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Originally released in 1982, Black Tiger was the album with which San Francisco rockers Y&T followed their astonishing Earthshaker opus and, though not quite in the same class as its predecessor (what could be...?), the album has much to recommend it. tracks like 'Open Fire and the barnstorming Forever remain crowd pleasers to this day. Nobody who was there could possibly forget the band s fantastic performance at a seriously dangerously over crowded Marquee club in London s soho district in support of this album. Available here for the first time on CD in Europe in a digitally remastered form, now would be a good time to pick up on one of the best albums of the early 80 s
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Servi par une excellente production de Max Norman, ce disque alterne hard rock teigneux et accrocheurs "Open Fire" "Black Tiger" ou "Hell Or High Water" et rudes ballades épiques, les désormais classiques "Forever" et Winds of Changes".
Sur la base d'un hard rock de grande classe, punchy mais très mélodique, qui doit autant à Journey qu'à Ted Nugent, Y&T séduit par une mise en place impeccable et un art du refrain qui claque.
Comme en plus le quatuor est formé d'excellents musiciens, comme le bassiste Philip Kennemore, qui nous a malheureusement quitté en 2011 et surtout le guitariste chanteur Dave Meniketti (seul rescapé dans le groupe actuel), on a droit à un grand disque de hard rock, certes très classique mais qui s'écoute encore avec grand plaisir.
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[...] The New Master is Awesome !!!
Track 1: From The Moon.
This is the opening track and it comes off as an attempt to showcase the lead guitarist skills. Kinda like what Van Halen did on their first album with Eruption. It is a good sounding instrumental track but nothing too special.
Track 2: Open Fire
The first thing that jumps out at me about this track is how much the singer sounds like Sammy Hagar and the second thing that catches my attention is the Deep Purple sounding groove laid down by Leonard Haze on drums and Phil Kennemore on bass. When the guitars kick in it is played in a blistering Eddie Van Halen sounding style by Dave Meniketti. They lyrics are a mix of Highway Star by Deep Purple meets Heavy Metal by Sammy Hagar. All in all a really good solid track. I would rate it seven on a ten scale.
Track 3: Don’t Wanna Lose
Wow this is one awesome 80’s hair metal rock song. The chorus vocals of Dave Meniketti and Phil Kennemore are as smooth as anything Journey ever thought about recording. This is a great sing along in the car or shower tune. Don’t look at me like that, you know you do it. This song has a rockin’ steady beat and is just slightly too heavy to be considered a ballad but it you can call it a hard rocking love song because that is what it is. You will want to hear this one again and again. I give it a roaring 8.5 on a ten scale.
Track 4: Hell or High Water
Watch out! We just hit a big ass speed bump fellas. This song is everything wrong with hard rock and heavy metal in the early 1980’s. Cheesy chorus and cheesier lyrics with a laid back groove that sounds like it could be playing as background music in a bar scene from T.J. Hooker. I give it a 1 on a ten scale. Take my word for it and do you ears a favor, skip this one.
Track 5: Forever
OK now that is much more like it. We are full circle back to everything that was right about early 80’s hard rock and metal. Soaring vocals, killer guitar riffs by Joey Alves and Dave Meniketti. I like the production on this whole album but especially on this track. This song can sink it’s teeth into your brain and hang around for a little while. A soaring rock track that scores an 9 on a ten sale.
To sum up side 1 I have to give it a solid 7.0 on a ten scale. The production by Max Norman is crisp and clear. Very reminiscent of the sound of Ozzy’s first two albums Blizzard of Oz and Diary of a mad man with Rhandy Rhodes. The songs and performance is amazing. If only that Track 4 Hell or High Water hadn’t been on there it would have scored a lot higher.
Track 6: Black Tiger
Sounds like we are out in the jungle when this song starts. Rhythmic guitar and cymbals playing over crickets and owls. That was pretty damn cool. Now we go into the song Black Tiger. Another song about an 80’s hare rock chick. The kind of girl who figured out that sex felt good and wanted to have as much of it as she could get her hands on. She is pursuing your ass and she is ready to strike searching for a victim in the heat of the night. I didn’t just make this up because you can’t make up stuff this good. Steel Panther would be proud. Blistering guitar solo that I can’t get enough of. I can’t believe I never even heard of Dave Meniketti. A solid 6.5 on a ten scale.
Track 7: Barroom Boogie
Nice change of pace with the lyrics on this one. Now we are at a bar and singing about how much drinking we are going to do and how crazy drunk we are going to be getting soon. Shows promise and sounds like it could be a Van Halen tune if Sammy Hagar had been the singer in 1978. We also have a classic David Lee Roth rap. Attempts to copy Van Halen just a little too much here and it sounds forced to me. I will give it a 6 and move on quickly.
Track 8: My Way or the Highway
This is my favorite red neck saying from the late 70’s and early 80’s. Put out or get out and my way or the highway were real popular sayings in those days. We start out with that rant again that sounds like Sammy Hagar imitating David Lee Roth. Not impressed with this song. It just sounds like the band is running out of ideas for riffs and lyrics. Very forgettable all around. Another track that could be background made up corporate rock to be played in the Friday the 13th movies when the kids are in their car on the way to Camp Crystal Lake for a fun weekend. I would skip this one as well. A real clunker and a 3 on a ten scale.
Track 9: Winds of Change
Now we enter laid back spacey track land and I have to say it is a huge relief after suffering through that last track. This is one of those tracks that started the hard rock ballad genre. Poison, Motley Crue and Cinderella made a killing taking this formula and tweaking it just enough to turn out mega hits on the radio and MTV. This track is not very impressive lyrically either. Lyrics can be a real problem for bands of this era. They were too busy trying to make everything rhyme and be about getting messed up or getting chicks. This feels like the band might have thought this was going to be their Stairway to Heaven but it was more like and obscure Scorpions track.
So I can absolutely recommend this album to all you 80’s rock fans. Just take my advise and skip Tracks 4, 8 and 9. I give the whole album a 7.5 on a ten scale.