Eric Martin Band - Sucker For A Pretty Face album review

Before Mr. Big, he was strictly small-time.

Eric Martin Band Sucker For A Pretty Face album cover

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In 1983, it seemed like Eric Martin had it made. Aged 23, but looking like he wasn’t old enough to buy a pack of cigarettes, he was a great singer whose Bay Area-based band was signed to Elektra Records and managed by Herbie Herbert, the guy who had helped make Journey one of the biggest rock acts in America.

Herbert also enlisted Journey’s producer Kevin Elson for the Eric Martin Band’s debut album Sucker For A Pretty Face, and got them opening for Journey in arenas. It wasn’t enough. The album flopped and by 1985, Martin had split the band to go solo, with drummer Troy Luccketta going on to join Tesla.

Nevertheless, it was a good album, full of punchy, melodic hard rock songs, such as the title track and Don’t Stop, the latter co-written by Scottish singer Frankie Miller. And Martin, with that voice, sounded like a star in the making.

But he would make better records – a brilliant, self-titled solo album in 1985, and an all-time AOR classic, These Are The Good Times, on the Iron Eagle movie soundtrack. And at the end of the 80s, with the supergroup Mr. Big, Eric Martin did at last find success. He’d earned it.

Freelance writer for Classic Rock since 2005, Paul Elliott has worked for leading music titles since 1985, including Sounds, Kerrang!, MOJO and Q. He is the author of several books including the first biography of Guns N’ Roses and the autobiography of bodyguard-to-the-stars Danny Francis. He has written liner notes for classic album reissues by artists such as Def Leppard, Thin Lizzy and Kiss, and currently works as content editor for Total Guitar. He lives in Bath - of which David Coverdale recently said: “How very Roman of you!”