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 Post subject: Y&T - OneTwo
PostPosted: Sun Sep 26, 2010 7:41 am 
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Location: Canterbury, New Brunswick, Canada
Favorite Band: Y&T, Rush, Van Halen, Kiss, Alice Cooper, Journey, April Wine, many more
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Released: 2009
Label: Meanstreak Music
Producer (s): A. Louis Bramy / Jimmy Robinson

Personnel:
Dave Meniketti - lead vocals, lead guitar
Joey Alves - guitar, vocals
Phil Kennemore - lead vocals, bass
Leonard Haze - drums, vocals

Obviously this isn't a "new release," but a single disc containing the first two Y&T albums, the two albums they recorded under the full name of Yesterday and Today. 1976's self-titled debut, and 1978's Struck Down. These two albums were the holy grail for Y&T fans getting into the band in the 80s and beyond, being hopelessly out of print for many years. In 1992, a little company called Mondo Records released them on CD and I'm guessing a lot of newer Y&T fans (like myself) heard these seminal albums for the first time, then. According to Dave, Mondo ripped them off for these CDs. And then they were out of print again, save for costly imports.

Around 2005 the Y&T camp finally started to make some headway with Universal Music, which had absorbed ALL three major labels the group had recorded for, London, A&M, and Geffen; to re-release their own music. Many of these albums had never been domestically released on CD. However, in many a forum discussion Dave had repeatedly stated that the master tapes for the London albums were lost. Also, the effects which producer Jimmy Robinson placed on the final master for the 2nd album were basically stuck there. (The man enjoyed his PCP supposedly.)

So it was a nice surprise when Dave announced last year that this CD was coming out. I will now get the unpleasantries out of the way. The packaging SUCKS BIG TIME. No imagination put into it at all. Merely reprints of the front and back of the CD covers, with with accompanying band photos that appeared in the original sleeves. Absolutely NO liner notes, no reminiscenses, no commentary. Maybe I'm alone here, but if I'm going to buy albums I already own, I want something extra. I don't care if it's a bonus track, bonus video, or what. I would have been completely satisfied with a nice write-up from the boys (would have really nice if Leonard had contributed as well.) But no, nothing. Sounds like I'm doing a lot of unnecessary complaining, but really if they hadn't done such a fine job with their previous reissues (Earthshaker through In Rock We Trust, Incorrect Species, the Unearthed CDs) then my expectations would have been lower...

If I had to guess they just wanted to get this release out there, or maybe had a time crunch due to touring or recording Facemelter...however I'm letting all of that slide, because packaging doesn't make one iota of difference if the music rocks, which this does. Obviously I knew that anyway, but Dave did a KILLER job at salvaging these two albums, particularly Struck Down which I'm extremely impressed with.

1) Animal Woman - This down and dirty rocker busts right out of the gates with energy, a sassy high-energy guitar riff and Haze's insane off-the-rails drumming. Phil and Dave tradeoff verses here in similar fashion to same era Gene and Paul. A good start.
2) 25 Hours a Day - A song most fans probably first heard on Open Fire. An early example of the band's ability to write strong melodies that still kick ass. Main difference here is the lack of a first chorus.
3) Game Playing Woman - One of the best from this album, and one of the best early Y&T rockers period. This attitude-filled rocker has a Zepp-ish mellow midsection before going into a fast shuffle and Meniketti once again rips it up.
4) Come on Over - "Smaller than a breadbox, hotter than the toast" is but one amusing couplet from this sex tale.
5) My Heart Plays Too - Y&T wrote the book on the passionate power ballad with balls. This was the first. This song in my opinion is the only one from the 1st record where I notice a marked sonic improvement.
6) Earthshaker - Five years before the album of the same name, came this song. Like most of the songs here, there's such a great energy to this one. Is it metronomically correct? Probably not, but you can picture a band in a studio cranking it up.
7) Fast Ladies (Very Slow Gin) - A lot of rock bands have at least one "livin' too fast" song on their debut album. Think Metallica's "Motorbreath," Def Leppard's "Wasted," VH's "Runnin' With the Devil," and just about anything from Motley's Too Fast For Love. This is Y&T's entry.
8 )Alcohol - This was the single from this album, albeit in edited form. Leo Haze takes the mic for this one, a great "hair of the dog" tale which I'm surprised didn't become a concert staple with its fun refrain.
9) Beautiful Dreamer - The only other song I was familiar with before hearing the first album, having heard the 1980 recording which appeared on Best of '81-'85. A fantastic, rocking love song here with awesome ensemble playing. When I hear Dave's soloing at the end of this, I have to think that he and Neal Schon were up and coming influences on each other. A perfect way to close off a fine debut.
10) Struck Down - Now onto the second and final Yesterday & Today album (with that name, of course.) This album has the distinction of being my personal least favorite Y&T release. Having said that, my least favourite Y&T album is still a good record. I mean, one of them has to come in last, right? This album really sparkles with the new remastering. I don't know how Dave was able to work around the flanging and phasing which really muffled the original recording, but he did. And I know he didn't re-record anything, least of all re-singing, because his voice changed so dramatically over the years. It was much, much deeper in the 70s, at least on record. The solo before the final verse in particular really stands out now. I first heard this heavy, bluesy title song on Yesterday and Today Live. Somebody done somebody wrong to prompt a soulful expression of hurt like this.
11) Pleasure in My Heart - Never one of my favourite Y&T songs, this more than any other song here benefits from the remastering treatment. I can hear guitar parts I never heard before.
12) Road - Always dug this one a lot, a fast number about um...in, out, then back on the road.
13) Nasty Sadie - One of my all-time favourite drum intros ever. I used to screw around with this when I had a drum kit.
14) Dreams of Egypt - Y&T's goth number, which should be obvious by the title. Possibly a little Rainbow influrnece maybe? Haze rules here. It still amazes me how he played like this with a single bass pedal.
15) Tried to Show You - I believe this is the only Y&T song which featured a guest vocalist, in this case Cherie Currie from the Runaways. The main riff to this song was pretty much duplicated by Eve 6 on their 1999 hit "Inside Out" which annoyed me because the first few times I heard it I thought it was Y&T on the radio.
16) I'm Lost - I never really cared for this song until it was remade for Musically Incorrect. Dave's vocals just didn't agree with me here for some reason. Insane playing as always.
17) Stargazer - Love ya Phil, I just never ever liked this song. And I still don't.

