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White Lion

Of all the glam/pop-metal bands that crawled out of hair salons coast to coast during the mid- to late '80s, one of the more talented acts was New York's White Lion, led by singer Mike Tramp (originally from Denmark) and guitarist Vito Bratta. The group originally formed in 1983 and despite several bassists and drummers coming and going (including future Black Sabbath and Great White bass player Dave Spitz), the group managed to issue a debut, Fight to Survive, on the independent metal label Grand Slamm in 1984. With Tramp's pinup good looks and Bratta's Eddie Van Halen-esque six-string work, the group seemed destined for success (especially with such similarly styled outfits as Mötley Crüe and Ratt storming the charts), but it would be several years before their next album would appear. Finally finding the right rhythm section (bassist James LoMenzo and former Anthrax drummer Greg d'Angelo), White Lion inked a major-label recording contract with Atlantic, issuing Pride in 1987.

The album took a while to catch on, but when MTV latched onto the quartet's melodic rocker "Wait," the floodgates opened for the band and Pride raced up the charts. Landing prime tour opening slots with the likes of AC/DC, Aerosmith, and Ozzy Osbourne didn't hurt matters either and the group toured for the better part of 1988, resulting in Pride holding steady on the charts. But it was more than a year after the album's release that White Lion enjoyed their biggest success, with the gentle acoustic ballad "When the Children Cry," which would eventually push sales of Pride over the two million mark (in addition, Bratta was being recognized for his instrumental talents by racking up Best New Guitarist awards with several guitar-based magazines). But like numerous other young bands that enjoy big-time success early on in their career, White Lion felt the pressure to deliver once more on their follow-up recording, which they decided to write and record directly after coming off tour rather than taking time off to re-focus.

The decision would ultimately prove to be a detrimental one for White Lion, as proven by the lackluster chart performance of 1989's Big Game. Although the album spawned a pair of videos that racked up substantial MTV airplay (the Greenpeace tribute "Little Fighter" and a cover version of Golden Earring's classic rock standard "Radar Love"), Big Game stalled on the charts and quickly faded away after being certified gold shortly after release. Down but not out, White Lion regrouped for 1991's Mane Attraction, which saw the group slightly toughen up their sound on such tracks as the politically charged "Warsong." But with hair metal's audience quickly drying up (and such Seattle bands as Nirvana and Soundgarden waiting in the wings), the album fared even worse than its predecessor. To add insult to injury, both LoMenzo and d'Angelo left the band shortly thereafter, replaced with newcomers Tommy "T-Bone" Caradonna on bass and future Megadeth member Jimmy DeGrasso on drums. But before the new lineup could record, Tramp and Bratta came to the realization that their best days were behind them and quietly laid White Lion to rest.

After White Lion's split, both Lomenzo and D'Angelo reappeared in Pride & Glory, a Southern rock outfit headed by Ozzy Osbourne's guitarist, Zakk Wylde (although D'Angelo would exit the group before their self-titled 1994 release was recorded). Despite all the accolades he received for his playing, Bratta failed to resurface after the group's breakup. Meanwhile, Tramp released several hard rock albums with Freak of Nature and later issued a solo effort, Capricorn, before reforming White Lion in 1999. The band's lineup was markedly different, however, with Tramp serving as the only original member. A live album was issued in 2005, and White Lion presented its first batch of original material in seventeen years, Return of Pride, in 2008. ~ Greg Prato, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

Love this song even makes me cry ..
Pride is the best they ever maid!
Does it matter why da f**k you left?!?!
Agreed vikingsfan16 9 . . This was one of there better songs.
This song isn't too bad. Tramp doesn't sound like a whiny little girl like he did in the 80's. That's why I didn't like them back then.
vikingsfan16 9
wiki says he had a severe wrist injury and found it too painful to play a guitar....to o bad cuz you are right...he was great in the 80's!!
Whatever happened to Vito Bratta. He was one of the best guitarists of the 80's, right along with Lynch etc.
This song rocks!!!
They still jam to this day...go White Liion!
cristianmarc o 2 0 1 2
Sick guitar. I miss that.
My first love... but he didn't wait. Oh well.
What a sacreligious band that says people are going to Hell. These old rock bands are clearly not Christian and used Heaven and Hell as places completely separate from reality. They are the ones going to Hell, or already there.
Its funny because, mid 80s I found myself listening and loving bands like dokken, motley, ratt, etc...then the white lions, and guns n roses' and LA guns, etc....then late 80s I got into the thrash stuff, vio-lence, nuclear assault, forbidden, slayer, etc....but one constant...w a s white lion, they were always within reaching distance, their music is awesome....p o p but still really good. Their best song I think is lady of the Valley...gre a t tune!
Wooo....wooo o . . . . w o o o . . . . T e l l me.....Rocke n
melissarmath i s
Love - love - love - brings back fun memories
Awesome Song!!!!
I wish some one felt this way about me!!!!
A rely cool song!!!!!
davidhermans k i 1
Great song
Love this song!!!!!!!; )
Fight To Survive and Pride are must have albums. Awesome guitar.
Love this band!!!! More great 80s music!!!!!
All the haters don't know what their talking about!!!! 80's Rock and always will SO get used to it!!!!!!! Hair Bands Rule the world!!!!!!
Long Live 80's Rock forever! It will never die because alot of people LOVE it !!!!!!!!!!!
Love this band!!!!!!
Love all of their music! Always!
The suck, just like all glam-pop and haircut bands
I was in 11th grade when this song came out. So long ago wher has the time gone.
@ Jeremy Benson:
Yes that would be AWESOME bro. How much more pain can this world create for our children. They are our future. "What have we become, just look what we have done." "One united world under God" is what this world needs.
jeremy.benso n 5
One united world under God. Wouldn't that be amazing? People just stopped giving a s**t and it makes me cry for my kids knowing what kind of world we live in today
Spandex and Hairspray! Cant go wrong with that!!
Permed hair poseurs from the '80's. Thumbs down
Mike Tramp<3
I love this song. Sounds like what the world needs today.
Awesome song!! ❤❤❤
tnyavena
Shame that Bratta fell off the music scene map
omg i love when the children cry
hey 80's lovers follow me and you will get all the greats including white lion
Love white lion,ther lyrics vocals and guitar riffs were not like those of other hair bands,they were talented and sang songs with meaning.wAit wait I never had a chance .... To c u play,reunite and give Steve Perry's call and the two bands an tour, ok guess I' m dreaming again.
Forgot to mention Poison kicks butt too!!!
Tom Keifer from Cinderella is finally releasing a new solo album. I heard that song Ask me yesterday and it kicks butt!!! Definitely an album I will buy!
Cinderella, Ratt, Crue, Kiss, Alice Cooper, Warrant, Ozzy, LA Guns, Slaughter, Kix, and many more I'm forgetting to list ROCK!!!!
songs
i like is when the children cry
It looks like James LoMenzo is a contestant on The Amazing Race. Hope he and his team-mate kick butt on all the short hairs
One of my favorites
Great band!
LOVE this group, please come back. Great memories
When the children cry was my all time favorite by them,and I have to say ,it made a difference in my personality. W h e n I was growing up along with many other songs of that time,and admit,it was one of the ones that made me a better person.Thank you for that White Lion...
I have always loved Vito's tone and his sheer ability was matched by very few. It is stunning to me that he is completely out of the music business and has been for almost 2 decades now. In fact, Eddie Trunk was saying he no longer even picks up guitars. Incredible! But, with the talent he clearly has, I bet he could pick up a guitar and be shredding the same as always in about 5 minutes.
Vito Bratta is one of the best guitarists of all time....
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