Quiet Riot – Metal Health (1983)

R.I.P. – Kevin DuBrow (1955-2007)

Quiet Riot - Metal Health 

Quiet Riot – Metal Health (1983, CBS/Pasha)

  1. Metal Health
  2. Cum On Feel The Noize
  3. Don’t Wanna Let You Go
  4. Slick Black Cadillac
  5. Love’s A Bitch
  6. Breathless
  7. Run For Cover
  8. Battle Axe
  9. Let’s Get Crazy
  10. Thunderbird

Band Lineup:
Carlos Cavazo – Guitars
Kevin DuBrow – Vocals
Rudy Sarzo – Bass
Frankie Banali – Drums
Quiet Riot lineup circa 1983

Total Time – 41:16

Kevin DuBrow official website
Frankie Banali official website

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.

Bottom Line:
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’.

19 comments on “Quiet Riot – Metal Health (1983)

  1. Nice write up, takes me back…I remember being a junior in high school when Metal Health came out. God, do I feel old now!

    Just wanted to let you know though, Slick Black Cadillac was indeed released as a single. It just did squat for whatever reasons.

  2. Nice review. I had their Greatest hits album. I always thought the song Metal Health was called Bang Your Head. But that’s cause I only heard it on the radio and they were never good at giving song titles. It’s even what they refer to it as on the greatest hits.

  3. In the UK Quiet Riot never seemed to hit it big. I had this album on cassette but never listened to it much cos the cover of Cum On Feel The Noize wasn’t a patch on ‘our’ Slade’s version. Looking forward to the week of QR reviews because its probably a band I should have listened more to.

  4. Agreed–this album was instrumental in making metal mainstream in the ealry 80s. It’s a classic for that alone.

    And “Metal Health” is one of the most underrated pop metal songs. Ever.

    — david

  5. Kurt – I was in 6th grade in ’83 so I know what you mean about getting old. I thought Slick Black cadillac was a single but I was never sure, probably because it got no airplay.

    DPTH – The original release has it as ‘Metal Health’ but subsequent hits coolection add the (Bang Your Head) to the title. Most people thought that was the name anyway, great tune.

    Bill – I’m not surprised they didn’t hit it big in the UK. First, because of Slade. Second, because of the NWOBHM and the European scene being so much better.

    David – Many people see the band as a joke but, outside of Van Halen and Aerosmith, name another band that had that much success so quickly. A #1 album is something both those bands couldn’t do.

    Mark – I had the cassette back in the day but I have seen a mint sealed vinyl at a local shop. It’s still priced at $7.99!

  6. Quiet Riot is one of the best. Bad enough I wasn’t born when they had their biggest hits on the 80’s(I’m only 15). The best line up is DuBrow, Cavazo, Sarzo and Banali. But the dream lineup today(will never happen of many reasons) is Shortino, Rhoads, Cavazo(dubble guitar), Sarzo and Banali.
    Rhoads is absolutley the best. I love and adore him as hell. R.I.P.
    I juts love Carlos Cavazo(guitar), Rudy Sarzo(bass) and Chuck Wright(bass) as well. Are there any better(NO!). Maybe Jay Jay French(guitar-Twisted Sister) and John Norum(guitar-Europe). They are great too. But Rhoads is the best ever. I’ll always love you!!!

    /Best regards Sara

  7. Pingback: Quiet Riot Week « Heavy Metal Addiction

  8. RIP Kevin Dubrow. The 52 year old was found dead in his home yesterday evening. Cause of death has not yet been determined.

    Got this on TMZ.

  9. Thank you, Kevin, for allowing me to exceed 150 MPH in my 1986 IROC-Z in rural Arkansas in the 80’s and being popular with the ladies. Without Metal Health, it would not have been possible. VIVA KEVIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. What a tragedy. I am from The Netherlands and in 1983 we where living in Canada. We imigrated. There was besides KISS only ONE band that got me thru some very rough times there, and that was Quiet Riot. There album Metal Health was my medicin. Later on in life when we where back in The Netherlands I saw Rudy Sarzo perform with Whitesnake and made some great pictures then. I always hoped they would do a tour in Europe. And now this: My childhood has ended but Kevin is in my heart FOREVER.GODD BLESS.

  11. this is a very good song like ”metal health”,etc. .With the excellent voice for this songs of Kevin,and the guittar of Cavazo…a very good band,and a very good album…so i with 13 years and met a lot of bands can say what Quiet Riot is a ”BIG BAND OF THE MUSIC” with Aerosmith,AC/DC,Led Zeppelin,Black Sabath,Deep Purple,Rolling Stones,Judas Priest,Iron Maiden,Whitesnake,Alice Cooper,GN’R,Metallica,Megadeth,Motorhead,Scorpions,The Doors,Ozzy Osbourne,DIO,and a lot of bands…

  12. Indeed, “Metal Health” was a great album, but I beg to differ on what was mentioned as “filler” stuff. If you were more into the poppish, more commercial side of the band (which, by the way, was their strength), then songs like “Run For Cover” or even “Metal Health” would NOT be your cup of tea. “Run For Cover” is a fast paced rocker that showed QUIET RIOT was more than a successful hair band. As for “Breathless”, the song has a nice galloping beat that actually sounds different from the rest of the album. “Battle Axe” is your mandatory axe-wanking moment, and yes, this one is pure filler. But take into account that since VAN HALEN’s first album, guitar solos were mandatory on most early 80’s metal albums. The rest of the songs were nicely detailed in the review: “Cum On Feel The Noise” still sounds great, as well as “Slick Black Cadillac” and most of the album. I just wanted to make some things clear about the heavier songs that were regarded as filler. They are not!

  13. Hopefully this comment section is not closed because of it’s “old age” …ha ha.

    Anyway, I loved Quiet Riot and was able to get to their concert here in Indiana when I was around 15 I think. I begged my parents to go and they agreed only to their terms, which was they would drop us off and pick us up RIGHT AFTER the show let out.

    Girlschool and Saga opened. Yeah, I know – what I weird lineup.

    Anyway – hats off to QR for forging Metal into the commercial charts and also for a VERY memorable night that will forever be imprinted inside my brain.

    Check this out:

    (that’s me on the left BTW)

    Now how’s that for some Metal history relics! I think I may still have “jail bird” concert t-shirt at my parents house somewhere deep in the Vaults. ha ha…enjoy.

    Bang Thy Head That Does Not Bang

    Demolish Fanzine
    Chicago HQ

  14. Rest In Peace my friend. I was lucky. I also had a bad (but relatively short) addiction to rock cocaine. It gradually took over my life and I missed my Bday dinner October 25 and stood up my beautiful girlfriend and my own Father (who we shared the same birthday together) and awesome Step Mom at a restaurant.
    That was my low point and if I died I didn’t even care. It totally overtakes you.. especially if you are going through any type of loss (I’m my case a 15year marriage/divorce). I never touched the stuff previously and wish I was never introduced. I was hooked within weeks.
    I gave my life to Jesus and dropped to my knees. He took me on a journey across country, he provided me a beautiful wife and also a baby girl named Faith. I spend time with God first thing every morning.
    Deuteronomy 9-10

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