American Heavy Metal born and bred in Calfornia in the mid-1970's.
Y&T bassist Phil Kennemore passed away on January 7, 2011after battling lung cancer.
Yesterday and Today (London)
1. "Animal Women" (3:38)
2. "25 Hours a Day" (3:37)
3. "Game Playing Woman" (5:21)
4. "Come on Over" (3:05)
5. "My Heart Plays Too" (6:36)
6. "Earthshaker" (3:15)
7. "Fast Ladies (Very Slow Gin)" (4:25)
8. "Alcohol" (4:29)
9. "Beautiful Dreamer" (5:34)
Before Y&T and hits
like "Meanstreak" and "Summertime Girls", there was Yesterday
and Today. San Francisco's Y&T enjoyed an existence in the mid-'70s, although
they were relatively unknown to most of the world until their awesome "Earthshaker"
album. Although this album sits squarely in the 1970's hard rock style, you
can really hear the sound that Y&T would progress into here, especially
with songs like "25 Hours A Day". This song is chock full of hooks
and has some sweet guitar hero antics. As well, the band's '76 debt boasts
excellent musicianship and some searing guitar leads from Dave Meniketti.
Other highlights on this album are the dynamic "Game Playing Woman",
the emotional ballad "My Heart Plays Too" and album closer "Beautiful
Dreamer", a song that would continue to be a concert highlight for Y&T
for years. Overall, an excellent debut from a band that should have been far
more successful than they were. I own this one on vinyl. Hopefully this one
will see a proper U.S. release on CD as well. In the meantime I also own a
bootleg 2-on-1 CD version along with "Struck Down". (Thanks a
Yesterday & Today - Struck Down (London) 1978
1. "Struck Down"
2. "Pleasure In My Heart"
4. "Nasty Sadie"
5. "Dreams Of Egypt"
6. "Tried To Show You"
7. "I'm Lost"
Second solid release from Yesterday & Today, but again the band went relatively unnoticed. Dave Meniketti and company knew how to write good songs; memorable hooks, solid musicianship, and smokin’ leads. “Pleasure in My Heart” is one of the strongest tracks on the record, and one of Y&T’s best. The riffs remind me slightly of Van Halen, though Y&T were around first. The song “Road” is a hard rocker that has a slight Southern rock/metal sound, not unlike something you might hear from Blackfoot or Molly Hatchet. “Nasty Sadie” on the other hand is a sleezy 70’s rocker that falls closer to Kiss. The album closes with “Stargazer”, a moody track that has a slightly different feel than the other seven tracks. Meniketti really should have been a guitar hero in the same sense as guys like Frank Marino, Ted Nugent, Robin Trower, Joe Perry and some of the greats from the 70’s. It’s unfortunate that Yesterday and Today would never see that kind of notoriety as “Struck Down” is a great record that is worthy of that sort of praise.
Y&T - Earthshaker (A&M) 1981
1. "For Rock"
2. "Dirty Girl"
3. "Shake It Loose"
5. "Rescue Me"
6. "Young and Tough"
8. "Let Me Go"
9. "Knock You Out"
10. "I Believe in You"
the coming of a new Y&T and brought the band into the glorious metal years.
"Earthshaker" contained some of Y&T's heaviest metal to date. The band still
had plenty of that 70's rock attitude, brought together with a new spirit,
most likely inspired by the NWOBHM sound that was coming out of England. "Squeeze"
was a fast, speed metal song, while "Hungry for Rock" had a ton of groove.
Power ballads "Rescue Me" and "I Believe In You" were tasty, memorable numbers
without coming off as forced for the radio. "Dirty Girl" is a Y&T classic.
The band had everything going for them with this one. Hard rockin', memorable
songs, big label backing, sing-along anthems and killer vocals. "Earthshaker"
should have catapulted Y&T into the spot light, and indeed it did gain them
some notoriety, but it didn't quite give them the popularity that some other
California rockers like Van Halen were experiencing at the time.
