Ratt played an important role in defining the sound of the glam metal genre (also called hair metal and pop metal) in the 1980s. They achieved a lot of commercial success, with some of their albums going platinum and even multi-platinum. And although Ratt is a quintessentially 80s band, they have continued to put out studio albums up until 2010. Here is a ranking of all the Ratt studio albums from worst to best.
Overproduction definitely wasn’t a problem on this album. Unfortunately, underproduction was. The vocals were really substandard, but almost everything sounded like it needed to be cleaned up. Worst of all, the classic Ratt double guitar sound was gone, leaving the music less powerful, less driven, and overall less awesome. The band didn’t really try anything new here. The album mostly sounds like a retread of their old sound, just less well done. The music may sometimes be louder on this album, but that does not make it rock more. Still, there are a couple of tracks worth listening to, such as “Over the Edge” and “Luv Sick.” However, this album’s definitely just one for the diehard fans.
6. Reach for the Sky
This album had a more blues-rock sound that did not connect with the fans. The overuse of rock clichés and formulaic guitar work makes listening a bit of a slog at times. There’s nothing truly terrible about the album, but it mostly just seems tired and uninspired. The songs don’t really seem to go together make a real album, either. Instead, they just seem like a bunch of random songs thrown together in no particular order and with no relation to each other. The best songs on this album are “Way Cool Jr.,” “No Surprise,” and “City to City.”
5. Dancing Undercover
This is definitely not one of the better Ratt albums, but it’s still well worth listening too. It had a harder, more direct sound than their previous albums did. It’s a little more experimental, and the experiment doesn’t always work, but it’s still got the real Ratt sound. The first half of the album is pretty strong, with “Slip of the Lip,” “Body Talk,” “One Good Lover,” and “Drive me Crazy” all worthy of chart topping status. The second half of the album comes across as filler more than anything else, though, unfortunately. Still, you don’t really know Ratt if you haven’t listened to this album.
Ratt surprised a lot of people with this comeback album. It’s got a sleek, sinister vibe that evokes the very best of the band’s classic sound. The return of the dual guitars was very welcome as well. Despite its 2010 release date, the album has got an authentic 80s sound. Production values are high, but the album doesn’t feel overproduced. The vocals are decent, the music is catchy, and the result is kind of epic. You have to admit, not a lot of rock bands can come back so strong so long after their heyday, and some critics really didn’t expect them to. Some of the more stand out tracks include “Eat Me Up Alive,” “Best of Me,” “Lost Weekend,” and “Look Out Below.”
Many fans consider this to be the last true Ratt album, because it was the last one to feature the classic lineup. The writing on this album can be a little hit and miss, but when it hits, it really hits. The guitar on this album is incredible. The album sounds a little overproduced at times, missing something of the rawness of the band’s earlier days. Still, the songs are decadent, gritty, in your face, and fun to listen to. The best tracks are “Shame Shame Shame,” “One Step Away,” “Heads I Win Tails You Lose,” and “Lovin’ You.”
2. Invasion of Your Privacy
This is a solid album. The music’s not quite as hard as the music on some of their other albums was, but it’s thoroughly satisfying nonetheless. Though more on the poppy side, the band still brings the thunder and shows off its technical skills here too. Killer guitar riffs drive the music, and it will get listeners’ hearts pounding from start to finish, even if it represents something of a “holding pattern” for the group. “Dangerous but Worth the Risk” and “Lay It Down” really stand out on this one. “Lay It Down’s” opening guitar riff is iconic. “Lay It Down,” “Closer to My Heart,” and “What You Give Is What You Get” are all well worth a listen as well.
1. Out of the Cellar
This one is one of those rare, decade-defining albums. For many people who came up in the 80s, this album isn’t just quintessential Ratt, it’s quintessential glam metal. It’s quintessential 80s. Explosive energy, adrenaline-fueled guitar riffs, unforgettable bass lines, hard-hitting drums, and unbelievable vocals, all put together with consummate professionalism. It has all the sleazy fire of the band’s debut album, but the band sounds stronger, more sure of themselves. Stand out tracks include “I’m Insane,” “Back for More,” “Wanted Man,” and, of course, the immortal, chart-topping “Round and Round.” It’s no wonder that Rolling Stone rated this one the sixth best glam metal album of all time. Unfortunately, despite the positive reaction to 2010’s comeback album Infestation, Ratt has once again broken up, so it looks like this might be their complete discography.And not a bad discography it is. As history shows, though, you never know. Perhaps someday there’ll be more.