Ratt – Invasion Of Your Privacy – Album Review

On June 13, 1985, Ratt released their second full length album called ‘Invasion of Your Privacy’.  After the success of their debut ‘Out of the Cellar’, Ratt wasted no time in repeating that formula and delivering another solid album.  The line-up was unchanged.

  • Stephen Pearcy – vocals
  • Robin Crosby – lead guitar
  • Warren DeMartini – lead guitar
  • Juan Croucier – bass
  • Bobby Blotzer – drums

The producer was still Beau Hill. The only thing different was the model on the front cover.  This time around it was Playboy model Marianne Gravatte.  Marianne was Playmate of the Year in 1983 where she was noticed by Stephen Pearcy (and everyone else).  Fun fact…the prior Playmate of the Year was none other than Gene Simmons’ wife, Shannon Tweed.  Marianne also appeared in the video for “Lay It Down” which we will get to later.

The album was not quite as successful as the debut, but it did peak at #7 on the Billboard charts which was the same place ‘Out of the Cellar’ peaked.  The album did go on to sell over 2 million copies.  The album also peaked the interest of the group Parents Music Resource Center which is the Tipper Gore group that looked to censor the music industry.  The group did end up getting Parental Advisory stickers placed on albums with foul language and that contained inappropriate material.

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Turntables & Vinyl #13 – The New York Adventure

The family and I took a wonderful Spring Break vacation to the bustling city of New York.  What an amazing city.  There are so many things to see and so little time to see it all, but we crammed in as much as we could.  I was even able to take a few hours and visit some record stores while we were down in Greenwich Village. Lucky Me!!

Before we get to that, let’s talk a little about the trip.  We arrived on Sunday afternoon and had a little time to run down to Time Square to check things out.  The kids were stunned by the huge, bright, flashing billboards and all the people…all the interesting and very strange people.

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We saw where the film the Late Show with Steven Colbert, where the Broadway Show Rocktopia was playing which was starring Pat Monahan from Train while we were there (didn’t see it though), we of course saw Time Square and even went and snapped a picture at Radio City Music Hall.

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Ratt – ‘Out of the Cellar’ – Album Review

After the success of their self-titled E.P., Ratt signed a record deal with Atlantic Records and that deal brought us the incredible debut album ‘Out of the Cellar’.  On March 27th, 1984, the album was released and thanks to MTV, the band became a huge sensation.

The band’s line-up was unchanged from the E.P, consisting of the following members:

  • Stephen Pearcy – vocals
  • Robin Crosby – lead guitar
  • Warren DeMartini – lead guitar
  • Juan Croucier – bass
  • Bobby Blotzer – drums

With the incredible dual guitar combo of Crosby & DeMartini and the bluesy, raspiness of Pearcy’s vocals, the band had an arsenal of great songs that took them to the pinnacle of rock and selling millions and millions of records.  It also didn’t hurt that they looked the part which was crucial for the MTV world that was exploding on the scene at the time.

Take that and add a beautiful woman on the cover your album and there was denying this band.  Tawny Kitaen graced the cover of the debut album as she was the then girlfriend of Robin Crosby.  She also graced the cover of their E.P. but that was just her beautiful legs.  This time, you got the whole package.  For those that didn’t know, Tawny is the video vixen that was dancing on the pair of Jaguars in the Whitesnake videos in the late 80’s when she was dating David Coverdale.

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Ratt – Ratt E.P. – Album Review

Back in 1976, there lived a band fronted by Stephen Pearcy called Mickey Ratt.  With limited success and numerous line-up changes over the years, including the great Jake E. Lee on guitar, the band eventually found the line-up that would work.  By 1982, that line-up be complete.

In 1981, one of the most crucial pieces was another songwriter to work with Stephen.  That role was filled by the late Robin Crosby on guitar. Also in 1981, a young guitar great, by the name of Warren DeMartini, joined the band courtesy of Jake E. Lee’s recommendation.  He would leave as he was in college and was afraid to quit school for a band with only moderate success.  He returned in 1982.  Finally, the band would add Bobby Blotzer on drums (ex Vic Vergeat) and Juan Crucier (formerly with Dokken) on bass and the band was complete.

Everything was in place and the band finally got a record deal in July 1983 with an independent label called Time Coast Music.  The band released their first E.P. as Ratt and it was simply called Ratt.  The E.P. included 6 tracks; however, the European release would give you 7 tracks which was an early version of “You’re In Trouble” that was later released on ‘Out of the Cellar’.  My version on vinyl is the U.S. release.  My version is also a re-release that was done in 1984 after the success of ‘Out of the Cellar’ which included a picture of the band with their more current look and was released by Atlantic Records.

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Turntables & Vinyl #10 – The Growing Obsession

It has been a few months since I have done a post in my Turntable & Vinyl series and a lot has gone on since the last one.  Mainly, the growing obsession with getting my favorite albums in vinyl.  Everywhere I go, I am looking for a record store or thinking of an excuse to go to a store and just “look” around. It has become a growing obsession that isn’t getting any better, in fact, it is getting worse.

