Back in 1983 it was great discovering new bands and one of those was San Fran’s finest that being Y&T who released the classic “Mean Streak” album.
My pal in High school, John Young had this record lying around one day and being 16 at the time, album covers made a very impressionable impact on my young mind back then and this cover was one of ’em! (kudos to artist John Taylor)
As soon as John Y dropped the needle on the first track which was the title track I was hooked. What a song. ‘Mean Streak’ is a song any dude could relate to back in ’83 or even now in 2022! Singer-songwriter-lead guitarist Dave Meniketti knew the fine art of crafting catchy hook laden rock tracks and this album is full of them. Not a dud amongst the albums nine tracks and the rockers just keep coming.
‘Hang ‘Em High’, ‘Breaking Away’, ‘Straight Thru The Heart’ or the semi-ballad ‘Midnight In Tokyo’ we’re all exceptional Y&T songs that still sound incredible in this day and age.
Full props to producer Chris Tsangarides who dialled in the sonic barrage perfectly. Crystal clear yet not over produced.
What Y&T did also was keep this album exempt from playing the game of having a single in other words the Power Ballad. Sure they took the pedal off the gas on a song like “Lonely Side of Town” but it still has a good kick to it. Well of course a few years later they did play that game with the syrupy ‘Summertime Girls’ but thats a story for another time! (My pal Destroyer of Harmony knows all about this)
Good old misprint on the second side when track two should be ‘Hang ’em High’ not ‘Hand ’em High’.
Speaking of Side Two, the band doesn’t let up and the good time hard rock continues with ‘Breaking Away’ and album closer the classic ‘Down And Dirty.’
Y&T were also a band of strengths at this point as these cats could play. Not only was Dave the lead singer but he was also the lead guitarist. Joey Alves played a steady rhythm guitar and speaking of rhythm bassist Phil Kennemore and drummer Leonard Haze laid dow some serious law in keeping the beat moving forward!
Sadly Dave Meneketti is the last man standing as the other three members have passed on but what a great hard rock album to finally own on vinyl.
I bought it on cassette back in the mid ’80s, as when Tbone and Jack Loaf were falling all over themselves with the ‘Down For The Count’ release I was going back a few years and getting into ‘Black Tiger’ and this all time Gem known as ‘Mean Streak’.
Cannot believe that ‘Mean Streak’ only got to #103 on the Billboard charts which is a shame as another album from ’83 that should have done better sales wise was Coney Hatch with ‘Outta Hand’.
Finicky music fans I tell ya…
deKe’s Vinyl Score of Mean Streak: 9/10