Great Metal Albums of 1985: Y&T- Down For the Count


Ditto from my previous post about metal bands releasing a single full of synthesizers in order to get radio play. In 1985, Y&T did it when they released the single, “Summertime Girls,” which also appeared on their live “Open Fire” album put out earlier in that year. History tells us that this action of synthed out singles had little success for bands like Y&T and Fastway. Fastway’s single had a couple of plays on radio and I remember seeing the video for “Summertime Girls” on MTV a few times but that single only managed to reach #55 in the singles charts. Fortunately, for the rest of Y&T’s 1985 “Down for the Count” album, they remained truer to their metal roots.

If you weren’t aware of the synth single, then you would have been none the wiser when you put the album on because “In the Name of Rock” opens the album as well as many good metal opening tracks. It does the job of turning your attention to the album. If I were giving the band advice on which track to use a single on this album, I would have chosen the second track, “All American Boy.” That song is just as radio friendly as “Summertime Girls” but without the use of synthesizers. It has a good catchy vibe without betraying the band’s metal rep.

If they were so insistent on using keyboards, then the track, “Anytime At All,” demonstrates the best way to use them. The keyboards compliment the song but give way to the guitars to dominate. Meniketti does play a cool guitar solo on it. Radio worthiness and keyboards are totally forgotten on “Anything for Money” because here, Y&T go total metaled out on it. It’s fast and furious and reminds me a little of my all time favourite Y&T song, “Mean Streak.” Again, Dave shows his lead guitar chops.

A cool lead guitar solo intro leads well into the near power ballad, “Face Like an Angel” and carries the album on its metal way. Again, it’s catchy without straying from what made Y&T a great metal band. Sandwiched between the synth single and a decent cover of the Loggins and Messina classic, “Your Mamma Don’t Dance” is another cool metal tune in the form “Looks Like Trouble.” However, it’s the penultimate track that gets my vote for hidden gem on “Down for the Count.” “Don’t Tell Me What to Wear” was sort of a theme song for me in 1985 because in the intolerant times of 80s Regan America, I got a lot of shit off people for my choice of footwear. I used to wear Native American moccasin boots which wasn’t cool in that era. My sword and hand grenade earrings didn’t help either. It helps that it’s a great track musically as well. All the things found on the album come together the closer on “Hands of Time.” It’s another near power ballad with keyboards in support of hard riffing guitars and cool soloing. Things end on a great note here, literally.

While I have always thought Dave Meniketti a decent guitarist, his efforts on the album shows that I had underestimated the guy. He can play! The big mystery is on which tracks does Dio keyboardist Claude Schnell play on. Three different keyboards players are used on this album but for me, they should have just simply used Claude on all of them.

Track Listing:

  1. In the Name of Rock
  2. All American Boy
  3. Anytime at All
  4. Anything for Money
  5. Face Like and Angel
  6. Summertime Girls
  7. Looks Like Trouble
  8. Your Mamma Don’t Dance
  9. Don’t Tell Me What to Wear
  10. Hands of Time


Dave Meniketti- lead vocals, lead guitar

Joey Alves- rhythm guitar, backing vocals

Phil Kennemore- bass, backing vocals

Leonard Haze- drums, percussion

Additional Musicians

Randy Nichols- keyboards

Steffen Presley- keyboards

Claude Schnell- keyboards

John Nymann- vocals

After all these years, I fully appreciate how good an album “Down For the Count” really is. Maybe I was distracted by Y&T’s push for radio recognition back then. Now, I would like to go back in time and tell them that they didn’t really need to try to sound commercial, even on one song as this album holds up.

Next post: Black ‘N’ Blue- Without Love

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6 Responses to “Great Metal Albums of 1985: Y&T- Down For the Count”

  1. The legendary Claude Schnell !! The only track I can really remember is ‘Summertime Girls’ which I do really love.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I could not get into this album at all! Found it too pop metal especially after Meanstreak and In Rock We Trust.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. This was, perhaps, Y&T’s breakaway from hardrock/metal. But Meniketti has an outstanding set of pipes and the entire band deserve to be at least an inductee into the hall of fame, in the distant future.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree that a future induction into the Hall of Fame is warranted but the HoF’s constant ignoring of metal bands needs to be addressed first. There are so many deserving metal bands who should be in there but not.

      Liked by 1 person

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