The one VHS tape I’m working on currently spans a period of recordings from about July 1986 to September 1987. This Hear N’ Aid special features a MuchMusic interview conducted by J.D. (John) Roberts. There’s lots of exclusive information in this valuable video, including a tidbit on bands who refused to be in the same project as Spinal Tap!
This was a long awaited release, since the US Festival was way back in 1983! The Holy Grail would be an official Van Halen release of their legendary performance, but I digress. There aren’t a lot of really great live Quiet Riot albums out there, with one called Extended Versions being the best package. Live at the US Festival is brief at just seven songs (plus a 4:38 guitar solo that also includes a sneak preview of a song called “Scream and Shout”). It does capture Quiet Riot at their peak, at a critical gig, and includes a DVD of the whole thing for the complete package. (Come on, Van Halen…)
Let’s have a look at the DVD first. The crowd is vast, the costumes ridiculous, but there’s some kind of fire in the air. The atmosphere is electric and the band are absolutely great visually, particularly Rudy Sarzo. DuBrow is the consummate glam frontman, and an underrated one at that. Have a giggle at the old style giant screens displaying the band logo.
The CD itself sounds good, no complaints there, and the recording sounds untampered (evidenced by a messy Carlos Cavazo guitar solo in “Cum On Feel the Noize”). Sarzo’s bass is mixed nice and audibly. It would have been better if more of a booklet was included, but it’s just a simple fold-out with no liner notes. This set is sparse and just over 40 minutes long. A lot of that time is taken up by talking. You get the big hits though, and the non-album track “Danger Zone”.
Live at the US Festival is a pretty easy Quiet Riot purchase to justify because of the included DVD.
We’ve always been honest but truthful Quiet Riot fans here at LeBrain HQ. We’ve been banging our heads for almost 35 years now, and they included some ups and some downs. The death of Kevin DuBrow was heartbreaking. Some of our Quiet Riot reviews haven’t been the most popular, but we have always maintained an open mind. Frankie Banali’s resurrected Quiet Riot with no original members left a bad taste in the mouth, especially after management attempted to re-write the band’s history on Wikipedia. Pages were edited to indicate that the Metal Health album was Quiet Riot’s debut, seemingly in order to qualify Banali as an original member. Ugly and undignified; but music talks and bullshit walks. Quiet Riot’s first post-DuBrow always was 2014’s 10, with Love/Hate singer Jizzy Pearl taking over as the band’s sixth lead singer. It wasn’t that good and it’s conceivable that the band know it. No physical edition was ever released, and you can’t even buy a download anymore.
So, it’s delightful to be able to say that the new 2017 Quiet Riot album called Road Rage is…not bad at all! Actually quite good!
It’s even been rocky since 10. Jizzy Pearl left amicably, to be replaced by ex-Steven Adler singer Seann Nichols. They recorded a new album, even released one full song online…and then suddenly Nichols was out! American Idol alumnus James Durbin was hired in short order, and re-wrote and re-recorded the entire album.
Skeptics, be silent. Our fair and balanced take on Quiet Riot in the past should speak volumes for the review you are about to read. It would be far easier to mock Quiet Riot for their choice of a TV show contestant as a frontman, but it would be grossly inaccurate.
Durbin’s youthful enthusiasm will either win you over, or leave you complaining that he’s “not enough like DuBrow” and it “doesn’t sound like Quiet Riot”. Here’s the truth — that’s good. We’ve endured one soundalike singer after another. Durbin has a fresh spin, and there’s little question the guy is just pleased as hell to be fronting this band! he gives it all on “Can’t Get Enough”, a new uptempo Quiet Riot party tune. Co-writer Neil Citron must have written the riff with a classic Quiet Riot vibe in mind.
Then it’s down weird street a little bit with the Indian-flavoured intro to “Get Away”. It takes a moment, but once you realize “Hey, this isn’t the same old Quiet Riot”, you will be able to realize that “Get Away” is a damn good song. It’s actually quite melodic rock, but with a Zeppelin groove. Then it’s the pro-weed “Roll This Joint”, which has a seriously decent Zep vibe too. The lyrics are pretty cheesey (“I’m with Cheech and Chong and Willie and Marley!”) but you gotta cut Durbin some slack. He’s young and it’ll connect with some of that crowd.
