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.