Quiet Riot – Metal Health (1983, CBS/Pasha)
- Metal Health
- Cum On Feel The Noize
- Don’t Wanna Let You Go
- Slick Black Cadillac
- Love’s A Bitch
- Run For Cover
- Battle Axe
- Let’s Get Crazy
Total Time – 41:16
METAL HEALTH is heralded as Quiet Riot’s debut album. While it’s their U.S. debut, the band had already cut their teeth in Japan by releasing two albums: QUIET RIOT and QUIET RIOT II. No matter, it’s an interesting introduction. Out of nowhere, this band and album arrived and changed the face of the Rock scene in the early 1980s. Love them or hate them, Quiet Riot was catapulted into the upper echelon of success by riding the momentum of a hit single and a hit video. As quick as they arrived, they left just as fast. No one had ever heard of the band outside of the L.A. clubs and no one knew who the guys were, the only thing anyone really knew was that the late Randy Rhoads (Ozzy’s guiatrist) had been in the band. Despite being a virtual unknown, Quiet Riot rode METAL HEALTH to #1 on the charts.
The big hit single, ‘Cum On Feel The Noize’, was the anthem that radio and MTV needed to bring Hard Rock and Heavy Metal to the masses. What is lost is that it is a Slade cover, and even though it’s a great version, it’s still a cover. Same goes for ‘Slick Black Cadillac’. Originally recorded on QUIET RIOT II, the band re-does their own song and it becomes a classic track, a concert staple. Technically, it’s a cover of themselves. Never understood why this wasn’t released as a single. The other hit single was ‘Metal Health’, another anthem to rally around: “Bang your head, metal health will drive you mad.” Add the video into heavy MTV/radio rotation and the momentum pushed this album to multi-platinum status.
There are more than a few solid songs here: ‘Don’t Wanna Let You Go’ is a great ballad and ‘Let’s Get Crazy’ is one of those crunching foot-stompers that gets the fists pumping. ‘Love’s A Bitch’ is a dirty mid-paced number and of course there is the classic ballad ’Thunderbird’, the special tribute for their fallen comrade, Randy Rhoads.
The weakest songs here are ‘Battle Axe’ (throwaway instrumental), ‘Run For Cover’, and ‘Breathless’. Obvious filler with ‘Breathless’ foreshadowing what would come three years later on QR III with it’s Pop-Rock vibe.
A great U.S. debut that changed the face of the Rock scene from something of a dinosaur niche to a successful mass marketed consumable. The album’s importance can’t be ignored. Songs, rather anthems, with big choruses and addictive hooks, creating a rallying cry for the Metal masses. This album, this band, deserves more credit than it gets. Favorite songs here: ‘Metal Health’, ‘Slick Black Cadillac’, ‘Thunderbird’, ‘Don’t Wanna Let You Go’, ‘Love’s A Bitch’.