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Come on, admit it. This album is fantastic. It's chock full of heaviness, memorable riffs, and fun. It was the first ever heavy metal album to top the USA Billboard chart. That's an achievement that should be acknowledged. Of course, this band was lumped in with other bands such as Motley Crue and Ratt and labelled as 'glam metal', but I see more of value in Quiet Riot than with those other bands. Let's delve in to the history, shall we?
Some metal fans view Quiet Riot as "that band Randy Rhoads was in before Ozzy Osbourne" and nothing more. However, for a start, Rhoads wasn't just "in" the band; he was a founding member and basically the one that really pulled it all together in the early years. However, the version of Quiet Riot that we hear on this album is very different to the original Rhoads-era of the band, with the only member in common being singer Kevin DuBrow. Rhoads co-founded QR in the mid-seventies, and had left the band by 1980 to join Ozzy Osbourne's new solo band he was starting, recently estranged from Black Sabbath. The other members left and DuBrow was left to assemble a new line up of musicians and he decided to carry on using the Quiet Riot name, and this is the album that followed.
"Bang Your Head (Metal Health)", the opening track, carries an iconic riff and several screams from DuBrow. It's as true a heavy metal anthem as they come. Each member of the lineup, also including drummer Frankie Banali, guitarist Carlos Cavazo and bassist Rudy Sarzo, has the oppurtunity on this song to show off their capabilities. Then comes the Slade cover that catapulted them to stardom, "Cum On Feel the Noize". Their label really wanted them to record this cover so that the band would have a hit on their hands. The band supposedly wanted to play the song as horribly as possible so that the label would have to just let go of the idea. Apparently, this didn't play out the way the band intended it to, and "Noize" became their biggest hit. And to be fair, I don't see what's so horrible about the cover anyway. It's fast, energetic, and rockin'. One of my favourite songs on this album.
The band show off their quieter side in "Don't Wanna Let You Go", a song of love, lust and heartbreak (Indeed proving that they can start a Quiet Riot). It’s very stylistic of glam metal music. This is followed by a another hard rocker, "Slick Black Cadillac", which was actually written as far back as 1978, and appeared on original QR's album "Quiet Riot II". The "Slick Black Cadillac" on this album is a re-recording. It's just as hard rocking and energetic as the original, if not more so.
The remainder of the album consists primarily of more straight metal anthems. "Battle Axe" is a minute-and-a-half solo from Carlos Cavazo, and "Thunderbird", the closing track, is a more ballad-type song that is dedicated to Randy Rhoads. DuBrow supposedly wrote it for him whilst he was still alive, but decided to add on an extra verse following his tragic death in a plane crash. I personally prefer the music on this song to the lyrics. It has some great melody to it which makes it a fitting tribute to DuBrow's old band mate, whose musical abilities have been recognised and acclaimed by the metal community, thanks to his exposure from his time in Ozzy Osbourne's band.
If you are a fan of heavy metal, you should give this album a listen. It doesn't matter if you don't consider yourself much of a glam fan. Metal Health is infectious, and full of rock energy. Give it a spin and really prepare yourself to Bang Your Head.
Please excuse the title, I couldn't resist.
Quiet Riot, a band which I have recently gotten into (I was aware of them for a while but just recently decided to pick up their records) have a great record here. It's a very consistent hard rock album with plenty of good juicy songs and head banging fun.
Once you hear songs other than "Metal Health" and "Cum On Feel The Noize" you start to hear whole different sides of the band. "Don't Wanna Let You Go" is a laid-back light-picking song, absent are heavy riffs or screams, and "Thunderbird" is a ballad, also one of my favorites on the album. As I said, it's consistent, proving the band can dish out a batch of songs with no filler. I don't know how much that means to you, but to me it means a lot. Consider this, "Number Of The Beast" had filler ("Gangland") and "Paranoid" ("Planet Caravan"). While you ponder that, let me continue.
"Slick Black Cadillac" is a very catchy hard rock song, once again great. There's even a little gem called "Battle Axe". Even though it only runs for a little over a minute it's a fine guitar solo. Sure, the album isn't perfect, hence the 95, but it is a great succesful metal album, full of ACDC-like choruses and hard riffs.
I find this album a good time to write on my views of early metal bands. These guys (along with bands like ACDC, and Black Sabbath) founded metal. The earliest metal albums were dished out by these guys. Quiet Riot even developed the idea of a signature costume (metal mask and strait jacket) that many bands (Lordi, GWAR, and Slipknot to name several) would use in the future. Saying that, I am outraged by people who compare bands from completely different times. You can not compare Black Sabbath and Lordi, or Quiet Riot and Dragonforce. I hear people say stuff like "Dragonforce is better than Iron Maiden because their guitarist can play faster than their guitarist". Consider this, bands like Quiet Riot, Black Sabbath, and Iron Maiden, had very different things to listen to when they developed their groups, unlike newer bands who have decades of metal to listen to. For that bands like Quiet Riot deserve a hell of a lot of credit because they fuckin invented metal!
