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- Unearthed: Killer Photos from Van Halen’s ‘1980 Invasion’ Tour! [Van Halen News Desk]
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RSM Records, 2014
The latest Quiet Riot release is met with some controversy, being the first record featuring new material and bearing the QR name since Kevin Dubrow’s death in 2007. From a business standpoint, the decision to call this a Quiet Riot release makes sense. An album bearing the Quiet Riot name, even with a different lead singer, will generate more interest and sales than a newy named band, even if the members of that band are well-known in the hard rock community. Think what you will about the business of the band name, but in the end, judge the record by the music.
As for the music, the studio tracks are worthy. Jizzy Pearl, best known for his work with Love/Hate, takes over the vocal duties on the studio tracks, the first six songs on the album. Those songs are very solid, well-written rockers in the vein of the 1980s heyday of the Los Angeles strip. There is no anthem like you would find on the classic Metal Health album, and Alex Grossi doesn’t have the chops that Carlos Cavazo had (but neither does present-day Carlos Cavazo). But the studio tracks on Quiet Riot’s 10 will not disappoint the rocker in you from a musical standpoint.
Once the live portion of 10 starts, however, beware. I was pleased with the song selections: “Put Up Or Shut Up” from the often overlooked QR III, as well as two songs from the criminally underrated Rehab and a medley. Live bass duties are handled by Rudy Sarzo and Tony Franklin. The vocal performance, though, is painful to listen to. The late Dubrow had a great deal of difficulty hitting the notes in these performances, and I have trouble believing he would have approved of them being released for public consumption.
Fans would have been better served with an six-song EP of strong studio recordings rather than a full ten-song release that includes live performances that are well below par, severely diminishing the overall quality of the album.
1. Rock In Peace
2. Bang For Your Buck
3. Backside Of Water
4. Back On You
5. Band Down
6. Dogbone Alley
7. Put Up Or Shut Up (live)
8. Free (live)
9. South Of Heaven (live)
10. Rock ‘n’ Roll Medley (live)
Quiet Riot is:
Jizzy Pearl – vocals (tracks 1-6)
Kevin Dubrow – vocals (tracks 7-10)
Alex Grossi – guitar
Chuck Wright – bass
Frankie Banali – drums
(December 6, 1956 – March 19, 1982)
Thirty years ago today, guitar legend Randy Rhoads was killed in an airplane crash. He was on tour with Ozzy Osbourne at the time. He had previously played with Quiet Riot. There are two studio albums by Quiet Riot featuring Randy Rhoads released only in Japan, as well as a collection that Kevin Dubrow released in the USA in the 1990s. With Ozzy, Randy recorded two studio albums; there is also a live Ozzy album featuring the guitarist.
Tune in to Hard Rock Nights for 3 hours of fantastic hard rock!
Paul Shortino, former Rough Cutt and Quiet Riot singer, is our guest. We’ve got new music from him, as well as classics from Alice Cooper, Motley Crue, and Aerosmith; deep cuts from Izzy Stradlin, Black Sabbath, and Ace Frehley; new stuff from Black Robot, Jennifer Batten, and The Spider Rockets. Don’t miss a second of it!
Some of you are new to The Writer’s Journey blog, so let me take just a second to plug one of my other hobbies besides writing and baseball cards. I’m also a “disc jockey” on a Cincinnati radio station, and host my own hard rock show every Saturday night called Hard Rock Nights. You can listen to the show on 88.9 FM if you’re in the Cincinnati area, or log on to classxradio.com and listen from anywhere in the world! Here’s a preview of tonight’s program…
Things are back to normal tonight after our GNR celebration last week, but we never settle down on Hard Rock Nights! We’ll get things started off at 9 p.m. eastern with some classic AC/DC and Krokus, we’ll run through some deep cuts with David Lee Roth and Poison, and we even have a couple of requests lined up for Guns N’ Roses and Izzy Stradlin. As Rob mentioned recently, it was just over a year ago when Kevin Dubrow passed. We’ll pay tribute to him as well with a seldom-heard Quiet Riot classic as well as a track from QR’s last record. Be sure to tune in to Hard Rock Nights tonight, 9-11 p.m. eastern, at classxradio.com!
Frankie Banali, drummer of the now-defunct Quiet Riot, has stated that he will not reform the band with a different lead singer. Not even Paul Shortino, who fronted the band for an ill-received album in 1988. Evidently, some have suggested that Banali should call up Rudy Sarzo and Carlos Cavazo and audition new singers, or have Shortino come back to the band. Both ideas are, in my oh so humble opinion, terrible.
I have been against bands changing key members while retaining the original name. Some have pulled it off, namely Van Halen and AC/DC, but many others have failed miserably, such as Quiet Riot. What is a key member? Well, the lead singer is definitley a key member. The guitarist can be a key member if he has a signature sound. Can you imagine anyone but Slash riffing for GNR? (The correct answer is no.) Neither can I. The bass player and drummer, not so much. The idea of a Led Zeppelin reunion is not far-fetched, even though their drummer has left this world. Bonzo was amazing, don’t get me wrong. But I’m not convinced that the band would be any less spectacular without him.
One thing to remember about VH and AC/DC is that they were immensely popular when their key changes happened. AC/DC was coming off one of their best album with Bon Scott, Highway to Hell, when tragedy struck. Van Halen had just released their epic 1984, which contained the immortal songs, “Panama,” “Jump,” and “Hot For Teacher.”
What about Quiet Riot? Frankly, they haven’t been popular since 1983. That’s not to say that the material they released in the past 25 years has been bad. The band’s 2006 disc, Rehab, is a great CD filled with classic rock vibes. A departure from their signature sound, but still they were unable to garner much airplay from its release.
To continue on as Quiet Riot would be a huge mistake. Banali is right to move on, and I applaud his willingness to come out publicly against a new lineup.