REVIEW: Quiet Riot – QRIII (1986)

For Aaron’s KMA review of this CD, click here!

QUIET RIOT – QRIII (1986 CBS)

A short while ago, longtime LeBrain reader Deke and Jon from E-tainment Reviews brought up QRIII as a contender for Worst Quiet Riot of All Time.  Digging into the discussion, I mentioned 1995’s Down to the Bone as another possible contender.  Jon also mitigated QRIII by reminding us of the teriffic single “The Wild and the Young”; the only reason to own it.  So the jury is technically still out….

QRIII  certainly sucks.  I knew that I could do one of two things for its review:  Take a shit on the album cover and post a picture of that as the review, or lambaste it verbally and harshly.  Unable to decide between the two approaches, I instead decided on a first for mikeladano.com:  the very first Choose Your Own Review!(™)  Choose A) The Short One, or B) The Long One!

REVIEW A: The Short One

QRSHIIIT

REVIEW B:  The Verbose One

QRIII (actually Quiet Riot’s fifth album) did nothing to revitalize their career. DuBrow was fired shortly after, leaving no original members. Quiet Riot soldiered on for one more album and tour anyway (with Paul Shortino on the creatively titled album but redeeming QR), before breaking up.  In ’93 they finally reunited with Dubrow intact, on the decently heavy Terrified CD.

QRIII, released in 1986, was a sign of desperation closing in.  Rudy Sarzo was out, and in was Chuck Wright. The band had flatlined commercially, so what did they do? They copied everybody else’s formula for success. That means they incorporated an overabundance of keyboards, buried the guitar way down in the mix, sampled everything, recorded sappy and faceless ballads, glossed it all up, and basically snuffed out any spark that this band once had. I felt that they also copied Kiss somewhat in image, with bouffant hairdos and sequined gowns that looked like hand-me-downs from Paul Stanley’s Asylum wardrobe. DuBrow’s new wig didn’t help things.

There is the one song that rises above the stinky, putrid toxic morass that is QRIII. “The Wild and the Young”, despite its reliance on samples, is actually a really strong hard rock rebellion.  On this track, the studio techno-wizardry did its trick.  The song is irresistible, and remains a personal favourite.  The drums kill it, and the gang vocal chorus is catchy as hell.  The song was accompanied by a creative video, so I was suckered into buying the tape.   If I had only known there was just one good song, I wouldn’t have spent my hard earned allowance on QRIII.  More to the point, if I had known just how bad the rest of the album actually was, I would have steered way clear.  Everything is choked down in a mechanical slop of keys and samples.   These songs are so nauseating, so tepid, so embarrassing, that I really can’t say it with enough vigor.

The lyrics:  mostly pathetic nonsense.  “The Pump”:

Well let’s pump pump pump pump,
Strike it rich what you’re dreamin’ of,
Let’s pump pump pump pump,
We’re gonna hunt for gold, Gonna dig for love.

Then, throw in a Plant-esque moan of “Push, push, push, oh! oh! oh!.”  Serious.

Lastly there are the sadly misguided attempts at a “soulful” direction, which crash and burn gloriously. I’m sure in the studio, producer Spencer Proffer assured Quiet Riot that he was producing a hit album.  This would get them on radio and MTV, he might have guaranteed.  Meanwhile, the real situation was more like, “Let’s throw anything and everything to the wall and see what sticks, because this band’s asses are on the line this time.”  But it was the band who wrote this slop with Proffer, so they bear equal responsibility for the calamity.  I’m sure there were so many drugs in the air that “The Pump” actually seemed clever at the time.

QRIII will be remembered not as the album that knocked Quiet Riot down, (that honor goes to Condition Critical) but as the album that flat-out buried them. They would never be a serious commercial property again.

Do you enjoy the crash and burn of an astonishing train wreck? QRIII is for you.

0.5/5 stars

QRIII_0003

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62 comments

  1. I was wondering where I put my chainsaw, but I guess you must have nicked it when I wasn’t looking…
    I actually bought this LP without having heard one single note off of it. As a teenager, I loved Quiet Riot and in my mind, when Metal health and Condition Crirical were both such killers (really, what was I thinking???), how could they go wrong with this one? Well it took me about 10 seconds when the synthesizers in the beginning of Main Attraction attacked me. Mind you, I loved this kind of hard rock back then (well, still do, actually) with big chorouses and lots of keyboards, but Quiet Riot weren’t an AOR band.
    Also, DuBrow’s new haircut puzzled me a bit as I never thought it was a wig. I just wondered how on earth he made his thin hair grow like that. Took me some years to figure out that it was a wig. Today every rocker and their mothers wears wigs, but it wasn’t common back in 1986.

