Riot/Born In America(1983)



1983 was a great year in Metal as all the bIg shots had records out and in my world some of the  biggest were Def Leppard with Pyromania/Iron Maiden with Piece Of Mind along with AC/DC with Flick Of The Switch!

Bubbling under were many and Riot man put out a great record here but no one noticed except myself and my buddy Muc!

Riot though suffered for some reason and never cranked it to the next level. So many sap acts did but the money/fame and success alluded these guys and well….

It was good to see Great Rock Writer Martin Popoff write a definitive history on Riot in his  awesome book Swords and Tequila. I reviewed the book last year as a great read as Martin had a ton of info that I could never find as a teen on these guys yet Popoff did his homework and 3 Decade’s later I finally got to read the Riot Story!

The sad thing is that Lead Guitarist Mark Reale passed away about 5 years ago from Crohn’s. Guy Speranza as well passed away back in 2003 and Rhett Forrester was murdered in an apparent car jacking back in 1994.

Though they are no longer with us. These three cats have left us with the Gift of Hard Rock…..

Riot though delivers on all fronts with this record. Speaking of which the other three members of Riot are Guitarist Rick Ventura/ Bassist Kip Lemming and Drummer Sandy Slavin.

Opener Born In America opens the album and the band has a big rock sound for this album and Rhett is laying down the vocal law right off the bat. I posted the video at the top and yup that was the lame-o album cover that was used(a different cover was reissued at the back-end of the 80’s) That is the only negative thing about this album and that’s the cover.

You Burn In Me would have been  great single back in 84 and even though it’s has single written all over it. Riot though especially with Slavin’s drums kick it in the ass and keeps the song from lagging. Pretty cool axe work as well.

Now this is where the album ramps up and that’s Wings Of Fire that once again feature Slavin’s drums and Forrester’s singing. Popoff’s explains in his book that Rhett is rock n roll and lived the style so if that is the case (I believe Martin) than I guess you could say that Wings Of Fire is Rhett N Roll! Real slick hard rock chorus as well!

Running From The Law is a straight ahead no frills rock track but for some reason this works as it’s ok for Riot to chill out and have a little Quiet of a Riot (ok that was pathetic) but you can’t be going balls out all the time or can you?

Devil Woman is the tune made famous by HMO’s Uncle, Cliff Richard. Not a bad cover actually but lot’s of acts  in 83/84 were covering tunes.

Vigilante Killer is just that. Riot mixed up with some bad apples and this is just straight ahead street rock. No frills  here folks.

Rhett hollers on Heavy Metal Machine. Slavin drives this song with his drums. Reale and Ventrua play some hot rod rocking riff’s! This tune makes you wanna break things…hahaha!

Gunfighter is one of my fav’s off of this album…just watch and listen below…Great catchy chorus!

Promised Land is one of those end of albums jam tunes built by the riffs of Reale and Ventura. Good end of the album send off…

Riot under go the Lead Singer change and kept slugging away even opening for KISS on the Lick It Up Tour.  Due to losing record company deals and some bad deals that ended this band and  Riot just called it a day.

In 1988 Reale resurrected Riot got a record deal and recorded a new album called ThunderSteel. I bought it of course on name alone but this was a different Riot. No original dudes and I just couldn’t get into it! No Rhett/No Guy/No Deke…

Having said this if you come across any Riot albums pre 83 check em out!

26 thoughts on “Riot/Born In America(1983)”

  1. I want to check out more Riot. Very curious band… definitely should have been bigger and I love that mad wee monkey monster thing they have on their album covers (and those album covers are pretty exceptional!)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ha…yeah the weasel I dunno i think it may have hurt them as the bar was set way too high with Riggs drawing those Maiden covers as those Riot covers look goofy.
      BUT the music inside is the real me on that one…

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I like the album I have and the other bits I’ve heard… and yeah, some of the covers are quite bad, but some are so goofy they’re awesome!

        Liked by 3 people

  2. Such tragic stories in this band! Their stuff is hard as fuck to find around here but I’ll start looking. As a kid I just remember, “They stole their name from Quiet Riot and they stole their song from Born in the USA”! LOL…what did I know…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Actually in the Born In America credits they thanked there West Coast counterparts….
      Fire Down Under is a must Mikey…I know Rock Candy has reissued them as well….
      Restless Breed is another fantastic album which on its rerelease included the classic 6 song Live EP which has Rhett going off the rails….
      So Good!

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Yeah its kind of an bizarre thing as they had the chops and got on some decent tours (Rush/ KISS) but I think by reading Martin Popoffs book there own management did them in more than anything …
      Two sides to each story but it was no lack of effort on the music !

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I saw them open for Rush on the Moving Pictures tour. Unfortunately, no stub. I did not have a ticket, and we went trying to score tix at gate, when a riot broke out and people crashed the gates. Police in riot gear attacked, launched tear gas, it was insane. Got into concert, eyes burning from the gas, and Riot played first (which was more than ironic). Keep the posts comin.

    Liked by 2 people

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