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Articles Home » 1990 Articles » Ratt - 1990 Detonator
Ratt - 1990 Detonator

ALBUM: Detonator
LABEL: Atlantic
SERIAL: 7 82127-2
YEAR: 1990


LINEUP: Stephen Pearcy - vocals * Warren De Martini - guitars * Robbin Crosby - guitars * Juan Croucier - bass * Bobby Blotzer - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 War In D * 02 Shame Shame Shame * 03 Lovin' You's A Dirty Job * 04 Scratch That Itch * 05 One Step Away * 06 Hard Time * 07 Heads I Win, Tails You Lose * 08 All Or Nothing * 09 Can't Wait On Love * 10 Givin' Yourself Away * 11 Top Secret


A recent 'VH-1 Behind The Music' on Ratt revealed bassist Juan Croucier bemoaning the fact that every Ratt album sounded alike, with no forward progression musically. He may have been correct, but is that necessarily detrimental? For Ratt certainly not, and even up to this, the final statement from the original lineup, the band maintained a comfortable level of success and this is a more consistent outing than 'Dancing Undercover' or 'Reach For The Sky'. The hard rock bubble hadn't quite burst yet and Ratt enlisted Desmond Child to help pen various tracks, with admittedly impressive results. Of course the band was in some disarray, with Crosby falling apart at the seams due to drug and alcohol abuse, but a finer set of well crafted, melodic hard rock Ratt had not been presented since 1985. Shame, shame. shame indeed it had to come to an end..

The Songs
Proving they could still cause a bit of a stir, the racy video for 'Loving You Is A Dirty Job' raised a few eyebrows if I recall, with a host of scantily clad models going arm in arm with a traditional Ratt chorus, highly charged and one of the last of its kind. The pair of Givin' Yourself Away' and 'One Step Away' were Ratt's most AOR orientated material to that point and the exact reason Child was bought in, to add some commercial radio lustre, not that Ratt really needed it based on previous hits. The albums consistency overall is what pegs it as one of the bands best, there being no faults with the melody running through the veins of 'Top Secret' for example, with timeless lyrics such as 'I've got a rocket in my pocket' boosting the appeal further, not to mention some tremendous guitar work. How much of it is Crosby's is open to question, but it's hard to believe the band was on the verge of collapse. Also making the grade are 'Scratch That Itch' and 'Can't Wait On Love', which proves that the best hard rock bands of the era like Ratt deserved to be at the top and the scene should never have been so rudely dismissed the way it has been.

In Summary
'Detonator' continued Ratt's run of success, going gold and cracking the Billboard top twenty but the writing was on the wall when Crosby self destructed during a Japanese date causing him to leave the band for the last time and forcing Ratt to recruit Michael Schenker to assume his guitar duties for the remainder of the tour. After that the band disintergrated and despite reforming in 1996, things were never the same, especially without Crosby, too ill to rejoin the band, a fact proved by his death in 2002. That makes 'Detonator' an even more frustrating exercise as it appeared the band were still at full strength on a musical level, heads above most of the pathetic acts of the era. Definitely one of the last great hard rock efforts from the last relevant period when true rock mattered.

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#1 | jeffduran on January 18 2008 06:43:19
'Giving Yourself Away' is Ratt's finest song imo-up there with 'Back For More'. If this featured 'Nobody Rides For Free' from the 'Point Break' soundtrack this would be they're finest hour.
#2 | jeffrey343 on August 30 2011 04:21:05
This one totally passed me by in 1990. I did hear five of these songs later on their 8191 compilation, but I wasn't really in a hard rock place at that time. Funny how I'm digging this more at 45 than I did at 25. Definitely another excellent album from these guys, with maybe a little more 'hair metal' sound than previous efforts.
#3 | super80boy on May 28 2016 00:02:48
The tapped album singles 'Lovin You's A Dirty Job' and 'Shame Shame Shame' are solid offerings, but then there are other definite single worthy tracks, like 'Hard Time' and 'Can't Wait On Love'…even closer 'Top Secret'. I like how they change it up with the semi ballad 'Givin' Yourself Away'. Martini takes center stage on 'All Or Nothing' with a grand guitar solo. Consistency had been one of Ratt's calling cards and this album was no exception.
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