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Articles Home » 1988 Articles » Quiet Riot - 1988 Quiet Riot
Quiet Riot - 1988 Quiet Riot

ARTIST: Quiet Riot
LABEL: Pasha
SERIAL: ZK-40981
YEAR: 1988
CD REISSUE: 2010, Rock Candy Records (UK), CANDY
SPONSOR: Rock Candy Records


LINEUP: Paul Shortino - vocals * Carlos Cavazo - guitars * Sean McNabb - bass * Frankie Banali - drums

Guests: Jim Waldo - keyboards, backing vocals * Kimmy Johnson - bass ('Stay With Me Tonight', 'Coppin'A Feel')

TRACK LISTING: 01 Stay With Me Tonight * 02 Callin' The Shots * 03 Run To You * 04 I'm Fallin' * 05 King Of The Hill * 06 The Joker * 07 Lunar Obsession * 08 Don't Wanna Be Your Fool * 09 Coppin' A Feel * 10 In A Rush * 11 Empty Promises

On the surface this album never stood a chance, right from the moment Kevin Dubrow was forcibly removed from the band and Rough Cutt vocalist Paul Shortino was drafted in his place. When Dubrow was left high and dry at a hotel following a gig by the rest of QR in 1987, the band should have split then and there. Despite his erratically loudmouthed behaviour, Dubrow was QR's focal point, giving the band character. Without him they became faceless, and the music lost its identity, becoming standard late 80's hard rock, containing none of the energy Dubrow offered. Chuck Wright also departed for the album, replaced by Sean McNabb. QR went all out on this, going for an epic feel, with a mixture of ballads and rockers, trying to cash in on the success of Whitesnake and Bon Jovi, only to be left with a flop of colossal proportions.

The Songs
'Stay With Me Tonight' introduces a Jon Lord type organ effect into the sound, promptly followed by Shortino's David Coverdale cloned vocals, a bit too close to Whitesnake for comfort. It's hard to fault the tightly executed 'Callin' The Shots', a stunning mixture of hard riffing and a memorable hook, above average for the era. Not as palatable is first ballad 'Run To You', another Whitesnake cash in, and overly sentimental, especially with the use of synthesized orchestration. More ludicrous is 'King Of The Hill' which perfectly apes Van Halen's '5150' sound, to the point that it may have been passed on by Eddie and co. The guitar tone, backing vocals. the lot, are a perfect imitation, all that is missing is Hagar's vocals. Little more can be said of the bland hard rock of 'The Joker', featuring a corny chorus that fails to amuse even by late 80's standards. A certain stride is reached with 'Don't Wanna Be Your Fool', a neat AOR tinged ballad which had No 1 written all over it. Exceptional melody with a burning Cavazo solo, among the best the man has ever played. A generic attempt at raunchy fare follows, the stale 'Coppin' A Feel' so pedestrian it should have been banned. 'In A Rush' is faster, but Shortino's vocals don't do it for me, too high pitched, sinking the song.

In Summary
This fails largely because it was such a departure from the usual Quiet Riot route, which was harmless fun. This was too heavy handed and serious on occasion, something previously unheard of for QR. Where previous ballads like 1984's 'Winner Takes All' was a unifying anthem, the two attempts here were slightly sickening. By all means the band should have changed their name for this recording. It betrayed the spirit of the real QR. Not unexpectedly the album was universally ignored, the band splitting, Shortino hooking up with Mitch Perry and Banali joining W.A.S.P.

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#1 | gdazegod on September 23 2010 07:45:27
Interesting to read the liner notes of the Rock Candy reissue. Alun you are dead-on about the Whitesnake influence. The '1987' album sure made the L.A hair metal brigade sit up and take notice - and wonder how they could cash in. Shortino actually sounds real good on this album, it's just not typical QR though.. that was the problem.. no Dubrow, no Mask, no tongue-in-cheek humour. The writing was on the wall back in 1986 with QRIII, lower sales, apathy and dis-interest, so they had to try something to stay relevant. Rather than go in for a skin-graft, they cut off the head! (.i.e removing Dubrow..)
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