Quiet Riot – Alive And Well (1999, Deadline)
- Don’t Know What I Want
- Alive And Well
- The Ritual
- Overworked And Underpaid
- Slam Dunk (Way To Go)
- Too Much Information
- Against The Wall
- Highway To Hell
- Sign Of The Times (1999)
- Don’t Wanna Let You Go (1999)
- The Wild And The Young (1999)
- Mama Weer All Crazee Now (1999)
- Cum On Feel The Noize (1999)
- Metal Health (1999)
Kevin DuBrow – Vocals
Frankie Banali – Drums
Carlos Cavazo – Guitars
Rudy Sarzo – Bass
Total Time – 72:11
The return of the classic Quiet Riot lineup with bassist Rudy Sarzo, who rejoined the band in 1997. This is a two-part album: Part 1 is new material, Part 2 is newly recorded versions of older QR hits. Not a bad way to re-introduce the band, and make some extra coin, in the “reunion era” of the late ’90s.
‘Don’t Know What I Want’ starts the album on a high note with it’s classic early ’80s sound. A straight up rocker, this opener sounds like it came from 1984, and that ain’t a bad thing. ‘Angry’ keeps the groove going with it’s catchy chorus and gang backing vocals. The main riff sound a lot like Blue Oyster Cult’s ‘Don’t Fear The Reaper’ riff but with Carlos Cavazo putting his own style after it. It breeds familiarity.
The title track continues the barnstorming with it’s anthemic lyrics and driving guitar. The band sounding rejuvenated and stating it proudly, very upbeat. ‘The Ritual’ starts with a Rudy Sarzo bass intro and plods into a slow dirge. Frankie and Rudy setting the mood with the rhythm and Carlos comes in and out with a meaty riff. Tapping into what all working stiffs think, ‘Overworked And Underpaid’ is another classic ’80s style song with a catchy chorus and melody. ‘Slam Dunk (Way to Go)’ starts with the chorus that sounds like “She’s my cherry pie…..” Definitely a fun party rocker that I find myself enjoying despite the teenage lyrics.
Is that cowbell I hear on ‘Too Much Information’? You bet! Frankie providing another solid backbeat on what I consider an average Hard Rock track. ‘Against The Wall’ has that infectious guitar and beat, a fist-pumper that makes me think of mid-80s Sammy Hagar. This is one of my favorite songs on the disc. The band need sit’s cover and they do a good job on AC/DC’s ‘Highway To Hell’, this was a live staple for the band throughout the ’90s.
On to Part 2 (classic QR re-done)…..
‘Sign Of The Times’ is almost exact but with a beefed up guitar and Kevin’s voice is grittier. ‘Don’t Wanna Let You Go’ gets acoustic and is the best song re-worked. Carlos putting a nice acoustic flavor to this ballad, nice and subdued. I think I like this version more than the original and the original is one of my favorite Quiet Riot tunes. The most improved song is ‘The Wild And The Young’. No keyboards, just guitars. Now this is how they should have done it in 1986! This version is exactly how they play it live, with the bass solo, the vocal breakdown, and no keys. Rudy adds a different texture to the bass lines, a bit thicker to go with the guitar, and Carlos does a brand new solo. Kevin SINGS ‘Mama Weer All Crazee Now’ instead of screaming it like on CONDITION CRITICAL, sounds almost exact save for the vocals and the breakdown before the solo. You can tell that Kevin’s voice has aged fifteen years as he doesn’t hit the high parts in ‘Cum On Feel The Noize’ but it sounds almost exact, just a notch below the original. ‘Metal Health’ is close to the original, re-done extremely well.
Quiet Riot reunites and goes for a more classic ’80s sound with the new songs. I like it, using the trademark sound but not overdoing it so it becomes cliche. Favorite new songs: the title track, ‘Slam Dunk’, ‘Against The Wall’, ‘Don’t Know What I Want’. I really enjoyed the new interpretations of the original hits from the early days. They were all re-done the way the band plays them live. Favorites here: ‘Don’t Wanna Let You Go’, ‘The Wild And The Young’, ‘Metal Health’.
I saw the tour for this record four times and the band was no slouch live. The stop in Providence, RI at The Strand was a great show, the band really putting in the energy and entertainment for less than 300 people. I remember when they went into ‘Party All Night’ my buddy and I were front center and we were singing right along with DuBrow, which got us some high fives from the guys onstage. A great night and a fun time. I also saw a stop a year or so later at The Station Nightclub in West Warwick, RI. Always a great place to see a show, the place was packed for a two hour set. I remember getting front center at the stage and having the same ‘Party All Night’ experience again.