Quiet Riot - 1986 QR III

geoviangeovian Earth Orbit
edited August 2 in year-1986


ARTIST: Quiet Riot
LABEL: Pasha
SERIAL: 40321
YEAR: 1986
CD REISSUE: 1986, Pasha, ZK 40321 * 2010, Rock Candy Records (UK), CANDY079
SPONSOR: Rock Candy Records


LINEUP: Kevin Dubrow - lead and backing vocals, guitars * Carlos Cavazo - guitars, backing vocals * Chuck Wright - bass, backing vocals * Frankie Banali - drums * John Pudell - keyboards, programming, backing vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Main Attraction * 02 The Wild And The Young * 03 Twilight Hotel * 04 Down And Dirty * 05 Rise Or Fall * 06 Put Up Or Shut Up * 07 Still Of The Night * 08 Bass Case * 09 The Pump * 10 Slave To Love * 11 Helping Hands


I'm sure that through the era of hard rock and heavy metal, there have been many instances where bands/artists have felt like they were on the Titanic.

Call it the sinking ship syndrome, or perhaps the last chance saloon, but by 1986, the members of Quiet Riot must've felt like they were having one last drink before hitting the road for the last time.

At this point on their timeline, the band were getting hit from all directions. A manager/producer who was calling the shots with no room for flexibility, a lead singer with a fast shooting mouth that was polarising fans and critics, dwindling record sales and disharmony among the band members.

Beyond 'Metal Health' and 'Condition Critical', bassist Rudy Sarzo had his nose put out of joint when Spencer Proffer bought in Chuck Wright to do some bass overdubs to the 'Condition Critical' record.

Staying with QR long enough to finish the CC tour, he upped and left when his commitments ended. Wright was drafted in by Kevin Dubrow, QR now having the difficult assignment to re-engineer themselves for a 1986 album, but to start from scratch after most of their demo songs were dismissed by Proffer as not being good enough.

In keeping with the phrase 'courage under fire', the band became a tighter unit in the face of adversity, and came up with an album that was pretty good musically, but by now, the public weren't buying, and so it was a case of going through the motions as QR went out on the road to try and salvage some credibility.

But before the tour concluded, Kevin Dubrow was fired from the band. Perhaps a case of shooting his mouth off one too many times.

The Songs

So what of 'QR III'? I actually like it, probably because it takes a different direction than their previous two records. In much the same way that Y&T made commercial changes on their 'Down For The Count' album, as well as Icon going down a similar route with 'Night Of The Crime', 'QR III' has a load of appeal, and not just because studio hound John Purdell added a heap of keyboards to the album, but because the band had to adapt or die.

By taking this route, at least QR wouldn't die wondering, because many bands had found some form of success by moderating their sound to some degree. Classic cases being Van Halen and Whitesnake.

The keyboards invade as early as the opening bars on 'Main Attraction', one listen, you'll be wondering 'what the heck is going on here?' But it actually moves into some appealing melodic hard rock, but admittedly it's not trademark QR, more like Autograph.

'The Wild And The Young' is good fun too, check out the video below. It distressed me somewhat to see those guitars thrown into a woodchip machine.. lol!

Chuck Wright contributed one of the singles on the album called 'Twilight Hotel', a semi-ballad with smooth keys and a lighter touch overall.

'Down And Dirty' sees QR funking things up a bit, while 'Rise Or Fall' takes a more straight-forward approach with keyboards again prominent in the mix.

'Put Up Or Shut Up' is more of a guitar rocker, and compares well to material off 'Condition Critical' and 'Metal Health'.

The ballad 'Still Of The Night' is the album's 'slow-down' moment, though it is spacious and roomy, very atmosphere laden.

Moving on beyond the bass instrumental 'Bass Case', QR shuffle things up with 'The Pump', perhaps the only track here that doesn't truly convince.

Much better is 'Slave To Love' which would appeal to all the AORsters here due to all the required AOR attributes being fulfilled.

The album closer 'Helping Hands' could also be considered filler, though some of the keyboard parts sound unusual, making the listener question as to whether this really is a Quiet Riot record!

In Summary

Despite the problems that would beset the band, I still think that 'QR III' is a pretty decent attempt. I guess I'm biased because the sound on this one swings more toward melodic hard rock.

Certainly if you are a fan of the aforementioned Y&T, Icon going commercial, then 'QR III' is in the same camp.

Diehard QR fans would probably toss this on the scrapheap given the standard set on the million selling 'Metal Health', but for what it's worth, I believe melodic rockers and AORsters should re-investigate this album, and be thankful that it's been remastered by Rock Candy. An excellent call!

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