Friday, December 2, 2022

"Walkin' Shoes" by Tora Tora

Song#:  3991
Date:  08/12/1989
Debut:  100
Peak:  86
Weeks:  6
Genre:  Hard Rock, Glam Metal

Pop Bits:  This band from Memphis was formed by four guys in their late teens around 1985. They honed their performance and writing skills over the next couple years and they eventually won a local Battle of the Bands contest, which earned them recording time at Ardent Studios, one of the area's most famous studios where artists like Led Zeppelin, ZZ Top, and James Taylor had recorded. Tora Tora was able to record an EP in 1987 titled To Rock and Roll. A couple of tracks from the EP got some local airplay and the band started to attract label attention. They would end up signing on with A&M Records and work began on a full-length debut album. Surprise Attack would be ready by the summer of '89 and this first single would get issued out. It was able to get some attention at Rock reaching #25. The tune would cross over to the Pop chart where it would spend a few weeks near the bottom. While this single wouldn't be a major hit, the associated music video along with touring would help lift the album to a respectable #47.

ReduxReview:  This band had Southern rock/blues feel to some of their tracks, which was not surprising being from Memphis. If ZZ Top had crossed over into glam metal territory, this single might have been the result. There was a swagger to the tune and lead singer Anthony Corder sounded good with vocals that leaned towards the Axl Rose side of things. The production was solid as well. The band had talent and their debut album was a nice slice of late 80s glam metal. They should have been more popular, but by the time their second album came out, Nirvana had hit and it was downhill from there.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  With the band's debut album selling fairly well, A&M gave the band a second shot. In 1992, they would issue out their sophomore LP Wild America. A track from the album, "Amnesia," would only get to #39 at Rock. The album would then stall at #132. By that point in time, grunge was taking over and leaving hair metal bands like Tora Tora out in the cold. Still, A&M ponied up for a third album. Revolution Day was recorded in 1994, but with tastes in pop music changing and the label going through some upheaval, A&M chose to shelve the album. Tora Tora would end up off the roster and it led to the band going on hiatus. It would be a lengthy break with the original members finally getting back together in 2008. They were signed by the indie FNA Records and the label would push out three compilations plus a version of the band's shelved album Revolution Day. In 2019, the band would issue out their first album of new original material titled Bastards of Beale.


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