Quiet Riot is an American heavy metal band, best known for their hit singles "Metal Health" and "Cum On Feel the Noize". The band was founded in 1973 by guitarist Randy Rhoads and bassist Kelly Garni under the original name Mach 1, before changing the name to Little Women and finally Quiet Riot in May 1975. The band's name was inspired by a conversation with Rick Parfitt of the British band Status Quo, in which Parfitt said he'd like to name a band "Quite Right", and his thick English accent made it sound like he was saying "Quiet Riot". The band is ranked at No. 100 on VH1's "100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock".
The original line-up featured Rhoads and Garni with lead vocalist Kevin DuBrow and drummer Drew Forsyth. Their most commercially successful lineup consisted of DuBrow alongside guitarist Carlos Cavazo, bassist Rudy Sarzo and drummer Frankie Banali, and in 1983 released their breakthrough album Metal Health, which is known for being the first heavy metal album to top the Billboard album chart. Despite several lineup changes and brief breakups, Quiet Riot continued to record and tour until DuBrow's death from an accidental cocaine overdose in 2007. Banali revived the band in 2010, and the current lineup consists of himself on drums, lead vocalist Scott Vokoun, bassist Chuck Wright and guitarist Alex Grossi.
Early years (1973–1982)
Quiet Riot were one of the more successful hard rock acts in Los Angeles in the mid to late 1970s. They often opened for Van Halen in several L.A. clubs including the Starwood and KROQ's Cabaret nightclub, before either act had a record deal. Nonetheless, Quiet Riot was unable to procure a recording contract in the United States. By 1977 they were able to secure a deal with Sony, but their records would be released only in Japan. The original four members recorded their debut album Quiet Riot, or QR I, in 1977. Vocalist Kevin DuBrow and bassist Kelly Garni did not get along. According to Garni, "I was on a constant quest to get him out of the band and get a different singer. I hated him, he hated me and we could not find any way whatsoever to get along which caused a lot of tension in the band and it put a lot of stress on Randy to try to be neutral." Their second album Quiet Riot II, or QR II, was recorded at The Record Plant and released in Japan in 1978. Once recording was completed, Garni left the band. (Although Garni's replacement Rudy Sarzo was pictured and credited on QR II, he actually joined the band after the album was recorded.) DuBrow claimed that this period of the band's existence was very frustrating. "We had one of the best guitar players ever in our band and we couldn’t get arrested!" he lamented many years later.
In 1979, Rhoads auditioned for Ozzy Osbourne's band upon the recommendation of future Slaughter bassist Dana Strum. Osbourne himself has stated that he hired Rhoads immediately. Shortly thereafter, Sarzo also left Quiet Riot for Osbourne's band. Since no one expected Quiet Riot to reform at this point, according to Sarzo "a lot of the Quiet Riot songs ended up on the [Osbourne] albums under different titles. Obviously Randy thought we'd never use those songs again so he'd give the riffs to Ozzy who'd come up with new words." Sarzo went on to say that the Osbourne song "Suicide Solution" originated as a Quiet Riot demo called "Force of Habit".
According to DuBrow, Rhoads' departure from Quiet Riot "didn't derail the band, it ended it." He and Forsyth continued on with the addition of guitarist Greg Leon and former Suite 19 bassist Gary Van Dyke. During this period (1980–1982) the band changed its name to 'DuBrow' and also played shows with former Gamma drummer Skip Gillette. By 1982 guitarist Carlos Cavazo and drummer Frankie Banali had also been recruited by DuBrow.
Metal Health and success (1982–1984)
Randy Rhoads died in a plane crash while on tour with Ozzy Osbourne in March 1982, after which Rudy Sarzo quit Osbourne's band. DuBrow contacted Sarzo and asked him to play on a track called "Thunderbird", which was a tribute to Rhoads. The lineup of DuBrow, Sarzo, Cavazo, and Banali had so much fun recording the track that they wound up recording half of an album in the process. The previous bassist for the band DuBrow was sacked to make room for Sarzo in the new lineup. There was some uncertainty over whether this incarnation of the band should be named DuBrow or Quiet Riot; in the end they decided on Quiet Riot "because although Randy wouldn't be in it, the original spirit of the band was back," according to Sarzo.