The thing is, you just can’t dislike Durbin. He wins you over, especially on the lead single “Freak Flag”. This is the most Quiet Riot sounding track of the disc, but with Durbin it’s no carbon copy. “Freak Flag” kicks ass and you can imagine it working great live. Same with “Wasted”. That chorus (“Take a shot!”) grows fast. Even the ballad “The Road” doesn’t suck. Through the 11 tracks, it’s clear who the star on this album is. The new frontman rose to the challenge. In the back, Frankie Banali’s providing the Quiet Riot backbeat; the linkage between past and present. Guitarist Alex Grossi also turns in a worthy performance, and Chuck Wright (bass) has a co-write on the slippy-slidey “Still Wild”. Despite the circumstances in the making of the album, Quiet Riot sound more focused than they have in decades.
Frankie’s revival of Quiet Riot has been going seven years straight, through five singers before getting James Durbin on board. Only the singer has changed; Grossi and Wright have stood by through thick and thin. No matter what, Quiet Riot will continue. Fans should be advise that the first album with Durbin has turned out great, and let’s hope this is a long-term lineup. He’s got the necessary range to sing vintage DuBrow, but in his own voice. And that voice is growing quite compelling. Not every song is killer, but the majority of the album gets the job done. Enough to justify putting your money down.
The Japanese version of Road Rage has an exclusive bonus track. It is an acoustic version of “Make A Way”, one of the heavy album tracks. This isn’t a crappy remix, but an entirely new recording of the song in acoustic arrangement. It’s different enough that it actually seems like a new song. Bonus track: win!*
As Durbin sings, “Take a shot!” Give Road Rage a road test. Just don’t “Knock ‘Em Down”, or you will have to “Get Away”. The quality of this album in terms of sound and songs gives the new Quiet Riot a level of credibility they didn’t have before. Easily their best album since 1993’s Terrified or even before. Let your “Freak Flag” fly, James Durbin!
* Former singer Seann Nichols made a comment in an interview that implied the version of Road Rage with his vocals was released in Japan; this is unfortunately not the case. If you have any Seann Nichols versions of the Road Rage songs, please contact us here. We are dying to review them in contrast to the final album!
Quiet Riot took the unusual step of firing their only original member, lead singer Kevin DuBrow, in 1987. They soldiered on with new singer Paul Shortino and did a brief tour of Japan before calling it a day for the band. Meanwhile, Kevin DuBrow was supposed to working on a new band called Little Women.
In 1991, various media were reporting that Kevin DuBrow and Carlos Cavazo had gotten back together in 1991 as a new band called Heat. It was a quiet reunion for the singer and guitarist who had been estranged since DuBrow’s firing in 1987. Within two years of forming Heat, the band had morphed into a new version of Quiet Riot, now featuring former drummer Frankie Banali and newcomer Kenny Hillary (RIP).
Terrified features 3/4 of the classic Metal Health lineup with only Rudy Sarzo being absent. (He’d join again later on Alive and Well). Like a mighty ship changing course in heavy waters, Terrified is a monstrous Quiet Riot CD, anchored by Cavazo’s newly heavy guitar playing and Banali’s inimitable thunder. The drum production on this album could be the best on any Quiet Riot disc, and up there with Banali’s sound with bands such as W.A.S.P.
Lots of winners on the Terrified: “Cold Day In Hell” boasts an angry 90s groove, but with the melodic sensibilities of Metal Health-era QR. “Loaded Gun” almost sounds like a Metal Health outtake, because it has a throwback vibe. Their cover of “Itchycoo Park” is the only acoustic song, a much needed respite before re-entering the fray on the storming title track. Only a few filler tracks (in a row) almost derail the album, but soon we’re back on track with “Rude, Crude Mood”. It may be one of the worst lyrics that DuBrow’s ever written but the music sure rocks. “Little Angel” is fast but forgettable, and before long you’re into “Resurrection”, a six-minute instrumental tour-de-force. Banali and Cavazo take the helm on it with a shuddering riff, and they don’t let go until it’s fade out. An awesome track.
Quiet Riot’s career can be divided up into a number of phases. In the 1970s, there was the Randy Rhoads era represented by two decent Japanese albums. This was followed by the the so-called “classic era” of major label releases (Metal Health to QR) from 1983-1988. Then there is the reunion era which runs from Terrified to Rehab (2006) and finally Kevin Dubrow’s death in 2007. As a coda, Frankie Banali resurrected the name with a variety of lead singers and continues to tour and record. Their last album was 2014’s 10 featuring lead singer Jizzy Pearl. Terrified would stand as the best album of the reunion era, which they sadly struggled to equal on later releases like Down to the Bone.
