XYZ is a hard rock band formed in the late '80s. They were the unofficial house band of The Whiskey in Hollywood, CA.

XYZ XYZ (Axe Killer) 1989

1.   Maggy (4:41)
2.   Inside Out (4:10)
3.   What Keeps Me Loving You (4:43)
4.   Take What You Can (4:28)
5.   Follow the Night (3:25)
6.   Come On N' Love Me (3:49)
7.   Souvenirs (3:56)
8.   Tied Up (4:15)
9.  Nice Day to Die (5:08)
10. After the Rain (2:53)
11.  On The Blue Side of the Night (3:28)

Paint on your best pair of spandex, grab the Aqua Net and make your way down to The Whiskey, it's time for XYZ. Yes, XYZ are pure, Hollywood-strip hard rock. The band is justifiably compared to Dokken. Since Don Dokken himself was brought in to produce, it's no wonder that there are some of those Dokken-esque vocals and riffs. Vocalist Terry Ilous has one of those smooth-as-silk singing voices that works so well with this music. XYZ's 1989 debut is a glossy, well-produced hard rock platter with plenty of meaty songs and, of course, the obligatory ballad, "After the Rain". The album, originally released by Enigma Records, was fairly successful, charting at #99 on the Billboard 200 charts and generating two music videos for "Inside Out" and "What Keeps Me Loving You". Both videos aired on MTV with some success between 1989 and 1990 and helped push both tracks into minor hit status. And why not? Both songs are hooky, heavy hitters that are easily as good as anything else coming out of the City of Angels in 1989. If Dokken themselves had recorded these songs they would have been hits for them. Album opener "Maggy" is a heavy, rocker with a big sing-along hooky chorus. "Souvenirs" is a slightly bluesy number with another infectious, sing-along chorus. Frankly the entire CD is quite hooky and I'm surprised this CD wasn't even more successful than it was. It's a shame that some excellent band were overshadowed in a market that by 1989 was over-saturated by clones of one another. XYZ's debut is easily a good, if not great, LA hard rock album.

The Axe Killer pressing is packaged in a nice digi-book with a 12 page booklet glued into the book. It also features an acoustic bluesy bonus track titled "On the Blue Side of the Night".

Hungry XYZ - Hungry (Capitol) 1991

1.      Face Down in the Gutter  (4:12)
2.      Don't Say No  (4:31)
3.      Fire and Water  (4:13)
4.      When the Night Comes Down (4:57)
5.      Off to the Sun  (5:38)
6.      Feels Good  (4:19)
7.      Shake Down the Walls  (4:34)
8.      When I Find Love  (4:27)
9.      H.H. Boogie  (4:29)
10.     The Sun Also Rises in Hell  (5:17)
11.     A Roll of the Dice  (3:57)
12.     Whiskey on a Heartache  (4:53)

Hungry is the second studio album by Los Angeles hard rockers XYZ.  The songs have a slight bluesy vibe, though for the most part "Hungry" is an album of straight forward, no-frills, hard rock and roll. The band actually wrote some pretty inspired and memorable tracks including "Face Down in the Gutter" and "When the Night Comes Down". The album also includes a smokin' cover of Free's "Fire and Water." I always enjoy covers when a band attempts to make it sound like they could have written the song themselves, and that is exactly what XYZ do here. Terry Ilous has a great, clean voice but he adds just a bit grit and aggression that he gives the band that slightly sleazy sound. A key ingredient in any band of this nature is skilled guitar solos and guitarist Marc Richard Diglio adds plenty of those. Unfortunately for XYZ the production is very polished and makes the album sound a tad more tame than it probably should have sounded. Still, a solid album that came out at the tail end of pop metal's popularity. For fans of Firehouse, Steelheart, White Lion and Warrant.

Rainy Days XYZ - Rainy Days (independent) 2005

1.   Wild (3:25)
2.   Crazy (4:46)
3.   Rainy Days (4:17)
4.   Where Did We Go Wrong (4:36)
5.   Dynamite (3:47)
6.   You Belong To Me (3:43)
7.   Hot Too Hot (3:14)
8.   Just A Friend (2:35)
9.   High Life (4:23)
10. Lonely Without You (4:52)
11. Souvenirs (5:12)
12. Never Too Late (3:43)

From what I can gather about "Rainy Days" is that it is early recordings, or possibly demo recordings, with the original XYZ band that included Terry Ilous - vocals, Bobby Pieper - guitars, Patt Fontaine - bass and Joey Pafumi- drums. Only Terry Ilous and Patt Fountaine went on to record their much celebrated self-titled album in 1989. These tracks were all recorded between 1984 and 1985 and had previously been unreleased. According to one web site I read, guitarist Bobby Pieper managed to gain the rights to these songs and released them on his own.

According to a quote from vocalist Terry Ilouis on HeavyHarmonies, "...this insulting CD is a bootleg. I have never authorized this CD to be released. Bobby Peiper had done it on his own. We tried to prevent it but it was too late. Those recordings are terrible and not very flattering..." 

Bobby Pieper fires back, "This is Bobby Pieper, the original guitarist of XYZ. Terry Ilous is full of himself, this is not a bootleged album. This album was recoreded in 1984-1985 with an Atlantic development deal, and was shelved and never released. I remastered and released this album 'Rainy Days' by XYZ, by myself with the help of Pat Fontaine. Terry Ilous has known that this album was coming out for many years, and proceeded to ignore it. WELL NOW ITS OUT! With great reviews!"

Regardless of the drama behind the release, "Rainy Days" certainly isn't "terrible". The music isn't as highly polished and produced as the band's debut album, which actually gives the album a bit more edge. However, the overall sound is very similar to what you would expect from XYZ, right down to the emotional ballads and hook-laden hard rockin' numbers. "Souvenirs" is the only track from this collection of songs that ended up making it into the band's major label debut.

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