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Articles Home » 1983 Articles » Y & T - 1983 Mean Streak
Y & T - 1983 Mean Streak

ALBUM: Mean Streak
SERIAL: SP-6-4960
YEAR: 1983
CD REISSUE: 2005, A&M, B0005995-02 * 2008, Krescendo Records, KRECD19


LINEUP: Dave Meniketti - vocals, guitars * Joey Alves - guitars * Phil Kennemore - bass * Leonard Haze - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Mean Streak * 02 Straight Thru The Heart * 03 Lonely Side Of Town * 04 Midnight In Tokyo * 05 Breaking Away * 06 Hang Em High * 07 Take You To The Limit * 08 Sentimental Fool * 09 Down And Dirty


The trio of 'Earthshaker', 'Black Tiger' and 'Mean Streak' has always been referred to as the defining era of Y&T's long history and for once it's an accurate description. The momentum the band was riding with each successive release seem poised to break them worldwide and 'Mean Streak' was perhaps the last great album the band would ever record, despite some good later attempts. What's noticeable about 'Mean Streak' is the rapidly growing commercial influence that was taking hold of Y&T's sound, although it was still raw metal compared to 'In Rock We Trust'. You can't help but notice the bite of 'Earthshaker' was diminishing, but 'Mean Streak' remains a very heavy record on its own terms. It is the band at their peak in every sense of the term. Somehow the UK took a liking for the band as the album hit number 35, with Y&T appearing in 1984 at the Donnington Monsters Of Rock.

The Songs
The title track kicks off where previous crunchers like 'Hurricane' and Black Tiger' left off, a statement of metallic attitude that has since become a Y&T staple. Quite melodic is 'Straight Through The Heart', which recalls similar period Dio material, heavy yet accessible. The vocal harmonies of 'Lonely Side Of Town' are AOR friendly, as is the guitar work, the real indicators of where the band were heading, but here they kept the sound heavy enough to deflect most questions being asked. Also a staple is 'Midnight In Tokyo', epic in approach, but I favour the desperate melody of 'Breaking Away' and Meniketti's impassioned vocals which showed real depth. Another traditional metal moment of some magnitude is 'Hang 'Em High', galloping hard with plenty of fire from the band. Elsewhere there's a sense of stylish professionalism to 'Take You To The Limit' and the chorus especially, check out the harmonies once again. Another superb sub AOR cut is 'Sentimental Fool' but it's the opposite for 'Down And Dirty' which sees Y&T at their raunchiest, key party rock five years ahead of its time.

In Summary
For me this marginally shades 'Earthshaker' as the most consistent and essential Y&T album to own. 1984's 'In Rock We Trust' saw the band depart from their metal roots and realistically never sounded the same again. Whether it was in a vain attempt to 'make it' or not is beside the point, they had already made their mark. The reason 'Mean Streak' stands out is due to the lack of any throwaway tracks, which cannot be said of the previous two albums, despite 'Black Tiger' containing maybe their best track overall 'Open Fire'. This was recently reissued on cd with bonus tracks and is a good starting point for anyone wondering why Y&T are to this day held in such high esteem.

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#1 | sabace on June 10 2007 14:17:03
I love Y+t, in my opinion they could never top the earthshaker lp despite coming close!
#2 | gdazegod on June 11 2007 01:50:58
'Earthshaker' does it for me too sabace! clap
#3 | Jez on June 13 2008 04:27:08
Not quite up there with 'Earthshaker' or 'Black Tiger' as this has a couple of fillers onboard, but still an excellent collection of Melodic hard rock.
#4 | aaasreg on October 20 2016 16:16:48
I agree with the others here. Earthshaker is monumental.
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