So there it is, a handy little way to get the first two Y&T albums, even if you already own them, shell out and support the band. And don't let my bitching about the lack of credits sway you. The remastering is worth the price of admission.

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https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2fi5G ... iBkLtUEWFg

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 Post subject: Re: Y&T - OneTwo
PostPosted: Sun Sep 26, 2010 8:53 am 
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Cool, man. Thanks for the review~!

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 Post subject: Re: Y&T - OneTwo
PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 7:28 pm 
The Lord of Destruction
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Good stuff as always, bro... :B

I must have gotten the extra-muddy Mondo versions of these albums, because I thought both of them were dramatically improved after this remastering. That said, I agree that it is more noticeable on the "Struck Down" tracks and My Heart Plays Too.

I can recall my first listen to the Mondo releases... I thought there were some really good tracks, but the production was so flat and lifeless that I just knew they wouldn't get much play time. After a bit of frustration, I can recall futzing with the EQ settings in WinAmp for about 20 minutes to try to brighten them up, resulting in a custom EQ setting I dubbed "Muddy Mondo" to make them a bit more listenable. Still, I remember thinking that this was one of the few cases where the production and mixing was so bad that it actually ruined the enjoyment of the tracks.

Dave's remasters fixed all that though... and while I still wouldn't say they are perfect, I can now say that I don't need any special EQ settings to crank the tunes on these albums. It's a night-and-day difference for me... and I now enjoy these albums alongside the rest of their catalog.


:BB Steve

_________________
"I told you... that we could fly... 'Cause we all have wings... but some of us don't know why..."
~ Michael Hutchens (RIP)


"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans..."
~ John Lennon (RIP)


"Don't get cute... Don't get funny now... It's later than you think..."
~ Greg Kihn


"As we celebrate mediocrity... all the boys upstairs wanna see...
How much you'll pay... for what you used to get for free..."

~ Tom Petty


Image

"I think you'd better ask yourself... before you criticize me...
Are you a victim of the System... or the Powers-That-Be?
If there was nothing to gain... would you do it for free?"

~ Sammy Hagar


"I was glad to come... I'll be sad to go... So while I'm here... I'll have me a real good time..."
~ Rod Stewart (The Faces)


"The earth can shake... The sky come down... The mountains all... fall to the ground...
But I will fear... none of these things... Shelter me, Lord... underneath your wings..."

~ Buddy Miller


"Rock hard... Ride free... All your life..."
~ Rob Halford


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 Post subject: Re: Y&T - OneTwo
PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2010 1:46 pm 
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Location: Canterbury, New Brunswick, Canada
Favorite Band: Y&T, Rush, Van Halen, Kiss, Alice Cooper, Journey, April Wine, many more
Facebook: Tim Durling
To be honest Steve, I've never been an "audiophile" that can detect really subtle differences in mastering. Normally the newer versions are just louder. I either like the music or I don't :D

Having said that, the difference in Struck Down is, well, striking.