Y&T - Black Tiger (A&M) 1982
1. From The Moon
2. Open Fire
3. Don't Wanna Lose
4. Hell Or High Water
6. Black Tiger
7. Barroom Boogie
8. My Way Or The Highway
9. Winds Of Change
Part of the band's brilliant
trilogy, "Black Tiger" falls right in the middle of the three. After a short
instrumental intro, the band bursts out with "From the Moon." Of course, "Open
Fire" is one of the band's signature songs. Y&T offered a good variety of
tempos and moods on this from the hard rockers to the soft ballads. In the
early 80's, metal bands could be diverse and weren't looked down on because
of ballads or melodic numbers. Everything about this one is superb from Joey
Alves and Dave Meniketti guitar work, to the blazing solos, to the catchy
song writing, to Meniketti's vocals. It's all there. This was what 80's metal
was all about. "Black Tiger" also sports one cool album cover. Unfortunately
for know I only own this one on vinyl. Hope to pick it up on CD someday.
Y&T - Mean Streak (A&M/Japan) 1983
1. "Mean Streak"
2. "Straight Thru the Heart" (4:14)
3. "Lonely Side of Town " (4:48)
4. "Midnight in Tokyo" (5:40)
5. "Breaking Away" (4:42)
6. "Hang 'Em High" (5:29)
7. "Take You to the Limit" (4:57)
8. "Sentimental Fool" (3:11)
9. "Down and Dirty" (3:55)
Y&T, along with The
Rods and Riot, get my vote as the
most underrated bands to come out of the late 1970's. On "Mean Streak" Y&T had
tightened up their craft and released on monster of a heavy metal record. They
managed to mix a 1970's metal rawness with 1980's technique and ability. I can
still remember listening to Metal Shop in the early 80's, hearing "Mean Streak"
cranked through the radio. The opening riff is unmistakable. If I am not mistaken,
this song was a minor hit for the band. Vocalist Dave Meniketti delivers the
goods with is trademark vocals, reminding me of a mixture of Sammy Hagar and David Lee Roth. In typical Y&T fashion,
"Mean Streak" is layed with vocals, heavy guitars and simplistic and straight
forward rock and roll. Even if "Mean Streak" didn't break sales records in '83,
it proved to be a fan favorite. It is part of what many fans call the band's
trilogy of "Earthshaker", "Black Tiger" and "Mean Streak". Each and every song
here is classic Y&T. Some of my standout favorites are "Hang `Em High and "Midnight
in Tokyo", a song chronicling the band's first tour in Japan. Overall, "Mean
Streak" ranks with "Black Tiger" as my two favorite Y&T albums. Great album
cover art to boot. (Thanks Olaf)
Y&T - Down For The Count (A&M) 1985
1. In The Name Of Rock (5:32)
2. All American Boy (2:24)
3. Anytime At All (4:33)
4. Anything For Money (3:22)
5. Face Like An Angel (4:36)
6. Summertime Girls (3:29)
7. Looks Like Trouble (4:08)
8. Your Mama Don't Dance (2:50)
9. Don't Tell Me What To Wear (4:03)
10. Hands Of Time (6:12)
California cruising with the top down, the stereo cranked and the wind in your hair. This is good time rock and roll. Y&T's "Down for the Count" mixed the band's past heavy metal drive, with a slightly more commercial, melodic, radio-ready rock sound. Whereas "In the Name of Rock", "Anything for Money" and "Don't Tell Me" are classic Y&T metal numbers, "Summertime Girls" is pure radio fodder. The song is about as catchy as a pop metal song can get and actually did gain the band some radio airplay. As a matter of fact, the song even charted and "Summertime Girls" is one of the only Y&T songs that still sees some radio play on classic rock stations. "All American Boy" has a similar pop metal, even if the song isn't quite as immediately catchy. The production here is outstanding, despite the presence of more keyboards. The guitars are heavy, and the vocals are clear as a bell. For the most part, the keys aren't over bearing, save for the more radio friendly songs. "Down for the Count" is one of the forgotten gems of the 80's and is most definitely an underrated album.