With that of my chest I can wrap this thing up. Quiet Riot-Metal Health is a great early metal album full of hard riffs, and head banging. How about you pop it in and relive how it all began, the days when metal was invented, then how about you thank these guys for how much they contributed. Without them, there wouldn't be an Encyclopedia Metallum. Bang your head, rock on, up the irons and do whatever else it takes!!!
There were heavy metal that have made it to the mainstream before (British Steel, Blizzard of Ozz, and Number of the Beast, etc.), but it was this album that truly broke metal into the mainstream and made it very popular. It was after all, the first metal album to chart all the way to #1 on the billboard chart back in 1983. Knowing that, this not exactly the best example of heavy metal ever. This album is pretty damn good and all that, but it does tend to get pretty silly and stupid at times. However, this album is fun as shit to listen to.
The only problem I really have with this, and most Quiet Riot albums is Kevin Dubrow. I mean, he's a pretty good singer, but sometimes his voice can be pretty damn silly. It works for the most part, but when the band tries to do ballads and more serious songs (i.e. Thunderbird), his singing just turns the song into an entire abominaiton. Pretty much, Kevin (as well as the rest of the band) were never really meant to be taken seriously. However, this is just one fun band to listen to, so it's not like it's suppose to be serious anyway.
The best songs on this album have to be the hits Metal Health and the Slade cover, Cum on Fell the Noize. Both songs are fun as hell to listen to, and the formal track has a nice 80s sounding main riff that carries the song all the way through. Other songs worthy of mention are Run For Cover, Breathless, and the instrumental, Battle Axe. Run For Coevr is some pretty nice speed metal with a sweet solo. Battle Axe has a nice ass guitar solo that I'm sure had to have influenced Dimebag Darrrel back when he was still teasing his hair.
However, though this album does have classics, it does have a fair amount of filler. All three of the ballads, especially Thunderbird are pretty bad. They especially fucked up the latter track (that was suppose to be a tribute to Randy Rhodes) with that stupid ass chorus. I'm pretty sure Rhodes was turning over his grave in agony upon hearing this song. This is easily the worst song on this album. As stated before, this band was never meant to do ballads. They're just not serious enough. Maybe if they had someone else sing their ballads, they would sound better.
For the most part, this is some good ass glam/heavy metal metal. It's not the most consistent album, but the highlights really shine here. However, I'd take Twisted Sister over this band any day. They do the same style of metal, only better. I'd still recommend this album to anyone into 80s metal. BANG YOUR HEAD!!! METAL HEALTH WILL DRIVE YOU MAAAD!!!!
Quiet Riot is a band that stood out from the pack in the LA scene in 1983. Of course they later faded out into near-obscurity, but that is another story.
This is the album that made them popular after they were struggling for success in the late 70s (when Randy Rhoads was in the lineup). I can easily understand why this album broke into the number 1 spot.
This album has some filler but not too much. Most of the songs are catchy enough to keep replaying them (save for the filler). More than half of the songs are solid. It’s a party metal album but most of the songs have a good quality to them The vocals, guitars, bass and drums are all solid for the most part.
Metal Health is one of my favorite metal songs ever. It’s a true anthem of rebellion, not unlike Breaking the Law or We’re Not Gonna Take It (but it’s definitely better than those two songs). Once the opening riff hits you, you know this is going to be great metal song. The lyrics are really cheesy but I think that only adds to the appeal and charm of the song. DuBrow’s vocals sound really, really good on this song as does Cavazo’s guitar crunch. And the song has a great guitar solo. Cum On Feel the Noize is a very fun party rocker that is the most popular song on this album (but not the best). This song also features a great guitar solo.
The album features more good material besides the two standard hits. Run for Cover is a great up tempo song with decent bass, good guitars and good vocals. Love’s a Bitch starts out acoustic and then gets heavy. It has a really catchy chorus and good bass. Run for Cover and Love’s a Bitch are tied for second best song on this album (first would be Metal Health obviously). Slick Black Cadillac is another party rocker that is almost as good as Cum On Feel the Noize. One of bonus tracks on the 2001 remaster is a live version of Slick Black Cadillac that is good as well. Let’s Get Crazy is not the greatest but not the worst either. It is middle of the road sleazy sex anthem but I still enjoy it a good amount. The rest of the songs on this album are nothing special.
