When I think of this Ratt album (gulp) 28 years later the term ‘sinking ship’ applies somewhat. When Ratt released this album in November of 1988 myself and Tbone were all over this! New Ratt N Roll!
Ratt I can say even to this day I still can listen too and dig! They had the hooks in the tunes and of course they had your complimentary LA guitar hero(Warren DeMartini) and could actually play.
This album though for all intent and purposes is starting to show some cracks. Some songs for the most part are pretty good some waaaaay better than others (you’ll find out shortly).
Reach For The Sky is album number 4! The first three were all million sellers and so was this one and in the summer of 1989 when Ratt hit the tour trail we (Tbone and Moi ) jumped at the fact that Ratt/Great White and Kix were touring and we’re gonna be playing Ladanos favourite U.S City (Duluth Minnesota)
We secured tickets through a local travel agency who sold drive down packages (hotel and concert tickets for one night since Duluth is only 3 hrs away) to go for a good dose of Live Ratt N Roll….
A few days before the show I got the call that Ratt had cancelled Duluth due to lack of tickets being sold??!!
WHUT! …..Duluth Arena holds about 5,000 or so and here’s Ratt with a million selling album(the first three went either platinum or double platinum) Great White whose Once Bitten Twice Shy album was at 2 million sold and Kix with Blow Your Fuse which was at gold status and they couldn’t sell enough tickets.. Geezus Murphy!
We also had tickets to go see Poison/Tesla in Duluth(that same summer 1989) and Poison pulled the plug (cancelled) as someone was sick! (Ha) Me and Tbone were on a 0-2 er! Things were looking bleak of course by the end of the summer the streak ended when good Ol Bon Jovi played Winnipeg and showed up and saved the summer from a being a complete catastrophe!
Stephen Pearcy,Demartini,Bobby Blotzer,Juan Croucier and Robbin Crosby(RIP) keep the party rolling with some good tunes and some tunes that had to haven been written hungover….
Also in Pearcys Sex Drugs Ratt N Roll Bio he tells us that when they recorded Reach For The Sky they blew tons of cash on wasted days wasted nights(partying,firing producers) and that Juan Croucier did all the bass on computer? Double WHUT!?
“I’ve had enough,we’ve had enough Cold In Vain…she said”
CITY TO CITY-Typical Sleazey Pearcy like tune! A good opener about the Ratt Dudes rolling from well you guessed it City To City and all points in between! The verses groove along at a mid tempo pace and Steve-o sings a good opener of a track with Croucier providing his distinctive backing vocals.
I WANT A WOMAN-Aaaaah the single! So cheesey, so hokey. I dunno about this tune as RATT is wanting some serious ladies to dig them and not some phony baloney type girls. Really? Was Bret Michaels handing out his Kraft cheesey single slices for Ratt to devour in the songwriting deptmartment? I think so! Musically the song isn’t bad,lyrically this is asinine like Kiss and their Lets Put The X In Sex song and video (take a bow BMellis)
WAY COOL JR-Whoa! Now we’re talking Guitar Hero Warren starts this sloppy sleazy cool summer breezes riff right out of the gate. Sample in some horns to give that Aero Groove and Ratt slam one right out of the park! Blotzer on the drums pushes the groove and Pearcy delivers the vocal. Say what you want about his voice now but in the context of Ratt it suits him fine.
DONT BITE THE HAND THAT FEEDS-Mmmm Ratt delivers a pretty decent tune except for the chorus where that’s the weak part of this tune. The verse’s are solid with some decent playing and such but the chorus lags somewhat …
I WANT TO LOVE YOU TONIGHT-1988 Power Ballad! Cue set formula slow meandering beginning verses followed with big ass chorus and here’s Ratt doing syrupy like Poison drivel! Pearcy! Kick Bret Michael’s into 1989 please. Ratt your sleazy down in the dumpster kinda rockers not some balladeers? That’s why I dug Dancing Undercover(1986) from these guys so much it was ripping Ratt Rock no fuss and no sap crap! Dancing Undercover was about chicks on the Greyhound Bus and such and creeping around 7th Avenue Looking For Love that shit is the deal. But Ratt knew they needed to play the game.
CHAIN REACTION-Blotzer rolls up some double bass drumming and this is Ratt I like best! Straight ahead rocker,dumbo fun lyrics,catchy chorus all wrapped up with a Warren guitar solo! Watch the live vid I posted from 1988 of them performing this song live!
NO SURPRISE-“Why Live Your Life …Why!” Sings Steve -0 and Ratt slow things down to boil it’s almost like they wanna do a Aerosmith groove like tune but these songs are kinda overproduced so the swagger is lost. This song isn’t bad it’s just Ratt has done way better…
BOTTOM LINE-Things pick up as Blotzer smacks the drums and Warren plays almost a pre grungy like guitar against Pearcys voice. Bottom Line is Stephen telling the old lady that come hell or high water its you him together that’s the Bottom Line! This tune is pretty good. I am a sucker for back alley slobber rock!
WHATS IT GONNA BE-A real cool DeMartini opening riff and if Ratt would have fine tuned this song a little more it could have been a possible single. Kinda corny lyrics but Warren basically saves this song with his playing.
WHAT I’M AFTER-Ratt bid adieu with the last track and its a good Ol Ratt Romper of a song I suppose. Nothing to really write home about. It’s just there. Typical verse,chorus,verse,chorus,Warren plays a cool solo back to the verse and end of album.
FINAL YAMMER- Reach For The Sky is kinda a hodge podge of hit n miss Ratt Rock! The album starts off strong but loses steam and certain parts lag as in Ratt is going through the motions. Still City To City,Chain Reaction and Way Cool Jr. are all solid tracks while others if they would have tweaked around or perhaps put the recording studio snow(blower) away things may have turned out better.
Still though I dig Ratt and their next album Detonator was a total bounce back to respectability even though the masses somewhat disagreed.
Further Ratt reading can be found here for …Invasion Of Your Privacy…….https://superdekes.wordpress.com/2015/01/16/sonic-waves-rattinvasion-of-your-privacy/
And Dancing Undercover here…https://superdekes.wordpress.com/2015/03/31/sonic-waves-rattdancing-undercover/