And thanks to a fellow blogger, I now have my collection in Discogs.  I can’t remember who it was as it has been several months and I have a terrible memory…now what was I talking about…oh yeah…Discogs.  I spent quite some time cataloging my newly started collection.  The good news, now when I am out at a record store and I can’t remember if I have that album or not, I only need to pull it up on the phone and BOOM!!, I will know if it is in my collection or not.  No more buying duplicates (I told you my memory is bad).  I actually had to use it a few weeks back so I know it was well worth the time adding everything in. Plus, it tells me what my collection is worth (ain’t much which is sad!), but it is a great tool if the collection should get stolen or burned down, I have a record of my albums for insurance purposes.  Nice!

One thing I have been wanting to do for quite a while is upgrade my shitty little stereo system I have been  using.  It was an old system with some shitty little speakers.  Did I mention it was shitty?  Well, I finally replaced it and gave the older system to my oldest daughter for her room.  She loves it because that shitty system replaced her even shittier system.  One man’s junk is another man’s (or teenager girl’s) treasure.  I didn’t get anything real fancy, I did keep it very reasonable.  I only bought a Yamaha Receiver and a couple of Polk floor speakers plus a sub-woofer (I like that bass a little).  I could have gone with a surround sound system, but I really love this set up.  it was the way I listened to the albums back in the day, plus the vinyl isn’t mastered in Surround Sound!!

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Turntables & Vinyl #6 – “Re-Spin” Led Zeppelin & Van Halen

Ever since I started the whole resurgence in my vinyl collection which started from nothing just 10 months ago, I have been trying to put together “The List” of all the albums that are a must have for my collection.  The list is long and it is going to be expensive to put together.

For me, albums from the 70’s must be in vinyl as that was the medium of choice at the time.  That means that I need to have Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Aerosmith, early AC/DC, Queen and of course KISS, just to name a few.  I am off to a good start with KISS thanks to the box of records I mentioned back in the first Turntables & Vinyl post.

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The 80’s is the decade I grew up in and fell in love with music so there has to be a ton of vinyl from those years as well.  Def Leppard, Van Halen, more AC/DC, Motley Crue, Whitesnake, Ratt and any other rock band from that era.  The collection is growing, but the list doesn’t seem to get smaller.

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Stephen Pearcy – ‘Smash’ – Album Review

If you are expecting Stephen Pearcy’s ‘Smash’ to sound like Ratt, You’re In Trouble.  This Collage of songs is definitely not Ratt and the first two songs, “I Know I’m Crazy” & “Ten Miles Wide”, proves that it is his own album.

Stephen’s screaming of MuthaFucka at the beginning of “Dead Roses” is the Detonator that is set off on this explosion of rock.  They Lay It Down on the blues sounding “Shut Down Baby”.  I’m Insane for the rockers “Passion Infinity” & “I Can’t Take It” as they would fit nicely on any Ratt album.

It’s a Shame, Shame, Shame, but a few songs don’t hold up.  It feels like he pulled “Summer’s End” Out of the Cellar as it is a stale ballad.  The song “Jamie” completely rips off the chorus on the Ratt song “Can’t Wait On Love” and it Drives Me Crazy.  Lastly, the childish sounding “Lollipop” had me screaming Enough is Enough!

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The Top 20 Songs of Ratt

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.

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Friday New Releases – January 27th

I hope everyone has a wonderful Friday and a fantastic weekend.  I should be sitting on a tropical beach in Jamaica about now soaking up the sun and the alcohol with my lovely bride of 15 years.  We are two weeks past our anniversary, but we finally got away just the two of us.

The bad news is I am missing so many great releases this weekend, but I don’t really care.  I will listen when I get back.  One release that is actually quite fitting is the Train release.  That is “our band” as I have mentioned many times on this blog.  That will the one I definitely check out this week.  I have highlighted in Blue all the ones I am interested in and will find some time to give a listen.

  • 170x170bb-14  Train – A Girl, A Bottle, A Boat – (Sunken Forest/Columbia):  So happy for another Train album.  I have heard a couple songs so far and they have been okay.  They seem to be rehashing the same formula with every album and song now and loosing some of the magic (reminds of what Bon Jovi is going through).  I am hoping the rest of the album is better otherwise, they might loose their place as my wife and I’s favorite band.

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What Do You Want For Christmas? – Playlist

Everybody wants something for Christmas.  There are a bunch of albums I would like to get on vinyl so if anyone is feeling generous, the new Motley Crue ‘The End’ Box Set would be nice.  My kids keep telling me what they want for Christmas despite the fact I keep telling them it is too late to put in new orders as Santa already has decided what they are getting.  Plus, Mommy and Daddy are done shopping.

Musicians are no different.  They want a lot of things for Christmas.  What do they want you ask?  I will tell you what they told me when I asked them.  Here is what they said…

Huey Lewis & The News – “I Want A New Drug” – I think someone has a problem!!

Queen -“I Want It All” – Greedy much?

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