NWOBHM…six letters that seem incomprehensible to a reader of Cosmpolitan or Vogue…but, for the initiate, it’s a whole musical history that encapsulates many, many things and feelings! Memories that refuse to fade away in time…since the late 70s, the genre gave birth to many bands, the vast majority of which are nowhere to be found today and one can bump into their name in a couple of lines of a heavy metal encyclopedia. Naturally, there are those outfits that are still present, active and despite the fact that they have nothing in common, musically, with their past, they have kept a loyal fan base and keep on gaining new fans with their shows…Def Leppard, Iron Maiden, Saxon are definitely the first three names that come in mind.
One of the bands that didn’t achieve the commercial success of the aforementioned bands is Tygers of Pan Tang that managed to secure a prominent place in the history of Heavy Rock Music and left a legacy behind them that still remains a spring of influence for younger generations. The band’s founding member and guitarist, Robb Weir, decided to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the release of Tygers’ first couple of albums by re-recording a few immortal tracks from “Wild Cat” and “Spellbound”.
These new editions capture perfectly the energy, the quality and the dynamics of a (then) young band. As it happens in many cases, those first albums were destined to become the most representative samples of the Tygers of Pan Tang sound. The production is improved and definitely well-crafted (no worries here, as the overall feeling of the first versions remains intact) while Jacopo Meille’s voice is respectable and quite fitting. Specifically, out of “Wild Cat” we are treated with new versions of“Euthanasia”, “Slave To Freedom”, “Suzie Smiled”, “Don’t Touch Me There” and “Wild Catz” while from “Spellbound” can be found the following cuts: “Gangland”, “Take It”, “Hellbound”, “Mirror”, “Tyger Bay”, “Don’t Stop By”.
These are essentially two releases forwarded to those who didn’t have the chance to listen to the original product but also to all of us out there who are pleased to listen to truthful (yet at moments different) versions of those heavy metal diamonds! They are both available from the official Tygers of Pan Tang website on www.tygersofpantang.com at the price of 5 and 5.95 GBP respectively.
Highlight: I wonder how many around the world were stunned by those imaginable Tygers album sleeves…we, sure, were!