_________________
Saturday and Sunday nights from 6pm to 9pm (Atlantic time) playing a mix of old and new rock, at http://www.foxrocks.ca

To watch AND listen to me blather on, I give you Tim's Vinyl Confessions

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2fi5G ... iBkLtUEWFg

https://twitter.com/TimsVinyl

https://www.facebook.com/timsvinylconfessions


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 Post subject: Re: Y&T - OneTwo
PostPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2010 9:32 pm 
The Lord of Destruction
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I do tend to notice that kind of thing... but in the case of the early Y&T stuff, I didn't really have any real frame of reference. I had never heard them before I bought the CDs... I just knew they both sounded muddy and "dead"... like an amateur recording. Sabbath's "Born Again" had that same problem, even on vinyl... as did Metallica's "...And Justice For All."


Side rant... read at your own risk: :lol:

It actually took me a long time to get used to cassettes when they stopped selling vinyl... The tape hiss drove me batshit. :lol:

It took even longer to adjust to CDs when cassettes went the way of the 8-track... They were so trebly... even the heaviest stuff had no balls. I used to laugh at people who said they were the next big thing (shows what I know :P). In fairness, they have improved dramatically over the years... and I've gotten somewhat used to EQ'ng the older titles I buy to beef them up a bit. That's also why I record everything to MP3... I have a couple of presets to satisfy my ear based upon the quality of the digital master.

That's also why I refuse to even entertain the idea of buying these new "audiophile" LP releases. For 25 years, the music industry completely ignored folks like me that actually paid attention to recording quality and forced us to switch, not once, but twice, to the cheapest medium to maximize their profits. Even before that, though, they were making LPs thinner and thinner to save money... reducing the depth and sound quality in the process. In 1975, ALL LPs were made out of 180-gram vinyl. By 1985, it was down in the 150s. Now, they sell 180-gram and higher and have the nerve to charge a premium for the improved sound quality. That's some set of chones on those bastards, I'll tell you what. :roll:

Bottom line: I used to scream about the reduction in sound quality of commercial recordings to anyone who would listen... and very few seemed to notice... or care. Well, I'm used to shit now... and I've learned to compensate, so the record companies can go fuck themselves. :thefinger:

But I'm not bitter... really. :lol:



:BB Steve

_________________
"I told you... that we could fly... 'Cause we all have wings... but some of us don't know why..."
~ Michael Hutchens (RIP)


"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans..."
~ John Lennon (RIP)


"Don't get cute... Don't get funny now... It's later than you think..."
~ Greg Kihn


"As we celebrate mediocrity... all the boys upstairs wanna see...
How much you'll pay... for what you used to get for free..."

~ Tom Petty


Image

"I think you'd better ask yourself... before you criticize me...
Are you a victim of the System... or the Powers-That-Be?
If there was nothing to gain... would you do it for free?"

~ Sammy Hagar


"I was glad to come... I'll be sad to go... So while I'm here... I'll have me a real good time..."
~ Rod Stewart (The Faces)


"The earth can shake... The sky come down... The mountains all... fall to the ground...
But I will fear... none of these things... Shelter me, Lord... underneath your wings..."

~ Buddy Miller


"Rock hard... Ride free... All your life..."
~ Rob Halford


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 Post subject: Re: Y&T - OneTwo
PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2010 7:05 am 
The Ultimate Metal Master
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RockHard wrote:
But I'm not bitter... really. :lol:



:BB Steve



As Steve goes out and buys 30 more CDs to help the companies out some more :P

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 Post subject: Re: Y&T - OneTwo
PostPosted: Sun Oct 10, 2010 1:42 pm 
The Lord of Destruction
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Favorite Band: Pinkmaiden Rainsabbath Zeppepriest
Dragon235 wrote:
RockHard wrote:
But I'm not bitter... really. :lol:



As Steve goes out and buys 30 more CDs to help the companies out some more :P



Actually, I ordered 46 this morning... but who's counting? :shrug:

No, really... 46. :shock:

:lol:

_________________
"I told you... that we could fly... 'Cause we all have wings... but some of us don't know why..."
~ Michael Hutchens (RIP)


"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans..."
~ John Lennon (RIP)


"Don't get cute... Don't get funny now... It's later than you think..."
~ Greg Kihn


"As we celebrate mediocrity... all the boys upstairs wanna see...
How much you'll pay... for what you used to get for free..."

~ Tom Petty


Image

"I think you'd better ask yourself... before you criticize me...
Are you a victim of the System... or the Powers-That-Be?
If there was nothing to gain... would you do it for free?"

~ Sammy Hagar


"I was glad to come... I'll be sad to go... So while I'm here... I'll have me a real good time..."
~ Rod Stewart (The Faces)


"The earth can shake... The sky come down... The mountains all... fall to the ground...
But I will fear... none of these things... Shelter me, Lord... underneath your wings..."

~ Buddy Miller


"Rock hard... Ride free... All your life..."
~ Rob Halford


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