Y&T - In Rock We Trust (A&M) 1984
1. "Rock and Roll's Gonna Save The World"
2. "Life, Life, Life"
3. "Masters And Slaves"
4. "I'll Keep On Believin' (Do You Know)"
5. "Break Out Tonight!"
6. "Lipstick And Leather"
7. "Don't Stop Runnin'"
8. "Your Love Is Drivin' Me Crazy"
9. "She's A Liar"
10. "This Time"
In Rock We Trust" takes
a huge leap into more commercial territories. Whereas the last three albums
were bright, heavy and filled with awesome songs, "In Rock We Trust" seems
a bit more lackluster and over polished. Label it hair metal, California cock
rock, radio-ready rock, or whatever, this wasn't the same mean heavy metal/hard
rock machine that we were use to. I suppose with Y&T never reaching the heights
of popularity they thought they deserved, they had to try something to gain
a wider audience. Even the title of the album seems generic and formulaic
compared to the past. "Don't Stop Runnin'" was a minor hit off this album,
but even it doesn't compare to big songs like "Black Tiger", "Mean Streak",
"Rescue Me", "Open Fire", etc.
Y&T - Open Fire-Live (A&M) 1985
1. "Open Fire"
2. "Go For the Throat"
3. "25 Hours a Day"
4. "Rescue Me"
5. "Summertime Girls" (Studio Version)
7. "Barroom Boogie"
8. "I Believe in You"
was recorded live in 1985 and released that same year. The album contained
one of Y&T's biggest hits, the studio version of "Summertime Girls".
This song is sticky sweet, 80's pop rock and far removed from the rowdy rock
and roll of the band's early platters. Still, I must admit, I have always
enjoyed this song. It reminds me of summer days gone by. Those high school
years spending summers at the beach and so forth.
As with the majority
of my Y&T collection, the vinyl version of "Open Fire" was much
easier to find than a reasonably priced CD version. For a long time, this
CD was one of the rarest Y&T albums to find, until Hip-O Records reissued
it in 2005 with two bonus live tracks, "Black Tiger" and "Summertime
Girls." The liver version of "Summertime Girls" was originally
released as the B-side to "Summertime Girl" (studio version) single.
Y&T - Contagious (Geffen) 1987
2. "L.A. Rocks" (4:41)
3. "Temptation" (4:26)
4. "The Kid Goes Crazy" (4:15)
5. "Fight for Your Life" (4:49)
6. "Armed and Dangerous " (4:20)
7. "Rhythm or Not" (5:06)
8. "Bodily Harm" (3:33)
9. "Eyes of a Stranger" (4:40)
10. "I'll Cry for You" [instrumental] (2:37)
Y&T had finally scored
a hit with "Summertime Girls" in 1985. The song was slick, catchy, poppy and
yet still rocked. It seems to me that the band may have been tying to recapture
that sound on their 1987 release. "Contagious" is sleek, over-produced '80s
pop-metal but unfortunately has very little that is as memorable as songs like
"Summertime Girls" or even classic rockers like "Mean Streak". "Contagious"
is chock full of mid-paced, melodic songs like "L.A. Rocks", "Eyes of A Stranger"
and "The Kid Goes Crazy", while being decent rockers, just don't hold up to
the bands classic back catalog. Part of the problem here is that Geffen just
wasn't the right label for them and the production suffers from being to sterile
and not having enough crunch. That is not to say that this CD sucks, however.
It's just that it doesn't have the same charisma as the band's past outputs.
One of my favorite tracks is actually the short guitar instrumental at the end.
