Panther – ‘Panther’ (1986) – Album Review (The Jeff Scott Soto Series)

Welcome and Happy New Year!! We are finally here. The first in the Jeff Scott Soto Series. I have been teasing this thing for months and let me tell you I am really excited to finally be starting the series. We are not going to go through Jeff’s entire career, but mostly focusing on albums where he is the featured singer. He has done a ton of tribute album songs, but this is all about the Studio albums he has done with his solo work and numerous bands he has been in and there are a lot. I have followed Jeff’s career for over 20 years thanks to the site Melodicrock.com. It was there I discovered Jeff with his band Talisman and his solo work. And from there, I’ve gone a little nuts. I’ve explored his entire career which now spans out 37+ years. We aren’t going back to the very beginning which would’ve have been his birth on November 4, 1965…nope that is too far back. We will pick things up in 1984 when Jeff was only 18 years old with his first real band. Yes, I know he wasn’t an official member of this band and that he was only used to record the demos so they could find a singer, but it is the first real recordings we have that have been released.

The album ‘Panther’ by the band Panther was originally released in 1986 and was only a 6 song E.P. Wait, 1986. If that is the case, why is this the first album? I’ll tell you why. The album was recorded in 1984/85 (depends what you read) as demos for the band. Right after recording the album, Jeff received a phone call from the management of some new gun slinger named Yngwie Malmsteen. Soto jumped at the chance and left the band to work with Yngwie’s Rising Force. Technically, the Yngwie albums were released prior to this one, but this one was recorded prior to those so that is why I am starting with this one. It is my site and my party and I’ll start where I want!

After Jeff’s success with Yngwie, the label finally released the album in 1986. It was released as an E.P. with only 6 songs. Good luck finding that original E.P. and if you have it…ugh how much do you want for it???? My copy is actually a re-release of the E.P. with four additional songs only a few years back in 2018. And that is perfect for me as I love to have as many songs as I can get. The band was Jeff Scott Soto on vocals, Mike Barrish on guitar, Glen Davis on bass and Scott Taylor on drums. The boys played up and down the LA Strip and played a lot at The Troubadour. Their style was typical 80’s Hard Rock with a very NWOBHM influence as well. And since that is all the history of the band I have been able to piece together (accurately or not accurately is to be determined) let us get to the music.

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