Tag Archives: Riot

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!

Riot/Restless Breed (1982)

 

Riot’s Restless Breed back in 1982 was my first Riot purchase.  I had seen the ad for this album in Circus or Hit Parader and outside of the goofy looking seal cover inside this album packed a bunch of NYC street rock filled with riff’s and vocals delivered like a punch to your throat.

Riot I dug and when I reviewed their classic 1981 album Fire Down Under you get the sense that they were real close to breaking it big but singer Guy Speranza(RIP) abruptly quit  and In Through The OutDoor kicking it off its hinges is new lead throat Rhett Forrester(RIP)

Restless Breed gets under way with Hard Lovin Man with a straight kick to your gut like rock track. Rhett sings it like he lived it. The guitars of Rick Ventura and Mark Reale(RIP) are real good with each guy trading off a barrage of solo’s while Rhett just wails away.

CIA features a slick melodic chorus. CIA is a take no prisoners tune. Don’t muck around with the CIA as they will come hunting with their magnum!

The title track Restless Breed is an absolute beast of a track. It starts off simple enough and then ramps up come chorus time. Restless Breed I cannot emphasize how awesome of a track it is. Check out the vid below….it’s live…

When I Was Young kinda has rock radio written all over it as Rhett takes a chill pill and sings the tune and has a galloping like beat to it. Very autobiographical like song.(original version was done by The Animals I believe) Nice guitar work by the boy’s.

Drummer Sandy Slavin  and Bassist Kip Lemming rock the shit of their instruments to start off Loanshark. Rhett is jacked up and collecting payments over due! Tons of ride cymbal..

Hey man the first 18 seconds of Loved By You sounds like Dokken’s Into The Fire but played in a different key mind you. Than again maybe it’s me. Another great rock track. Hey man is Rhett dabbling on a harmonica on this track. Yes siree some one is…sounds like a party going on int he background.  Great track.

Over To You pulls no punches another great song in the Riot catalogue and once again they shift gears into a melodic chorus mind you not losing their edge!

Showdown takes a step back and Rhett is taking a walk out the door on his woman. It’s official a Showdown while Dream Away keeps the Riot hard melodic train a rolling while the chorus has Rhett and the guitars trading off.

To end the album Violent Crimes kicks you square in the crotch. Ouch! No fooling around. Violent Crimes just flats out rocks as the Riot Train may come off the tracks. Great chorus and real cool Bass ripping by Kip!

So here’s the deal…

I purchased this deluxe edition of Restless Breed which includes a 6 song live Ep recorded in July 1982 that at the time  was sold separate and there weren’t many copies floating around. These live Rhett tracks are the clincher with a total ripping version of Swords And Tequila. The other 5 songs on the EP are from Restless Breed.(Hard Lovin Man/Showdown/Loved By You/Restless Breed/Loanshark)

The reissue itself is pretty slick as well on cd. A mini gatefold sleeve. Mini poster and lyrics on the back. The powers that be went all out on this one.

Better yet when I stumbled upon this on Amazon.ca it was listed for $9.98(purchased it right away) and a few days later it went up to $19.98??

This is a great hard rock album.

These Dudes in Riot were not Quiet!

Stats/Stats/Stats

 

Rockin Roberts/BMellis and Deke’s rocking out to Tom Keifer!

Hey Friends ….

Once again thanks to YOU the readers of this Blog who continually show up/read/comment around these parts and enjoy my Scribbles of Rawk!

Some Rando Info …Up to this point I have reviewed 452 albums/books/live shows…

I had a couple of guests as well to add to the total which were Tbone with a Hip and Van Halen review and my sister who reviewed Def Leppard recently! Tbone and Kristin did a fantastic job!

A total of 455 Posts and over 27,000 views in three years along with 8,525 comments!  Holy Crap! Thanks everyone!

I thought it would be cool to show u the Most Viewed Blogs from June 24th  2016 to June 24th 2017 (that’s when this Post was typed)…

dEke’s Top 10 Most Viewed Rambling’s are….

1-Sebastian Bach/18 & LIfe On Skid Row- Yup Ladies and Gents in the past year a Book takes the top spot. Mikey Ladano posted my review on his Twitter page in which Baz seen and retweeted it to his Twitter and posted it to his Facebook Page. Thanks Mikey….and just goes to show you  that people are watching what you post even coming from a  rock schmuck sitting at his computer in Tbay!

2-Toque-Is the all star Canuck only group featuring Todd Kerns/Cory Churko and Brent Fitz who released a fun Canuck only cover album featuring a bunch of cool cover tunes with an updated sound! Thanks to Cory who posted my review on the Toque Facebook homepage!

