Metal Mania: Quiet Riot
  • Metal Mania: Quiet Riot
About Quiet Riot
Quiet Riot formed in Los Angeles in 1983, when bassist Kelly Garni and guitarist Randy Rhodes started playing together under the name Mach 1. After a two-year stint with Dee Snider of Twisted Sister on vocals, Kevin DuBrow took over those duties and drummer Drew Forsyth was added. The group's first two albums, Quiet Riot (1977) and Quiet Riot II (1978), were released only in Japan and failed to make a dent. By the start of 1982, Rhodes left to join Ozzy Osbourne's touring band, Garni and Forsyth were out, and Quiet Riot was all but finished. However, after Rhodes tragically died in a plane crash on March 19, 1982, DuBrow decided to attempt to reform the band. Though Garni and Forsyth would not return, DuBrow recreated the group with Carlos Cavazo on guitar, Rudy Sarzo (who joined the group shortly after Quiet Riot II) on bass, and Frankie Banali on drums.
The reformed group headed into the studio in late 1982 and emerged with their triumphant third album, Metal Health. Boosted by their cover of Slade's "Cum on Feel the Noize" and "Metal Health (Bang Your Head)," the disc went on to sell over six million copies. Quiet Riot's scrappy image and uncompromising style were popular for metal fans who were bored of the increasingly slick, poppy hair metal that was taking over the charts. While the record was certainly radio-friendly, it wasn't as saccharine or overproduced as some of the "metal" bands (i.e. Winger, Warrant etc.) that were massively popular.
Instead of resting on their laurels, the band quickly went back into the studio to record a follow up. Condition Critical was released on July 27, 1984. Though it wasn't as big of a smash as it Metal Health, it did sell over three million copies and kept them in the spotlight. However, it would be their last effort that would make any kind of commercial or critical dent. All of their subsequent releases either flopped or didn't register, and the next 20-plus years were awash with rotating band members, trouble with the law, and ill-fated tours. That said, the band soldiered on, bringing their party metal on tour all over the world and continuing to release albums up to 2006's Rehab.
The party finally ended for good on November 25, 2007, when DuBrow was found dead of a cocaine overdose in Las Vegas. He was 52. After his death, there were rumblings about the group reforming with a new vocalist, but Banali issued a statement saying that as long as he had anything to do with the band, they would never tour again with a new singer.