It always felt a little disingenuous to label Great White as a hair metal band. Yes they were popular during glam metal’s late 80’s heyday and yes they were featured right alongside bands like Poison and Ratt in the pages of Hit Parader and Circus magazines. I’m sure their concert riders even called for cans of Aqua Net at the time, but if you listen to their music, it was always more of a blues rock vibe, than the popper metal played by those they got lumped in with.
Not buying it? Judge for yourself on the recently released Absolute Hits collection put out by their old label Capitol. Although the term “hits” is up for interpretation, (only diehards will likely have heard anything other than songs off of 1987’s Once Bitten… and the follow up …Twice Shy), the album is still packed with some solid tracks. Subtle misogyny aside, their cover of Ian Hunter’s “Once Bitten, Twice Shy” (seeing a pattern here?) sounds even better than the original.
With plenty of slide guitar, and Jack Russell’s Blues-soaked vocals, Great White always stood apart from their assumed contemporaries and while they never sold nearly as many albums as the giants in that genre, their songs still manage to hold up quite well over the decades. The same can’t be said for a band like White Snake.
Top track: “One Bitten, Twice Shy”
Great White – Absolute Hits/1 CD/15 songs/Capitol Records/2011