I still remember seeing the adds for Plant’s second solo album “The Principle of Moments” in Circus Magazine as well as Creem and Hit Parader.
But that summer of ’83 when this album hit the racks in Thunder Bay I wasn’t feeling it and it was nothing personal but as you may recall from my words on “Pictures At Eleven”, I didn’t really get that hard rock vibe that I was looking for.
Besides in 1983 my listening was to give you an example albums like “Holy Diver”, “Piece of Mind”, “Metal Health”, “Pyromania”, “Flick of The Switch” and I guess we could add “Synchronicity” in this mix as well!
Thats where my head was at sonically.
Even though the two singles from “Principle of Moments”, “In The Mood” and “Big Log” were on rotation on MuchMusic. I still didn’t take the bait.
That is until now. I’m older not necessarily wiser but let’s get on this stuff as I can appreciate it now in 2021!
Let’s rewind to 1983 when Robert put this one out.
Plant was smart in bringing back the same production crew as well as the same band. If it ain’t broke Robert isn’t fixing it. More on that later.
While Robert still had a shade of Zep in couple of tracks on his debut. This album though sheds that sound pretty much throughout the albums eight tracks.
You can hear the influences of mainstream rock at the time on opening track “Other Arms”. A very crystal clear sound. The drums of Phil Collins and the guitars of Robbie Blunt shine on this album and throughout the record.
A pretty snappy straightforward bass line drives the single “In The Mood” while Blunt shines once again on the other single “Big Log”.
Plant though can sing any style and this album proves that point. “Wreckless Love” and “Other Arms” prove this theory as Plant had adapted himself by ’83 to the modern sounds of rock. (David Bowie did the same thing on his “Let’s Dance” release which ironically came out the same year as this album)
Speaking of Bowie. Robert and David were smart as they both changed with the times and that could be a reason why their solo careers thrived in the ’80s and did not stall.
This was another batch of songs from Robert that would have sailed over my head at the time of its release but I can honestly say its a good album and give the man his due as he was doing what he wanted to do.
You have to respect him for that.
Ok, if you recall earlier I mentioned Plant bringing back on “Principle” the same production team as he used on the “Pictures” album as well as each album had eight songs.
What is really wild and I’m not sure if this has been printed and I’m sure it has but like on the debut Plant solo album, Phil Collins drummed on six out of the album’s eight tracks.
Tracks four and seven from “Pictures… Slow Dancer and Like I’ve Never Been Gone” respectively were handled by Cozy Powell(RIP) doing the drums on the debut album.
Now here’s the crazy part…
Tracks four and seven from “Principle… Wreckless Love and Stranger Here…Then Over There” respectively were handled by Barriemore Barlow.
Kinda funny that the running order on two different albums had the guest drummer on tracks four and seven on each record…
I think I need to hit up Robert for an explanation on this.
This is my fourth Ratt album review! Mötley Crüe I have reviewed 7 of their albums (5 of them are 1980s releases). What I’m getting at is after all these years when I compare the 80s output and compare the two bands (Motley and Ratt) it’s Ratt that in my opinion had the better recorded output. With Ratt’s stuff,Reach For The Sky was a dicey one at best. Where as the Crue had some real patchy albums with Theatre Of Pain and Girls Girls Girls leading the way. But back in the 80s I never picked up on this as Nikki sold me on the image,the live shows the cool threads,the motorcycles,the chicks where Ratt it was just the same look same everything image wise about them except the Ratt albums were pretty consistent with some real cool good material.
Ha! Who woulda thunk it!
Ratt released this Ep back in 1983 on their Time Coast Label and this 6 song firecracker is a full-out rock attack.
Stephen Pearcy(vocals) Warren DeMartini (guitar) Juan Croucier(bass) Robbin Crosby (guitar,RIP) and Bobby Blotzer(drums) let the world know that there gonna be Infested! Hahaha….that was brutal….
