1982 in Phoenix, Arizona
- Richard Page (born May 16, 1953 in Keokuk, Iowa) - Lead vocals, bass guitar, primary songwriter
- Steve George (born May 20, 1955 in Phoenix, Arizona)- Keyboards, backing vocals, saxophone, primary songwriter
- Pat Mastelotto (born Lee Patrick Mastelotto on September 10, 1955 in Chico, California) - Drums and percussion
- Steve Farris (born May 1, 1957 in Fremont, Nebraska) - Guitar
What Mr. Mister lacks in prolific or critically revered musical output it certainly makes up for in terms of an undeniable status as an '80s icon. After all, this American quartet made up of seasoned studio musicians produced at least one legendary, era-defining classic single in "Broken Wings."
Beyond that, the group's other major single became its second No. 1 hit of 1985 alone. Not many artists can make such lofty claims, and there's just no getting around the fact that the moniker Mr. Mister instantly dredges up heavy doses of both nostalgia and era-specific, instant name recognition.
The genesis of Mr. Mister dates back to the mid to late '70s, when founders Page and George began a friendship and musical partnership that has taken an intriguing path through the years. It may be less than common knowledge, but the pair led a band called Pages after establishing themselves as sought-after L.A. session players. That group blended pop and jazz fusion, finding enough success to release three albums on major labels between 1978 and 1981. Widespread success eluded the duo, but following the demise of Pages more respected session work eventually led to a high-profile second chance.
Page and George hoped to make their distinct marks on the pop music scene, which is one reason why - following the band's quietly received 1984 debut I Wear the Face
- Page turned down lucrative offers to front '80s soft rock
lineups of both Toto
in order to continue seeking his own self-directed path. That move paid off when Mr. Mister's second album, Welcome to the Real World
, became an outright smash in 1985. In addition to the sparkling, soulful "Broken Wings," the band also scored with "Kyrie,"
an anthem laced with Christian faith and ample melodic heft. The thoroughly decent mid-tempo track "Is It Love"
also made the Top 10 but not until the summer of 1986.
Checkered '80s Music Legacy:
Before the group's demise around 1990, Mr. Mister released one more album, 1987's underrated Go On
, and then prepared another (Pull
) that remained unreleased for two decades. The pop music scene had by now forsaken the band's clean, unabashedly melodic pop for hair metal
, dance pop and the rise of hip-hop
. Nevertheless, Mr. Mister has withstood a generally unfavorable reputation among critics and '80s music snobs to maintain a solid standing as a significant artist of what remains a treasured bygone era for mainstream rock. All four members also continued successful careers as session musicians, songwriters or producers. So then, wings bent perhaps - but not broken.