Worth the investment.
GETTING MORE TALE #539: Been a long time since I been to Frankenmuth
Frankenmuth Michigan is a small Bavarian hamlet/tourist trap not too far from the Canada border. Some people love going; I seem to be one of the only dissenting voices. My best friend Peter introduced us to the Frankenmuth tradition. His family would typically go once a year, staying at the Bavarian Inn. The big draws to the town are two. One is the big “family style” chicken dinner at Zehnder’s, where the food just keeps coming. The other attraction is Bronner’s, an all-year-round Christmas store. Some in my family seemed absolutely thrilled to be buying our Christmas ornaments in April.
Frankenmuth seemed a long way to go for some chicken and Christmas ornaments. However, it’s not too far for a shopping excursion focused on music, so that’s what I turned it into for me. In the three years I went to Frankenmuth, I found plenty of goodies, and accumulated some entertaining memories.
My first year was 1992. I had just finished writing all my final exams for my first year classes at Laurier. The Freddie Mercury Tribute concert had just aired. I taped the whole thing, and then recorded it to cassette (three 100 minute tapes). I tossed that into the Walkman, and joined the family for our first US road trip together.
The Mercury concert was special. Queen shared the stage with some luminaries as David Bowie (RIP), George Michael (RIP), Mick Ronson (RIP), and many more. Vivian Campbell played live with Def Leppard for the first time. Tony Iommi and James Hetfield shared the stage with Queen on “Stone Cold Crazy”. Guns N’ Roses were there, and Axl got to sing with new friend Elton John. The excitement in the air was genuine. There was talk afterwards of someone charismatic, like George Michael or Gary Cherone joining Queen permanently so they could continue.
Our first road stop was a McDonalds in a small town just outside of Flint. The washroom stunk of piss so badly that my dad couldn’t even use it. Great first impression, Michigan!
When we got to the Bavarian Inn, I had the chance to watch MTV for the first time at length. After all I’d heard about it, I was disappointed to see it was not nearly as good as Canada’s MuchMusic. The American coverage of the Mercury concert (which was re-running all weekend) was truncated compared to what we saw in Canada. MuchMusic had Erica Ehm and others on site at Wembley interviewing the stars and covering behind-the-scenes, while the US coverage cut away to other things. The food at the Bavarian Inn was incredible, including what I remember to be the best omelette I’ve ever tasted.
I can’t say that I cared for the family style chicken dinner. “Family style” isn’t my thing (where everybody has the same dinner, all served together on big platters). If I’m eating out, I will rarely order chicken. Seemed like a big waste of a night out, to go and eat somewhere that serves chicken dinner just like you get at home. But I didn’t make these decisions, I just complained about them!
On the way home, we stopped at a Target store in Port Huron. My first Target store; I had never even heard of them before. This is where I made my first US music purchases. In stock was the cassette single for “Let’s Get Rocked” by Def Leppard. This featured the bonus track “Only After Dark”, a Mick Ronson track, who had just played at the Mercury concert! The other item I picked up was Slaughter’s new The Wild Life CD, which had a different cover than the ones I’d seen in Canada. It still appears to be the rarest version today.
The 1993 trip was even better, because this time Peter came with us. In 1993, Peter was the man with the plan. He was looking for something. Something very specific, that as of yet was not released in Canada. He had read about this new comedy tape called The Jerky Boys, and he was determined to find a copy. And find a copy he did.
We found The Jerky Boys at a record store just on the outskirts of Frankenmuth. At the same store, I picked five tapes that I couldn’t get back home: Savatage’s first albums Sirens (1983), The Dungeons are Calling (1985), Power of the Night (1986) and the brand new Edge of Thorns (1993). There was also Richie Kotzen’s third album, Electric Joy. These fine records meant that the summer of 1993 was filled with sounds both heavy and complex. The Kotzen album was a whole level beyond was I was used to listening to. As for Savatage, they heavied up my tastes at a time when I was craving faster/heavier/louder.
