With the stunning success of their 1983 album Metal Health, Quiet Riot shot to the top of the music world. Metal Health went all the way to number one on Billboard. As such, Quiet Riot helped usher in the heavy metal craze that swept across America in the eighties. But just a few short years later, Quiet Riot had crashed and burned. 1986’s QR III was a commercial failure and the band went into full-on desperation mode. Quiet Riot did the unthinkable — they fired lead singer Kevin DuBrow. He and his dollar-store wig were out on the street like yesterday’s trash! Such a notion seemed like an impossibility just a few years earlier — when Quiet Riot was the toast of the town. Kevin DuBrow had been with Quiet Riot since their earliest days way back in the seventies (when Randy Rhoads was also a member). He was the face of the band — for better or worse. His big mouth had gotten Quiet Riot some bad press, but in my mind his patented holler and goofy charisma defined Quiet Riot. A Quiet Riot without DuBrow would be a totally different animal, that’s for sure. Would the experiment work? Would a new singer and a new sound bring Quiet Riot back from the dead? The answer, of course, was a resounding no.
The album was called simply Quiet Riot (or QR). The name implied a new beginning. Indeed, a fresh start probably seemed like the only course of action for the ailing Quiet Riot brand. Stepping in to replace Kevin DuBrow on vocals was Rough Cutt front-man Paul Shortino. Paul brought with him a bluesy, pack-a-day voice. This was a stark contrast to DuBrow’s raucous rebel yell. Like I said before — a different animal. Though a solid performer, Shortino lacked DuBrow’s “presence”. Quiet Riot is a smoother and tamer Quiet Riot. More “quiet” than “riot” I dare say. Shades of Coverdale’s Whitesnake seem to be peeking through at times. Overall, it’s obvious Quiet Riot were looking to garner some radio favor with what could be considered a more mature, bluesy, and milder sound. Unfortunately, the results were rather mediocre, though not a total travesty. What we have here are a few decent hooks and some okay tunes. Quiet Riot doesn’t reek of desperation like QR III, but in the end it was no better or worse for the effort. Quiet Riot had nothing left to lose with Quiet Riot because they had already lost it all. They took one last shot… but it just wasn’t happening. My score: C+