A legendary live band that arguably never managed to translate its electric on-stage intensity into its studio albums, Y&T stood within reach of the Grail of rock & roll stardom many times in their long career -- but through a series of mistakes, bad timing, and sheer bad luck, the ultimate prize always seemed to elude them in the end. Taking their name from a Beatles song, the group was originally formed as Yesterday & Today in San Francisco, around 1973, by vocalist and lead guitarist Dave Meniketti, bassist Phil Kennemore, and drummer Leonard Haze. After stealing rhythm guitarist Joey Alves from a rival band, the group began to gig constantly around the Bay Area, opening for such heavyweights as Journey and the Doobie Brothers, while building a strong local following. They were eventually signed to a contract by London Records, which released their eponymous debut in 1976 and its follow-up, Struck Down, two years later, but dropped the foursome when neither album delivered any hits.
Struck Down was Yesterday & Today's second long-player, and their last release prior to changing their name to Y&T in the early '80s. And though not as consistent as the band's rock-solid debut two years earlier, it too collects a wealth of enjoyable material performed by an already very confident and mature band. Most noticeable of all, Struck Down is astoundingly heavy for its time, with high-energy cuts like the title track, "Road," and "Dreams of Egypt" packing loads of guts and swagger and evincing a bite which aptly captures the band's legendary live power onto vinyl. A few pedestrian moments, including the cheesy shuffle "Nasty Sadie," the rather one-dimensional "I'm Lost," and the psychedelic anachronism "Stargazer" keep this from being a fully satisfactory set, but they certainly could have done a lot worse. (allmusic) (BUY IT, GODDAMMIT!)