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Tygers of Pan Tang: The Cage

Album Notes

Despite an incredibly promising start two years earlier, the Tygers of Pan Tang were experiencing an irreversible career slide by 1982. Their third effort, Crazy Nights, had been rushed and then largely abandoned by their record company, and hot shot guitarist John Sykes had left them in a lurch when he split abruptly to join Thin Lizzy. His clearly less talented and more commercially-inclined replacement Fred Purser (along with their management and label) helped push the band even further away from their metallic roots, resulting in the severely disappointing The Cage. Absolutely nothing is salvageable from the album's terrible first half, which is loaded with unbearably cliched rockers, like "Rendezvous," "Letter From L.A.," and "Lonely at the Top," and is bogged down by superfluous synthesizer backdrops and embarrassingly cheesy gang vocal harmonies and choruses. Best known for his work with Rush, producer Peter Collins' over-wrought style adds a certain flair, but detracts just as much spontaneity from promising tracks like "Tides" and "Danger in Paradise." Classy first single "Paris By Air" succeeds despite its terribly pretentious lyrics, but the same can't be said for the cringe-inducing "The Actor," whose absurd dramatics manage to spoil its beautiful piano intro. The album's only outstanding track has to be a spirited version of the Leiber & Stoller standard "Love Potion Number 9," which features a solo recorded by Sykes (surprise) prior to his departure and almost makes it all worthwhile in a mere two minutes of utter perfection. Sadly, the Tygers would be dropped by their management soon after releasing this blunder, and break up a short time later. [The 1997 Edgy Records CD reissue offers four bonus tracks which often eclipse the rest of the album (most notably "What You Sayin'") -- serving as further proof of the cluelessness of all involved. Also on hand are countless rare band photos, as well as extensive biographical info and technical credits.] ~ Eduardo Rivadavia


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