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Records: Quiet Riot – “Metal Health” (1983)

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The first heavy metal record to top the charts


with: Alejandro Bonilla Carvajal

A groundbreaking statement of what heavy metal means. This album appeared at the ideal time to open the door wide for a style that was popular in clubs and arenas in the United States but required a document to raise the arguments on the sales charts. At the beginning of 1983 “Metal Health” was to be. It debuted at number one on the Billboard chart. Those were the times when pop music dominated – as it does today – but this band from Los Angeles had the spark to take heavy rock to the top.

The two cover letters for this work are widely known. ‘Metal Health (Bang Your Head)’, which opens the recording, and British Slade’s cover of their song ‘Cum On Feel the Noize’, which follows it on the album. Just say that the first one is a lot of songs, with rabid values ​​of heavy metal well exposed by the brand new voice of Kevin Dubrow and each of the instrumental parts exploding profusely. The latter is a twist on an already great piece. Quiet Riot takes it up a notch to make it even more fun and engaging. Not to mention his funny video clip with a speaker that grows in noisy dimensions.

The band had its first stage in the late seventies with the great guitarist Randy Rhoads — its founder — in its ranks. In the days when they were playing clubs in their hometown of Los Angeles, Van Halen was very popular in the group, as comparisons between Eddie Van Halen and Rhoads were inevitable. However, Van Halen had great success with their first two albums for the Warner Bros. label. It was not the same for Quiet Riot, who were disappointed that their first two records were only released in Japan by Sony. Music.

Rhoads chose to leave Quiet Riot and try his luck with Ozzy Osbourne, who was going to start his own in the early eighties after being fired from Black Sabbath. There he stayed with the Brethnach. Later bassist Rudy Sarzo did the same.

Seeing how the group was splitting up, singer Kevin Dubrow decided to continue with the name Dubrow, but due to a fatal plane crash Rhoads suffered in 1982 he managed to reclaim the name Quiet Riot , and in a game of fate to get the third one. The band’s album was a complete success. This is evidenced by ten million copies sold.

Listening later, we see ‘Don’t Wanna Let You Go’, it surprises in its reduction in intensity with pop brilliance. ‘Slick Black Cadillac’ is leading the party. It was already a song recorded on stage with Rhoads but here it sounds with enough gusto to fit into the repertoire. The final A side features ‘Love’s a Bitch’ with all the venom and attitude that was typical of the eighties. Frankie Banali’s powerful drum work with Carlos Cavazo’s masterful chords cannot be left out of these lines.

On the other hand, ‘Breathless’ is a cavalcade of pure melodic hard rock linked by an effective but less angry chorus. ‘Run for Cover’ has an urgency, as the title suggests, but it doesn’t lose its weight, with Banali acting on the drums and Cavazo’s romp on the strings making it exquisite. It’s precisely Cavazo who, like Van Halen’s ‘Eruption’, does his thing in the instrumental ‘Battle Axe’, although it’s fair to say it’s not a show that could have bothered Eddie or his predecessor in the bacchante position on the least, Randy. Rhodes.

‘Let’s Get Crazy’ keeps the party going with less grace. The revelry finally reaches a denouement with a heartfelt tribute to Rhoads; the late founder and eternal guitar hero, with ‘Thunderbird’. A dramatic piece with a beautiful chorus and a solo that goes to the heart. A beautiful tribute.

Unfortunately Quiet Riot could never come close to what they revealed in “Metal Health” again, in sales or creativity. Metal didn’t start here and its aggressive evolution listening to this album four decades later feels a little light. More not to be confused. What Sabbath or Judas Priest did in the seventies, Quiet Riot knew how to project very well in the first half of the eighties. A balance of testosterone with click tunes in an industry that tends to play heavy music but can never hide its worth.

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