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Quiet Riot

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For a very brief moment, Quiet Riot was a rock & roll phenomenon. Famously described as the first heavy metal band to top the pop chart (a claim that greatly depends on one's exact definition of heavy metal), the Los Angeles quartet became an overnight sensation thanks to their monster 1983 smash album Metal Health. But Quiet Riot's road to success had in fact been long and arduous, and when their star power subsequently began to fade, their fall from grace was ironically accelerated by the man who was most responsible for taking them to the top: singer Kevin DuBrow. Unable to suppress his infamous motor mouth from assaulting many of Quiet Riot's peers, DuBrow gradually alienated his fans and fellow musicians, and in the face of plummeting record sales, faced the iniquity of being fired from his own band. The dust eventually settled and DuBrow was able to resurrect Quiet Riot in the 1990s, but despite their best efforts, the once chart-topping band would remain forever exiled to the fringes of pop conscience, and what might once have been a full chapter in rock history has instead become little more than a footnote. The story of Quiet Riot begins with vocalist Kevin DuBrow and guitarist Randy Rhoads, who started the band in 1975 after disbanding an earlier project named Violet Fox, and completed their first lineup with bassist Kelli Garni and drummer Drew Forsyth. Along with local scene contemporaries like Van Halen, Xciter, and London, the band thrilled audiences packing the L.A. nightclubs, but found it difficult to land a record deal during the disco-dominated late '70s. Eventually securing a contract with Columbia Records in Japan, they recorded two moderately successful albums -- a 1978 eponymous debut and 1979's Quiet Riot II, featuring new bassist Rudy Sarzo -- before losing Rhoads (and later Sarzo) to Ozzy Osbourne's band (and later a tragic plane accident, rock & roll martyrdom, immortality, etc.). Quiet Riot disbanded and DuBrow formed a new band under his own name, working with several musicians over the next few years before signing with independent Pasha Records, reverting to the Quiet Riot moniker, and entering the studio with new guitarist Carlos Cavazo and bassist Chuck Wright to start work on a new album. The year was 1982 and, following Randy Rhoads' well-documented demise, former henchman Sarzo quit Ozzy, pushed Wright out of the way, and brought friend and drummer Frankie Banali into the fold to complete the lineup and sessions for what would become 1983's Metal Health. Driven by the irresistible double whammy of the title track's muscular bassline (reputedly played by Wright before his dismissal) and a raucous rendition of the old Slade chestnut "Cum on Feel the Noize," the album stormed up the U.S. charts, duly reaching the number one spot and going platinum five times over in the process. Their unexpected success shocked everyone, not least of which the bandmembers, who found it pretty hard to cope with sudden stardom and the pitfalls that came with it. Pressured to capitalize on their hot streak, Quiet Riot was rushed back into the studio to whip together 1984's Condition Critical, but unsurprisingly, the album was little more than a weak carbon copy of Metal Health -- even sinking so low as to include another chart-ready Slade cover in "Mama Weer All Crazee Now." Fans were unimpressed, and panic set in as the band watched the record quickly sliding off the charts to make way for fresher, up-and-coming L.A. glam metal contenders like Mötley Crüe and Ratt. An incensed DuBrow went on a rampage, incessantly slagging fellow metal bands, members of the press, and his own record company, in the process quite literally burning most every bridge he'd worked so hard to build. The abusive behavior also began wearing on his band mates, and by the time they re-grouped to launch a comeback with 1986's QR III, Sarzo was long gone (later joining Whitesnake) and had been replaced by former bassist Chuck Wright, most recently working with Giuffria. A failed experiment in ultra-glossy '80s metal, QR III was a third-rate Hysteria possessing none of its predecessor's blue-collar grit and became an even bigger flop, sending Quiet Riot into an irreversible tailspin. Mounting tension resulted in an all-out band mutiny at tour's end, with DuBrow finding himself abandoned at the hotel in Hawaii, while the remaining musicians and crew left on an earlier flight back to L.A. Furious, he watched in disbelief from the sidelines as Rough Cutt vocalist Paul Shortino stepped into his shoes and recorded 1988's simply named Quiet Riot with Cavazo, Banali, and new bassist Sean McNabb. The album's absolutely abysmal sales offered little consolation, and DuBrow finally gave up on diplomacy and filed an injunction against his former colleagues (apparently he still owned rights to the name), successfully bringing Quiet Riot to a stuttering halt. Frankie Banali said "good riddance" and jumped ship to join L.A. shock-metal kings W.A.S.P., while the remaining bandmembers went to ground. Then, come 1991, DuBrow and Cavazo began working together once again in a band called Heat. In time, they began using the Quiet Riot name once again, eventually recording 1993's Terrified with bassist Kenny Hillery and a returning Banali. Down to the Bone followed two years later, and in 1997, a one-off performance at a party hosted by industrial shock rocker Marilyn Manson lured bassist Rudy Sarzo back to the fold. With their classic lineup intact once again, a re-energized Quiet Riot hit the road playing clubs across America. Public response was less than enthusiastic, however, and the band usually couldn't get arrested -- except for DuBrow, who spent a night in jail after a tour stop in Charlotte, NC, where an irate fan had sued him for injuries sustained at a previous show. This and other roadside misadventures were captured on 1999's optimistically named Alive and Well live album, and 2001 saw the release of Guilty Pleasures, the first recording by the band's classic lineup in 17 years. Unfortunately, but unsurprisingly, said album wasn't able to capture lightning in a bottle for a second time, and Quiet Riot quietly broke up shortly thereafter. Unwilling to put the band to rest, DuBrow and Banali recruited guitarist Neil Citron and bassist Tony Franklin for the recording of Rehab in 2006. Sadly, at age 52, DuBrow's singing career was cut short. His body was found in his Las Vegas apartment on Sunday, November 25, 2007. ~ Eduardo Rivadavia
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Stations Featuring
Quiet Riot

