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After years of professional frustration with little to show for their efforts, Y&T parted with longtime label A&M to seek out pop-metal salvation at the hands of A&R guru John Kalodner and the red-hot Geffen Records. But although 1987's Contagious was given the same Kalodner treatment (party lyrics, gang vocals, synthesizer splashes, sugar-coated guitar riffs, etc.) which led to Aerosmith's miraculous comeback the same year, Dave Meniketti and crew would have no such luck. From the very first "hey!" which launches the bombastic title track (a barely disguised rehash of Bon Jovi's "Livin' on a Prayer"), Contagious is your textbook example of sleek, over-produced '80s pop-metal: all fluff and frilly shirts, no substance. Mid-paced melodic rockers like "L.A. Rocks" and "The Kid Goes Crazy" peddle their numbskull choruses ad nausea, to the point of embarrassment, actually. It may have worked for any number of lesser hair bands with prettier faces, but not for Y&T, who also managed to alienate whatever was left of their original audience in the process. And even though they would take another stab at it with the somewhat improved Ten, Contagious effectively signaled Y&T's death knell.

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