SWEET CHEATER-Blotzer rolls out the double bass to get the proceeding underway and this is a solid kick in the ass to set things in motion! The sound is on the raw side with the guitars being a little trebly but who cares! What a way to enter the hard rock sweepstakes back in 1983! This song punches gas and DeMartini lays down the solo of which many more good ones were to follow.
YOU THINK YOUR TOUGH-Dig the opening riff! The lyrics as well are slick as its’s a well built mid tempo Rock track that features bassist Juan singing a line right before Ratt sleazes into the chorus. Great simple yet effective solo.
U GOT IT-Pearcy punches the RATT Rocket forward and U Got It If You Want It is a great quick Ratt N Roller track that takes no prisoners. Quick little ditty of a track as it sleazes just over the 3 minute mark. Believe it was there opener on the Out Of The Cellar Tour(1984)
TELL THE WORLD-Blotzer and the boys launch right into this song off the get go! Tell The World is another good song. Blotzer smashes the cymbals during the choruses and like so many Ratt tracks that were to follow DiMartini takes over!
BACK FOR MORE-Ahhh so this track did appear when the suits signed RATT to Atlantic Records but they chopped out the middle part of this tune where it breaks down in the middle and then builds back up and Warren takes over with the solo! Actually on this version Blotzer does a nice job drumming I mean let’s call it right here. Ratt could play their instuments and write a decent hook n melody! Back For More here proves it! If you recall the video for this tune Ratt enlisted Tommy Lee and Nikki Sixx to play cops in the clip!
WALKIN THE DOG-Ratt wants to do this cover tune some justice just like Aerosmith did and does! Too be honest this cover kinda falls short as I would have preferred another original still though it’s all right! Now just go…..Walking The Dog!
FINAL YAMMER- Ratt 1983 did this album their own way and I’m sure let everyone know they were gonna be players in the Wham Bam Thank Ya Mam L.A Sleazestakes! The rawness and enthusiasm here shows as Ratt just go for the throat!
So Motley lays down the ground work with an absolute killer of a debut(Too Fast For Love) and now the big leagues call their name as record labels come sniffing around and smelling $$$$$! The Crue sign with Elektra Records and so it begins!
Myself? Well enough hype was written about the Crue I mean there starting to get mention in all the Rock Mags(Hit Parader,Circus,Kerrang,Creem) so it’s all there in the makings of the Crue going huge…and Yep,huge is where they went!
Iron Maiden with new lead throat Bruce Dickinson release the classic Number Of The Beast and you have Ozzy Osbourne with some people thinking he is the devil with his antics(biting bat heads off,pissing on the Alamo)calling his album Bark At The Moon, so yeah the Crue especially bassist/leader Nikki Sixx sees what’s selling so why not jump aboard the Devils Ship and while you’re at it call your record Shout At The Devil and well let’s cash cow it while we can…..
Following trends which would become a pattern for this band.
Sept 1983 and the Crue having done the legwork like I said earlier on the hype machine(adds in the music magazines ) before SATD is released and when that day comes where all flocking like a bunch of seagulls down to all the record shops to buy it!
The cover is Black with a Pentagram and red lettering. Simple yet effective I’m brainwashed the Album Is a gatefold sleeve with big pics of the guys Sixx/Vince Neil/Tommy Lee and Mick Mars…lyrics and just good all around packaging and of course the Crue is bad ass right? So they tell us for all to see what they recorded the album on and let’s say it’s a hodgepodge of everything to make you ummmmm Feelgood?! Krell anyone?
Crue in Tbay is big news and here we go……
IN THE BEGINNING- Some eerie sounding synth with a spoken word intro sets the pace for this record….’in the beginning’ and wow man they’re preaching some kind of jibber jabber evil and don’t fuck with us cuz we’re the Crue and before Ya know it Stand Up and ….
