REVIEW: Quiet Riot – Condition Critical (1984)


CONDITION CRITICAL_0002QUIET RIOT – Condition Critical (1984 CBS)

I’ve reviewed almost every single Quiet Riot album now.  Only Guilty Pleasures awaits of the studio albums I have left to cover.  Why did I leave 1984’s Condition Critical for so long?  As the follow-up to Metal Health, you’d think I would have tackled it already.  But I didn’t even have the album ripped to my computer.

As a half-arsed Metal Health clone, I’ve never felt like Condition Critical deserved a lot of time spent on it.   I received it in 1985, and it has never been an album I have particularly cared for.  I still think today that most of the songs are not very good.  At that, almost every song is an inferior clone of a prior one on Metal Health:

  • “Sign of the Times” =  “Metal Health (Bang Your Head)”
  • “Mama Weer all Crazee Now” (Slade cover) = “Cum On Feel the Noize” (Slade cover)
  • “Winners Take All” = “Thunderbird”

And so on and so forth.  Spencer Proffer returned to produce, so even sonically Conditional Critical is all but a clone of the previous record.  I’m sure the guys thought they were repeating the magic to take them back to the top of the charts.  How wrong they were!  Most of the new songs were written solely by Kevin DuBrow, and it feels rushed.

Condition Critical still retains some of the fun of Metal Health.  Although not as good, the dumb-titled “Stomp Your Hands, Clap Your Feet” is plenty fun just like Quiet Riot classics.  “Party all Night” is also a hoot, and you have to admit that the guys did make a pretty hilarious music video for it.  Quiet Riot broke with the help of MTV, and they at least retained their knack for making an amusing music video.

On side two of the album there was hidden a serious heavy tune, the title track “Condition Critical”.  This slow grinder is one of those great lost tracks that you can only get on the album.  Banali breaks the levee with some solid drums.  Songs like this make tracking down the record worthwhile for those willing to give it a shot.

On the other hand, I had a friend who said “Winners Take All” is probably the worst Quiet Riot song of all time.

Proceed with caution.

2.5/5 stars

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25 comments

    1. Yeah until Terrified. But Jon and I don’t agree on Terrified. I consider it an album with some backbone, a comeback of sorts. Jon thinks it’s among their worst!

      So — always proceed with caution with this band.

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      1. I’d take this over Terrified any day. Hell, I’d even take QR III over Terrified. That said, I was never a huge Quiet Riot fan anyway. I prefer the Paul Shortino record.

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        1. Slip of the Tongue…argh. Don’t even go there. Yeah I’m not a big fan when a band tries to re-write their most popular albums. The only one I’ll forgive is Def Leppard, because of the death of Steve Clarke. Adrenalize was bound to sound lazy.

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        2. Just the songs. But I was never a big Quiet Riot-fan any way so I’m not that big on any of their records, especially those released after the Shortino thingy.

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  1. You know, I’m starting to wonder how these guys lasted as long as they did. All these write-ups you’ve done, how did these guys get to keep making records? So many other bands that actually have something to say and are good don’t even get a first kick at the can let alone multiple tries like these guys. Did somebody owe them, or something?

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      1. It’s really laughable when you think about it. And their latest Jizzy Pearl version is just worthless and worst of all. Jizzy Pearl ferchrissake…That guy has been in more L.A. bands than Kerri Kelli. Almost.
        I wonder if anyone not related to the band members bought “10”…

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  2. Don’t let Craig Fee see this review. He has stated on the air a few times this is the best album from Quiet Riot. Since he thinks Van Halen with DLR is the best band ever (awesome, but not the best ever), Eddie Van Halen as the best guitar player ever(awesome, but not the best ever), Sloan as the “Greatest Canadian band of all time” (good, but not even top 25 in my books), I take a lot of what he says with a grain of salt anyway.

    Good review. I like the album better than you do, but quite possibly for when it came out. A lot of the hairbands in the mid 80’s seem to get a higher rating from me than they possibly deserve. There was a lot of cheese back then, but I was in my teen years, so they hold a special place in my heart. I am looking forward to the upcoming Hairband weekend. I bet a song off this album gets played.

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    1. Well buddy the first thing I did was forward this comment to him and then got into a battle over best bands. LOL. “Don’t tell me Rush!” is what he said to me. I like to tease that guy. Ask him if Backstreet Boys are good in concert. He knows the answer!

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  3. Currently listening to Winners Take All – the viewers on ‘the tubes of You’ are currently giving it a 236 thumbs up to 2 thumbs down.
    I think I’m voting somewhere in between!

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  4. I think people saw through the whole “let’s write another Metal Health” thingy. I mean, there are some really good songs on here. Sign Of The Times, Winners Take All and Party All Night are all pretty good and the title track is heavy stuff. But another Slade cover? Really? It worked once, but did they really think they would automatically get another big hit just by covering another Slade song? Come on, that is just silly.
    The rewriting thing never works. Just ask David Coverdale and Def Leppard, even though I tink Adrenalize is much better than its reputation.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. WHat did I rate Adrenalize, 3/5? 3.5? God I can’t remember. When it came out it would have been a 4/5. EVen then it was obvious it did not stand up tp Hysteria though they certainly did try.

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      1. Well, good luck beating Hysteria. Or Pyromania. Or even High ‘n’ Dry for that matter. Three ace albums.
        But Adrenalize is a great rock record, I think, even though there are a couple of uneven tracks on it.
        I can’t remember what you gave it either.

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