Black Tiger (Shm) (Jpn)



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    Black Tiger (Shm) (Jpn) Universal / Universal Music
    1. Black Tiger Krescendo Records
    2. Black Tiger (Shm) (Jpn) Universal / Universal Music

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Review Text Released in the wake of the critically acclaimed Earthshaker, 1982's Black Tiger was expected to catapult Y&T's career to the next level. But as the lifeless-treatment-given opening instrumental "From the Moon" makes immediately obvious, it's as if the band, producer Max Norman, and record label (A&M [the home of numerous successful pop acts, but clueless when it came to hard rock]) were all intent on botching the mission from the get-go. Rarely has a band sounded so stiff and stunted in the studio as Y&T did here. One can almost sense the band's sphincters clenching up when the red light goes on in the recording booth, such is the stale, uncomfortable vibe captured on Black Tiger. Not even the furious attack of "Open Fire" (later to become an explosive monster of a song in their live show) can save the day, and the dramatic closer "Winds of Change" simply pales in comparison to Earthshaker's piece de resistance, "I Believe in You." Uneven songwriting is also to blame, and for every winning track they present Y&T always manages to follow it with a total stinker. For example, impressive moments like "Forever" (which expands on the "From the Moon" melody with great results) and "Barroom Boogie" are interspersed with embarrassing drivel like "Hell or High Water" and "My Way or the Highway." In the end, Black Tiger made for a frustrating listening experience, and its commercial failure would strike a blow to Y&T's confidence from which they'd never fully recover. ~ Eduardo Rivadavia

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