I spent a lot of time absorbing each of these albums, but it was The Jerky Boys that dominated the car tape deck on that Frankenmuth trip. Peter and I listened to the entire thing through. Tarbash the Egyptian Magician, Sol Rosenberg and his glasses (he can’t see goddammit), and the whole gang had us laughing so hard, my sides actually hurt. When the tape was done, we put it on repeat and played it again. I’m not sure if my mom and dad enjoyed the Jerky Boys as much as I did. I started calling people “sizzlechest” and responding to questions with “listen jerky, I don’t need to talk to you.”
What a summer.
This Frankenmuth trip was also my Karaoke debut. I chose “The Immigrant Song”. And I fucking killed it, in my opinion! Like Axl Rose gyrating on meth, I owned that stage. The heels of my cowboy boots stomped the boards, keeping their own beat. I asked my entire family to leave the room, but I lost my place in the song when I caught them spying around a corner.
On we sweep, with threshing oar, our only goal will be the western shore.
That was a fantastic trip. Mission accomplished, with both the music shopping and the Jerky Boys acquisition. On my third and final year going to Frankenmuth, Peter really upped his game. Once again, the goal was to acquire something that we could not get in Canada.
Instead of travelling in one car, we did a convoy with two. Peter and I needed transportation of our own to run the missions we were planning.
As much as MTV did not impress me on my first US trip, our goal this time was dependant on MTV.
“Let’s rent a VCR and tape some episodes of Beavis and Butthead!” We didn’t get the show in Canada.
That is exactly what we did. We drove over to the local video store, and rented a VCR. You might think renting a VCR in a foreign country might be difficult, but it wasn’t. We hooked it up to the hotel TV (much easier than doing something like this today — more on that in a future instalment of Getting More Tale also involving Peter). Tuning up MTV, we watched some music before Beavis and Butthead was scheduled.
This time, MTV really pissed me off. They gleefully ran the embarrassing 1994 Motley Crue interview that the band infamously walked out of. But the band didn’t do themselves any favours in that interview. MTV baited them a bit with the questions, but they didn’t have to attack Vince Neil in their answers. “No one cares anyway,” said Nikki Sixx when asked about his former frontman. Pushed further, they were asked to comment on Vince’s recent jet-ski accident that put him in hospital with broken ribs. Laughing, Mick Mars asked “What happened to the coral reef?” Sixx answered, “Hey, when 300 pounds of blubber lands on a coral reef, there’s gonna be some dust flying around.”
The question that killed the interview was about “women, hairspray and fire.” MTV ran the segment complete with Nikki mocking the question, while showing images of women, hairspray and fire from their music videos. Stick in a fork in that lineup; it was done. No matter how good that 1994 Motley Crue album was (and is), that interview polished off the attempted comeback in one stroke.
We recorded a couple episodes of Beavis and Butthead and called it a night. The next day we did some music and comic book shopping. US exclusive once more: Quiet Riot’s reunion album Terrified found and liberated. I didn’t even know they had come out with anything new. A cassette single for “Heaven Help” by Lenny Kravitz also found its way home with me. I scored an oversized Black Sabbath comic (Rock-It Comics) and Transformers: Generation 2 #1 with the silver foil fold out cover.
With another successful trip in the books, we packed our bags and checked out. The last mission to run was returning the VCR to the video store. There was only one snag. We were primed and ready to head home early…and the video store opened at noon. We had to kill some hours driving around, but when that store opened we got the hell out of dodge. Not the greatest return trip ever, but at least we had Lenny Kravitz.
I stopped going to Frankenmuth after that trip, although Peter and his family returned yearly for some chicken and Christmas ornaments. My family too. My mom tells me of a memorable trip that ended in the hospital! Four years ago my mother, father and sister made a trip where they did the usual; Frankenmuth chicken and the Christmas store. They also ate a lot of junk food; pizza, hot dogs, French fries and candy. On the way home they stopped along the 401 for more French fries. That night my mother ended up in the hospital with a gall bladder attack. It was serious enough that she had it removed two weeks later. Thank goodness they were home when it happened as they never bothered with extra insurance for a short trip to the US.
As years went on, I ran into people all the time who had gone to Frankenmuth for a vacation. Inevitably, they will always talk about three things: the Bavarian Inn, the chicken dinners, and the Christmas store. None of them seem to have any stories about cool comic books, or finding rare tapes and CDs in Frankenmuth. Very few of them have done Karaoke, and none have performed “The Immigrant Song” at the Bavarian Inn. Nobody rented a VCR to record Beavis and Butthead, and then have to wait hours for the store to open to return said VCR. Nobody even discovered the Jerky Boys on their Michigan trips.
