Shortly before I finished my senior year of high school in June of 1991 and was rushed to the hospital with an appendix fixing to burst I bought WHITE LION’S album Mane Attraction. This to me was a game changer for them, because they refused to be put into a box, and this thing only cemented that belief. I was already a megafan thanks to Pride and Big Game, and rightfully so, but this album was different from what they’d done previously. I can still remember hearing the eight-minute opener “Lights and Thunder” and being like, “Whoa! This is serious!” Guitarist Vito Bratta left his signature all over this one as if he was a jewel thief making sure there was a clue to be found by the law. Oh hi, welcome to Classic Albums!
“Broken Heart”, a re-recorded song from debut record Fight to Survive is next, and if we’re being honest I like this version much better. Singer Mike Tramp lays his conviction all on the field, and it’s a great version. The rhythm section of Greg D’Angelo (drums) and James Lomenzo (bass) take care of business on “Leave Me Alone” which has the distinction of being unlike anything the band had recorded prior. Still, Bratta goes off to the races with his guitar solos. His playing was so fucking good it’s almost sickening, ya know? I remember driving around in the 1988 Sundance and being all, “Fuck yeah!” at this one. Hey, who didn’t at the age of 18, right?
The first time I heard “Love Don’t Come Easy,” I gotta be honest, I cried. It is just so anthemic, the chorus soars to the heavens, and it really hit me on a level I wasn’t expecting. It is still one of my Top 5 WHITE LION songs to this day, and I can never hear it enough. Beautiful ballad “You’re All I Need” follows, and it is one of my favorite love songs then, now, and forever. Tramp delivers a beautiful vocal over some lush, gorgeous guitar work, and it’s amazing. “It’s Over” has a yearning, wistful, melancholy feel to it, accentuated by some sexy organ work. And the chorus pleads the case in fine fashion.
Now let’s get into some heavy shit with “Warsong”, a tale about a young soldier going off to war. Lyrically the tune makes sense, and musically it just kicks ass, resulting in one of the deeper tracks on this album. Oh, and did I not mention Bratta soloing his fucking ass off?? Then things take a massive turn with even MORE guitar solos!! “She’s Got Everything” is sex on ice, and when I was 18 all it made me want to do was bang my girlfriend, which I did…well, and often. “Til Death Do Us Part” is the ultimate rock song that should be played at every wedding, and come on, Tramp really delivers, doesn’t he? He almost made ME say yes!!
“Out With the Boys” is a great track that is pretty self-explanatory. We’ve all been there, hanging out with our dipshit friends while our beautiful girlfriend is home. But at the end of the day we all know she’s gonna be the one who embraces us with open arms when we get home and say, “You have fun tonight, Baby?” “Blue Monday” is an especially emotional track for me, because it was written and performed in honor of Stevie Ray Vaughan, who died on August 27, 1990. I am a musician, and anyone who is also a musician cried that day. I know I sure did. I remember my friend CJ coming up and telling me at work on that fateful day.
Closing this fantastic record is “Farewell to You” which, quite frankly is the best way to end things. I have loved this song for almost 30 years and I will continue to do so. It is a perfect thank you to all the fans, and it always makes me smile from ear to ear. I have so many crazy memories from senior year in 1991, and Mane Attraction from WHITE LION was a big part of them. Those memories will stay with me forever. For these reasons, among others, this will forever be in Classic Albums. ~dc