Essential Atlantic: White Lion, PRIDE
For the next several weeks (or maybe just until we decide that we want to stop doing it, since normalcy seems likely to remain on hiatus for the foreseeable future), Rhino.com will be spotlighting an album from the Atlantic Records discography that qualifies as âEssential.â And what rigorous standards and/or mathematical algorithm did we use to come up with the criteria to define âEssential,â you ask? None at all. Youâll just have to trust our instincts. But theyâre really good, we swear...
Today weâre taking a look at PRIDE, White Lionâs debut LP for Atlantic, and if youâre thinking, âWait, was that album really all that popular?â we can assure you that, yes, it very much was. In fact, it sold two million copies and stayed in the Billboard 200 for a full year.
Produced by Michael Wagener, PRIDE was not White Lionâs first album. That honor went to 1985âs FIGHT TO SURVIVE, and whatâs interesting â even if it was probably just really annoying to the band â is that they were signed to Elektra Records at the time, who decided to shelve the album. Understandably annoyed, White Lionâs manager wheeled a deal where the band was able to license the album to Victor Records, which released it in Japan, after which Grand Slamm Records â a Philadelphia-based indie label â bought the album from Elektra and released it in America.
It was after the success of FIGHT TO SURVIVE that White Lion scored their deal with Atlantic, and it took them six weeks to record PRIDE, but it wasnât an immediate smash. In fact, it took seven months for the albumâs breakthrough single, âWait,â to finally become a hit, and it only happened because MTV latched onto the video and started playing it regularly.
In the end, âWaitâ became a top-10 hit, climbing to #8 on the Billboard Hot 100, but it wasnât even the biggest hit from the album: âWhen the Children Cryâ made it to #3. As for PRIDE itself, it never got any higher than #11 on the Billboard 200, but like we said a few paragraphs ago, it stayed on that chart for a freaking year, so between that and the resulting sales figures, itâs still a success worthy of â wait for it â pride.
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