CD Reviews

Quiet Riot - 'QR III' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     November 05, 2010    
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Reissue of the classic Quiet Riot album.

Just as the NWOBHM began to wane here in the UK, over in Los Angeles something else was beginning to stir. An ever increasing number of leather clad street urchins were beginning to crawl out of the sewers, and bolstered by an upsurge in groundswell youth support, the balance of power in metal terms began to shift irrevocably. For some reason, if Kerrang! was to be believed (and back then we were desperate to believe anything) at the spearhead of this new invasion were Quiet Riot, to these ears proof positive that Simon Cowell is right … if you’re in the right place at the right time, who the hell needs genuine flair or talent?

Dating back to the mid 70’s, when metal began to take over the Strip in the early 80’s, the most notable thing about Quiet Riot was that then new Ozzy guitarist Randy Rhoads had been a founder member of the band. But, with 1983’s raucous cover of the old Slade chestnut ‘Cum On Feel The Noize’ and its accompanying ‘Metal Health’ album, suddenly the band found themselves being championed as some sort of new age metal messiahs – as I said, never really got it personally, but there’s no arguing that ‘Metal Health’ and to a lesser extent follow up ‘Condition Critical’ were responsible in part for kick-starting something that would soon become a global phenomenon.

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Ironically, to these battle worn ears it was as only really as their popularity began to wane in the public eye that the band finally got past the cheesy pop metal pap they’d been peddling up to that point and started to grow a pair as songwriters. Originally released in the summer of 1986, ‘QR III’ (which despite the obvious connotations of title was actually their fifth studio album) was something of a commercial flop, yet in tracks like ‘The Wild And The Young’ or ‘Still Of The Night’ they’d begun to show a sophistication and maturity as writers that had never been evidenced to any great degree previously – hell, even the more traditional anthems such as ‘Put Up Or Shut Up’ or ‘The Pump’ were a cut above the stuff that had previously sold in droves! Whether this was down to a more prominent keyboard sound is open to debate, but whatever it was, It seemed that the band at last had designs on being taken seriously.

Expertly remastered by Jon Astley and lavishly packaged with some great liner notes from the mighty Paul Suter, ‘QR III’ has weathered the test of time much better than I ever thought it would and if nothing else, offers a tantalizing glimpse of where the original band could have gone had the Bon Jovi led melodic rock revolution dragged them along for the ride too.

Dave Cockett

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Dairenn Lombard said:

A better review than I was expecting. I own this album along with Metal Health and Critical Condition, and though this record had a more polished sound than their previous records (a strong guitar sound ultimately biting the dust as the consequence), this album was 95% cotton candy. Synth overload and crappy lyrics (see "Down and Dirty") made this CD something that was almost barely worth listening to. If Quiet Riot is not someone's cup of tea, it's hard to argue that individual songs like Critical Condition and Metal Health deserve their place in the annals of 80s Hard Rock from Hollywood. However, outside of The Wild and the Young and Twilight Hotel (for both did have outstanding music videos), this album was a commercial flop for a reason. It was their least appealing effort at the time.
November 05, 2010
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