As one of the archetypical hair metal bands, Ratt never rose to the commercial success of contemporaries like Mötley Crüe or even later-day rockers Warrant, but the boom times of mid-'80s radio metal would not have been the same without their presence. Flashback collects highlights from the group's first five albums, starting with break-out metal smash "Round and Round" from 1983's Out of the Cellar. Coming up with ten essential tracks from the first decade's worth of Ratt's output may have proved a little challenging, as even some of the singles here come off like filler. By the end of Flashback, Ratt's late-'80s and early-'90s work finds them running through the fun but puzzling character sketch of "Way Cool Jr." or mining over-the-top double entendre in "Lovin' You's a Dirty Job." While the songs suffer from an overall production that makes them indistinguishable from one another, and Ratt themselves might have all too much in common with any given generic hard rock band of their era, this collection succeeds in finding the brightest moments of their high-haired, gated-reverb, virtuosic guitar solo glory days. Lined up in a row, these ten songs highlight the fact that Ratt's secret weapon was a well-placed hook amid the hair metal artifice of the day.
AllMusic Review by Fred Thomas