Y&T - Ten (Geffen) 1990
1. "Hard Times"
2. "Lucy" (4:43)
3. "Don't Be Afraid of the Dark" (4:51)
4. "Girl Crazy " (4:01)
5. "City" (5:37)
6. "Come in from the Rain" (6:03)
7. "Red Hot and Ready" (4:18)
8. "She's Gone " (4:17)
9. "Let It Out" (4:46)
10. "Ten Lovers" (6:06)
11. "Goin' off the Deep End" (4:32)
12. "Surrender" (5:22)
Coming nearly three years
after their commercial disappointment, "Contagious", "Ten" was to be the band's
return, minus original guitarist Joey Alves. The sound here falls somewhere
between "Contagious" and "Mean Streak". The songs here seem to be more thought
out and contain more of that signature Y&T sound than "Contagious". Songs like
"Hard Times", "Red Hot & Ready" and "Going off the Deep End" take me back to
the classic Y&T sound of old. It is my opinion that Meniketti's raspy voice
works better with the street level hard rock than with slick, overproduced pop.
"City" and the phenomenal "Ten Lovers" bring in a bit of the band's bluesy influences
and has a bit of a Whitesnake vibe.
"She's Gone" is a more melodic number and has a sound not unlike their '85 hit
"Summertime Girls". However, even this song rocks petty hard. ""Ten" could have
been a hit for the band in 1990 when this sort of melodic heavy metal was still
thriving. Why it didn't is a mystery although many fans blame Geffen for the
failure of this record and "Contagious". Whatever there reason, "Ten" wasn't
the mega-hit the band or their label was hoping it would be. However, record
sales and radio hits are not what make a good album. "Ten" may not be the band's
very best, but it's far from a dog either. Fans of classic Y&T would do themselves
well to check give this album a fair shake.
Y&T - Best of '81 to '85 (A&M) 1990
1. "From the Moon"
2. "Open Fire" (4:10)
3. "Hurricane" (3:24)
4. "Mean Streak" (4:07)
5. "Rescue Me" (4:44)
6. "Black Tiger" (4:19)
7. "Dirty Girl" (5:06)
8. "Forever" (5:48)
9. "Midnight in Tokyo" (5:41)
10. "Hang 'em High" (5:31)
11. "Lipstick and Leather" (3:27)
12. "Summertime Girls" (3:29)
13. "Beautiful Dreamer" (4:06)
14. "Twenty-Five Hours a Day" [live] (4:09)
15. "Barroom Boogie" [live] " (4:33)
16. "I Believe in You" (7:14)
Y&T in their prime were
a great band. Before the puffy poodle makeover of later albums, Y&T were a meat
and potatoes, hard rockin', heavy metal band. This compilation pulls from classic
albums like "Earthshaker", "Black Tiger" and "Meanstreak", as well as a few
tracks from "In rock We Trust", "Open Fire" and "Down for the Count". As with
any fan, there are songs that I think should have been included here that were
not. However, overall this is a decent single disc collection. Dave Meniketti
was the voice and sound of Y&T. Here the band's sound has similarities to Montrose,
with Meniketti having some similarities to Sammy Hagar. The band had
several hits during this time including "Mean Streak" and "Summertime Girls",
the band's first hugely successful single and video.
Y&T - Yesterday & Today: Live (Metal Blade) 1991
1. "Mean Streak"
2. "Hurricane" (3:42)
3. "Don't Stop Runnin'" (5:26)
4. "Struck Down" (4:55)
5. "Winds Of Change" (6:55)
6. "Black Tiger" (5:18)
7. "Midnight In Tokyo" (6:38)
8. "Beautiful Dreamer" (5:15)
9. "Hard Times" (7:13)
10. "I'll Cry For You" (4:48)
11. "I Believe In You" (7:36)
12. "Squeeze" (4:28)
13. "Forever" (7:10)
A solid, live, career retrospective
from one of America's most under appreciated hard rock/heavy metal bands. "Yesterday
& Today: Live" was to be the band's farewell recording and was recorded at the
tail end of their "Ten" tour. The song selection is excellent with songs being
chosen from nearly all of the band's 80's releases. The live recording really
adds a lot to the songs as well. It's hard to capture that raw energy in a studio,
but that energy is certainly captured here. I also always enjoy the extended
jams that a lot of the bands that came out of the 70's have. Y&T are no exception.
Dave's vocals are outstanding here. I'm not sure how much overdubs were done,
if any, but the recording is near perfect. "Yesterday & Today: Live" is simply
an outstanding live album. This is the perfect CD to give to someone to introduce
them to Y&T.