SHOUT AT THE DEVIL- Wowzers Mars slams his guitar like quick little lightening bolts at the beginning of the song and the MVP from the first record Tommy Lee pounces the drums and here comes the chant SHOUT….SHOUT ….SHOUT…and Vince takes over and man listening back to these records this guy tossed away his own legacy in later years but whatever that’s Vince’s deal but back in 83 he was the deal kinda of. Yep so The Crue are off to the races and when they tell me to SHOUT……I shout and say how loud! Sixx is somewhere at the time counting his cash and snickering how he’s fooling all of us young punks! Guess what? At the time I’m good with that!
LOOKS THAT KILL- Crue borrows all of Kiss’ leftovers from the sets of Kiss’ Lick It Up Videos and you want desolate wasteland/Scantily dressed women and Mick Mars looking sketchy just like Simmoms did in the Lick It Up vids this is your one stop shop for all things Freaky Dekey! Ha….’Now listen up” sez Vince and the boys lead the charge and man its full assault of drums/guitars and bass and with good measure a “Hey” is thrown in to appease the concert goers at future Crue shows!
BASTARD-Ok so here we are by track 3 and were hanging with the Crue and we have gone from Shouting At The Devil to the chicks with the Looks That Kill and now we’re into a knife fight! Like holy shit i don’t know if I can keep up with this pace of hanging with Sixx and Crue! Seriously though this is one of the sleeper tracks on here …I mean I remember awhile back at work my buddy Dabrando walked by me and chirped ‘Out go the lights,in goes my knife,pull out his life consider the Bastard dead!” I howled ,it’s at moments like that when no one else is around at work who knows what the hell were talking about but just the two of us! Hahahaha…..Bastard rocks with Tommy double bassing and Sleazy Vince chasing the lyrics put forth by Sixx! They even throw in some Whoooooah Whoooooooooah Bastard!
GOD BLESS THE CHILDERN OF THE BEAST- Mars Bars puts done a little piece of acoustic and towards of it there’s someone saying and telling us to God Bless The Childern Of The Beast that segues into…..
HELTER SKELTER- Crue shows some real balls by covering the Beatles I mean they get away with it with a pretty decent version! Crue sleazeballs it to the nines and make it their own and hey let’s keep the Dark brooding theme going..and going and the cash registers ringing…ringing ..ringing….
RED HOT- Tommy starts off with his double bass drums going full steam ahead! The sonics of this album and this song is the problem I have with how Tom Werman produced. I mean listen to the drum mix on Too Fast For Love it’s warm aND fuzzy but with always an inch away from kicking you in the ass with Tommys ferocity! This kinda disappeared on Shout At The Devil and man the drum mix on Theatre Of Pain is fuckin awful to my ears, maybe it’s just me? Who knows…but yeah Tommy leads the charge Mick rolls in and Sixx and Neil run and scream thru the night! Love the chorus….Red Hot…Red Hot….to the top we are Red Hot!….hahaha…Brent Jensen you are right! (I’m not telling you what he says..go and buy his great book No Sleep Til Sudbury)
TOO YOUNG TO FALL IN LOVE- Remember the vid..the Crues eating sushi and banging birds! Hahaha….this was the single and yep the Crue are tough guys kicking ass and don’t forget just earlier they were in a knife fight with Bastard! So don’t mess with them! Mars peels off a decent solo and this is a good song. Like many others Tommy drives the bus with his drums……
KNOCK EM DEAD KID- love this track.Sixx nails a winner with this tune with a real catchy verse and chorus! Drums/bass and guitar are top-notch on this tune in a 1983 kinda way!
