In my ever growing attempt at saving 7″ Singles from sitting all alone in Record Stores craving to spun again a turntable, I have found a couple from the band Quiet Riot that were eager to be adopted by yours truly. I found these two at the great Charlotte Record Store of Noble Records. He is always putting out great stuff and these two are no exception.
The first to discuss is the 2nd Single off the band’s 1983 ‘Metal Health”. The song is “Bang Your Head (Metal Health). At least that is what it says on the single. My album that it is off of calls it simply “Metal Health” and I’ve even seen it listed as “Metal Health (Bang Your Head)”. Whichever way it is listed, it is still a killer song.
My copy is the Standard U.S. Pressing and has the B-Side has the same song, but as a live version recorded for the King Biscuit Flower Hour. The single was released in December 1983 and did really well on the charts. It broke the Top 40 and landed at #31 which wasn’t quite as good as the #5 hit “Cum On Feel the Noize”, the Slade Cover which is the song that broke the band. The band was Kevin DuBrow, Carlos Cavazo, Frankie Banali and Rudy Sarzo. However, bass on this song wasn’t Rudy, it was Charles Wright who left the band during the recording of the album.
The song is a heavy track and is pure 80’s Hair Band / Glam Metal magic. It was the start of great things to come for this genre of music. Frankie’s drumming was immense, the bass was heavy, the guitar riffs were loud and memorable and Kevin’s vocals were gritty, scratchy and his screams were legendary. Their brand of “in-your-face” rock exploded on to the scene and made MTV and the World take notice. There was a new brand of rock and it would hang around until the end of the decade although Quiet Riot didn’t make it to the end. The teenagers around the U.S. were eating this up. Heavy Metal was becoming mainstream, it was becoming fun as it was all about partying and having a good time and during the Reagan era, that was definitely needed.
The B-Side was “Bang Your Head (Metal Health)” as well, but this was a live version that was recorded for the King Biscuit Flower Hour which was a big deal in the U.K. I have to say the live version really captures the essence of the song. Kevin sounds great and he can scream just like on the albums. The energy is immense and the crowd gives it a killer vibe. Rudy’s bass is prominent and even better than Chuck’s on the studio version. The ending is bombastic and fitting for a song with that much power. The live version is probably as good as the studio.
And there you have it. Quiet Riot’s “Bang Your Head (Metal Health)”. What a great song that helped explode the Sunset Strip and 80’s Rock as we know. Amen to that Brother!!!