Y&T - Musically Incorrect (Fuel) 1995
1. Long Way Down (7:12)
2. Fly Away (7:03)
3. Quicksand (5:44)
4. Cold Day In Hell (5:06)
5. I've Got My Own (4:29)
6. Nowhere Land (6:36)
7. Pretty Prison (6:26)
8. Don't Know What to Do (4:52)
9. 21st Centuryv5:30)
10. I'm Lost (3:20)
11. Confusion (3:10)
12. No Regrets (5:29)
"Musically Incorrect" is Y&T turning their back on the music industry that really did them no favors to begin with. They obviously were shunning trends, which at this point would have been alternative rock and grunge, and instead recorded a collection of very diverse and eclectic rock and roll songs. "Cold Day In Hell" and "No Regrets" are most like the classic Y&T sound of "Earthshaker" and "Mean Streak". "Cold Day In Hell" is a straight forward hard rock/heavy metal song, while "No Regrets" is a melancholy, melodic song. I regret to call the song a ballad, as that tends to bring up thoughts of corny 80's radio schlock. This is more of a blues-rock song that builds from up from an acoustic base to a gritty, heavy blues rocker. "I'm Lost" is actually a re-recorded version of the band's own song from 1978. This new version is actually much meatier than the original. The song is an outstanding, uptempo rocker. "Nowhere Land" is an obvious nod towards The Beatles, who were most likely a big influence on this band, as they were on most bands whose beginnings date back to the 1970's. This song features Phil Kennemore on lead vocals and is peppered with some smokin' guitar leads. "Don't Know What To Do" on the other hand, has a bit of a Jimi Hendrix vibe to it complete with plenty of wah-wah guitar work. "21st Century" is a melodic, blues based rocker with some pretty heavy guitar work. "No Regrets" finishes off the album.
"Musically Incorrect" is probably not an album for casual fans. The band experiments quite an bit. As a matter of fact, in the mid-90's, I picked up this CD in a discount bin at a local music store. I hadn't actually heard Y&T in well over a decade, but picked this up remembering such classics as "Mean Streak" and "Midnight in Tokyo". At the time I hadn't yet really reconnected with the band and had no other Y&T CDs in my collection. I found "Musically Incorrect" hard to really get into and traded the CD off some months later. However, songs like "I'm Lost" and "Cold Day in Hell" did spark my lost interest in the band and over the next few years I accumulated classics like "Earthshaker," "Mean Streak" and "Black Tiger" again. Of course, once my collection started to grow again, I regretted trading off "Musically Incorrect", especially seeing as how it was becoming increasingly harder to find for a decent price. Thankfully a fellow fan hooked me up with a copy and I was able to rediscover this album again and can now appreciate what the band were trying to do. (Thanks Vexor 6)
Y&T - Endangered Species (D Rock) 1997
1. Hello, Hello (I'm Back Again) (5:02)
2. Black Gold (4:48)
3. Gimme The Beat (4:43)
4. God Only Knows (5:13)
5. Sumthin 4 Nuthin (4:12)
6. Still Falling (5:38)
7. Voices (4:22)
8. I Wanna Cry (4:25)
9. Sail On By (5:21)
10. Can't Stop The Rain Voices (3:40)
11. Try To Believe (5:04)
12. Rocco (4:40)
