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Tora Tora Biography

Last updated: 11/07/2009 11:00:00 AM

Tora Tora is a superb rock band that originated in Memphis. Their first recordings were released as an E.P. called "To Rock to Roll", which included the first song that the band ever wrote, "Wasted Love" and what was the most requested song on the radio for two months, "Phantom Rider". They only made 1000 copies and they sold out of them the first day.

Their first album is called "Surprise Attack" and it came out in 1989. The band tried some new styles of rock as well as several conventional rock songs. "Hard Times" uses a sort of bluesy hard rock song. "Guilty" is an excellent hard rock song to appear on a debut album because as soon as you hear it you immediately want to turn it up to full and rock to it. The album features two ballads, the first of which is "Phantom Rider" which is arguably the best track on the album. It is a brilliant song with an acoustic guitar base, but electric guitars enter half way through the song building it up to the solo which is fantastic. You just have to listen to it to hear how good it is!

The band's second album came out in 1992 and is even better than the first. It is called "Wild America" and starts off with a classic song which brings out the best of Tora Tora. As soon as you hear it you want to jump up and kick-ass! All the tracks on this album are different. Again the band uses a bluesy/jazzy style in "Dead Man's Hand" as with "Hard Times" in their debut album. "Nowhere To Go But Down" is a knew type of rock song than any others I've heard, and it is excellent. It's hard to tell if it's a ballad or a rocker. The band finishes the album with a heavy metal style song which has a typical rock song ending but finishes the album brilliantly.

The band did record a third album, in 1994, entitled "Revolution Day", but before its scheduled release their record company was bought out and Tora Tora were lost in the muddle. The third album reached it's final stages in the recording process but was never released. If anyone can help me get a copy of this album or give me more details, please contact me.

Around 1997/8, two of the members of Tora Tora (Anthony Corder and Patrick Francis) went on to form a band together called "Homemade Flavor". The rest of the line up included Hal McCormack on guitar, Tony Gravier on drums (both ex-Survivor), and Joe "Boogie" on Hammond B-3. They described their music as "a perfect blend of blues, soul, and rock that satisfies any music appetite". The band gigged locally around Memphis, Tennessee but often under the name "Tora Tora". They did some recording in Hal McCormack's home studio and apparently had some interest from a couple of record companies but no news since. The band had a webiste but even that has disappeared now.