Ratt – ‘Collage’ – Album Review

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.

RATT-Collage-CD-1997-DeRock-Records-10-Tracks-EXCELLENT-_1

Continue reading “Ratt – ‘Collage’ – Album Review”

Ratt – ‘Detonator’ – Album Review

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.

IMG_1112

Continue reading “Ratt – ‘Detonator’ – Album Review”

Ratt – ‘Reach For the Sky’ – Album Review

We are now up to the fourth studio album by Ratt called ‘Reach for the Sky’.  The album was released on November 1, 1988 and as the predecessors, it also reached Platinum status. The only difference was that the critics really did not like this album.  It has been said this was the worst of their albums so far.  I personally disagree.

Yes, the album is a little hit or miss at times, but overall I think the album holds up over time and there are some really great songs on here.  But before we get to the songs, let’s talk about the band and what was going on with them at the time of making this album.

Ratt brought in Mike Stone to produce the album, but due to some sub-standard production work, longtime Ratt producer, Beau Hill, was brought back in to save the day and that is what he did.  This would be the last album the band would do with Beau.

IMG_1036

 

Continue reading “Ratt – ‘Reach For the Sky’ – Album Review”

Ratt – ‘Dancing Undercover’ – Album Review

Next up in the Ratt album review series is their 3rd studio album, the 1986 album ‘Dancing Undercover’.  The entire band was still in tact and even producer Beau Hill returned for his third album.  The band still consisted of the following:

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

Even though it was the same crew, things were different.  The band decided that they didn’t need a beautiful woman on the cover and opted for pictures of the band members themselves.

IMG_0909

Continue reading “Ratt – ‘Dancing Undercover’ – Album Review”

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.

Continue reading “Ratt – Invasion Of Your Privacy – Album Review”

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.

Continue reading “Ratt – ‘Out of the Cellar’ – Album Review”

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.

Continue reading “Ratt – Ratt E.P. – Album Review”

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.

Continue reading “The Top 20 Songs of Ratt”