3-Stephen Pearcy/Smash-  Stevie-o totally stepped up on this album and kicked out the jams in superb 80’s sleazeball rock that totally blew me away. Blown away that Stephen plastered my review on his Twitter and Facebook page and sent me a thanks via messenger!

4-Rock The Fort Day 2/The Cult/Cinderfella…- This was the ass kicking festival that showed up in Tbay and was a two day affair with Day2 headlined by Wolfchild and Duffy who basically ruled the weekend with there performance(check out current release Hidden City folk’s) Must also mention that Tommy Keifer showed up and played a wicked set of Cinderella tunes and solo stuff. Ol Tommy almost stole the weekend….Trews/Helix and Doucette also played this day as well! Great day of Live Rock!

5-Helix/Wild In The Streets-This review was written a few years back and Helix bassist Daryl Gray  graciously posted my review at the time. Daryl a few months ago reposted it via his memories on Facebook and this review picked up a bunch of steam again. Why not! Its a great album and ‘Whacha Bringing To The Party?”

6-Age of Electric/Live at Crocks,April 7th 2017- AOE showed up played Tbay and blew myself and Tbone out of the water with an airtight show filled with a ton of cool tunes. Met the dudes afterwards and they signed my discs and were all cool to chat with.

7th (Tie)- Metal Heart/Aiming High With Accept- Author Martin Popoff wrote a wicked good read on Accept that is well worth the dough. I am by no means a huge Accept fan but Martin delved in a band that really wasn’t written about much even back in the day so it’s these kind of Rock Books that peak my interest level. Martin interviews all these Accept dudes so it’s not some bullshit read. Check out  Popoff’s site.

7th(Tie)-Age of Electric/The Pretty Ep-AOE comes in with there second Top 10 entry and for Todd Kerns it’s 2 Top Tens here with AOE along with Toque. Dude is everywhere. AOE after a ton of years had passed put out this little ass kicker of an EP that is worth your time friends. Do check out!

8-The Tragically Hip-Roxy & Elsewhere- A bunch of fellow writers decided to do a 200 word only review and I choose to do this great soundboard bootleg of The Hip that was recorded back in 1991! They are on fire on this release. Highway Girl and Killer Whale Tank are so good as singer Gord Downie is looped and in another time zone but is so good at telling stories with the Hips riding shotgun and blasting off a ton of riffs underneath! Pure Brilliance and Geoff Stephen would and will be proud to see this entry of his hometown homey’s!

9-KISS Rocks Vegas- Is the audio portion from KISS’s Vegas performance that Mikey Ladano sent me! (Thanks Mikey) How could KISS not crack the Top 10.  These old Geezers are a part of my Musical DNA so to speak and say what you will. Whether you like em or hate em Kiss are a great discussion …..

10-Swords And Tequila/Riots Classic First Decade-Martin Popoff scores a second book here in the Top 10 and Riot is a band I love that stuck out great albums but for some reason never lifted off. Martin did his homework here, Tons of interviews/pics/the real story of which took me right back to over 3 decades ago.  Riot had even less written about them than Accept! Martin fixed that problem and wrote what I feel is one of his best written works!

Well,there you have it. Kinda wild that 3 books cracked the Top 10! Some Cancon is included withThe Hip, AOE,Helix & Toque.  Kinda of a neat mix really….

Thanks for reading….

 

Swords And Tequila/ RIOT’S Classic First Decade

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BOOK REVIEW ……

Martin Popoff is a great writer who has written a ton of books about bands that normally would not have books written about them.(U.F.O/Accept & Max Webster) are three that come to mind)

Brooklyn’s  Riot would be one of these bands who came Oh so close but due to record company/management issues and a great Lead Singer Guy Speranza quitting(just as they were about to go mega) fell a little short in making it to the Big Time! Shame really as Riot had a real good run of about 4 Albums and a Ep! (1979s Narita 1981’s Fire Down Under, 1983’s Restless Breed thru 1984’s Born In America)

Say what ya want but that’s a better run of albums than many an act you do know about! Hello Poison……!

Martin always does  his due diligence on talking to pretty much members of Riot especially Riot guitarist Mark Reale  who provides all kinds of real cool stories about recording (each classic album is reviewed with track by track commentary) with other interviews with former members like Rick Ventura,Kip Lemming and Manager Steve Loeb. 

Some heat is put on Loeb in this book by the other Riot member’s for making them sign deals that were lopsided and by having missed opportunities. Loeb himself explain’s his side of the story to Martin. Even today Drummer Sandy Slavin has posted remarks about the dealings of Loeb and assistant manager Billy Arnell on  his Facebook page not necessarily by name mind you but by “Management”.

