Mike Tramp ramps up the poignancy as he revisits the Songs Of White Lion

Songs Of White Lion finds Mike Tramp revisiting the group’s best-known songs with a muscular backing band

Mike Tramp: Songs Of White Lion cover art
(Image: © Frontiers)

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For a brief period in the late eighties, White Lion were genuine contenders for Bon Jovi’s hairmetal crown, a brace of US Top 10 hits from double-platinum-selling 1987 album Pride suggesting world domination was around the corner, before being metaphorically mauled to death by the grunge wolf-pack led by Nirvana

Their brief but glorious spell on the pop savannah has clearly been gnawing away at Scandinavian singer Mike Tramp ever since, with various incarnations of the band leading to 2008’s studio reunion, Return Of The Pride

This album completes the circle, with Tramp revisiting the group’s best-known songs with a muscular backing band. In this new context, fist-in-the-air anthem Little Fighter is even more powerful thanks to Tramp’s whisky-soaked pipes, while a strident Wait – where Tramp intones ‘I never had a chance to love you’ – comes with an added poignancy. 

Tear-jerking anti-war ballad When The Children Cry, meanwhile – which is their biggest US hit – takes on an elegiac air, with the planet still on the precipice of disaster 30 years on.

Paul Moody is a writer whose work has appeared in the Classic Rock, NME, Time Out, Uncut, Arena and the Guardian. He is the co-author of The Search for the Perfect Pub and The Rough Pub Guide.