Favorite Tracks: Metal Health, Cum on Feel the Noize, Love’s a Bitch, Run for Cover, Breathless, Slick Black Cadillac, Let’s Get Crazy
Definitely one of many albums that really gets something going in the beginning but fades as it goes on.
This album carries a large amount of historical importance, as it was the first metal album ever to reach #1 on the billboard chart and therefore definitely held a hand in putting the LA hard rock scene on the map. Well, yeah, I guess you can hate this album all you want, then - but it's not nearly as cheesy/ghey/whatever as several others of the scene and most of the songs on here sound like straight up 80's metal with little glam to be found.
Of course - if glam IS your thing then you likely have a lot to thank this one for. Ok, it's no Shout at the Devil, but mercifully no Look What the Cat Dragged In either. This album is actually a bit comparable to W.A.S.P.'s first album (very much so vocally) - more straight up metal than glam, but still with definite LA "party" feel. Not quite as screaming or intense as that album, but nonetheless a respectable release. A not quite as strong Skid Row debut, six years earlier, is another possible comparison.
BANG YOUR HEEEEEAAAAAAD!!!!!!!! FUCK YES, I just couldn't wait to make that clear, so I wrote it in the title: the title track of this album is absolutely fantastic. A bit simplistic on the riff side of things, but still oh-so-heavy, oh-so-well written and especially oh-so-FUCKEN EXCELLENT!!! I mean, there's the AC/DC-like but heavier opening riff, the nasty verse which builds from semi acoustic to heavy crunch and the ridiculously catchy and anthemic CHORUS!!!! This basically sums up the whole metal spirit of the 80's - scientific studies show that Metal Health WILL drive you mad! Oh yeah, and the solo is pretty fucking good too, as is the slow down section at 2.29 (Metal Health will turn you crazyyyy, Metal Health will turn you Mad) and the "crowd interaction" (well, the crowd is sort of replaced with lead guitar) section that starts at 3.30. An absolute grade A+ number right here, and probably the best anthemic number ever written.
The title song was the first single of this album, but it was single number two, song number two on this album, "Cum on Feel the Noise" that turned 'Metal Health' into a commercial success. This is a Slade cover and DEFINITELY more on the party-hearty, glammish side, but certainly is no slouch. It's a great, catchy sing-along number and also very anthemic just like the first song, but of course it's not quite as excellent - you cannot possibly expect it to be, really, so no bitching from my side. Furthermore, the solo is quite amazing and well worth hearing. One complaint is that the song is a bit too repetitive for anyone's good - if you listen to it, you'll notice that the verse and chorus sound almost exactly the same. In any case, a great song and the second best song on here.
So this is where the album fades... unfortunately, none of the other songs stand out nearly as much as the first two. "Slick Black Cadillac" is, you guessed it, a total 80's party rock number (it's actually a re-recorded number, originally on one of the two Randy Rhoads albums) - decent fun and catchiness here, but the songwriting is all but impressive and not nearly as strong as the other total party cut on the album (the second track).
"Breathless" has a fairly decent gallop to it, Run for Cover is good speed metal similar to Accept circa '81/'82 and possibly the highlight of the remainder of songs, but again - it does little to really go for the throat and stand out. Battle Axe is a short guitar-only instrumental, and therefore a little too minimal for my taste. Actually, no insane fret skills to be found here - just some cool general guitar "ideas". Let's Get Crazy isn't bad, but very formulatic and also the chorus sounds like a weaker version of the opening song.
The three remaining songs arguably check in as ballads (no, they're not tacked together at the end, this is just the first time I don't review the songs in order;)) and while they are ballads and written by an LA-based band, none of them really check in as "LA-ballads" (The Crue would actually start this trend in 1985, with "Home Sweet Home"). "Don't Wanna Let You Go" sounds like soft 70's rock more than anything else and the more power ballad-ish "Love's a Bitch" builds from soft acoustics to crunch, much like the typical Tesla formula. "Thunderbird" is just terrible. Very much so; be sure to "Run for Cover" after "Let's Get Crazy" (*shoots himself in the head*).
The 2001 remaster of this album features the pretty average "Danger Zone" (hilariously stupid-sounding chorus, BTW) and a live version of "Slick Black Cadillac" that is better than the studio version.
This album is worth the price for the title track alone, especially if you're a fan of 80's metal, overall. This is really no more glam than W.A.S.P.; there is indeed an 80's, LA party feel to the whole thing, but only two songs are total and unabashed glam. There are likely hundreds of better LA hard rock/metal albums out there, but only a handful of songs that are better than the title song. "Get your ssssstraight jackets oooonnnn tonite!!!!!!!!"