In September 1982, with help from producer Spencer Proffer, they were signed to CBS Records in America and completed recording the album Metal Health, which was released on March 11, 1983. This was Quiet Riot's American debut, as their two previous albums, QR I and QR II, have still not been released in North America, despite the band's subsequent success.
On August 27, 1983, Quiet Riot's second single "Cum On Feel the Noize" was released. A cover of the 1973 hit by Slade, the single spent two weeks at No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in November 1983 and was the first heavy metal song to make the top 5 on that chart. The success of the single helped carry the album Metal Health to the top of Billboard album chart, making it the first American heavy metal debut album to ever reach No. 1 in the United States. On November 26, 1983 Quiet Riot became the first heavy metal band to have a top 5 hit and No. 1 album in the same week. Their success was aided in no small part by the "Cum On Feel the Noize" video's heavy rotation on MTV. Metal Health displaced The Police's Synchronicity at No. 1 and stayed there for just a week until Lionel Richie's Can't Slow Down took over the No. 1 spot.
Metal Health's title track, which had been released as the album's first single on March 11, 1983, finally charted in early 1984 and peaked at No. 31. This could be attributed to the song's appearance in the 1984 movie Footloose, as well as another heavily rotated video on MTV. The song was placed at No. 41 on VH1's Top 100 Greatest Hard Rock Songs. The album Metal Health would ultimately sell over six million copies in the United States
In support of Metal Health, Quiet Riot toured North America as the opening act for Black Sabbath on their Born Again tour from October 1983 through March 1984.
Condition Critical, QR III, departure of DuBrow and QR (1984–1989)
The group's follow-up, Condition Critical, was released on July 7, 1984. Though successful, it was a relative critical and commercial disappointment, selling only 3 million units and reaching only No. 15 on the Billboard album chart. This release included yet another Slade cover, the single "Mama Weer All Crazee Now". Reportedly frustrated over the album's failure to duplicate the success of its predecessor, DuBrow began expressing his opinion in the heavy metal press that many bands in the Los Angeles metal scene owed their success to what he saw as the doors opened for them by Quiet Riot. At one point he even compared his band to The Beatles. DuBrow's verbal assaults angered many of Quiet Riot's musical contemporaries and alienated fans.
DuBrow's tirades led to fan backlash and clashes in the media with several other Los Angeles-based metal bands, which resulted in Rudy Sarzo quitting the group in January 1985. Despite this, in May 1985 all four Quiet Riot members participated in Hear 'n Aid, a charity project headed by Ronnie James Dio to raise awareness for the famine situation in Africa. Sarzo resurfaced in Whitesnake two years later, in time for their hugely successful 1987 tour. Sarzo was replaced in Quiet Riot by Chuck Wright (formerly of Giuffria) and the group temporarily added keyboardist John Purdell for their 1986 tour. That year the album QR III was released and became another commercial disappointment.
Fed up with DuBrow's antics and pressure from the band's management and record label, the rest of Quiet Riot fired DuBrow from his own band in February 1987 and replaced him with former Rough Cutt vocalist Paul Shortino, leaving no original members in the band. Chuck Wright left the band shortly thereafter and Sarzo was invited to return. Sarzo agreed but was committed to Whitesnake at the time. The group then recruited Sean McNabb for the bassist slot. The revamped band released their second self-titled album, Quiet Riot (also known as QR IV), in October 1988. The album failed to return the band to its commercial glory. In April 1989 the band members went their separate ways. A show from their final tour was later released on a DVD titled '89 Live in Japan. Frankie Banali resurfaced on the W.A.S.P. album The Headless Children, and played some shows with Faster Pussycat. Sean McNabb joined House of Lords in 1991, where he ironically replaced Chuck Wright, the bass player whom he also replaced in Quiet Riot. Kevin DuBrow subsequently fought in court to keep control of the band's name.
Reformation and Metal Health lineup reunion (1990-2003)
Having won the rights to the band's name, DuBrow teamed up with 21 year-old English born blues guitarist Sean Manning, bassist Kenny Hillery, and drummer Pat Ashby to reform Quiet Riot. Initially using the moniker Little Women (a name Rhoads and DuBrow used in the 1970s before settling on Quiet Riot) on tour to avoid any adverse publicity, DuBrow and Manning compiled songs for a new album, which would eventually become the 1993 release Terrified. The band played venues throughout the United States until 1990 when Manning left to join the band Hurricane.
