Yesterday we recorded our Ratt Talk on Tim’s Vinyl Confessions…Today…it is now up on YouTube. Go check it out as it was a ton of fun. It was great meeting Jex and seeing Deke again. And a big thank you to Tim of Tim’s Vinyl Confessions for having me on. Always a good time to talk about Ratt!!
One of the most consistent hard rock bands to emerge from the early 1980s. Not an enormous catalogue, but enough to discuss, with a first time combo of TVC vet Jex, Deke and John. If you’re a Ratt fan, you’re going to enjoy this one.
While at a Record Show here in Charlotte, I came across some really great singles and here is the first of 3 I found at the show that were in phenomenal shape. The first is from the band Ratt and it is the first single off their 1990 album ‘Detonator’ called “Lovin’ You’s A Dirty Job”. The song never made the Top 40 but did go to #18 on the U.S. Mainstream Rock chart. The song was written by Stephen Pearcy, Juan Croucier, Warren DeMartini and Desmond Child who also produced the song and the album.
My version of the single is actually the UK version with “What’s It Gonna Be” as the B-Side. It was also the B-Side of the US version as well. Both songs appear to be the album version and not the Radio edits, but honestly, “Lovin’ You’s A Dirty Job” is such a short song already at 3:14 that no edit is really needed.
For My Sunday Song #259, we are going to talk about “Shame, Shame, Shame” from Ratt’s 1990 album ‘Detonator’. The song was written by Stephen Pearcy, Warren DeMartini and Desmond Child who also produced the album. The song was a Japan Only single and therefore never charted in the US since it wasn’t released here. The album didn’t do that well either only going Gold in the U.S. and hitting #23 on the charts. This surprises me as this to me is one of their best albums, if not THE BEST album they had done.
Lyrically, the song is about catching your girlfriend cheating and telling them they should have known better as now it is over. It is a big F.U. to the girlfriend that they screwed up and now they need to pack their bags and get the hell out. Since the girlfriend instigated the affair, he has no remorse or doubt that she needs to go. Really no other interpretation for this one. It is pretty straight-forward and simple.
The songs opens with a little Warren DeMartini penned instrumental piece called “Intro to Shame” with its slow detuned guitar solo which then slams into the blistering opening track “Shame Shame Shame”. The song comes at you full force and the guitar work is A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.!! There is even a guest appearance by the super talented Michael Schenker. What more could you want in an opening track. It is hard, heavy, catchy and starts off the album better than probably any of their other albums. Stephen’s vocals are spot on with that gritty, smoked too many cigarettes, drank too much whiskey edge it screams a bluesy vibe matched with Warren’s bluesy guitar tone. It is legendary!!
For most of 2018, I have been reviewing all the Ratt albums from the Ratt E.P. in 1983 all the way to 2010’s Infestation. It has been an enjoyable ride walking through the history of the band, all the ups and the downs, the good and the bad and loving every minute of it (wait that is Loverboy)…and loving watching the wax or cd spinning round and round (much better).
Ratt has been a love/hate relationship. While I love most of what they do, they don’t always deliver the goods and I tried to be as honest as I could be throughout the review processes. I believe I was brutal where I needed to be and kissed their ass when it deserved it as well. I hear they band is planning a new album in 2019 and when it comes I will review it in detail like the others and I will update this list and put it where it belongs among the classics or the crap.
You can go back and read each review in detail by just clicking on the album title. This ranking will be just a summary of the good and bad of each album. I hope you enjoy.
The hardest review of them all to write. I couldn’t connect to this album when it came out or even now. The production quality was horrible; Stephen’s vocals needed some cleanup and weren’t always up to par; the double guitar of Ratt of old was gone and so the songs were missing that punch; and overall it was just bad.
After the disappointing sales of their album ‘Detonator’, Ratt seemed to be falling apart. Robbin Crosby would leave the band due to his substance abuse problem and the dominos would fall from there. The band went on “hiatus” in 1992 and it felt like the band was done. Well, the weren’t just year.
In 1997, reunion talks began with the five original members. However, Robbin Crosby developed HIV due to his substance abuse problem and was in no shape to carry-on. Juan Croucier would soon afterwards decide he didn’t want to re-join the band. So that left Stephen Pearcy, Warren DeMartini and Bobby Blotzer and they decided to continue as Ratt and the set out to go on tour. Before they did that, the decision was made to release a compilation album of B-sides, alternate recordings and even re-work some old Mickey Ratt tunes.
I wasn’t planning on reviewing any compilation albums in my Ratt Review Series, but this one was different as it wasn’t a greatest hits collection. Being that most of the songs haven’t been on any Ratt album, I decided it was worth getting a review of it’s own. I will warn you, this is a collection of songs that is strictly for Ratt fans.
The year is 1990 and we are getting to the end of the Hair Metal era, but at the time, no one knew that end was coming. Ratt released their fifth album in August of 1990 and it brings us to the end the long running stream of Platinum albums. It is also the last Ratt album with the line-up that has been on all 5 of their albums.
Stephen Pearcy – vocals
Robbin Crosby – lead guitar
Warren DeMartini – lead guitar
Juan Croucier – bass guitar
Bobby Blotzer – drums
After the disappointing reception for ‘Reach for the Sky’ (although it did go Platinum), the band needed to make a change. That change was not to use Beau Hill as producer on the next album as he had produced all previous albums to much success. The band (or label) brought in powerhouse songwriter Desmond Child. You know Desmond…he had great success writing with Kiss, Aerosmith and a few Bon Jovi classics.
And did he ever get involved in the songwriting as he has writing credits on 10 of the 11 tracks on the album. Not only did Desmond assist with songwriting, he was also the executive producer along with Sir Arthur Payson. While Ratt did maintain the classic Ratt sound which was a little bluesy and little sleazy, the songs were much more polished and contained more hooks than a fisherman’s tackle box. It definitely leaned to a more Glam rock image than prior albums.
The band Ratt has been in the news a lot lately and not all in a good way. First with Stephen Pearcy releasing a great new solo album. And second, the Ratt band mates have been feuding over who owns the band name. It is sad and disgusting. To me, Ratt is Stephen Pearcy, Warren DeMartini, Bobby Blotzer, Robbin Crosby and Juan Croucier. But the band is now two bands fighting over the name.
In one corner you have Stephen Pearcy, Warren MeMartini & Juan Croucier. The other corner you have Bobby Blotzer. Robbin Crosby passed away in 2002 and luckily isn’t witnessing this fiasco. Based on what I have read, Bobby Blotzer will probably lose and Ratt will be with Stephen, Warren and Juan, but what do I know I am not an attorney.
Any other version is a cover band…sorry Bobby that is all your version would look like. Plus, you were never a song writer on any of the songs so the Ratt sound and style didn’t come from you so not sure I would ever check out your version of Ratt. I am sorry that was mean. There were actually 2 songs you have writing credits on and your drumming in the band was actually great. I still feel your version is a cover band though!!!
Because of them being in the news, I have been listening to their music and I realized they have a lot of great songs. I figured why not do a list of my Top 20 Ratt songs. I have gone through all their albums and I feel I have the definitive list of Ratt songs. I was hoping to have songs from every Ratt album, but their 1999, self-titled reunion album sucked so much that I could not in good faith include any songs. Collage was a compilation of rarities and b-sides but mostly stuff from pre-Ratt and I wanted to stick with the main Ratt era. Otherwise, here the Top 20 Ratt songs.