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Articles Home » 1984 Articles » Quiet Riot - 1984 Condition Critical
Quiet Riot - 1984 Condition Critical

ARTIST: Quiet Riot
ALBUM: Condition Critical
LABEL: Pasha
SERIAL: QZ 39516
YEAR: 1984
CD REISSUE: 1984, Pasha, ZK39516 * 1994, Sony, 4678342 * 2012, Rock Candy Records (UK), CANDY146


LINEUP: Kevin Dubrow - vocals * Carlos Cavazo - guitars * Randy Sarzo - bass * Frankie Banali - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Sign Of The Times * 02 Mama We're All Crazee Now * 03 Party All Night * 04 Stomp Your Hands, Clap Your Feet * 05 Winners Take All * 06 Condition Critical * 07 Scream And Shout * 08 Red Alert * 09 Bad Boy * 10 (We Were) Born To Rock

As much as I enjoyed 'Metal Health' back in 1983, I reflect back on those years and come to the realisation that I am older and wiser, and that record sounds incredibly dated now. A year further on from 'Metal Health', Quiet Riot returned to release a new record which was an exact duplicate of what went before. By 1984, Los Angeles had been turned on its head, with a heap of new bands turning out to 'play and please'. Taking their influence from mainly British bands such as Judas Priest and Iron Maiden, some other influences were being bought into the picture as well. QR were notable for including Slade material on their albums, and in some cases, you can hear a little bit of the hard rockin' bubble-gum that a band like The Sweet dished out. Buoyed by the No#1 selling success of 'Metal Health', it was going to be hard for Dubrow and his men to emulate such a feat. 'Condition Critical' still sold a healthy amount of records, but was never going to get close to 1983's efforts.

The Songs
It's a continuation of the gonzo styled hard rock that went before. The Slade classic 'Mama We're All Crazee Now' is probably the best song on the album for mine. The party anthems continue unabated as per the tracks 'Party All Night' and the banal 'Stomp Your Hands, Clap Your Feet'. It's only when the band start taking things seriously that they remind everyone how good they can be on their day - when they aren't goofing around or singing like every day's a party (it probably was in L.A back then.. oddly enough). In which case, tracks like 'Red Alert', the bash-a-minute 'Scream And Shout', the typical hair-metal anthem 'Bad Boy' and album closer 'Born To Rock' are solid efforts all round. Let's not forget also this album contained two slow-burners: the semi power ballad 'Winners Take All' sounding very British, plus the title track 'Condition Critical', which has similar attributes found on the debut Icon LP.

In Summary
Reading retrospective articles about this album over the years, there are some who say that 'Condition Critical' was rushed to the market, trying to capitalise on the success of 'Metal Health'. I doubt that was the case. These guys have been in the industry for years. Really.. how difficult is it to write ten hard rock songs in the space of a year? Give me a break. Some also say the band got more success than they probably deserved. Again, that doesn't wash either. You either make it or you don't. They did, and good on them for that. Many excellent artists don't.. Too bad for them. QR took a break in 1985 and returned with 'QR III', with a new bassist Chuck Wright and keyboardist John Purdell joining the fray. From here on in, their fortunes changed, as did the love affair with the band by many of its fanbase..

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#1 | dangerzone on September 25 2010 13:48:18
I remember interviewing Dubrow back in 2001 and he absolutely hated this album. I think it's a pretty good effort myself.
#2 | trillion1999 on October 18 2011 17:21:05
I absolutely love Winners Take All.in love
#3 | super80boy on January 01 2014 20:59:01
Not that many memorable riffs or melodies found on this follow up to the superior Mental Health, even know they followed the exact same formula. It seems a bit harder in areas as well. 'Sign Of The Times' has a pretty good guitar riff sprinkled throughout and 'Winners Take All' is pretty good.
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