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    1. The chainsaw was right next to the toilet, Jon, but as you can see, I was all out of toilet paper…

      And I do get what you mean. I heard Main Attraction and I thought, “It’s light but not bad…” but then the whole album went downhill. As you said, QR aren’t an AOR band and they couldn’t write good enough songs for AOR…most of the songs here just suck.

      And yes in 1986 few rockers wore wigs that we were aware of! We knew Gene was wearing a wig after he cut his hair off for Runaway but that’s about it.

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  2. OMG the shoulder pads. I seem to remember the cover of this album as a striking maroon color. Am I wrong or is that a different album? 1986 is the year I started really getting into Prog, anything resembling QR was far out of my radar. I wouldn’t really start listening to Metal for another 3 years or so, but even the I wouldn’t have given this slop a chance. I was even listening to Poison by then. QR wasn’t even relevant by the time they could have made a difference.shame. Still think Metal Health is a great song but no such luck here eh?

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    1. Craig the maroon album is QR, the next one, with Paul Shortino on lead vocals.

      Strangely I haven’t even reviewed my favourite QR album which is Metal Health! I keep reviewing the shit ones it seems…

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    1. Yes. Both Frankie Banali (drums) and Chuck Wright (bass) are brilliant musicians. Too bad the band they were in weren’t all that great…

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      1. Ratt is the other one, you change the lead singer so often and its all a mushy messy poop. BTW if you want some good poop pics I’d send them but then you would see how messy my yard is.

        Woof.

        DiMartino is a good player too. Is he not in Ratt now?

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  3. I see you went with the “soft serve” style defecation. An interesting choice. I thought some explosive diarrhea may be in order, but I respect your decision. Pretty bad album, I agree. “The Wild And The Young” is a great tune though (as you mentioned).

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    1. Well Jeff, it came down to an artistic decision. While I believe that a violent, messy shit is better treatment for this CD, I just couldn’t get the aim right ;)

      And yeah, The Wild and the Young is a fun tune, and putting this article together I enjoyed watching that music video quite a few times!

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  4. I see you went with the “soft serve” style defecation. An interesting choice. I thought some explosive diarrhea may be in order, but I respect your decision. Pretty bad album, I agree. “The Wild And The Young” is a great tune though (as you mentioned).

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  5. e-tainment news reviews :
    Yes. Both Frankie Banali (drums) and Chuck Wright (bass) are brilliant musicians. Too bad the band they were in weren’t all that great…

    No, I didn’t mean as musicians, I am not familiar with the rest of their work. I was mostly referring to the style of the video and the clothes, etc.

    You work with what you have, when you are trying to fit a format you constrain yourselves and play down to that style.

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  6. Hahaha..good pic of a nasty coiler on the cover!
    flashback to 86.. I dug Metal Health,did not dig Condition Critical ( could not have named that one with a more appropriate title if u ask me!)
    Buddy had Mtv beemed into Tbay at his place and we went and watched the world premiere of The Wild And The Young and half the song was over when we couldn’t help staring at Dubrows new mop!!! And not paying attention to the song until,after the solo and from what I gathered not bad!..ummm until I purchased the thing that is!!
    Yeah I think I liked Put Up or Shut Up, kinda liked Mane Attaction and the W&TY!
    That’s it…..and it fell off the face of my record collection..banished to the closet!!!
    Pump like u said is just brutal and band running on fumes to fill 40 minutes…
    Album died..tour bombed….we know the rest ….I bought the next one just on the fact that Shortino who I dug in Rough Cutt was in..but man that one was no better ….they were done…..
    And so was I …..until March of 96 when they showed up In Tbay….

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    1. You liked that nasty coiler? I may have to do this again next time a brutal album deserves it…

      So let’s pump pump pump pump!

      I too was interested in the Shortino album because he was great on Hear N’ Aid. But even though I like most of the Shortino album, it sounds nothing like QR and they should have changed the name.