I guess that means that Peter and I are the only ones who did Frankenmuth right.
GETTING MORE TALE #520: Musical Firsts
What are your “musical firsts”? Here are mine! Let’s start with concerts.
- First concert: Johnny Cash (1983)
- First highschool concert: Free Fare (1986)
- First rock concert: Helix (1987)
Who remembers Free Fare? They billed themselves as “the band from Florida” (there was only one?) and toured highschools all over the US and Canada. They played Grand River Collegiate in my grade nine year, performing popular covers and giving away Free Fare bandanas.
How about your first musical instruments?
- First instrument played – bass guitar
- First instrument bought – electric guitar
- First instrument smashed – the same electric guitar, smashed by my sister
Finally I’m sure you all remember your first albums. Here are mine:
- First remembered LP: Star Wars – soundtrack
- First rock LP: Styx – Kilroy Was Here
- First rock cassette: Quiet Riot – Metal Health
- First pop cassette: Michael Jackson – Thriller
- First rock CD: Alice Cooper – Trash
- First instrumental album: Steve Vai – Passion & Warfare
- First blues CD: Gary Moore – Still Got the Blues
- First jazz CD: Burnin’ For Buddy (Buddy Rich tribute)
- First country CD: something by Blue Rodeo
- First comedy CD: The Jerky Boys
- First classical CD: Ottorino Respighi – The Pines of Rome
- First electronica CD: Prodigy – Fat of the Land
- First rap CD: Puff Daddy – “Come With Me” CD single
- First grunge cassette – Alice in Chains – Dirt
- First Spice Girls: Melanie C – Northern Star
Leave a comment with some of your memorable musical firsts!
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.
You lucky, lucky readers! Guess what? It’s….
THE BEST FUCKING COLLABORATION WEEK EVER!
All week, Aaron over at the KeepsMeAlive and I will be colluding. Monday to Friday, we will be talking about the same CDs. He hasn’t read my reviews, and I haven’t read his. Today, we’re both discussing Quiet Riot‘s landmark Metal Health. Be sure to check both reviews each day this week!
Aaron’s installment: QUIET RIOT – Metal Health
QUIET RIOT – Metal Health (1983, 2001 Sony remastered edition)
While my first rock album ever was Kilroy Was Here, by Styx, my first metal album ever was this one: Metal Health, by Quiet Riot. Although I was really into Styx, Quiet Riot were the first band that I “loved”. Some music that people liked when they were in grade school embarrasses them today that they ever owned it. Not me, not this album. Since buying it in ’84, I’ve owned this album on cassette, LP and twice on CD. And I’ll probably buy it again; I understand there is a more recent reissue out with more bonus tracks. Metal Health was the crucial cornerstone in my musical development, and always will be one of my all-time favourites. Read on!
The opening drum crash to “Metal Health”, sometimes also referred to as “Bang Your Head (Metal Health)”, instantly transports me back in time. Chuck Wright played bass on this one, extra slinky and funky (although Rudy Sarzo plays on most of the album). Suddenly I’m in the basement at my parents’ house, listening to this cassette on my old Sanyo ghetto blaster. I still recall, the cassette shell was white. I played the crap out of it, annoying everyone.
“I got a mouth like an alligator” sings lead howler Kevin DuBrow, and how accurate he was. I had no idea that Kevin’s mouth would cause the band to oust him only a few years down the road. I liked the attitude of the lyrics, and the aggression of the guitars. Impossible to ignore was new drummer Frankie Banali, who to this day is an absolute ballcrusher of a hard rock drummer. His metronomic groove on Metal Health gave it the drive. I wouldn’t have been able to break it down and articulate it like that when I was a kid, but these are the factors that attracted me to the song.
“Cum On Feel The Noize”, the Slade cover, is now more famous than the Slade original or Oasis’ version for that matter. It’s a great tune, but Quiet Riot and producer Spencer Proffer nailed the sound and the vibe. The gang vocals are irresistible. The cover was a huge hit, but it painted them into a corner.
