Quiet Riot – Quiet Riot
It’s not on Spotify and never will be. Who knows who even owns the rights to these songs?
The main songwriters in Randy Rhoads and Kevin DuBrow are gone. If anything, these songs should be in the public domain. But Copyright is a lot different these days, so someone/most probably a corporation is holding the rights to these songs locked up until 2080 and that someone has done nothing to enhance culture except to profit from it.
DuBrow resurrected some of these recordings in the 90’s for an album called “The Randy Rhoads Years”. Which is also not on Spotify. And it probably never will be.
And on those recordings he took the original tracking of Rhoads guitar sound, (there was a DI take with no effects on the master tapes) and DuBrow put the DI guitar take through different pedals to update the sound. Then he re-did his vocal tracks and the drums and the bass. Purists call it sacrilege and I call it “keeping the songs alive”.
The band for the debut album, (which was released in Japan only) was DuBrow on vocals, Rhoads on guitar, Kelli Garni on bass and Drew Forsyth on drums.
Randy Rhoads still riffs away like the guitar hero he is. More in a glam pop/rock kind of way.
“It’s Not So Funny” has an aggressive minor key verse riff, with a major key Chorus. A style that RR would use in “Crazy Train”. This song also made it to the “The Randy Rhoads Years” CD many years later.
“Mama’s Little Angels” has a sleazy bluesy riff that David Coverdale would have loved to sing over. And Kevin DuBrow did just that when he re-wrote the lyrics for the song (with a little help from Bobby Rondinelli), re-sung it and called it “Last Call For Rock and Roll” on “The Randy Rhoads Years” album. And suddenly, a better version of the song was kept alive.
In “Ravers” there is a riff that RR took for “Over The Mountain”, just before he plays the “Black Sabbath” lick in the song.
“Back To The Coast” is familiar, a song solely written by Randy Rhoads and his brother Kelle Rhoads.
And I like QR because Kevin DuBrow was unique, very different to the other metal/rock singers in looks and style, but I always struggled to connect with any of DuBrow’s lyrics, except for a few tracks like “Bang Your Head”, “Run For Cover”, “The Wild And The Young” and “Don’t Want To Let You Go” which was written by Carlos Cavazo.
“Look In Any Window” is written by Randy Rhoads and it’s very Alice Cooper-“ish” which isn’t surprising as Randy Rhoads has talked about the influence of the two Alice Cooper guitarists on his playing and song writing. This one also appears on “The Randy Rhoads Years” album.
As I was listening back to the QR1 album on YouTube, I was reading the comments and people like to compare between EVH and RR.
If you compare QR1 to VH1, well there isn’t a comparison. VH1 is far superior. Even RR didn’t like QR1 and he made his Mum promise to never get it released in the U.S if something happened to him.
Sammy Hagar – Sammy Hagar
Sammy’s voice is one of the best. This album is interesting because of its variety. If you are looking for hits then this album is not for you. But if you are looking to hear an artist stretch their wings and try different things out, then you will like this album.
“Red” has this bass groove which reminds me of ELO. “Catch The Wind” is a ballad, which reminded me of R&B soul artists. And then I remembered it was a cover from “Donovan” who had a hit in 1965 with it and was known for his folk rock songs.
“Cruisin’ And Boozin’” moves between acoustic and distortion, the verses sounding progressive, while the Chorus could have come from an AC/DC album.
“Free Money” has a haunting piano riff to kick it off. It’s a cover of Patti Smith song. Musically and melodically, the song moves at the correct pace, slowly percolating until its ready to explode. And that happens from about the 2.09 minute mark. And although it’s like a rock song with a 4/4 time signature, its song structure is progressive in nature.
When I saw the title “Rock ‘N’ Roll Weekend” I sort of had a sound and groove in my head as to how it would sound. And it didn’t disappoint, with its nod to Bad Company.
“Fillmore Shuffle” comes across like a Southern Rock track, moving between its acoustic riff and harmony leads. But underpinning it all is Hagar’s voice. And it’s another cover song which Hagar has taken and given them a new Hard Rock life.
