1987 – Pride
This the album that brought White Lion and Vito Bratta to the masses. According to stats from the RIAA it ended up selling two million copies in the US alone
Hungry – the intro riff is heavy, the lead break fillers between gaps in the verse are killers. The arpeggio bridge before the lead break, complete with volume swells is a good calm before the storm. The lead break, is very Van Halen’ish, complete with tapping and whammy bar antics. This song would inspire Firehouse. Basically is about sex. The original demo of the song had the lyric Hungry for your sex.
Lonely Nights – you can hear the pop formula working. As with Hungry the chorus is very stadium like. Similar structure to Hungry, with a clean arpeggio bridge before the Bratta solo section. Where normally the tapping of Van Halen is chaotic, Bratta in this solo section is very melodic. Song about heartbreak, clichéd yes, but Tramp does well to paint the picture in the mind of this little broken hearted girl standing in the rain.
Lady Of The Valley – epic song on the album, the Dm riff to kick it off is a classic. Then the clean tone verses. Tramp actually sounds like he is about to cry. Even the lyrics are open to interpretation, its almost like the lady of the valley is this mystic healer and the treasure is the rebirth of the dead. The solo section that begins after the lyric “Yes, I’ve laid him at your feet” can make the hairs rise on your neck is that good.
All Join Our Hands – Great intro. “Lets all join our hands, Raise them together, Fight for the light that we feel”. People can relate to this. When I first heard it back in 1988, I was under the impression it was about starvation in Africa, as that came to the forefront, with We Are The World and HearNAid’s Stars.
When The Children Cry – the acoustic finger picking style of Vito was different to a lot of the 80’s guitarists, and very reminiscent to Dee from Randy Rhoads. Anyway a song that can have multiple meanings my view is from an older person looking at the state of the world and saying to themselves, how did we mess this up for the next generation coming through in this world.
Wait – with lyrics straight from a Michael Bolton album “Wait-wait – I never had a chance to love you, wait-wait – if only our love could show you” Still cool song, and Bratta rocks it out. Solo section is worth waiting for.
Average Songs with Great Bratta Moments
Don’t Give Up – a lot of great Bratta moments in this song, I just cant get over the clichéd vocal delivery and the chorus of Don’t Give Up doesn’t inspire me to not give up. The solo sections is full of arpeggio moments, as well as rehashing the vocal melody in a shredorado kind of way. When artists write songs about doing it tough, working nine to five and not having enough to pay the bills, they can either get hit the mark or miss the mark with the listener. In this instance Tramp, misses the mark big time.
Sweet Little Loving – saved by Vito’s solo section. Again this is a demonstration of a song within a song. It’s a shame that Mike Tramp couldn’t be more creative with his lyrics and melodies.
All You Need Is Rock N Roll – Vocal delivery and lyrics are lame. Bratta keeps it in control with his riffing. This song is meant to say, if you are feeling down and lonely, all you need is rock n roll. The message is cool, but just like Don’t Give Up, Tramp fails to connect with me. I don’t feel it.
Tell Me – Its got that summertime riff like Y&T’s Summertime Girls, Ratt’s – One Step Away. But then you have the singer saying Tell Me Baby, you will never let me go. Again lack of imagination from Tramp. Bratta again kills it in this song.