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The quartet broadened its horizons on its sophomore effort, 1991's Lean into It, which included the melodic psychedelic rocker "Green Tinted Sixties Mind" as well as a pair of ballads that would become sizable singles: the number one smash "To Be with You" and the Top 20 hit "Just Take My Heart." Despite issuing further releases like 1993's Bump Ahead and 1996's Hey Man, Mr. Big were unable to sustain such commercial success at home, although the group's popularity continued to soar in Japan (resulting in countless sold-out tours and such Japan-only live albums as Raw Like Sushi, Raw Like Sushi 2, Japandemonium, Mr. Big in Japan, etc.). Gilbert split from the group in the late '90s to pursue a solo career and was replaced by former Poison guitarist Richie Kotzen. The new lineup issued a pair of studio recordings, Get Over It and Actual Size, before launching a "farewell tour" in Japan, which culminated in their amicable breakup in 2002.
In early 2009, with the 20th anniversary of Mr. Big's debut on the horizon, the original lineup appeared on Japanese radio to announce that the group would be reuniting. A reunion tour was launched later that year, resulting in the release of 2009's double-disc concert album Back to Budokan, and the band headed home in September 2010 to record a new studio album in Los Angeles. The resulting What If was released three months later in Japan, followed by an American release in early 2011. The Pat Regan-produced ...The Stories We Could Tell was released in 2014, and in 2017 Mr. Big issued Defying Gravity, their third release since reuniting in 2010 and ninth studio long-player overall. ~ Greg Prato