"Endangered Species" is Y&TA getting back to the basics. This is meat and potatoes, raw, heavy rock and roll. Gone is the slick production and pop radio songs of albums like "Ten" and "Down for the Count". It seems that Y&T are no longer worried about writing songs to please record company executives or to gain radio hits. Replaced is a new jam ethic that is exactly what Y&T does best. I can almost imagine the band getting back together in some garage at one of their homes, throwing back a cold brew and just jamming on these songs for hours just finding a groove and having a good time. That's the feel that "Endangered Species" has. That is not to say that the songs lack memorable hooks, however. There is plenty of that as well, it's just not the obvious radio pop hooks of songs like "Summertime Girls". The guitars are crunchy, the jams are heavy, and Dave Meniketti's Hagar-esque vocals sound as strong as they ever have. There is some experimenting, as there was on "Musically Incorrect", though not as much. "I Wanna Cry" for instance is a shuffle, while "Rocco" experiments with some jazzy riffs and solos. However, songs like "Voices", "Hello, Hello", "Can't Stop the Rain" and "Black Gold" are pure Y&T rock and roll. I found it amusing that one reviewer on Amazon.com said the album was "too metallic" and compared the band to Metallica. Of course I do not agree with this. Rather, I think that Y&T have just come full circle, giving fans the kind of album that could have followed "Earthshaker" or "Black Tiger". (Thanks Vexor 6)
Y&T - BBC Live in Concert (Varese Sarabande) 2000
1. "Hungry For Rock"
2. "Black Tiger" (4:18)
3. "I Believe In You" (8:29)
4. "Open Fire" (3:56)
5. "Forever " (5:33)
6. "Rescue Me" (5:12)
7. "Mean Streak" (4:19)
8. "Barroom Boogie" (4:05)
9. "Lipstick And Leather" (3:15)
10. "Rescue Me" (5:05)
11. "Rock 'N' Roll's Gonna Save The World" (5:20)
12. "Masters And Slaves" (5:07)
This BBC recorded live
album captures Y&T in their prime and features the original line-up with Dave
Meniketti, Joey Alves, Phil Kennemore and Leonard Haze. Tracks 1-6 were recorded
live a the Reading Festival, Aug. 29, 1982. Tracks 7-12 were recorded live at
Donnington Monsters of Rock Festival, Sept. 9, 1984. For some odd reason the
producers decided to include two different versions on "Rescue Me". This isn't
really that unusual for a BBC disc, but usually there are most songs, or discs
included when songs are repeated, such as the case of the Led
Zeppelin BBC discs. One of the nice thing about these BBC discs is that
they truly are live and feature the bands without overdubs to fix the rubs and
mistakes. In the case of Y&T, they were tight and sounded great. The live atmosphere
gave them a bit more grit to their sound
Y&T - Unearthed Vol.1 (Meanstreak Music Co.) 2003
1. Shout It Out (4:32)
2. Wild If I Wanna (4:01)
3. Standing in the Fire ( 4:20)
4. In the Name of Love (4:00)
5. Dirty Love (4:02)
6. Play By Play (4:23)
7. Short Arms (4:30)
8. Fast Track (4:17)
9. Love Gone Wrong (5:04)
10. 16 Tons (4:15)
11. I Make Believe (4:25)
12. Hard Times (4:59)
13. Driver (3:59)
14. Give Me Rock (4:26)
15. Shake Down (3:54)
16. Trigger Happy (3:46)
17. Rockazoid Rollaroid (4:17)
Y&T released nine studio albums between 1976 and 1990. In that time, they apparently recorded a ton of demos, b-sides, etc. that were never used. "Unearthed, Vol. 1" collects 17 of these Y&T rarities. These sorts of collections are almost always best left for die-hard fans as either the songs are are poor demos with poor sound quality or were left off the band's major releases for a reason. Neither are true of "Unearthed, Vol. 1". In fact, on my first listen through I thought that "Unearthed" sounded like a long lost Y&T album. Some of this material is quite stellar, with only a handful of off-the-wall songs.
