THREE Y&T ALBUMS: Y&T 'EARTHSHAKER', 'BLACK TIGER' & 'MEAN STREAK'
WHEN Y&T, THE hard rockin’ San Francisco quartet, signed to A&M records in 1980, it signalled a golden era for the band, revealing a fan base in the UK, and Europe in general, that they were utterly unaware of. Their debut major label album, Earthshaker, was more successful in Europe than in their own country, building an audience that was hearing much in common with the NWOBHM and welcoming their hard edged sound as if they were homecoming heroes. The bond was further cemented when the band elected to record their Black Tiger album in the UK, and also attracted an impressive reaction when they toured, which included a special guest performance at the coveted Reading Festival.
It came as no surprise, then, to find that their next album continued the British connection, with the band securing respected studio wizard Chris Tsangarides (Thin Lizzy, Judas Priest, Ozzy Osbourne) to produce Mean Streak, another molten slice of face melting hard rock in the finest Y&T tradition. Recorded in their native San Francisco, the record continued to enhance the band’s reputation as one of the most potent outfits of the era, delivering great songs and incredible performances. They refused to sweeten their sound or kowtow to ill informed suggestions, stated or implied, to become more accessible.
Produced with pin-point accuracy, the album (issued in 1983) resonates with explosive authority, harnessing razor sharp guitar riffs and impressive songs. Tracks such as ‘Midnight In Tokyo’, ‘Hang ‘Em High’, ‘Down And Dirty’ and the title track itself are all Y&T classics, allowing vocalist Dave Meniketti to ride the tiger with all his might.
SPECIAL DELUXE COLLECTOR’S EDITION, FULLY REMASTERED AUDIO, ONE BONUS TRACK. 16 PAGE FULL COLOUR BOOKLET, PRODUCED BY CHRIS TSANGARIDES (THIN LIZZY, JUDAS PRIEST), 4,000 WORD ESSAY ABOUT THE MAKING OF THE ALBUM INCLUDING NEW INTERVIEW WITH DAVE MENIKETTI, ENHANCED ARTWORK AND RARE PHOTOS
TRACK LISTING: 1. MEAN STREAK 2. STRAIGHT THRU THE HEART 3. LONELY SIDE OF TOWN 4. MIDNIGHT IN TOKYO 5. BREAKING AWAY 6. HANG ‘EM HIGH 7. TAKE YOU TO THE LIMIT 8. SENTIMENTAL FOOL 9. DOWN AND DIRTY. BONUS TRACK:10. I’M NOT SORRY
Y&T’S PREVIOUS album Earthshaker had revitalised this highly respected San Francisco based quartet’s fortunes, appearing almost by stealth after years of what appeared to be complete inactivity. Signed to a new label and attracting fresh interest from various corners, Y&T quickly capitalised on their fortunes by moving their base of operation to the UK for the follow-up album Black Tiger. Almost unbeknownst to the band, the UK and Europe had earlier on embraced them as one of their own. It was an appreciation born out of a revived interest in hard rock, fuelled by the emergence of the NWOBHM.
Recorded in the Surrey countryside and produced by acclaimed British producer Max Norman (Ozzy Osbourne, Coney Hatch, Malice) Black Tiger was a triumphant statement of intent, complimenting and, in many respects, eclipsing the achievement of the previous year’s Earthshaker album. Having established a solid template the album saw them looking for more melodic possibilities but not compromising their muscular style. It was a successful manoeuvre and one not lost on their burgeoning European fan base. In fact, during the recording sessions, the band embarked on a sold out UK and European tour that included two nights at London’s Marquee club and a high ranking support slot at that year’s Reading Festival.
Black Tiger, Issued in 1982, is now regarded as one of, if not the definitive Y&T album, showcasing a number of tracks that are regarded as classics, such as ‘Open Fire’, ‘My Way Or The Highway’, ‘Hell Or High Water’, and the title track itself. It also contains the epic ‘Forever’, another gold standard ballad in the classic Y&T canon.