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  7. Oh man, the way you write about this… I laughed. And then something in me made me want to hear it… aaaaand youtubes is hosting the full album. So one night when I’m good and drunk, I’ll give it a go. The rebellion in me thinks this could be so bad it’s awesome, an underdog trainwreck winner! Hahaha.

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  8. Wow. This certainly sounds like a stinker. Shame the called their 5th album QRIII… I guess they were still trying to pretend that nothing happened before Metal Health? I think a better title would have been QRap. But, given that you first heard this on tape… why on earth did you buy the CD?! I’m hoping/assuming it was very cheap.

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        1. His fiance Regina Russell already hates me. She calls me her “cyber bully” because I wouldn’t let her change QR’s Wikipedia articles to say that Metal Health is the first album by the original lineup. She’s the reason I don’t do Wikipedia anymore actually. Wasn’t worth the battles.

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        2. Haha. Jeez. All rude and insulting comments, I guess?
          He did that on my site as well. I told him I wouldn’t approve of anything more, but he still kept on leaving comments.

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        3. No surprisingly his comments were long but not too rude. He wrote a review of the Tateryche show. But I don’t want to open the door by allowing it, you know?

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        4. Yeah, I know. But I guess, if we could get an adult conversion going, I’d be alright with it. I did give him the benefit of a doubt, though and he didn’t pick up on it. But if we could just let things go and agree to disagree and behave like adults, then I wouldn’t mind letting him back in.

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  9. I gotta throw it out there that in the summer of ’87 (at age 14), I must have listened to this tape at least 1,000 times (I know it came out in ’86, but that’s when i got around to it). I can still listen to it without cringing too much. That’s most likely just the nostalgia factor doing my talking for me. Sure, there are a couple of lesser-than moments, but overall, I’d rather listen to this than QR fronted by Shortino (or any of the other recent frontmen since Kevin OD’d).

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    1. Well Zac I admit that I may have been a bit harsh on this one. However I do agree about listening to the later incarnations of QR. I wish the\y had just been put to rest but they have a new album coming this year. 1/2 live with DuBrow, 1/2 new songs.

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  10. mikeladano :
    His fiance Regina Russell already hates me. She calls me her “cyber bully” because I wouldn’t let her change QR’s Wikipedia articles to say that Metal Health is the first album by the original lineup. She’s the reason I don’t do Wikipedia anymore actually. Wasn’t worth the battles.

    Thats so Bush league. Why should you change the truth? I would think people would want to know that Randy Rhodes was an original member.

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    1. Basically their argument is that there were two separate bands called Quiet Riot, both with the same singer and the same songs :) They claim that since the original QR broke up, and the new QR originally formed under the name “DuBrow” before reverting to QR, that the first two albums with Randy do not count. It’s all there in the Wiki discussion pages, although I don’t recommend weeding through that nonsense.

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  11. Mike can you please send my Queensryche Operation Mindcrime review that you asked me to write back to me please it was excellent and I enjoyed reading it! P.s. yeah this is yours and your Swede buddy’s nut case down in Fla lol thanks.

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  12. Good Lord, this is great. I loved this record in 1986 when I got it on tape at age 12. My love of it was based upon loving Metal Health and not realized yet at 12 that a band can make a great record and drop a turd, I had an all or nothing mentality. I recently got QRIII on CD dirt cheap on Amazon and immediately thought, “wow, this is so cheesy.” The memory of this album was much better than the reality. What brought me here was “The Pump.” I listened to it and thought “holy balls, why was he trying to do a Zeppelin thing?” I was not into Zeppelin yet in 86, so I had never made the comparison before… anyway I googled “Quiet Riot” “The Pump” and Zeppelin to see if anyone thought the same thing… bam, found this fantastic review. I have most of the Quiet Riot catalog, I’m looking forward to reading the other reviews.

    Fingers crossed for some sharp wit on the reviews of “Slam Dunk Way to Go!” and “Rock the House.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Charles, thank you for making my day with your comments! All the power to people who love QR III, but I think it’s pure nostalgia for those who do. I mean some of this is so bad. Undeniably bad. Quiet Riot are not remembered today for their series of excellent studio albums. Because no such series exists :(

      Like

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