Shining moment from one of the better '80s hair metal bands
29-year old wallflower | West Lafayette, IN | 08/28/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Every decade has its fads, but only one that really defines that decade. For the 1980s, it's hair metal. Of course, this is a derogatory term for any rock band that grew their hair long and played loud, aggressive, often sexist music. Only a few have stood the test of time, let alone continue their careers long after the craze comes to an end. One of these bands is Great White. In some ways, they fit the stereotype of an '80s hair metal band, but it's in what they don't that has caused them to soldier on today. Albums like 1987's ONCE BITTEN... and its sequel 1989's ...TWICE SHY are ones that don't get their due as the best of the era. Great White really could play and write music, contrary to the popular legend, and aside from Aerosmith, were the best at imitating Led Zeppelin. They even devoted an entire live album to it. In the footsteps of Zeppelin, Great White doesn't dress up their sound too much, creating a rough blend of blues and rock that doesn't contain any of the instruments to date it. While the entire album is a gem, the biggest highlights are, oddly enough, ballads like "The Angel Song" (lead singer Jack Russell actually does sound like Robert Plant), "She Only", and "House Of Broken Love". When a hair metal band did a love ballad, it often came off as sappy and mawkish. But Great White manages to sound sincere without being emasculated. But the one song that has come to define the band for all time is their cover of Ian Hunter's "Once Bitten Twice Shy". Because this song was a hit, and not an original Great White song, that is probably why the band has been dismissed as just another band of its era. However, it's amazing that a band can easily make a song they didn't write sound like their own, and that's not an easy thing to do. ...TWICE SHY only has 9 songs, which average about 5 minutes each, meaning a lot of attention is paid to musicianship. I think this was necessary to prove that Great White was a band that really knew how to play. Not always a fan of long space jams, I'm willing to make a sacrifice here. When grunge came to play in the '90s, many hair metal bands were without a country, and found themselves forced into early retirement. But Great White was a band that didn't and hasn't stopped working, no matter how less of a success they become as the years go on. While ...TWICE SHY may be their finest hour, Great White is a band that deserves a closer look. And when one does that, they'll see a hair metal band with as much brains as brawn."
Great Underrated Band
mobby_uk | London United Kingdom | 09/27/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Forget the huge and long hairs, the leather and make-up, the ridiculous look most heavy metal/hard rock bands strangely insist on having, Great White is one of the best rock bands to come in years.
Though they have been unfairly compared to Poison and Dokken, their sound, and although falling very much in the hard rock category, is quite original:
They are more accessible than Iron Maiden, more consistent than Molly Hatchet, more melodic than Counting Crows and certainly less commercial than Dokken and Poison. Their music has an edge, and is very powerful, very bluesy with extended guitar solos, and piano to enhance the melody and soften the harder edges, and yes the lead vocals is one of the best in the business.
Twice Shy was the first CD I bought of the band (on an intuition, and because I liked the cover!), and I was not disappointed at all. It is a good start to the band as it has a combination of good clean rock songs, bluesy songs and the standard must have ballad, though it is very well written( about Hollywood's fake promises) and not similar to the ballads of dozens rock group which are included for the sake of having a 'ballad'.
Not since the creative age of rock in 70s with bands like Black Sabbath, Rainbow, Led Zeppelin did a band give me so much listening satisfaction as Great White did..give it a go, listen to that power and excellent musicianship and you too will not be disappointed."
Best Great White Album Ever!
W. Jarkousky | 03/19/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Twice Shy is the absolute best of Great White and one of my favorite cds ever! Jack's vocals are amazing and so is the music. While keeping their traditional bluesy sound, Great White rocks harder then on any of their previous albums. This is a must have for heavy metal fans!"
The music stands out
W. Jarkousky | 09/14/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"1989 was a year of glam and all things that stand out. The only thing that stands out here is how good the songs are and the overall sound. There's blues, hard rockers and even a few songs that you'd find your parents listening to. I always felt that this band was worlds better than thier contemperies. Hiway Nights, Mista Bone and (seems classic to me) House of Broken Love are the best songs on the record, but there is not a bad track on this 9 track set. There is very few bands that had their hayday in the 80's that I find pulling out of my CD collection on a regular basis as much as Great White and this just might be their best"
Different Shades of White
Plastic Salmon | 08/17/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a production by one of the "heavy metal hard rock" bands which cannot strictly be classified as pure heavy metal. It is because there are many tracks here that do not exacty fit the description of heavy metal rock. Althought they are basically rock songs, they cross over into other forms of music which blend in with the rock 'n' roll sound to produce a flavor that is unique. This mixture also may have something to do with producing a hit, as three of the songs on this album were released as hit singles on the radio. All three of these songs are among those that have a sound that is not purely "heavy metal or hard rock".
The first of these is "The Angel Song", a sad ballad about a girl who was disappointed in love and the lost dream of achieving stardom. This piece is distinct with an acoustic piano in the background, playing a harmony which borders on classical music. Another song that wanders away from heavy metal is "House Of Broken Love", with a blues tone. This blue flavor fits in nicely with the melancholy lyrics that describe a marriage falling apart, with the wife leaving the house one day, disappointing the husband who was left behind. The last of the great hits is "Once Bitten, Twice Shy". In the background is an acoustic piano, playing in a honky tonk fashion among a bouncy rhythm In this song about the life of a musician, the chorus is sung in harmony, where the lead singer is joined by others in a party-like manner.
Among the six "non hits", one of these strays away from hard rock: this is "She Only", a sad ballad heavily laced with folk guitar and clear, gentle vocals. This folk/bluesy song is about a girl who is still waiting for love. It would have been interesting to see if this track would have traveled high on the pop music chart if it had ben released as a single.
The remaining five tracks on this album more or less fit the definition of heavy metal or hard rock 'n' roll. "Heart the Hunter" comes closest to downright heavy metal, and the passionate "Baby's On Fire" is a fast-paced, high-energy selection that could be called heavy metal rock 'n' roll. The first track on this album, "Move It" is another composition that could be called heavy metal, with the burning guitar accompaniment. "Hiway Nights", (title spelled like this), is a passionate love song, in which the highway is presented in a metaphorical way. Finally, there is "Mista Bone", a love song that would make a great choice for dance parties, with its bouncy, stomping rhythm.
It has been many years since this album was released, but the music still sounds fresh and undated as when it was new. The crossing over into other styles of music beyond heavy metal probably contributed to its wide appeal for the audience and popularity on the airwaves. This disc should remain in the collection of fans to this very day for listening enjoyment.