SPECIAL DELUXE COLLECTOR’S EDITION, FULLY REMASTERED AUDIO, ONE BONUS TRACK. 16 PAGE FULL COLOUR BOOKLET, PRODUCED BY MAX NORMAN (OZZY OSBOUNE, ARMORED SAINT), 4,000 WORD ESSAY ABOUT THE MAKING OF THE ALBUM INCLUDING NEW INTERVIEW WITH DAVE MENIKETTI, ENHANCED ARTWORK AND RARE PHOTOS
TRACK LISTING: 1. FROM THE MOON 2. OPEN FIRE 3. DON’T WANNA LOSE 4. HELL OR HIGH WATER 5. FOREVER 6. BLACK TIGER 7. BARROOM BOOGIE 8. MY WAY OR THE HIGHWAY 9. WINDS OF CHANGE. BONUS TRACK: 10. SOMEBODY FOR ME
WHEN Y&T reappeared in 1981 and released Earthshaker most hard rock fans were shocked that the band were still a functioning unit. Having made a name for themselves in the late seventies with two fine, but obscure, albums released on the decidedly unhip London label, very little was then heard of them. But when Earthshaker appeared on the rather more happening A&M label, brandishing a streamlined name change from the cumbersome Yesterday And Today to the far more manageable Y&T, fans could not have been happier.
Released in 1981, Earthshaker stunned the hard rock world with its aggressive songs and production. It was a double whammy that breathed new life into the band’s profile, helping to re-establish them as real contenders after years spent hiding in the shadows on a label that offered little in the way of promotion or career advancement. In Europe, where the band had already enjoyed a cult following through imports of their previous two records, the news was embraced with open arms and word soon spread that the band were not only back but sounding bigger and better than ever.
Recorded in their native San Francisco, the album harnessed a new raw energy, allowing songs such as ‘Hungry For Rock’, ‘Dirty Girl’, ‘Squeeze’ and ‘Hurricane’ to explode like molotov cocktails, whilst the epic and lengthy album closer ‘I Believe In You’ showed that the band could write anthems equal to the best of the genre. It also showed just how masterful they had developed as musicians, especially Dave Meniketti’s extraordinary vocals. Honestly, we can’t recommend this album highly enough.
SPECIAL DELUXE COLLECTOR’S EDITION, FULLY REMASTERED AUDIO, 16 PAGE FULL COLOUR BOOKLET, 4,000 WORD ESSAY ABOUT THE MAKING OF THE ALBUM INCLUDING NEW INTERVIEW WITH DAVE MENIKETTI, ENHANCED ARTWORK AND RARE PHOTOS
TRACK LISTING: 1. HUNGRY FOR ROCK 2. DIRTY GIRL 3. SHAKE IT LOOSE 4. SQUEEZE 5. RESCUE ME 6. YOUNG AND TOUGH 7. HURRICANE 8. LET ME GO 9. KNOCK YOU OUT 10. I BELIEVE IN YOU
“ALTHOUGH LIVERPOOL quartet Nutz never achieved the huge success afforded to a handful of their rivals they did, however, establish a reputation for one of the most talented and hardworking bands that occupied the mid seventies British hard rock scene. With a coveted deal with A&M Records and three well received studio albums under their belt, their last studio album ‘Hard Nutz’ had promised so much but delivered little in the way of commercial gain. It was a frustrating set of circumstances especially when you consider the quality of their records. Faced with a lack of progress their label, having seen them play gigs, suggested that they try to reverse this situation by issuing a live album – something that would show the world how great and exciting they really were and what we were all missing. It had worked for Kiss and Peter Frampton so why not for Nutz? Enlisting the Island Mobile unit, the band booked two shows at Nottingham’s legendary Boat Club venue taping what, as it turned out, would be the final Nutz album. True to form, the album is a red hot slice of explosive hard rock documenting this great, but underappreciated, band in full flight. With a fully comprehensive selection of tracks from the bands career including classics as ‘Seeing Is Believing’ and ‘Wallbanger’ the gloves are well and truly off. They also included two new songs ‘You Better Watch Out’ and ‘Can Be Loved’. It’s easy to see why the band is now regarded as one of the forerunners of the NWOBHM.”