By the early 1990s tempers had cooled between former bandmates Carlos Cavazo and Kevin DuBrow, and they started to communicate again. They eventually formed the band Heat in 1990 with bassist Kenny Hillery and drummer Bobby Rondinelli. This foursome reverted to the name Quiet Riot the following year and released the aforementioned Terrified in 1993 with Banali rejoining on drums. Chuck Wright then rejoined on bass for a 1994 tour in support of Terrified.
That same year, DuBrow released The Randy Rhoads Years, a compilation featuring remixed tracks from Quiet Riot's two Japan-only releases along with previously unreleased material, many of which featured newly recorded vocals. The band released the album Down to the Bone in 1995 and a Greatest Hits album in 1996. Greatest Hits covered only material from the CBS years, including three tracks from the 1988 album with Shortino and two previously promo-only live tracks. Former bassist Kenny Hillery, who had left the group in 1994, committed suicide on June 5, 1996.
Rudy Sarzo rejoined the band again in 1997, recreating the Metal Health lineup. During a tour that year, one angry fan sued DuBrow for injuries she claimed were sustained during a show. In 1999 the band released the album Alive and Well, which featured new songs and several re-recorded hits. The same lineup released the album Guilty Pleasures in 2001. In September 2002, the band teamed up with director Jack Edward Sawyers to shoot a concert video at the Key Club in Los Angeles. The live DVD Live in the 21st Century was released November 11, 2003. Quiet Riot officially broke up again in September 2003.
Second reformation and death of DuBrow (2004-2007)
Kevin DuBrow released his first solo album, In for the Kill, in May 2004, which was followed by the announcement of a Quiet Riot reunion in October 2004. This reunion line-up included Kevin DuBrow, Frankie Banali, Chuck Wright, and new guitarist Alex Grossi. The band was featured on the 2005 Rock Never Stops Tour tour along with Cinderella, Ratt, and FireHouse. In December 2005, guitarist Tracii Guns of L.A. Guns briefly joined Quiet Riot. Guns left less than a month later after one rehearsal due to musical differences.
Wright and Grossi left the band in early 2006. During this period Quiet Riot also included guitarists Billy Morris and Neil Citron, and bassists Sean McNabb and Wayne Carver. During 2006, Quiet Riot worked on a new studio album that was expected to be released in either 2006 or 2007. The band stated that they had set no timetable for the release of the album, that they were financing the project themselves, and that it would be released when they saw fit and on their terms. Ex-The Firm and Blue Murder bassist Tony Franklin worked with the band in the studio. Quiet Riot finally released the album Rehab on October 3, 2006; featuring a lineup of DuBrow, Banali, Franklin, and Neil Citron. Former Deep Purple bassist and singer Glenn Hughes made a guest vocal appearance on the album. By the end of 2006, Wright and Grossi were back in the band and toured in support of the album. In 2007, Quiet Riot were featured in radio promos for ESPN Radio, parodying their status as outdated rock n' roll icons, with commentary from DuBrow and Banali.
On November 25, 2007, Kevin DuBrow was found dead in his Las Vegas apartment. Frankie Banali confirmed the death in an e-mail to Spain's The Metal Circus. Banali wrote:
On December 10, 2007, media reports confirmed that DuBrow was pronounced dead on November 25, 2007, and was later determined to have died of a cocaine overdose approximately six days earlier. On January 14, 2008, Banali issued the following statement via his website regarding the future of Quiet Riot:
Revival and new lineup (2010–present)
Despite his previous insistence that Quiet Riot could never return as a live performing entity, Banali announced a new version of Quiet Riot in September 2010 with himself on drums, Chuck Wright on bass, Alex Grossi on guitar, and newcomer Mark Huff (formerly of the Van Halen tribute band 5150) on vocals. The band has sought the blessings of the DuBrow family, and DuBrow's mother encouraged Banali to revive the band. In July 2011, this lineup toured Germany as support for Slayer and Accept.
On January 12, 2012, whilst Huff was awaiting brain surgery, Quiet Riot released a statement, announcing that they had parted ways with Huff, and they were replacing him for upcoming dates with Keith St. John (formerly of Montrose). Huff found out about his firing online. In March 2012, Banali hired new unknown vocalist Scott Vokoun as the third Quiet Riot singer in a year and a half.