A majority of the material presented here is from the mid-80's during the pop-metal years of "Contagious" and "Ten". As far as pop-metal goes, Y&T had the musical hooks, the memorable choruses, the riffs, and the party-till-you-puke persona all in place. The album opens with a 1988 demo song titled "Shout It Out". This song, despite the cliché song title, is an ass-kicker! The very next song, "Wild If I Wanna" brings up the tempo even more. It is an upbeat party rocker. This particular song was written for the movie "Out of Bounds", but apparently only seconds of the song was used. "Love Gone Wrong" is a mid-paced hard rock number with a sinister groove and a monster hook. How was this song not used on an album. "16 Tons" is a fun, hard rocker that recalls the AC/DC "Whole Lotta Rosie" theme. Speaking of AC/DC, the tongue-in-cheek "Short Arms" opens with a riff that very much reminds me of the Young brothers. Likewise, "Give Me Rock" has that vibe to it as well. "Dirty Love" is another upbeat rocker and even features some double bass in the chorus. "Driver" another up-beat, fun rocker that sounds like it could have been used on any of the band's early 80's albums. The song is a demo taken from an old cassette and has some sound issues, though nothing horrendous. "In the Name of Love" is a ballad. This song definitely should have been used. While I am not the biggest fan of sappy ballads, this one could have done well for the band in '88.
There are only a couple of songs that seem a little out of place. "Play by Play" is a funk song that just seems a bit out of place amongst all the straight forward hard rock and ballads. The other song is "Rockazoid Rollaroid" which is a song from 1974 where the band are experimenting with some sort of trippy, space rock. "We rocked on our galaxy, we rocked on mars, we even rocked in our martian cars..." Sounds like something Hawkwind might have recorded. Ya gotta love the 70's! Again, I actually liked this song, but it was a little out of place with the rest of the songs.
The 8 page booklet contains liner notes from the band members, who comment on each song. A majority of the material here was recorded by Dave Meniketti - guitars, lead vocals, Phil Kennemore bass, and
Jimmy Degrasso - drums.
Y&T - UnEarthed Vol. 2 (Meanstreak Music Co.) 2004
1. Face To Face (3:44)
2. Ashes To Ashes (3:27)
3. Get Tough (3:40)
4. Showdown (3:20)
5. Love Has No Cure (3:55)
6. Help Me Hear Me (4:38)
7. New Kid In Town (4:12)
8. Long Time Coming (4:04)
9. Dance Dance Dance (5:05)
10. Crazy Make Love (3:26)
11. Over Under (3:18)
12. Hands Of Time [acoustic] (5:09)
13. Bad Bad Girls (4:09)
14. Take Me (3:20)
15. More (4:26)
16. Lucky Night (4:33)
17. Love Don't Come Easy (4:18)
18. Cheap & Easy (4:52)
"Vol. 2" in the UnEarthed series. As with Vol.1, I am surprised by the quality of the material included here. This isn't a collection of poorly recorded practice sessions or low-budget demos. In fact, as with the first in the series, "Vol. 2" sounds like a long lost Y&T album. The tracks are from 1974 through to 1989. Most are from the 86-88 period, being outtakes from "Down For The Count", "Contagious" & "Ten" releases.
Some of the material included here was from some late-80's recording sessions with Ronnie Montrose. As far as I can tell, the first four tracks on the album were all recorded for these sessions in 1988. Of those, "Ashes to Ashes" is a kick-butt, American heavy metal song and easily one of the standout cuts on this compilation. The song will stick to your brain like used chewing gum to the bottom of your sneakers. "Over Under" and "New Kid in Town" are two more tracks from the Montrose sessions. Both are heavy, street-tough songs. Likewise, "Long Time Coming" is from the same Montrose sessions and is a straight-foward, guitar-driven heavy rocker with a nasty guitar tone. Overall, these sessions were pretty rockin'! Listening to them makes me wonder how they ended up with such a slickly produced pop album with "Ten". These songs are more in line with the band's classic early 80's albums. Raw, heavy rock and roll. According to Phil Kennemore's liner-notes, "He (Ronnie Montrose) was slated to produce the "Ten" CD but was pulled and replaced by Mike Stone. Though I love the "Ten" CD, you can see how thiat CD would have been different if Ronnie had been the producer." Indeed!
Dave Meniketti raspy voice works so well over top of a nasty guitar riff. "Love Has No Cure", a track that was recorded for the "Contagious" album but not used, has a nasty, heavy guitar tone and a smokin' guitar solo. However, the song is overall a very melodic song with layered vocals and a big, hooky chorus. "Help Me Hear Me" is a demo that was originally penned in 1978, according to the liner notes, yet it doesn't sound out of place with the 80's material. The song is an emotional ballad. The version here was recorded in '88, which may account for why it fits in so well with the overall flow of the record. Same holds true of "Take Me" a song written in 1974, though the version here was recorded in '83.