SPECIAL DELUXE COLLECTOR’S EDITION, FULLY REMASTERED SOUND, 16 PAGE FULL COLOUR BOOKLET, 3,500 WORD ESSAY ABOUT THE MAKING OF THE ALBUM WITH NEW INTERVIEW AND ENHANCED ARTWORK.
TRACK LIST: 1. SEEING IS BELIEVING 2. LOSER 3. PUSHED AROUND 4. YOU BETTER WATCH OUT 5. R.S.D. 6. JOKE 7. CAN BE LOVED 8. WALLBANGER 9. KNIFE EDGE
“NUTZ HAD BEEN building a solid reputation in the UK as one of the best rock bands emerging during the mid-seventies. By constant touring and two previous well received albums under their belt, the band had secured a solid fan base and strong support in the media, helping to position them as an act to watch for bigger and better things. Under normal circumstances that would have all been well and good but the times they were a changing. The emergence of punk rock looming over their shoulders suddenly turned a very sunny outlook into something altogether gloomier. This situation couldn’t have been more unfortunate as ‘Hard Nutz’, the band’s third studio album, was unquestionably the pinnacle of their creative achievement thus far. It was a record that fully refined their objectives by bringing not only their sound and material into a fully cohesive package but also positioned them as real contenders. Sadly, as we now know, the punk climate was not conducive to the kind of traditional hard rock that Nutz had made their own. Issued in 1977, and featuring new member Kenny Newton on keyboards, the record was greeted with an enthusiastic reception by their devoted fan base. Produced by Gary Lyons and John Sinclair (who would that same year produce the multi-million selling debut from Foreigner) the album was overwhelmed by the emergence of punk, leaving them to flounder in the mainstream. ‘Tis a pity, as tracks such as ‘Seeing Is Believing’, ‘I know The Feeling’, ‘From Here To Anywhere’ and the pre NWOBHM gallop of ‘Wallbanger’ are some of the best songs the band ever recorded.”
SPECIAL DELUXE COLLECTOR’S EDITION, 6 BONUS TRACKS, FULLY REMASTERED SOUND, 16 PAGE FULL COLOUR BOOKLET, 3,500 WORD ESSAY ABOUT THE MAKING OF THE ALBUM WITH NEW INTERVIEW AND ENHANCED ARTWORK.
TRACK LIST 1. SEEING IS BELIEVING 2. I KNOW THE FEELING 3. LOSER 4. FROM HERE TO ANYWHERE 5. WALLBANGER 6. PUSHED AROUND 7. BEAST OF THE FIELD 8. SICK AND TIRED 9. DOWN ON MY KNEES 10. ONE MORE CUP OF COFFEE. BONUS TRACKS (LIVE): 11. SEEING IS BELIEVING 12. LOSER 13. PUSHED AROUND 14. ONE MORE CUP OF COFFEE 15. BEAST OF THE FIELD 16. WALLBANGER
“THE EARLY EIGHTIES were a boom time for hard rock. It seemed like albums were being released by the truckload, many from eager young hopefuls keen to grab a slice of the limelight and advance up the slippery ladder of success. Fortnox were one of the many hopefuls charging out of the starting blocks full of hope and ambition, looking to stamp their mark on a scene that was eager and receptive to new talent. Based in the Southern state of Georgia, Fortnox could be described a storming power trio, led by guitarist/vocalist Rick Fowler, who were signed to industry heavyweight Epic records. In an enterprising move the label hooked them up with up with hot shot British producer Chris Tsangarides (Ozzy Osbourne, Thin Lizzy) who took control of recording the band’s sole album, in Atlanta. The results were remarkably impressive, leaving those who heard the recordings to predict big things for the band. The album received positive reviews but despite extensive touring, playing with the likes of Aerosmith, Cheap Trick and April Wine, support from the label began to dwindle, leaving the band vulnerable to forces beyond their control. Sadly, despite harbouring a number of great songs, such as ‘Lucifer’s Eyes’, ‘On The Prowl’ and ‘Storm Inside My Head’ (a video of which aired on the fledgling MTV) and some radio support, the band’s life support system was slowly withdrawn, leaving them unable to carry on – a real shame as the quality of this record showed enormous potential.”
