"Before and Laughter" (Triple X Records; 2000)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

In the liner notes to this CD, Stephen Pearcy explains: "These songs are from my personal collection of DAT's, cassettes, 24 tracks (and not always analog) written by myself and some great writers I've had the pleasure of writing with over the years." So you know, going in, that you're listening to archive material and not a brand new CD release.

Still, for the most part, the production and sound quality on "Before and Laughter" are pretty good and, although many of the songs were left on Ratt's cutting room floor with good reason (although none are truly awful), it's cool to hear a very rough, original version of the Ratt classic "Round and Round" and a live version of "Out of the Cellar" performed when the band was still Mickey Ratt.

As Pearcy himself admits, again in the liner notes, "Before and Laughter" is really for "the collectors and hardcore fans." Fans of Ratt and Pearcy will find lots to like here; others are probably better off sticking to the original Ratt and Percy's other releases.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2004 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.