QUIET RIOT


"Live & Rare Vol. 1" (Deadline; 2005)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

 

This collection of vintage live and demo performances by the band who were once the biggest name in heavy metal is surprisingly effective and, for some reason, holds up better than some of the band's studio recordings.

Featuring tracks form the "Metal Health" tour and the "Condition Critical" tour, as well as three demos - all of which were originally recorded more than twenty years ago - "Live & Rare" sounds surprisingly fresh and clean. These aren't just leftover live tracks left lying around the band's collective floor, these are well-planned and professionally recorded tracks that capture a hugely successful act at the height of their popularity.

It's great to hear a huge crowd sing along with "Cum on Feel the Noize" and "Metal Health" and even the drum solo here doesn't have that pompous "look-at-me-I'm-a-drummer" feel that too many drum solos have.

The demos are interesting glimpses into the sounds of the early days and they don't sound half bad themselves. In fact, the demo for "Let's Get Crazy" doesn't sound all that different from the version that eventually appeared on "Metal Health."

The only minor annoyance here is that, for some reason, there's a two second gap of silence after each track, which really breaks up the continuity of the live tracks. Again, this is a minor detraction that Deadline Records has reportedly repaired on later pressings. Regardless, it's no big deal and, if it really bugs you, you can always re-burn the disc yourself and remove the silence.

"Live and Rare" is an interesting and telling glimpse into the early days and mammoth success of Quiet Riot. And it still rocks strongly even after all these years.

For more information, check out www.frankiebanali.com or www.kevindubrow.com


"Alive and Well" (Deadline; 1993)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

 

"Alive and Well" is a return to form by these veteran metalheads. It's chock-full of hard rock anthems that are crunchy, irresistible and just a little cheesy (and all the better for it.)

The best songs are "Don't Know What I Want," "Alive and Well," "Against the Wall" and a cover of AC/DC's "Highway to Hell." All are Quiet Riot near-classics (except for "Highway to Hell, obviously, which is an AC/DC classic as performed by Quiet Riot). Fans of the band's best stuff will probably like these tunes as well.

All isn't perfect, however. "Too Much Information," despite its attempt at social commentary, is a flat, silly little number. Maybe it's the fact that it tries to be serious that causes it to fail.

As a bonus, new recordings (okay, 1999 recordings) of some true Quiet Riot classics are also included: "Sign of the Times," "Don't Wanna Let You Go," "The Wild and the Young," "Mama Weer All Crazee Now," "Cum on Feel the Noize" and "Metal Health." I won't say they're better than the originals (how can you improve on those monster hits?) but the advances in recording technology and the band's progress as musicians are certainly apparent.

All told that's over 70 minutes of above-average Quiet Riot. Got a party coming up? Better get this CD ASAP.

Quiet Riot: Rudy Sarzo; Frankie Banali; Carlos Cavazo; Kevin DuBrow.

For more information, check out www.quietriotforce.com


"Terrified" (Moonstone; 1993)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

 

When "Terrified" was originally released in 1993, Quiet Riot had finished their roller coaster ride to stardom. They began as one of the bands that took heavy metal (we'd call it just "hard rock" today) to the top of the charts and you couldn't turn on the radio without hearing a Quiet Riot tune (how many times did you hear "Cum On Feel the Noise"?) By the time "Terrified" was released, however, Quiet Riot were the bane of hard rockers everywhere, the bottom of the barrel. It seemed they couldn't sell records if their life depended on it. A fickle business, rock'n'roll.

Strangely enough, Quiet Riot didn't let a little sales dip get in their way. The band recorded "Terrified" and other albums, even releasing a new studio CD, "Guilty Pleasures," just last year.

Where does "Terrified" fit into the Quiet Riot history? Well, it's nowhere near as addictive as either "Metal Health" or "Condition Critical" but it's not quite as banal as "QRIII" either. There are strong rockers ("Cold Day In Hell," "Terrified," "Psycho City" and the very Van Halen-like "Rude Boy"), there's the slower, ballad-like tunes ("Itchycoo Park,") and there's the songs you could just plain do without ("Dirty Lover"). "Rude, Crude Mood" is the closest to the band's classic sound, with Kevin DuBrow's vocals sounding more like the old days than ever. All of "Terrified" is that pure, 80's "metal" - hard rock with a heavier than usual blues undertone - that, if you like Quiet Riot's sound - you're bound to like this as well.

I think a few of the things that keep Quiet Riot alive are the band's obvious love for the music (they keep pumping it out year after year) and the individual bandmember's charismatic talent. Originality may not be Quiet Riot's strong point, but their ability to perfect the clichés may be.

By the way, if you're looking for this CD in the U.S., it's only available as an import entitled "Cold Day In Hell" and features different artwork. Unfortunately, this version, on Moonstone Records, is now out of print.

Quiet Riot: Carlos Cavazo - all guitars and backing vocals; Kevin DuBrow - Lead and backing vocals; Kenny Hillary - bass; Frankie Banali - drums.

For more information, check out http://www.quietriotonline.com


"Metal Health" (Portrait; 1983)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

 

This vinyl speaker buster was the first heavy metal album to go #1 on Billboard's album chart. I had it on cassette and my Delco speakers didn't do it justice. It was re-mastered in 2001 and the sound is so much better. I know of lot of music critics think this band was a one hit wonder because this CD was their high point; it was so high that it knocked off The Police from the top spot. 

Tragically, Randy Rhodes did not play guitar on this album and Carlos Cavazo took over axe slinging duties from there on. He's got a good sound and sometimes a soulful and bluesy guitar comes through the songs. Although this CD had only three songs that anybody would really recognize they were still big charting hits at that.

 

I'm sure a lot of people had this album and when other bands started coming out and moving up the charts they were compared to Quiet Riot. I know I did that. I applaud them for taking the number one spot away from The Police because now when I hear "Every Breath You Take" I just cringe.

 

The re-mastered disc has two new songs on it, "Danger Zone," and "Slick Black Cadillac" (live).  The singles you remember: "Metal Health," "Cum On Feel The Noise," and "Slick Black Cadillac."  The ones you might have missed, "Love's A Bitch," and "Breathless."  

For more information, check out http://www.quietriotonline.com


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 © 2009 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 08 Jan 2016 11:29:45 -0500.