TEN SECONDS TO LOVE-Sex by Sixx and he tries to be ACDC with the words but these are kinda dumb and then I read in the magazines back than how they had girls in the studio when they were recording this track! Yeah ok sure …but man the lyrics are fuckin funny…”touch my gun but don’t pull my trigger’ hahaha…but man goofball lyrics aside the verse and chorus are real catchy and man the melody sticks in your head like if someone crazy glued your brain to listening to Ten Seconds To Love on a continuous loop! This is just like a Sleazy Simmons Kiss tune! Just big OL dumb Arena Rock!(ha)
DANGER-Nikki Dixx with a synth and out comes Danger to end the album. Crue is telling us that we’re Danger when the boys are in town! Hollywood mafia meet Motley Crüe! This I guess is the song to end the album on a serious note and hell why not! Sixx and his posse knows that even though there will be a car crash that wipes out a great band(Hanoi Rocks) Nikki knows young Deke will be getting on his 10 speed bike and hauling ass 2 years later to buy the Crues next album when it hits the shops and ……he’s right!
IN CONCLUSION – I think for the majority of Crue fans out there they would say this is there best! Fair enough but for me I really like the debut And over time and to be honest SATD has been on iPod and to write this I spun it a few times and man the production is ok not great! But hey at the time I was 16 and who am I to tell how to produce records! Even now 32 years later who am to tell how to produce records? But I can say it cuz I spent the cash on said product. Make sense? But Sixx and Crue deliver it at the time and build an empire that would go for about another 8 years until well…….
Ha….Kiss being bummed out that no one except what is left of the hardcore Fanbase as we roll from 1982 into 1983 cares so KISS decides to dump the make up as Creatures Of The Night(see review) album stiffs,tour stiffs and well what are 4 makeup wearing dudes to do to wake up North America?
Well for starters you record a new album of studio songs and than you probably realize that no one may not care again as like most people did a year before that many say is your best album(Creatures) So of course…
YOU DITCH THE MAKEUP!!!….So Kiss does the media rout they go on tv on MTV that is and show the world they’re faces without the war paint for the first time! While you’re at it show the world your new album Lick It Up and holy shit Gene/Paul/ Eric and Vinnie…Tbone is on board as well and he takes his hard-earned cash from his job at the gas station(Shell) and Finally joins the KISS ARMY!
Atta boy Tbone……
One thing I forgot to mention in my review of Creatures was they worked with a producer named Micheal James Jackson (no not that Micheal Jackson) and he produced Lick it Up as well and yeah man being i was young and kinda dumb as a 15-year-old I thought it was the actual gloved one that produced Kiss especially after The Elder mishap I though great now they’re doing this but well that was not the case! Hahaha….
KISS keeps the amps cranked and the sexual innuendos going and well ….Just Lick It Up( sorry,that was pathetic!)
EXCITER-just like the title track from Creatures Of The Night leading off that album Kiss charges once again out of the gates and as Vinnie Vincent did on Creatures he plays a big part in Kiss getting a grasp of what is going on musically in the world at the time! Fast guitars,driving drums And loud-sounding albums! Good on him and the thanks he gets is that Rick Derringer(he of Rock N Roll Hoochie Coo fame) does the honours on the guitar solo! Geez no wonder Vinnie came unglued after this tour! Gene and Paul the master manipulators! Thanks man for the co writes and getting us back on track now just PISS OFF Vinnie and ahhh that’s what happened!
NOT FOR THE INNOCENT-Gene slams a real good heavy track down and he’s on a roll after totally stepping up his game on Creatures! Well done Demon! He’s yelping,kicking up a storm and this song sounds heavy along with Carrs drums and Vinnies axemanship! Great track!
LICK IT UP- the big single that put KISS back on the map in the land of singles! “Don’t wanna wait Til Ya know me better” Sez Paul and Wowzers its 1983 and lookie lookie Kiss is back on the Tv(Good Rockin Tonite) This is radio 101 fodder! No guitar shredding just simple riff rock! Hey,what about the video for this track! Yep,desolate wasteland,fire,scantily dressed chics! Gene looking pretty sketchy! Hahaha…. Don’t bore us Paul just get to the chorus! Hahaha….does it get any goofier than Lick It Up …ohhhh ohhhh ohhh…remember when I said I was young and kinda dumb earlier well here’s Kiss making kinda dumb promo vids so if I’m gonna be dumb at least I can do so with Uncle Paul And Auntie Gene! Thanks Guys!