SPECIAL DELUXE COLLECTOR’S EDITION, FIRST TIME ON CD, 4 BONUS TRACKS, FULLY REMASTERED SOUND, 16 PAGE FULL COLOUR BOOKLET, 3,000 WORD ESSAY ABOUT THE MAKING OF THE ALBUM WITH NEW INTERVIEW AND ENHANCED ARTWORK.
TRACK LIST 1. ON THE PROWL 2. STORM INSIDE MY HEAD 3. RUNNING FROM YOURSELF 4. THE BEAST IN ME 5. ROCK AND ROLL CITY 6. WHAT ABOUT ME 7. LUCIFER’S EYES 8. ROCKIN’ IN AMERICA 9. ANOTHER LADY 10. DON’T SCRATCH THE SURFACE 11. HYPEROCK. BONUS TRACKS: 12. DEEP INSIDE 13. STAND TO BLAME 14. THIS AIN'T LOVE THIS IS WAR 15. DANGER RULES THE NIGHT
“IT WAS SOMETIME in the late seventies that the Axis record started appearing in discount bins around the world. Up until then it seemed to have been a well kept secret, despite the fact that it was issued on the RCA label (via a production deal with their management’s Hologram imprint) and featured two former members of the high profile American band Derringer. Once aficionados started to hear and appreciate the record it soon became apparent that this was one of the most exciting releases of the entire era. As a classic power trio, based in Los Angeles, featuring guitarist Danny Johnson (formerly of Derringer and Steppenwolf), bassist Jay Davis and hard hitting drummer Vinny Appice (from Derringer), Axis stood out head and shoulders above other contenders. Produced by British wünderkind Andy Johns, and recorded in the Record Plant NYC, the album packs an enormous punch, conjuring up comparisons to other seasoned 70s acts such Montrose, Mountain and, natch, Derringer. It is, it has to be said, a mystery as to why they flew beneath the radar, failing to make any commercial impact whatsoever. If you are a fan of late seventies tough, lean and mean hard rock then there is much to appreciate here; with tracks such as ‘Brown Eyes’, ‘Juggler’ and the twisted ‘Busted Love’. In fact there is not one weak cut on the record, which in itself is a tremendous achievement. It was a fact not lost on Tony Iommi, who played the record to Ronnie James Dio before recruiting Vinny Appice to join the rejuvenated Black Sabbath.”
SPECIAL DELUXE COLLECTOR’S EDITION, FULLY REMASTERED SOUND, 16 PAGE FULL COLOUR BOOKLET, 3,500 WORD ESSAY ABOUT THE MAKING OF THE ALBUM WITH NEW INTERVIEW AND ENHANCED ARTWORK.