1981’s Fire Down Under should have made these guys superstars.

Riot had all the Big League Managers at the time salivating to work with them! Managers from bands like Sabbath and Q Prime(Metallica/Def Leppard) but for reasons it always fell apart for these guys amongst record label turnover and Riot themselves switching labels they just could not gather up any real momentum and when they did finally  get momentum Singer Guy Speranza got married/found God and packed it in with Rock N Roll! Also for all the accolades Riot received they were making no money this as well could wear and tear on you mentally  as well.

Riot were in a lurch but they scored in the singer search and hired Rhett Forrester and released 1983’s Restless Breed (which back than was my first Riot Purchase) but once again Riot were dropped by their record company but it didn’t deter these fella’s as by 1984 out came the Real Good Born In America and touring the arenas with KISS but the fact that Riot was on a  Canadian Disco Label didn’t do them any favours in the marketing regions of Hard Rock!

Eventually like all bands that struggle they break up and Riot did and kudos to them for struggling to survive for as long as  they did!

1988 Riot was reborn with just guitarist Reale remaining and he put out the Thundersteel album which I  had bought on Cassette tape but it did not catch on with me as I was looking for the Fire Down Under/Restless Breed/Born In America Riot and for me it wasn’t there! Full props though to Mark for never stopping…..

Riot to this day is still going and Martin does champion there cause.

I should also mention that Martin steps up with the book with pictures of the bands/record and tour adds. Stuff I have never seen before even back in the mid 80s when I was listening to these guys the first time around!  The Book also has the whole Discography of the band which is very detailed and there’s a section of submitted Riot Fan Email’s explaining the passion they have for these guy’s music! Martin even talks to the guy that played with Rhett in a band from Calgary back in the late 80s when Rhett relocated there.

Remember what I said earlier about Martin doing his due diligence in regards to this book….

Riot is one of the few bands that have had its share to tragedy as well. Rhett Forester was murdered in an attempted Car Jacking back in 1994(Atlanta) and the case was never really solved while original singer Guy Speranza passed away from cancer in 2003. Mark Reale passed away from complications from Crohns disease in 2012.

Riot though are one of those Gems of a band that may have never hit the big time but for many out there they did!

Props to Martin for writing this book! Thanks Man! Also Thanks Martin for securing and sending me a copy of this Book!

Folks do yourselves a favour and support our local Canadian Homeboy’s Martin Popoff and Brent Jensen as they are fantastic writers! Search em out and tell them Deke’s sent ya!

SONIC WAVES …RIOT live 6 song Ep

 

Let’s don’t get confused here kids..This is Riot the New York version not the LA version of Quiet Riot. Two different beasts here NYC RIOT if they got in a street fight with LA  Quiet Riot the only way Dubrow and the boys woulda won would be by spraying Hairspray in the eyes of Rhett Forrestor and his NYC Riot cronies…..

Riot was one of those high school  bands that you pick up on and my intro to them was there Fire Down Under release . That is a great rock album,all solid and I could go on about it but hey I’m here to talk about there 1982 little release that is so hard to find you can thank youtube for having it. 1982 was a year of change for Riot gone was original throat Guy Spearanza and enter in Rhett Forrestor the new throat! They put out a new album entitled Restless Breed,pretty good but not as good as Fire Down Under. Anyways I guess from that tour they released a 6 song Ep recorded who knows where ( sounds like a club) and man check it out…….these guys are like taking no hostages!

HARD LOVIN MAN- after the intro the boys kick into over drive Hard Lovin Man..tales of the road  for a band playing the bars night after night,me my tales of the road involved taking the transit bus to school everyday

LOVED BY YOU-boom were up and running Some pretty cool guitaring by Marc Reale(rip) actually not only him but also Guy(rip) and Rhett(rip) are both gone also,holy shit that’s crazy…..

LOANSHARK- Starts off with some cool bass/drums and Rhett just kicks into overdrive with his LOANSHARK collecting payments overdue ..I’m a LOANSHARK does your mama know what I’m gonna do.?

RESTLESS BREED- was the title track to there current release at the time. Slow build this one but a great song never less….

SWORDS AND TEQUILA – is I think the best Riot song ever. It just wallops you outside the head and hey you feel like your in some Mexican tavern drinking with the locals and out comes the tequila, worm anyone? Oh yeah I forgot TBones here!!

IN CONCLUSION- this was a no frills release the cover is how you see it on the vid posted for Hard Lovin Man,but man the groves inside just rocked. Too bad this band never got there due,sure they reformed in the late 80s but they went too metal for my liking with a whole different lineup.

Hope you all dig it….