Even at the height of their fame in the mid-80s, they were never cool. Mr. Mister was a terrible name for a rock group, and frontman Richard Page looked like Sting modelling for Top Man. But what this LA-based quartet created in 1985 was a classic melodic rock album featuring two of the defining songs of that era.
It might never have happened. After the band’s debut I Wear The Face bombed, Page was offered jobs with Toto and Chicago. He stuck with Mr. Mister though, and it paid off in ’85 with their second album.
Welcome To The Real World (9⁄10) was a brilliant synthesis of AOR and new wave, comparable to The Cars’ classic Heartbeat City. And two singles topped the US chart: Kyrie, a quasi-spiritual anthem of huge melodic power, and Broken Wings, a subtle ballad as masterful as The Cars’ Drive.
Two years later came the career-killing flop. Go On… (5⁄10) had all the traits of the serious artist of the 80s: gospel-style backing singers, fretless bass, even bloody pan pipes. What it lacked was great songs, save for one hymn-like epic, The Border. Now, 30 years on from his masterpiece, Page plays in Ringo Starr’s band. Things haven’t turned out so bad.