Friday, August 23, 2013

Ratt - Ratt (EP)

Today (August 23rd) marks the thirtieth anniversary of the self-titled EP (extended play) album from Ratt. Hailing from San Diego, the hard rocking glam band consisted of Stephen Percy (lead vocals), Warren DeMartini (rhythm guitar), Robbin Crosby (lead guitar), Juan Croucier (bass) and Bobby Blotzer (drums). This six-song debut was released on the independent Time Coast label.

If you are curious, the legs that appear on the album cover belong to Tawny Kitaen. She was dating Crosby at the time and appeared in some of their earliest videos.

Side one starts with the high-octane “Sweet Cheater”. I think it sets the stage on a good note.

The mid-tempo “You Think You’re Tough”, with an unwavering guitar grind, is next.

“U Got It” kicks things back into high gear with another rapid-fire rhythm.

Side two opens with the heralding guitar licks of “Tell the World”, a song about finding the confidence to stand tall and proud.

“Back For More” opens with an acoustic guitar, punctuated by heavier booms. It then explodes into a hard rocking storm.

The record closes with “Walkin’ the Dog”, a blues tune written by and first recorded in 1963 by Rufus Thomas. Many artists have covered the track over the years including the Rolling Stones, Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels, the Everly Brothers, Aerosmith, Rick Derringer and Roger Daltrey. Ratt’s cover version is more a homage to that of Aerosmith’s than the original (both of which I have in my music library).

The Ratt (EP) was re-released in 1984 by Atlantic Records after the success of the group’s first full-length album Out of the Cellar earlier that year. That version featured a different cover and a glossier production mix. As you would suspect, this original is long out of print. You can find some of the songs, some redone, on compilation sets.

I was, at best, a fleeting Ratt fan during the 80’s. I definitely liked their hit “Round and Round” from 1984, specifically because it came with a very memorable music video on MTV. The songs here were good to listen to but not enough to grab me for too many repeat listens.

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