There is a horn section on “The Pits” and some of Sammy’s best social lyrics about not having enough money to survive.
“Love Has Found Me” is the heaviest track on the album (whereas I expected a ballad), and the closer “Little Star- Eclipse” brings back the progressive nature of the album which was introduced with the Patti Smith cover, especially when it moves into the “Eclipse” part of the song and that riff to kick it off.
David Coverdale – White Snake
It’s not on Spotify for his first ever solo release and a return to his blues/soul rock for the album which would become the birth of Whitesnake.
After Purple splintered, Coverdale started writing and when he got stuck with ideas, Micky Moody would come in and help him. Some of these songs and some of the songs from “Northwind” would eventually end up on Whitesnake releases.
“Blindman” is one of my favourite cuts ever. I like everything about it. It appeared a few years later on the “Ready N Willing” album.
The acoustic guitars, the vocal line, the backing singers, the lead breaks and the distortion riffs when it call kicks in and overall, the lyrics.
“White Snake” is a twelve bar blues sleaze romp. And it was two words before it became one word, about DC having a White Snake and does she want to shake it.
“Time On My Side” reminds me of a Bad Company cut and at that age, DC had time on his side, but these days, pushing almost 70, time is not with him. And it’s that sense of mortality which resonates even more. When I was young, I felt indestructible and the whole world was there for the taking. Now, I don’t feel so indestructible, and the amount of broken bones I’ve endured and had to heal from because of sports or drunken stupidity, keep reminding me that time isn’t on my side.
“Peace Lovin’ Man” captured me instantly because of its title and the soul rock vocal line from DC, hooked me in.
And it’s that soul voice from DC that makes these songs stand out.
Ted Nugent – Cat Scratch Fever
The U.S Patriot that dodged the draft. I saw that comment on a Dee Snider tweet. Actually anything I read on Mr Ted these days, is because of his controversial comments, but at least he stands for something. It doesn’t matter if you agree or disagree. Like John Mellencamp said, you need to stand for something, otherwise you would fall for everything.
I always thought Ted Nugent was the singer as well. You wouldn’t think that another person sang the songs, with Crazy Ted all other the covers.
I like the riff that kicks off “Cat Scratch Fever”. It rocks, it grooves and its heavy. “Wang Dang Sweet Poontang” has this riff that is played after each line is sang. And I like it.
“Death By Misadventure” has a boogie woogie verse riff, and so does “Live It Up”. Santana was also writing songs like these around this same period.
Lynyrd Skynyrd – Street Survivors
Credit Zakk Wylde. His love for this music translated into well-spoken interviews and he got me interested to check out these kind of influences.
The last album before the plane crash which happened a few days after the album was released. And of course, this tragedy translated to a lot of sales, which kept the record label happy. But the world lost a lot of talents in Ronnie Van Zant, and a guitar hero the world will never know in Steve Gaines along with his sister Cassie Gaines who did backing vocals.
It was Cassie who recommended her younger brother Steve to replace Ed King when he departed and it was Cassie who initially refused to board the plane because of a small fire on one of the engines on a previous flight. But she was persuaded to board by Van Zant. And she survived the plane crash only to bleed to death. 18 months later, the mother of Cassie and Steve Gaines, got killed in a car crash near the cemetery where Cassie and Steve are buried. So much tragedy.
“That Smell” written by Allen Collins and vocalist Ronnie Van Zant, about the smell of a person’s surroundings doing drugs and alcohol captured me instantly. The guitar player from the riffs to the lead breaks had me picking up the guitar to learn em. And at 6.30 plus minutes, it’s perfect.
“One More Time” just plods along and as soon as the harmony leads kicked in for the outro, it ends.
“I Know A Little” sounds like the songs that SRV would take to the top and there is this lick before the verse kicks in, that sounds like “Unskinny Bop”, which means a young CC DeVille would have been listening. And this track is solely written by Steve Gaines. It’s his guitar hero spotlight.
Well that’s a wrap for the third part of 1977, so off to 2000 we go again for part four.