"Crazy Make Love" is an interesting song as it sounds like Whitesnake meets Queen (A combination of "Get Down, Make Love" and "Slow & Easy".) Once again, the liner notes give account of the song. according to drummer Leonard Haze, "We were really into this tune. Then, well, Whitesnake got a huge hit with their song Slow & Easy right about the time we were demoing Crazy. End of the story at the time, you know, bad timing."
"Hands of Time" is an acoustic version of the closing track from "Down for the Count". This song originally appeared on a CD compilation in 1992.
Overall, another solid collection of rarities. This is far better than some box set that has a bunch of hits most people already own, and a handful of unreleased tracks. I also quite enjoyed reading the liner notes where the band members reminisce about each and every song. Band members for this one were Dave Meniketti - Vocals, Guitar, Joey Alves - Guitar, Phil Kennemore - Bass, Vocals, Leonard Haze- Drums, Vocals and Jimmy Degrasso - Drums.
| Y&T - Facemelter (Meanstreak Music) 2010
1. Prelude On With The Show (1:39)
2. On With The Show (4:09)
3. How Long (4:26)
4. Shine On (5:00)
5. I Want Your Money (4:42)
6. Wild Child (4:09)
7. I'm Coming Home (5:13)
8. If You Want Me (4:33)
9. Hot Shot (5:04)
10. Blind Patriot (4:09)
11. Gonna Go Blind (4:27)
12. Don't Bring Me Down (4:22)
13. One Life (4:19)
"Facemelter" is Y&T's twelfth studio album and their first in thirteen years, following 1997's "Endangered Species". Despite this fact, "Facemelter" sounds like it could have been Y&T circa 1985. From the cover are to the album title to the songs themselves, this is what Y&T are suppose to sound like. There are no attempts at grunge, or modern rock, or experiments with rap or industrial. If there is any vibe outside the straight-forward hard rock/heavy metal, it's that there is a hint of the blues throughout. There really isn't any moment where the band dives headlong into the blues, but the vibe is there. What Y&T have deliverd is pure American rock and roll. Dave Meniketti delivers these songs with passion and plenty of energy, his voice sounding as good as it ever has. Phil Kennemore's bass playing is the backbone of the album and a staple in Y&T's sound.
Some of the lyrics are a silly to downright juvenile. I'm not sure most people are gonna want to hear 50-something year old men singing about masturbating ("Gonna Go Blind"), not matter how it's cleverly masked. Basically it's your standard sexual-innuendo from the 70's and 80's. Ted Nugent, Aerosmith, Kiss, etc. did a lot of this back then. Perhaps this was just part of the band returning to their roots. However, I think some things are left in the past.
There is plenty of memorable songs on "Facemelter". "On With The Show", along with it's intro "Prelude On With The Show", is a crushing track with a downright nasty bas line. "How Long" takes the tempo down a bit, but none of the intensity. "Wild Child" sounds like a long lost track from "Mean Streak". "I Want Your Money" is a humorous rocker with Spinal Tap-ish lyrics. "Hot Shot" borrows a bit from Foreigner's "Hot Blooded" for the main riff of the song, but is a much heavier, rawer rock and roll cut than Foreigner's hit. "If You Want Me" is the melodic ballad of the album, and a good one at that. "Wild Child" is a blues-based hard rocker and one of the standout cuts on the album. "I'm Coming Home" may very well be the finest track on "Facemelter". It is a soaring, melodic anthem that easily could have been from the band's glory days.
As if two decades hadn't passed since "Black Tiger" and "Meanstreak", this is the Y&T album for the fans. I had hoped that this album and the subsequent tour would fuel the band's fire, but unfortunately that fire may have been put out by the death of original member, bassist Phil Kennemore on January 7th, 2011.