TRACK LISTING: 1. BROWN EYES 2. BUSTED LOVE 3. JUGGLER 4. SOLDIER OF LOVE 5. TRAIN 6. ARMAGEDDON 7. RAY’S ELECTRIC FARM 8. STORMY WEATHER 9. CATS IN THE ALLEY 10. BANDITS OF ROCK 11. CIRCUS WORLD
“THE ROAD TO fame and fortune is littered with fallen heroes, musicians that just couldn’t get a shot at the big time, languishing in the shadows, forgotten and broken by a fickle turn of fate. Many of these artists came very close to realising their dream but were let down by circumstances that were entirely out of their control. Shelter worked so hard to score a major label record deal, but this scenario was exactly what happened to them, and the band’s sole album was totally ignored. Signed to the Polydor label, this classy East Coast outfit were signed via a production deal with the owner of the famous Hit Factory recording studio in Manhattan. It was, for a short moment in time, a dream come true. The band had and impressive style, like a knock out combination of Foreigner and Survivor. Issued in 1982, ‘First Stop’ showcased a sound that was fast becoming the biggest thing on US radio, and Shelter appeared to be act that could step up to the plate and easily knock it out of the park. Sadly, it was not to be. The album was released with virtually no marketing or publicity, crash landing with the muted fizzle of a damp firework. Unbeknownst to them, however, import copies made their way to Europe, generating a seed of appreciation that, tragically, in the pre Internet age, could not be capitalised on. Eventually, the band split up, but their music lives on; tracks such as ‘On The Line’, ‘Tricks’ and ‘Who Do You Love’ resonate with pure spit and polish. And Listen out for ex-Steeplechase frontman Joe Lamonte’s hugely impressive vocals.”
SPECIAL DELUXE COLLECTOR’S EDITION, FIRST TIME ON CD, FULLY REMASTERED SOUND, 16 PAGE FULL COLOUR BOOKLET, 3,000 WORD ESSAY ABOUT THE MAKING OF THE ALBUM WITH NEW INTERVIEW AND ENHANCED ARTWORK.
TRACK LISTING: 1. ON THE LINE 2. SO GLAD I FOUND YOU 3. THE WAY I FEEL 4. WHO DO YOU LOVE 5. WHY 6. UNDERNEATH YOUR MAKE-UP 7. SHELTER 8. TRICKS 9. FOOLISH LOVERS 10. BECAUSE OF LOVE
“THE LONG ROAD to stardom for Love/Hate started out reasonably well. Based in Los Angeles they had won a coveted long-term deal with Columbia Records and issued a well-received debut album. It was a record that positioned them as a harder, more street-cred option to the majority of other bands playing around the Hollywood scene – somewhere between Guns N’ Roses and Skid Row. And with Jizzy Pearl they had one of the best frontmen in town, one with the look and bravado to carry them far. When their debut album didn’t set the world on fire, through no fault of their own, a rethink was required. Part of the solution they thought was to relocate to New York and be closer to their label HQ - it would also potentially inject some fresh energy into the band. Once accomplished, and fully settled in a Manhatten loft, they set about recording ‘Wasted In America’, with a new producer, John Jansen, who had worked with a stellar list of hard rock acts, including Britny Fox, Bang Tango, Warrant and Faster Pussycat. It looked like a marriage made in heaven and to a degree it was. ‘Wast In America’ is an electric and exciting record, produced with bluster and bravado, lending the band a monstrously dirty edge, helping to elevate their songs to another level. The guitars cut through like chainsaws and Jizzy Pearl never sounded more in command. Songs such as ‘Miss America’, ‘Evil Twin’, ‘Happy Hour’ and the title track itself, made mincemeat of the competition. If you like your rock loud, dangerous and devilishly raw then look no further.”
SPECIAL DELUXE COLLECTOR’S EDITION, FULLY REMASTERED AUDIO, 2 BONUS TRACKS, 16 PAGE FULL COLOUR BOOKLET, 4,000 WORD ESSAY ABOUT THE MAKING OF THE ALBUM INCLUDING NEW INTERVIEWS AND RARE PHOTOS
TRACK LIST: 1. WASTED IN AMERICA 2. SPIT 3. MISS AMERICA 4. CREAM 5. YUCCA MAN 6. HAPPY HOUR 7. TRANQUILIZER 8. TIME’S UP 9. DON’T F*CK WITH ME 10. DON’T BE AFRAID 11. SOCIAL SIDEWINDER 12. EVIL TWIN. BONUS TRACKS: 13. CASTLES FROM SAND 14. SOUL HOUSE TALES