ARTIST: Yo La Tengo
TITLE: Ride the Tiger
YEAR RELEASED: 1986
CHART ACTION: None
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: If you have a YLT comp or two – maybe.
LINEUP: Ira Kaplan, Georgia Hubley, Dave Schramm, Mike Lewis
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: The start of a long and commendable career, the first YLT album has some of the charm, but is more a straight forward four piece band at this time.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Hoboken’s finest created a small stir in independent circles in 1986 with their debut release. The indy circuit then wasn’t as big as it is now, so in terms of sales and real ink, not so much.
But the building blocks were there. This was mostly a collection of Ira Kaplan songs, the guitar chords and changes were interesting. They had a great choice of a cover (the Kinks Big Sky). What they didn’t have was the sonic adventure that a YLT normally has. The songs are decent. It’s a good, not great, 1986 independent record.
The album reminds me of the Feelies a bit, which is ironic since the Feelies released their second record on the same record company that year.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: Kaplan is kind of a guitar hero now (in a very YLT way) but he said in an interview that Dave Schramm’s guitar was the best thing on the record.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes, a reissue has an early single and two live cuts.
GRADE: B-: It’s not bad. It’s consistent. I like it. But there’s nothing that really moves you.