Rock Candy Records release remastered Y&T albums ‘Mean Streak’, ‘Black Tiger’ and ‘Earthshaker’
Great news for Y&T fans as three of the group’s early releases — Earthshaker (1981), Black Tiger (1982) and Mean Streak (1983)– have been remastered and re-released by Rock Candy Records. Each remastered album comes with a 16 page booklet that includes a 4,000 word essay about the making of the album along with a new interview with Y&T frontman Dave Meniketti.
Rock Candy Records‘ website states in part (with slight edits):
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.
Track List for remastered Mean Streak:
01. Mean Streak
02. Straight Thru The Heart
03. Lonely Side of Town
04. Midnight In Tokyo
05. Breaking Away
06. Hang ‘E, High
07. Take You To The Limit
08. Sentimental Fool
09. Down And Dirty
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.
Track List for remastered Black Tiger:
01. From The Moon
02. Open Fire
03. Don’t Wanna Lose
04. Hell Or High Water
06. Black Tiger
07. Barroom Boogie
08. My Way Or The Highway
09. Winds of Change
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 ‘Rescue Me’ 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.
Track List for remastered Earthshaker:
01. Hungry For Rock
02. Dirty Girl
03. Shake It Loose
05. Rescue Me
06. Young And Tough
08. Let Me Go
09. Knock You Out
10. I Believe In You
You can purchase the three remastered Y&T albums directly from Rock Candy Records.
Y&T‘s “Mean Streak” video:
Killer song , from a giant hard rock band Freestyle guitar performing