Leatherwolf - Street Ready
Island Records
80's Hair Metal
10 songs (40'43)
Release year: 1989
Reviewed by Danny
Archive review

In the rush for novelty, new releases, new bands, new genres (difficult these days to a find a new metal style), many albums are left behind because the media want to be the first to talk of the new "big thing". Labels drop behind many good albums, not to say many great bands. No my friends, this is not an editorial, it just my way to present you one of my all time favorite album, Street Ready. We all have ups and downs in our life and some albums help us to stand up and fight :). Street Ready is one of them.

The line up on Street Ready was: Michael Olivieri (vocals / guitar), Carey Howe (guitar), Geoffrey Gayer (guitar), Paul Carman (bass), Dean Roberts (drums). This Los Angeles heavy/power metal act was founded back in 1981. They tour at that time with Poison, Mötley Crüe, Great White, WASP.

Leatherwolf was following Queensrÿche's path. If you possess the first Queensrÿche EP - my favorite Queensrÿche album with Operation Mindcrime - and The Warning, you already have an idea of Street Ready. After the first mini-album in 1984 (demo ?), they released they second album in 1987 easily called Leatherwolf. The influence of Queensrÿche and Fates Warning is crystal clear on 1987 self-titled album (produced by Kevin Beamish). Street Ready was also produced by Beamish but this third album was mixed by Michael Wagener, which makes all the difference. Leatherwolf combine three guitars and keyboards that sets them apart from other bands. Unlike their previous two self-titled albums, Street Ready sounds like an heavy/rock arena, a kind of studio album of Alive I (Kiss). With its enormous sound (for that time) and its enormous production (especially the vocals & the guitars), Street Ready was the new heavy-metal sound, the kind of album that would put shade on Iron Maiden. Who said three guitars ;)

I am amazed until these days to see how this ten tracks melodic heavy metal album passed like a ghost. Bombastic tracks like Wicked Ways, Street Ready, Too Much and Thunder justify alone the money spend for the record. Mi-tempo track like Hideaway or The Way I Feel rules long time before Iced Earth wrote Melancholy. Lonely Road is another track highlighting Leatherwolf's fantastic song-writing. At that time, I was sure Leatherwolf would dethroned the best heavy metal bands out there (Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Queensrÿche) within the next few months. I remember taping this album to all my friends, as nobody knew that band. I was sure they would do a killing. It wasn't the case.

The non-success of Street Ready - and Leatherwolf - remains an enigma for me. This album is perfect from the first note until the last one. Micheal Olivieri was at that time my favorite heavy metal singer (just after Paul Stanley of course) and Leatherwolf's song-writing is still much better compare to Queensrÿche latest albums. Luck plays always a big role. I like to say luck was not on Leatherwolf side. As said above, this "ghost-album" had poor sales in 1989 and Leatherwolf was dropped from Island Records. We never heard again of this band ... until the release of the live album Wide Open in 1999.

If you are a collector of the 80's, your collection will never be complete if you do not possess Street Ready.

Simply one of my favorite album ;)

Killing Songs :
Thunder, The Way I Feel, Wicked Ways, Lonely Road
Danny quoted 95 / 100
Mike quoted 95 / 100
Other albums by Leatherwolf that we have reviewed:
Leatherwolf - New World Asylum reviewed by Mike and quoted no quote
Leatherwolf - World Asylum reviewed by Mike and quoted 86 / 100
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There are 4 replies to this review. Last one on Mon Oct 25, 2004 7:22 pm
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