    Classic Metal

    Classic Metal
    2 songs

    Hair Metal

    Hair Metal
    4 songs

    Awesome '80s

    Awesome '80s
    1 song

    Shuffle Hits

    Shuffle Hits
    1 song

Albums by
Quiet Riot

Top Songs by
Quiet Riot

  1.   Song
    Popularity
  2.   Cum on Feel the Noize
  3.   Metal Health (Bang Your Head)
  4.   Mama Weer All Crazee Now
  5.   Slick Black Cadillac
  6.   The Wild and the Young
  7.   Bang Your Head (Metal Health)
  8.   Highway to Hell
  9.   Party All Night
  10.   Twilight Hotel
  11.   Scream and Shout
  12.   Cum on Feel Noize
  13.   Battle Axe
  14.   Condition Critical
  15.   Love's a Bitch
  16.   Bang Your Head (Metal Health) 2006
  17.   Winners Take All
  18.   Danger Zone
  19.   Don't Know What I Want
  20.   Bass Case
  21.   Sign of the Times
  22.   Run for Cover
  23.   I'm Fallin'
  24.   Callin' the Shots
  25.   Let's Get Crazy
  26.   King of the Hill
  27.   Swinging Lumber
  28.   Stay With Me Tonight
  29.   Carlos Cavazo Guitar Solo
  30.   Don't Wan't To Let You Go
  31.   Anytime You Want Me
  32.   Gonna Have a Riot
  33.   Against the Wall
  34.   Too Much Information
  35.   Slam Dunk (Way to Go!)
  36.   Overworked and Underpaid
  37.   The Ritual
  38.   Alive and Well
  39.   Angry
  40.   Still of the Night
  41.   Down and Dirty
  42.   Bad Boy
  43.   Stomp Your Hands, Clap Your Feet
  44.   Thunderbird
  45.   Breathless
  46.   Don't Wanna Let You Go
  47.   In a Rush
  48.   Coppin' a Feel
  49.   Don't Wanna Be Your Fool
  50.   Lunar Obsession
  51.   The Joker
  52.   Run to You
  53.   Put up or Shut Up
  54.   Nothing but Trouble
  55.   The Seeker
  56.   Guitar Solo
  57.   Wreckless
  58.   DJ Talking with Kevin
  59.   Frankie Banali Drum Solo
  60.   Slave to Love
  61.   Empty Promises
  62.   Red Alert
  63.   (We Were) Born to Rock
  64.   Let's Go Crazy
  65.   Main Attraction
  66.   Rise or Fall
  67.   Band Intros
  68.   Helping Hands
  69.   The Pump

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