Original bassist and founding member Kelly Garni released his long-awaited autobiography in October 2012. The book covers the beginnings and early years of Quiet Riot, as well as details of Garni's friendship with founder Randy Rhoads.
Quiet Riot's song "Bang Your Head (Metal Health)" is used as the title theme to the video game Showdown: Legends of Wrestling. The same song also appears in the soundtrack to Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories, and is a playable song in the game Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the 80's, while "Cum On Feel the Noize" is featured in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. "The Wild and the Young" is in the soundtrack to Brütal Legend.
Quiet Riot are mentioned in Ben Folds 2001 song "Rockin' the Suburbs" in the lines "I'm rockin' the suburbs, just like Quiet Riot did. I'm rockin' the suburbs, except that they were talented". In the 2005 album "Punk Goes 80's", Relient K covered The Bangles' song "Manic Monday" and changed two original lines to read "He says to me in his Quiet Riot voice: "C'mon feel the noise". On the Weezer track "Heart Songs" from their self-titled "Red" album, one line goes: "Quiet Riot got me started with the banging of my head".
In the 2005 episode of The Simpsons titled "The Father, the Son, and the Holy Guest Star", the band is depicted as converted to a religious band called "Pious Riot" and plays a parody of the song "Cum On Feel the Noize" as "Come on Feel the Lord".
"Bang Your Head (Metal Health)" was also used in the Crank soundtrack, as the song played during the film's opening sequence. It was also used in a scene for the film Footloose. The song "Cum On Feel the Noize" is featured in the musical Rock of Ages.
Professional Wrestler Necro Butcher uses "Bang Your Head (Metal Health)" as his entrance theme in Wrecking Ball Wrestling.
- Frankie Banali – drums, percussion (1980–1989, 1993–2003, 2004–2007, 2010–present)
- Chuck Wright – bass, backing vocals (1982, 1985–1987, 1994–1997, 2004–2006, 2006-2007, 2010–present)
- Alex Grossi – guitar, backing vocals (2004–2006, 2006-2007, 2010–present)
- Scott Vokoun – lead vocals (2012–present)
- Kevin DuBrow (1975–1987, 1990–2003, 2004–2007; died 2007)
- Paul Shortino (1987–1989)
- Mark Huff (2010-2012)
- Keith St. John (2012)
- Randy Rhoads (1975–1979; died 1982)
- Greg Leon (1979-1980)
- Bob Stephan (1980-1982)
- Carlos Cavazo (1982–1989, 1990–2003)
- Sean Manning (1990)
- Tracii Guns (2005)
- Billy Morris (2006)
- Neil Citron (2006-2007)
- Kelly Garni (1975–1978)
- Rudy Sarzo (1978–1979, 1982–1985, 1997–2003)
- Gary Van Dyke (1979–1982)
- Sean McNabb (1987–1989, 2006)
- Kenny Hillery (1990–1994; died 1996)
- Wayne Carver (2006)
- Tony Franklin (2006-2007)
- Drew Forsyth (1975–1980)
- Skip Gillett (1980)
- Pat Ashby (1990)
- Bobby Rondinelli (1990–1993)
- Jeff Naideau – keyboards (1986)
- Live & Rare Volume 1 (2005)
- Live at the US Festival, 1983 (2012)
- Winners Take All (1990)
- The Randy Rhoads Years (1993)
- Greatest Hits (1996)
- Super Hits (1999)
- The Collection (2000)
- Live & Rare Volume 1 (2005)
- New and Improved (2005)
- Extended Versions (Recorded live in Pasadena and Nashville, 1983) (2007)
- Quiet Riot (Playlist): The Very Best of Quiet Riot (2008)
- Bang Thy Head (1986)
- Live in the 21st Century (2003)
- '89 Live in Japan (2004)
- Quiet Riot: Live at the US Festival, 1983 (2012)
- "Metal Health"
- "Cum on Feel the Noize"
- "Mama Weer All Crazee Now"
- "Party All Night"
- "The Wild and the Young"
- "Twilight Hotel"
- "Stay with Me Tonight"
- "Picking Up the Pieces"
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Image from Discogs