Michael Sweet – ‘Michael Sweet’ (1994) – Album Review

By the early 90’s Stryper was in a bit of turmoil.  Their last studio album didn’t do well mainly due to the band abandoning their yellow/black theme and moving away from their Christian roots.  For the record, the album was called ‘Against the Law’ and I think it is one of their best albums…but what do I know.  They released a greatest hits album with a couple new songs, but Michael Sweet, the lead singer, was unhappy with the musical direction and decided to leave the band for a solo career.  This was February 1992.  Stryper as we knew it were done (at least at this point in time, we know better now, but that is another story).

Michael recorded an E.P. called ‘Unstryped’ that was supposedly songs that were originally recorded for Stryper.  That disc didn’t see the light of day until 1999 though.  In the meantime, he went on to record his first full length solo album simply called Michael Sweet.  Now, with the re-release of the album on vinyl, the album now seems to be called ‘1994’…sorry but it is ‘Michael Sweet’…that is the title.  Here is the original album cover…

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The album brought Michael back to singing Christian based songs again and he kept to the fashion of what Stryper was originally.  There is no denying that is Michael when you here the vocals as his voice is unmistakeable.  When this was released in 1994, the musical landscape had changed significantly and my musical habits were not what they used to be.  I wasn’t totally in to the whole Grunge sound and my musical offerings at this time were limited.  When I discovered this was out, I ran to my local Christian book store and grabbed a copy.

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Ratt – ‘Infestation’ – Album Review

After the album ‘Ratt (1999), the band had a very troubled time.  Stephen Pearcy left the band (again) and started his own band that eventually tried to use the Ratt name, but the other members sued and won.  The remaining Ratt members continued on as a band…or at least made several attempts with many line-up changes.

In 2000, the current Ratt was Warren DeMartini, Bobby Blotzer, Robbie Crane, John Corabi (Motley Crue) and Robert Mason.  Robert was brought on as lead singer, but left shortly after when the band couldn’t get a major label deal.  That brought on Jizzy Pearl at lead vocals.  This would remain the band until at least 2006.

In 2002, the band and fans were delivered some bad news.  Original guitarist, Robbin Crosby, passed away from a Heroin overdose.  He had long battled  with addiction and it finally grabbed hold for good.  Robbin has also been battling HIV, but the drugs got to him first.  Any hopes of the original band getting back together were quickly dashed.

In 2006, Jizzy would leave and Stephen Pearcy rejoined the band.  Then 2 years later, John Corabi would leave and he was replaced by Carlos Carvazo from Quiet Riot.  The line-up was now complete for the next album…whew, that was exhausting.  Wait, where is Juan Croucier?  He was out doing his own thing.  He comes back to the band, but not for many years.

Finally, in April 2010, Ratt released their seventh studio album called ‘Infestation’.  It had been over 10 years since the last album and with all the line-up changes and the fact the last album was so bad, my expectations for this release were pretty low.

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