Much like my first rock purchase Kilroy Was Here, there were songs I liked and songs I hated. I don’t think I was the only 12 year old kid who didn’t have the patience for ballads. Girls? Who cares! So I also hated “Don’t Wanna Let You Go”. I wasn’t obsessive about listening to whole albums back then, since I was brought up in the LP age where we just dropped the needle. So I often fast-forwarded through “Don’t Wanna Let You Go”. Or we would play side one of the cassette, rewind, and play it again. (“Don’t Wanna Let You Go” was on side two of the cassette version). Shortly after I suddenly noticed girls were EVERYWHERE, the song started to click with me. Its sparse arrangement driven by Frankie’s drums make it a really special song. Carlos Cavazo’s guitar solo had melody and composition to it, and drew my attention to the fact that a guitar solo wasn’t just a 30 second bore, but a micro-structure within the song, like a song all its own.
“Slick Black Cadillac” is a remake of a song from the second Quiet Riot album (cleverly titled Quiet Riot II) although we didn’t know that at the time. “Slick Black Cadillac” is simply a classic today, and even though there isn’t a Randy Rhoads writing credit on it, you can hear the echo of his influence in Carlos’ guitar fills. The lyrics to this song are so catchy, and soon you too will be singin’ about those solid gold hubcaps. I was attracted to songs that told a story, and the rudimentary story here is a guy in a Caddy runnin’ from the “coppers on his trail”. There’s no Dylanesque poetry, and DuBrow was never a crooner. This is about loud guitars and drums, a singer who is screaming his face off, and songs about cars and rocking!
You know I got a fully equipped rock ‘n’ roll machine,
At speeds that take me high, high, high,
At dead man’s curve,
I only hear one word, drive, drive, drive!
Love’s A Bitch” is less successful but it has a mournful quality that isn’t bad. “Breathless” is better, a fast rocker featuring Frankie’s breakneck but steady pounding of the skins. Following at the same pace, “Run for Cover” is just as furious, but lacking in melody. Carlos Cavazo’s guitar showcase “Battle Axe” used to precede “Slick Black Cadillac” on my cassette version, which it was perfectly suited for. On the original LP and the CD, it opens “Let’s Get Crazy”. Because the running order of the cassette is permanently branded into my memory, it’s hard to get used to. “Let’s Get Crazy” is goofy, seemingly an attempt to have another song like “Metal Health” on the same album. As such it’s filler.
Finally there is “Thunderbird”, the piano-based ballad that Kevin wrote for the late Randy Rhoads. Didn’t like it then, love it today.* It’s a beautiful song and maybe the best thing DuBrow’s ever written. It’s cheesy as hell, but who cares? The heart is there.
CD bonus tracks include a fun live take of “Slick Black Cadillac” (complete with DuBrow’s “vrroooom, vrrrrroooom!”) taken from a radio promo release. Also present is “Danger Zone”, an outtake that is not quite up to the album standards, but certainly close. Remastering is loud and clear, and liner notes are informative enough.
Enjoy. Doesn’t matter if it’s 1984 or 2015, this is a great album.
* When we were kids, my sister and I used to play ‘air bands’ to this album. I’d always make her sing “Thunderbird” while I would get the ‘better’ songs!
WTF SEARCH TERMS XXV: Frankie Banali edition
You guys know the drill. Here are 10(+) weird search terms that led people here. Let’s give’r.
1. dio stripper music
In answer to 1, I think Rainbow in the Dark would be a great stripper song. Do you know the answer to #2?
2. what does 333 mean to David lee Roth
I asked Craig Fee for more info on this one. “No clue on 333. Number of people that actually think Sammy is better?”
3. is ace frehley japanesr
4. a) trailer park boys officer high cock b) officer high cock c) chickenjacked d) i’m mowing the air randy episode
So many Trailer Park Boys search terms this month, and new ones too, such as “officier high cock” from the new season. What people expected to find when they google “officer high cock” is another question altogether.
5. why is skid row subhuman race so expensive
Perhaps you are looking at a Japanese import. They are very expensive. :)
No idea how this led somebody to me.
On the other hand, I do know how this one led to me.
This one too.
9. what time is i-287 going to close
Man, you definitely came to the wrong site.
10. frankie banali is a cocky asshole for firing mark huff
You said it, not me! ;)
Thanks for joining me and come back again for more WTF Search Terms!
Originally, I got this for my birthday in 1987. This is the first of a two-day OZZY DOUBLE SHOT!
