Quiet Riot seemingly came out of nowhere in 1983, racing up the singles charts with their over-the-top cover of Slade's "Cum On Feel the Noize" and crashing the Billboard album chart's number one spot with their multi-million-selling Metal Health LP -- the first heavy metal record to ever do so. Prior to their "overnight success," QR had been toiling in relative obscurity for years, so that by the time they finally turned the corner, Metal Health's meteoric success must have surprised the band even more than it did their critics and newfound fans. Though it has received its fair share of criticism, Metal Health isn't nearly as average as some would have you believe. Say what you will, but the album's title track continues to deliver after all these years. With its crushing guitar riff, inane lyrics, and goofy bravado, it's heavy metal personified in all its glorious, ridiculous excess. The surprisingly laid-back groove of "Don't Wanna Let You Go" follows the storming "Cum On Feel the Noize," which leads into the slightly '50s-ish "Slick Black Cadillac," a rehashed early band favorite. "Love's a Bitch" closes side one with plenty of venom and attitude, but despite a valiant attempt by the driving coulda-been-a-hit "Breathless," side two falls way short of the mark. Even though "Run for Cover" is quite a stomper, the closing triplet of "Battle Axe" (Carlos Cavazo's half-assed guitar showcase), "Let's Get Crazy" (downright embarrassing jock rock), and "Thunderbird" (painful sub-Journey balladry) tend to understate the hugeness of the occasion. Still unquestionably the band's best effort, Metal Health would eventually earn one-hit wonder status thanks to Quiet Riot's inability to deliver anything resembling a decent follow-up.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Eduardo Rivadavia