YOUNG AND WASTED-Gene ramps it up and follows the Lick It Up single with a song that has no chance in becoming a single! Gene is off the walls on 2 of the first 4 tracks and I’m good with it! Simmons is shooting for the market of a 16-year-old and that’s all of us at the time(1983) I can near it now Gene saying “Hey Deke,Tbone, Muc,Pizza Thief,Foley Brothers…Your all Wasted!” Yep we are and we were wasted that is on Kiss making us drink Kiss Kool Aid! Love the simple yet effective drumming of Eric Carr and Vinnie lays down a solo with whammy bar precision!
GIMMIE MORE- Paul goes sleazeball mode with this tune I mean”Love is sweet so insane c’mon lick my candy cane,” hahaha…1983 and Paul’s creeping ! This song ends side 1 with a bang. It’s just a straight ahead no frills rock track. More over the top riffing and well GIMMIE MORE sez Mr Stanley! Okie Dokie!
ALL HELLS BREAKING LOOSE- Yo Yo…Stanley raps kinda at the beginning Of this tune and well with said song comes another goofy promo vid of once again desolate wasteland,fire,scantily dressed chics and sketchy Gene but Gene this time eats a chicken/Turkey /leg bone who the hell knows but man I can’t even bring myself to watching this at my age (47) now! This is a good Kiss tune all kidding aside! Cool catchy chorus! Good solo as well. Hell,even Eric Carr got a co write on this.
MILLION TO ONE-Wowzers! Stanley hits a fastball over the plate and drives In the winning run! Man this song is gold plain and simple,one of Stanley’s best. This song is Cheese Free and should have been a single or better yet it would have been huge but for some reason to my knowledge it wasn’t a single at all! This is built for rock radio! Great vocal,cool backing vocals …..Million To One! Not sappy…well written by Stanley and Vincent!
FITS LIKE A GLOVE- gotta love the song orders on Kiss albums. There’s Paul telling us about some woman that’s a Million To One and next here’s Gene telling us ‘if it must be love …Fits Like A Glove!” Ladies and Gents this is Kiss at its best just when you think there gonna get all serious Bono Like on yer Ass..they go back to the gutter and man I’m ok with that! This song just rips along and Gene spits leftover blood and sticks his tongue out and just gives Er on this tune…”nightdreams,wet dreams enough to make you drool and fire for the fuel!” This is fantastic goofy yet bombastic rock! Hail Hail ….I have always dug their live version of this tune….
DANCE ALL OVER YOUR FACE-yeah one of those end of the album Gems and its a Simmons song of all things! I love this tune..just plain Ol goof ball Rock served up by the Demon! The verse’s are chill the chorus is catchy as old heck!
AND ON THE 8TH DAY- God created Rock n Roll! Genie gets the last three songs all to himself on the Lick It Up album and good for him as he was on a good roll at the time between 1982-1983. Simmons though kinda nosedived material wise after this I mean he had some good tunes on later albums and some dreck as well until he once again magically appeared motivated by the time the Revenge album(1992) rolled around! So yeah Gene ends the record on a good note!
IN CONCLUSION- Kiss bounces back and we all get on board The Kiss Cruise ship but man after all these years Ya gotta feel bad for Vinnie. He throws Gene and Paul a life-preserver as the Kiss Cruise ship in the early 80s is taking on a ton of water helps co write two bounce back records and then who knows what really went down! Only they know and Vinnie gets tossed off the Kiss Cruise and Gene And Paul do not throw a life-preserver to Vinnie! Instead he ends up on a hairspray version of Gilligans Island and forms the Vinnie Vincent Invasion and then proceeds to tank that project as well. On second thought maybe Gene and Paul were right along! Who would a thunk it!