“Best of ’81 to ‘85” by Y&T

Artist: Y&T
Title: “Best of ’81 to ‘85”
Label: A&M Records
Release Date: 8/21/1990
Genre: Hard Rock
Rating: 4.5/5

If you’re looking for a worthy representation of the catalog of the band Y&T then there is no better place to start than with the bands very first collection of “hits” that goes under the moniker “Best Of ’81 to ‘85”. Please understand that my use of quotes with the word hits is because despite the bands level of underground popularity and overall importance to the Hard Rock scene on the whole, you would be endlessly waiting for no reason if you were expecting any number of these incredible tunes to be played on the conventional Rock radio of the time. Granted there were a few select stations and DJ’s who realized the bands relevance but outside of songs like “Summertime Girls” or “Lipstick and Leather” it would be a rare occurrence. I know that I never remembered hearing more than these on the airwaves. This album is special to my own Y&T beginnings as I was one of those fans who was schooled on their vintage catalog even though I had never caught them live back in their original heyday. Oddly enough it would not be until around 2005 that this would happen. Despite this being the case, I always had more than a handful of songs that I found to be amazing. The collection takes material from “Earthshaker”, “Black Tiger”, “Meanstreak”, “In Rock We Trust”, “Open Fire” and “Down For The Count” which is a great amount of musical territory to pull resource from. The ardent fans might feel that there is not enough taken into account but I still think that if you are looking for a door to walk into to educate yourself on the band that this is a fine path to take.

For me, songs like “Open Fire” which is an often used opener and the likes of “Hurricane” really throttle the listener and while these tunes are more than twenty years old they are still packing a hell of a punch. The two radio hits and MTV staples that I referenced early are here of course but other winners come via “I Believe In You” and “Black Tiger”. The first is aimed at those suckers for the ballads and this is a powerful one while the other is more of a straight ahead rocker. The most notable omission is the track “Don’t Stop Runnin’” which I really took exception to since its one of the best tracks on the release “In Rock We Trust” and one of my very favorite tunes from the bands catalog. Since the release spans until 1985 it is only featuring the musical talents of Dave Meniketti, Phil Kennemore, Joey Alves and Leonard Haze.

To many fans their catalog is as influential as that of the band UFO and perhaps even vintage KISS in some sense. They are a rock solid band in the live sense and they deliver again and again. While a disbanding took place in 1995, they got back to Hard Rock work in 2001 and have been active ever since.

Track Listing:
1. From The Moon
2. Open Fire
3. Hurricane
4. Mean Streak
5. Rescue Me
6. Black Tiger
7. Dirty Girl
8. Forever
9. Midnight In Tokyo
10. Hang ‘Em High
11. Lipstick And Leather
12. Summertime Girls
13. Beautiful Dreamer
14. 25 Hours A Day (Live)
15. Barroom Boogie
16. I Believe In You

Official Website: http://www.meniketti.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.