Eric Martin began his singing career in the late 1970s with a band called 415. With 415, Eric opened for many established acts like Billy Squire, Hall & Oats, Journey, ZZ Top and Foreigner. The band was signed to Elektra/Asylum records and released Sucker For a Pretty Face. Soon after, they changed their name to the Eric Martin Band. The band parted ways after returning from a 1984-85 tour with ZZ Top. For the next couple of years, Eric continued to tour and release albums as a solo artist. In 1988, Eric teamed up with Billy Sheehan, Pat Torpey and Paul Gilbert to form Mr. Big. The band found huge success with the release of 6 studio albums, numerous hit singles and 6 top-selling live CDs. All combined, worldwide sales reached the 7 million mark. Mr. Big released their final album, Actual Size in 2001.
Though it may not seem like much time, the five short years during which they recorded for A&M Records marked the most consistent period of Y&T's unfortunate career. And though they would sign a new contract with Geffen thereafter, their subsequent, glam-drenched efforts would prove even less inspired. So while hardly all encompassing, Best of '81 to '85 will satisfy the curious fan better than any other package, save perhaps for their excellent live album, Open Fire. The band's drab studio technique notwithstanding, tracks like "Open Fire," "Hurricane," "Mean Streak," and "I Believe in You" make a strong, cohesive statement about the group's songwriting, if not their performance. ~ Eduardo Rivadavia