken on its own terms ‘Elation’ is a genuinely brilliant blues-rock affair, but very little of the material resembles the band’s peak output. At the time of that release, most of the Great White catalogue was in a sad state of affairs, hanging in out of print limbo. Unsurprisingly, it appears to have remained that way.
Even that first time around, though, the early Great White catalogue was a proper mess. By the time the band hit the big time with the ‘Once Bitten’ album in 1988, their first two albums were already out of print. The release of ‘Once Bitten’ itself was muddled by bad record company decisions: the US market got the nine track album as intended, the Euro market, meanwhile, was shafted with a release that contained just four of those tracks, plus three from the previous disc (yet to have its European release) and a stray live recording. The 1987 live album ‘Recovery’ had three different tracklists in three different territories – finding one with the “real” tracklist – not fleshed out with recordings that date from later – is almost impossible.
|How a band that were big such news at the time could be treated
in such a way is a travesty. In the twenty first century, it has become
commonplacefor rock acts to have huge chunks of their catalogue
re-released as budget pricedmulti-disc sets. Real Gone feels there’s a
gap in the market for a fairly priced Great White box set – one that
finally puts the record straight; a box with the releases presented
with the proper track listings restored. Those internal politics and record
company disinterest means this would never happen, of course, but
below is a detailed breakdown of what such a set could include:Disc One: “Great White” and “Out of the Night EP”
Out In The Night / Stick It / Substitute / Bad Boys / On Your Knees /
Street Killer /No Better Than Hell / Hold On / Nightmares / Dead End /
Down at the Doctors / Train To Nowhere / Red House / The Hunter /
Rock ‘n’ Roll
Disc Two: “Shot In The Dark”
Disc Three: “Recovery Live” [original tracklist]
Disc Four: “Once Bitten…” and “Live at The Ritz”
Disc Five: “…Twice Shy”
Disc Six: “Live at The Marquee ^
Disc Seven: “Live In London” $