It took years for Ozzy to be emotionally ready to release this live album, recorded for intentional release in 1982. When Randy died, it was quickly shelved and replaced by Speak of the Devil, an album consisting entirely of live Black Sabbath covers. When Tribute was released in ’87, it was my first real exposure to the talent of Randy Rhoads. I think Tribute still stands as the very best testament to Randy.
Finally restored to CD was the concert opening featuring a recording of “O Fortuna” from Orff’s Carmina Burana. This essential part of the concert was edited off the 1995 remastered edition, a CD which I advise everyone to stay away from. If you have it, get rid of it and replace it with this one.
“I Don’t Know” is a dynamite opener. Ozzy’s vocal sounds heavily processed and thickened up in the mix. Whatever tampering is done with it, I don’t know (pun intended). What I do know is that Randy Rhoads’ live guitar is so much more than it was in the studio. Unleashed, Randy makes every lick that much more different from the last, unafraid to throw every trick in his very large book out for you to hear. His live sound seemed thicker, but it’s his playing that steals the show, as it should. It’s looser live, Randy pulling off wild sounds midstream at all times. He was obviously someone who had clear ideas about what he wanted to play along with the ability to execute them.
The single/video from this live album was “Crazy Train”, featuring Ozzy’s new 1987 hair cut. The album version is longer but no less definitive. Not only is Randy’s playing at its peak, but I like drummer Tommy Aldridge’s busier fills. In my mind, the live version of “Crazy Train” kills the original.
“Believer” is a bit of a slow point in the show. That’s Rudy Sarzo, Randy’s old Quiet Riot bandmate, on that bass intro. Future Deep Purple keyboardist Don Airey is also present, providing the haunting opening to the classic “Mr. Crowley”. What an astounding version, too. Once again, I’d call this one pretty close to definitive. Lifting the clouds away, the set goes to the party anthem “Flying High Again”. Revealing my naivete at the time, I had no idea what Ozzy was talking about when he said, “It’s a number entitled ‘Flying High’ so keep on smokin’ them joints!” I truly did not know what a joint was, or what “flying high” referred to. I assumed the song was about feeling good, and I suppose that it is. My friends and I didn’t know, and I think that’s the great thing about rock lyrics.
When I was really young, I didn’t like ballads or slow songs that much, but Ozzy was one of the exceptions. “Revelation (Mother Earth)” might be somber but it is also powerful, and with Randy Rhoads on guitar, you can never get to be too soft! Going back to Black Sabbath, Ozzy was always an anti-war crusader. “Mother Earth” seems to be a continuation of that theme. I always found it funny that during the 80’s, Ozzy was always being accused of devil worship by people who had no clue. Meanwhile, Ozzy’s singing about nuclear disarmament.
Two long-bombers in a row follow: complete with drum solo, it’s “Steal Away (The Night)” followed by an extended “Suicide Solution” with Randy’s solo. The “Steal Away” drum solo is still classic to me, but it’s “Suicide Solution” that no serious rock fan should be without.
The setlist detours to Sabbath covers next: a trio of “Iron Man”, “Children of the Grave”, and “Paranoid”. The two Ozzy guitarists who handle Sabbath best are Zakk and Randy. Randy doesn’t play by the rules at all. He throws in licks and tricks that were not on the Sabbath originals in any way, but somehow it all works. Randy was just untouchable in that way. Everything he played was classy and perfect.
Two older recordings conclude the live portion of this album: “Goodbye to Romance” and “No Bone Movies”, recorded earlier with Bob Daisley on bass and Lee Kerslake on drums. I don’t see that in the credits anywhere, nor do I remember seeing it on the original CD’s credits. “SHARON!” I will say that “Goodbye to Romance” blows the original away in my books.
The album closes with an alternate studio version of the acoustic Randy piece “Dee”, named for his mother Delores Rhoads. This version includes outtakes of mistakes and Randy speaking, and it’s a haunting way to end the album. Especially when Randy says, “Let’s hear that,” takes off his guitar and headphones, and goes into the control room, ending the track. It feels interrupted, like Randy’s life.
In the liner notes, Ozzy himself states that “What you are about to hear are the only live recordings of Randy and I,” but that was clearly incorrect, since there was already the Mr. Crowley EP, and later on, a whole other live album included with the deluxe Diary of a Madman. The booklet also includes an insightful letter from Mrs. Rhoads to the fans. Rest in peace, Randy.