If you love heavy metal music, then you must have heard that the first ever heavy metal band to top the charts was Quiet Riot. The band began with Kevin DuBrow teaming up with Randy Rhoads, Kelli Garni, and Drew Forsyth. It took them a while to land a recording deal, but Columbia Records took a chance on them.
However, the band would not stay together for long as DuBrow was fired, and others left for greener pastures. Despite the frequent changes in the lineup, the band has weathered the storm, and these are the ten best Quiet Riot songs of all-time heavy metal rock fans should have on their playlist.
“Terrified” is the fourth song in the band’s album with a similar title. It was released in 1993, serving as a comeback album after DuBrow returned to reclaim his band. It brought together DuBrow, Frankie Banali (who had fallen out with Dubrow after the lead singer was sacked), Bobby Rondinelli, and Kenny Hillery. Unfortunately, that was the last album the four performed together because Hillery left the band shortly after and three years later, committed suicide, aged only 26.
9. Winners Take All
This 1984 song from the “Condition Critical” album seems to reflect all that Quiet Riot had experienced. DuBrow starts by talking about life being good and bad, appreciating the peak in their careers, and regretting the bad decisions. The title could have been borrowed from ABBA’s “The Winner Takes It All,” which was inspired by Bjorn Ulvaeus’s divorce. Both songs were written from the depths of the writers’ hearts, and you can feel DuBrow’s raw emotions in the lyrics.
8. Condition Critical
Quiet Riot seems to have had a soft spot for the UK band, Slade because they did most of their songs, one of them being “Condition Critical.” The American band must have felt so confident of the song that they even titled their fourth album “Condition Critical.”
However, it was not one of their best works. Rudy Sarzo disclosed they were under pressure from management to release another album since it had been a year since releasing “Metal Health.”
Sarzo believes that they were in survival mode and in no condition to release another album, yet they did; no wonder when Rolling Stone reviewed the album, the magazine referred to it as “Condition Terminal.” Regardless, Stephen Thomas Erlewine, an Allmusic critic, opined that Quiet Riot’s version of the song was far better than Slade’s.
7. Party All Night
DuBrow composed this song and it’s easy to see why. According to MTV, Sarzo could not help but remember his friend as one who viewed life as a party.
To DuBrow, every day was one big party so he loved having fun and ensured that even those around him were enjoying themselves. His energy was infectious and it is no surprise that he came up with such a song, enticing everyone to party all night.
6. Slick Black Cadillac
DuBrow is credited as the lyricist in this song though some believe that it was a combined effort with Rhoads. Whatever the case, this remains one of the top songs the band ever recorded. Maybe it was from admiring the finer things in life as the lyrics talk of feeling like a king driving a slick black Cadillac. Therefore, even when “Greatest Hits” a collection of Quiet Riot’s best songs was compiled, “Slick Black Cadillac” came in third.
5. The Wild and The Young
By 1986, Quiet Riot had produced two albums and they were ready for the third one despite the band not being at its best. As Tampa Bay Times published, they were feuding and one of the group members, Sarzo, had left the band. Still, the other band members kept their spirits high to record this song.
It was popularized on MTV which was still said to only have aired a sanitized version. It did not do well as other songs Quiet Riot had released but it remains one of the band’s greatest hits.
Some songs are inspired by happy times but others by sorrow such as “Thunderbird.” According to Hard Rock Daddy, DuBrow, Quiet Riot’s lead singer, dedicated the song “Thunderbird” to Rhoads who passed away on March 19, 1982. The lead singer added the last verse after the fatal plane crash, saying they would meet again.
3. Mama Weer All Crazee Now
This song is another Slade original, and Noddy Holder came up with the title following one of their manic shows. Whenever Slade performed, the audience would go crazy, ripping off seats and leaving the band with hefty repair bills.
Also, as they performed Holder would yell out “Everybody’s crazy” in between songs. Jim Lea composed the lyrics, making it the first song he ever wrote on his own.
Although the title was initially “My My Weer All Crazee Now,” once Chas Chandler listened to it, he heard “Mama” instead of “My My.” The title immediately changed because Holder agreed it was a better fit and when Quiet Riot covered the song, they stuck with Slade’s version.
2. Metal Health
Ultimate Classic Rock opined that “Metal Health” placed Quiet Riot in the mainstream, as the record hit the No.1 spot on Billboard Top 100, becoming the first heavy metal disc to do so.
The album went on to sell over ten million copies worldwide. Even the cover art on the album was exceptional. This despite photographer, Stan Watts, was still a bit green in his field.
Although he had a few cover arts under his belt such as Black Sabbath’s “Live Evil,” Watts was so impressed with what he did on Quiet Riot’s “Metal Health” that he regarded it as his best project ever.
1. Cum on Feel the Noize
According to Pop Culture Experiment, the song was originally sung by British band Slade which was inspired by the energy of their fans singing along to their songs. They had even wanted to name the song, “Cum on Hear the Noize.” However, they changed it later to “Cum on Feel the Noize,” after feeling the cheers.
The song rose to number 1 in the UK charts; hence, Quiet Riot decided to do their own version. They did such a good job that the American band even helped popularize the British band in America.
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