Tora Tora is a hard rock band formed in Memphis, TN in 1985. "Tora" means "tiger" in Japanese (not "bird", which is "tori" in Japanese). The name is a play on the code name for attack used by the Japanese Imperial Navy during their attack on Pearl Harbor, "Tora, Tora, Tora". The actual origin of the bandname was more likely a reference to the song of the same name recorded by Van Halen on their 1980 release Women and Children First.
Tora Tora started out as a local garage band then eventually got studio time when they won a local Battle of the Bands contest. Following this, the band recorded To Rock To Roll as an independent EP. After its release the songs "Phantom Rider" and "Love's A Bitch" received extensive airplay on local radio station Rock 98. After signing with A&M Records, they recorded their debut album Surprise! Attack in 1989. This album peaked on Billboard's Top 200 at #47. The single "Dancing With A Gypsy" was on the soundtrack for the film Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure later that year.
In 1992, their second album, Wild America, was released. It only achieved #134 on the Billboard charts and it did not sell as well, but, it was a more mature step at songwriting.
A third album, Revolution Day, was recorded in 1994, but it was never released due to label restructuring. After missing the due date, the band folded.
Recently, in 2008, all four original band members have reunited to do several performances. One was a sold out performance at Newbie's, a local club in Memphis, TN to celebrate their 20th anniversary of receiving their record deal. After the show, a record was sold to fans which included songs from their first two albums and material slated for their unreleased "Revolution Day" album. The album was titled The Warehouse... 20 Years Later. The second occurred during Rocklahoma 2008. The band is scheduled to play another reunion show at The New Daisy Theatre on March 7, 2009, in Memphis.
At the end of 2009 Tora Tora signed with the Nashville, Tennessee based FNA Records and released 3 albums. "Before & After", "Bombs Away: The Unreleased Surprise Attack Recordings", and "Miss B. Haven': The Unreleased Wild America Recordings".
Tora Tora - Before & After - is a "New" Collection of "Old" Recordings. Before & After is comprised of 10 tracks . The first 5 tracks are from the "VERY LIMITED" cassette-only release of To Rock To Roll. (See the original album art on the inside of this album). The sixth track is the very original recorded version of Walkin' Shoes which would eventually wind up on Surprise Attack and be a stand out track and video. The remaining four tracks are demos that were written for the unreleased third album and never turned into A&M records. Here's your chance to see how Tora Tora was progressing as the music industry was taking a very new direction. Onde again, FnA Records went in and cleaned up a lot of the stray noises that can occur when recording demos...and the outcome is an extremely listenable project. On top of that, the listener gets to hear some AMAZING Tora Tora tunes that were never available anywhere else until now. Be sure to check out the other rare recordings being released through FnA Records on Tora Tora. In trying to stay with the hugely succesful album cover of the bomber girl that donned the Surprise Attack album cover, FnA Records has recruited some of the top artists to design its artwork for the new Tora Tora releases.
Tora Tora started out as a local hard rock "garage" band formed in Memphis, TN in 1985. They eventually won a "Battle Of The Bands" which earned them some studio time. This would eventually lead to the release of an independent (and very limited cassette only release) of an EP entitled To Rock To Roll. The songs "Phantom Rider" and "Love's A Bitch" received extensive airplay on local radio station Rock 98 which then lead to the band signing with A&M Records. For A&M records they recorded their debut album Surprise Attack in 1989. This album peaked on Billboard's Top 200 at #47. The single "Dancing With A Gypsy" was on the soundtrack for the film Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure later that year. In 1992, their second album, Wild America, was released. Although only reaching #134 on the Billboard charts, it was a more mature step at songwriting.
Currently, the band gets together approximately two times a year and plays a full force live show. In 2009, they signed exclusively with FnA Records to release 3 albums of material.