Quiet Riot is an American heavy metal band whose 1983 chart topping success helped pave the way for the glam metal scene's next decade of commercial prominence. They are best known for their 'Metal Health' album, which displaced Michael Jackson’s 'Thriller' album from the #1 chart spot. Their tunes "Metal Health (Bang Your Head)" and "Cum On Feel the Noize" in particular continue to receive widespread airplay.
They were founded in 1975 by guitarist Randy Rhoads (later associated with Ozzy Osbourne) with the original lineup of Kevin DuBrow (whose Steve Marriott influenced vocals powered most of their hits) alongside Kelly Garni (bass) and Drew Forsyth (drums). They initially released albums in 1977 and 1978, featuring heavy covers of British invasion era acts The Small Faces and Dave Clark Five, and their work was picked up for release in Japan only.
After Rhoads left, with him replaced by guitarist Carlos Cavazo, Quiet Riot had still had failed to break out of the Los Angeles metal scene with a record contract (unlike their hit British Invasion covering contemporaries Van Halen). Quiet Riot eventually scored a deal with Columbia Records, and their second stateside single was "Cum on Feel the Noize", a remake of the U.K. hit tune by Slade in 1973. Quiet Riot's version opened up a new world for the group. Their song became the first heavy metal single to make the 'Top 5' on Billboard Magazine's 'Hot 100' singles chart, spending two weeks at the #5 slot.
The band was reportedly reluctant to record the song, as none of them were Slade fans, and recorded it in one take, trying to play their worst. The success of the single helped carry parent album 'Metal Health' to the top of Billboard Music Charts pop album charts, making it the first heavy metal album to ever reach the #1 slot. Fortunately, lightening also struck twice as their song "Metal Health (Bang Your Head)" (also known as "Bang Your Head (Metal Health)" or "Metal Health") also received significant airplay, peaking at the #31 slot on the 'Hot 100'.
A #1 album and a top 5 single was unheard of for a heavy metal band in 1983. The 'Metal Health' album also displaced Michael Jackson's 'Thriller'' on the charts, shocking critics, and it paved the way for a new, stronger commercial viability for the whole genre. Still, the band members were arguably unprepared for the spotlight put on them, with acrimony between them and the record company people to come.
The group's follow-up, 'Condition Critical' was a relative disappointment critically and commercially, selling only 3 million units. This release included another Slade cover ("Mama Weer All Crazee Now", which was a UK chart topper for Slade) and numerous musical and lyrical nods to the aforementioned act; whether this was a decision made with the band's support or forced upon them by their producer is still subject to debate, as evidenced in their VH1 'Behind The Music' documentary. As well, frontman DuBrow's combative behavior both in public and in private burned numerous bridges between the band and other musicians as well as the press. The other band members felt that DuBrow had turned what would had been middling or mixed critical reviews into scorn as well as ruined chances at future musical collaborations.
Various factors led to bassist Rudy Sarzo quitting the group in 1985 and joining up with Ozzy Osbourne. The bass slot in Quiet Riot was filled by Chuck Wright. Next, the band released 'QRIII' in 1986, which became another commercial failure and left the group frustrated in terms of where to go. Fed up with DuBrow's antics, the rest of Quiet Riot fired him from his own band and replaced him with former Rough Cutt vocalist Paul Shortino. Wright was also fired and was replaced by Sean McNabb.
The revamped band released 'Quiet Riot' in 1988, which also failed to gain much traction. This 1988 album technically has the same name as their original first album with Randy Rhoads. The band fell apart after a tour that ended in Hawaii in 1989 and DuBrow fought to keep control of the name; Quiet Riot appeared to be in shambles.
By 1991, tempers had cooled enough for the former bandmates to communicate. DuBrow and Cavazo formed Heat, but they eventually switched to Quiet Riot again and released 'Terrified' (1993) with Banali and Kenny Hillery (bass). That same year, DuBrow released a work titled 'The Randy Rhoads Years', featuring tracks from Quiet Riot's Columbia albums and some previously unreleased material (many of which included newly recorded vocals). Hillary left Quiet Riot in 1995, and he committed suicide on June 5, 1996.
Wright rejoined Quiet Riot to play bass. The band released Down to the Bone that same year. The following year (1996), the band released a 'Greatest Hits' album, which included nothing from the original two Rhoads albums and nothing from the two 90s albums but did have a few tracks from the 1988 Shortino album. After that, Rudy Sarzo joined up again in 1997, and the band began touring.
The tour was not successful, and the band was arrested several times; one angry fan sued DuBrow for injuries sustained during a show. The group still managed to release 'Alive and Well' in 1999, which featured new songs and several rerecorded hits. They followed this up with 'Guilty Pleasures' in 2001. Although their days of commercial success had come and gone, those albums received some mixed to positive critical reviews.
Quiet Riot officially broke up in February 2003, and Sarzo joined Dio in the following year. However, they reunited in 2005, with the line-up being made up of DuBrow, Banali, Wright, and guitarist Alex Grossi. The band joined the 'Rock Never Stops Tour' in 2005 alongside Cinderella, Ratt, and Firehouse.
Soon afterwards, Chuck Wright and Alex Grossi had left the band and former L.A. Guns/Brides of Destruction guitarist Tracii Guns had joined, only to leave two weeks later under musical differences. Other recent members of Quiet Riot have included guitarists Billy Morris and Neil Citron, and bassists Tony Franklin, Sean McNabb and Wayne Carver. In an interview with rock & roll comic C.C. Banana in August 2006, Frankie Banali attempted to clarify the matter of Quiet Riot's recent rapid-fire membership rotation, indicating that both Alex and Chuck were both back in the band again.
Quiet Riot's latest album with a line-up somewhat akin to their glory days was released on October 3, 2006, entitled 'Rehab. The band on the album consisted of DuBrow, Banali, Franklin, & Neil Citron. Former Deep Purple bassist and singer Glenn Hughes also made a guest vocal appearance on the album.
On July 13, 2007, Quiet Riot performed at glam metal festival "Rocklahoma." Then on September 19 they gave a free show to service members on Keesler AFB in Biloxi. DuBrow (vocals), Banali(drums), Wright(Bass), & Alex Grossi(guitarist), was the then line-up.
Kevin DuBrow died November 25, 2007, at his home in Las Vegas. He was 52 years old. The cause of death was an accidental overdose of cocaine, and that tragedy appeared to be the end of the group once and for all.
Despite his previous insistence that Quiet Riot could never return as a live performing entity, in September 2010, Frankie Banali announced a new version of Quiet Riot: himself on drums, Chuck Wright on bass, Alex Grossi on guitar and newcomer Mark Huff on vocals. The band sought the blessings of the DuBrow family, recorded new versions of classic hits with Huff singing, and resumed touring. The group has experienced somewhat of a 'broken base' as many fans are unwilling to accept a version of the band sans DuBrow.
The group's latest work is '10', which came out on June 27, 2014 through RSM Records. That incarnation of Quite Riot Made its live debut on December 31, 2013 at Twin Arrows Navajo Casino Resort in Flagstaff, Arizona. Jizzy Pearl of Love/Hate and L.A. Guns among other groups is the current vocalist.
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