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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 '90s, 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 began 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 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 bandmates, 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 a 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, North Carolina, 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, 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 from a cocaine overdose. His body was found in his Las Vegas apartment on Sunday, November 25, 2007. In 2010, Banali revived the band alongside lead vocalist James Durbin, bassist Chuck Wright, and guitarist Alex Grossi. 2013 saw the departure of Durbin and the arrival of Love/Hate vocalist Jizzy Pearl, and the following year the group released Quiet Riot 10, a new studio album that included four live tracks that were recorded during Dubrow's final stretch of performances with the group. Road Rage, the band's 13th long player and first outing for vocalist Seann Nicols and Frontiers Records, followed in 2017. ~ 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.   Let's Go Crazy
  15.   Danger Zone
  16.   Let's Get Crazy
  17.   Sign of the Times
  18.   Love's a Bitch
  19.   Alive and Well
  20.   Angry
  21.   Coppin' a Feel
  22.   Stay With Me Tonight
  23.   Road Rage
  24.   Gonna Have a Riot
  25.   Against the Wall
  26.   Overworked and Underpaid
  27.   Slave to Love
  28.   Condition Critical
  29.   Thunderbird
  30.   Run for Cover
  31.   Winners Take All
  32.   Put up or Shut Up
  33.   Wasted
  34.   Freak Flag
  35.   Dirty Money
  36.   Empty Rooms
  37.   Never You Mind
  38.   Hey Little Sister
  39.   Let It Go
  40.   Snake Charmer
  41.   DJ Talking with Kevin
  42.   Carlos Cavazo Guitar Solo
  43.   Frankie Banali Drum Solo
  44.   Don't Wan't To Let You Go
  45.   Anytime You Want Me
  46.   Swinging Lumber
  47.   Too Much Information
  48.   Slam Dunk (Way to Go!)
  49.   The Ritual
  50.   Don't Know What I Want
  51.   Helping Hands
  52.   Still of the Night
  53.   Rise or Fall
  54.   Down and Dirty
  55.   (We Were) Born to Rock
  56.   Bad Boy
  57.   Red Alert
  58.   Stomp Your Hands, Clap Your Feet
  59.   Breathless
  60.   Don't Wanna Let You Go
  61.   In a Rush
  62.   Don't Wanna Be Your Fool
  63.   King of the Hill
  64.   Callin' the Shots
  65.   Run to You
  66.   I'm Fallin'
  67.   The Joker
  68.   Band Intros
  69.   Empty Promises
  70.   Sledge Hammer
  71.   I Don't Need You Anymore
  72.   Bang Your Head (Metal Health) 2006
  73.   The Pump
  74.   Bass Case
  75.   Main Attraction
  76.   Wreckless
  77.   Lunar Obsession
  78.   The Seeker
  79.   Guitar Solo
  80.   Nothing but Trouble