Quiet Riot was one of many glam metal groups from the 1980s that had a couple of good songs but not much else (see posts I have also made on Ratt, Whitesnake and the Simpsons scene that combines all of these groups together). However, the history of Quiet Riot is much more interesting than most of their actual music, which is why I will be discussing them a lot more than I did Ratt or Whitesnake.
Quiet Riot actually made their first two albums in Japan, but critics did not think the two albums were very good. Quiet Riot then moved to America and made their only big album called Metal Health with their two biggest songs, which were a cover of a Slade song from the 1970s called Cum On Feel the Noize and one of my favorite rock/metal anthems ever called Metal Health. Metal Health would have the distinction of being the first “metal” album ever in music history to make it to the top of the billboard charts.
They also released on the album another version of Slick Black Cadillac, a song that was corny but good 1980s fun about a fast car. Slick Black Cadillac would also be released live as a bonus track on the extended version of Metal Health. Slick Black Cadillac had originally been released on one of their albums in Japan with Randy Rhoades as the guitarist. They released it again because it was a good song but not many people in America had access to it because the song was on an album that was almost exclusively released in Japan.
Another song released on the album was Thunderbird. Many people find the ballad very corny but I find it very interesting because Thunderbird was made as a tribute song to their original guitarist, Randy Rhoades. Rhoades had just died in a tragic plane crash and his nick name was Thunderbird, not to be confused with Rick Allen, whose nickname was also Thunder God and who I also ironically discussed earlier today.
Thunderbird would not be the only tribute to a deceased guitarist. Def Leppard made a song called White Lightning on their Adrenalized album as a tribute to their original guitarist named Steve Clark who died from alcoholism.
Randy Rhoades was the guitarist for Quiet Riot for their first two albums that they made in Japan. However, when Quiet Riot came to America, Randy Rhoades was snatched up as a promising guitarist by Ozzy Osbourne for his far superior solo career. Carlos Carvazo, an average guitarist, replaced Randy Rhoades for Metal Health.
Rhoades saved Ozzy Osbourne from the brink of destruction after he was fired from Black Sabbath for his drug addiction. However, that is a story I will be discussing later this week. Unfortunately, after a couple of albums with Ozzy Osbourne, Randy Rhoades died in a tragic plane crash. Both Ozzy Osbourne and Quiet Riot were devastated by the death of one of the best guitarists, considered by many people to be in the same league as Eddie Van Halen, during the early 1980s.
Rhoades could have accomplished so much more had he lived because he was just starting out as a professional guitarist at only twenty five years old. According to Nikk Sixx from Motley Crue, Randy Rhoades had just started reaching into his soul as a guitarist, which was the next step in a process that would have led him to the top.
Kevin Dubrow was not nearly as talented as Randy Rhoades but maybe just as interesting since he had a real reputation as a motor mouth and led to the decline of Quiet Riot during the 1980s after they made their Metal Health album. Not only did they make less consistently good music, Kevin Dubrow ostracized most people from Quiet Riot by saying bad things about other groups.
Kevin Dubrow would lead to a decline for Quiet Riot similar to how Axl Rose led to the decline of Guns and Roses in the last fifteen years. However, instead of the entire group being ostracized by the lead vocalist, the rest of the music group had the common sense to ditch his ass at an airport in Hawaii. They made their next album called Quiet Riot IV or Quiet Riot with another lead vocalist.
Unfortunately, the album was their worst album ever, so they decided to bring Kevin Dubrow back again. Kevin Dubrow committed suicide in the early 2000s and was reunited with Randy Rhoades in the after life. I like to think that they are now making rock and roll together again as a couple of Thunderbirds. Some of the veterans from Quiet Riot after Kevin Dubrow died went on to join Ratt for the album Ratt made in 2010 called Infestation.
The music video for Quiet Riot is not only screwy but quintessential gonzo Quiet Riot, since the music video has Kevin Dubrow originally acting as a patient in a straight jacket and a padded room. He escapes the asylum and jumps through the air from what appears to be a height of around twenty feet. This owes no doubt to the same upwards, tricky camera technique that made Arnold Schwarzenegger look so huge when he went to the police window in the first Terminator movie, another 1980s classic.