Tygers of Pan Tang are a heavy metal band, formed in 1978 and originating from Whitley Bay, England. They are a notable band of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal movement. The band is named after the pets of the Wizards of Pan Tang - an elite group of chaos-worshipping warriors from Michael Moorcock's Elric of Melniboné stories.
Early days, 1978-1983
The band was originally formed by Jess Cox (vocals), Robb Weir (guitar), Richard "Rocky" Laws (bass), and Brian Dick (drums). They played in working men's clubs and were first signed by local independent label Neat Records before MCA gave them a major record deal. After several singles, they released their first album, Wild Cat, in 1980. The album reached No. 18 in the UK Album Chart in the first week of its release.
Subsequently John Sykes (formerly of Streetfighter, later in Badlands, Thin Lizzy, Whitesnake, and Blue Murder) was added as second guitarist. Jess Cox had a falling out with the others and quit, to be replaced by Persian Risk vocalist Jon Deverill. This lineup released Spellbound in 1981.
Sykes quit after the release of the third album, Crazy Nights, to audition for Ozzy Osbourne's band. He was replaced by ex-Penetration guitarist Fred Purser who had to learn the set in two days before touring.
Tygers of Pan Tang's fourth album, The Cage, was released in 1982. The band then had a disagreement with MCA, who were not prepared to promote them unless they agreed to play more cover recordings (following the band's hit with "Love Potion No. 9"). They subsequently tried to break free from their contract, but MCA's demands exceeded the willingness of any other record company to pay to free the band, and the band broke up in frustration.
John Sykes later achieved success with Thin Lizzy and then Whitesnake, and as a guitarist in Japan.
In 1985, Jon Deverill and Brian Dick reformed the band with Steve Lamb (formerly of Sergeant) on guitar, Neil Sheppard on guitar, and ex-Warrior, ex-Satan member Clin Irwin on bass. Dave Donaldson later replaced Clin Irwin. Meanwhile, Robb Weir and Jess Cox formed the spin-off band Tyger-Tyger.
The reformed Tygers of Pan Tang released The Wreck-Age in summer 1985 through Music for Nations, and Burning in the Shade in 1987, through Zebra Records. Burning in the Shade received poor reviews and they disbanded again.
Various compilations and live albums were produced by the band's two first labels, Neat Records and MCA.
Wild Cat - 1980 - #18 UK
Live at Nottingham Rock City - Live, 1981
Spellbound - 1981 - #33 UK
Crazy Nights - 1981 - #51 UK
The Cage - 1982 - #13 UK
The Wreck-Age - 1985
First Kill (Re-release of early demo recordings) - 1986
Burning in the Shade - 1987
On The Prowl: The Best Of (compilation) - 1999
Mystical - 2001
Live at Wacken - Live, 2001
Live in the Roar - Live, 2003
Noises From the Cathouse - 2004
Detonated (compilation) - 2005
Leg of the Boot: Live in Holland - Live, 2005
Big Game Hunting (The Rarities) - 2005
Animal Instinct - 2008
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Do It Good
Raised On Rock
Running Out Of Time
Love Don't Stay
Paris By Air
Lonely At The Top
Danger In Paradise
Love Potion No.9
Don't Touch Me There
Slave To Freedom
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