Monday, March 24, 2014

Ratt - Out of the Cellar

This week marks the thirtieth anniversary of Out of the Cellar, the first full-length studio album from Ratt. Following on the heels of their self-titled debut EP from the year prior (click here for that review), this 1984 release spent fifty-six weeks on the US Billboard Album chart, peaking at number 7 and eventually went triple-Platinum in sales. It also charted at number 49 in the UK, number 25 in Canada, number 19 in Australia, number 8 in Germany and number 7 in Switzerland.

Side one begins with "Wanted Man", a cautionary message about being sure you know with whom you are messing. As the second single, it hit number 87 on the US Billboard Hot 100, number 38 on the US Mainstream Rock chart, and number 20 in the UK.

I like the way that the guitars and percussion wind on "You're In Trouble", as if they were a snake ready to strike.

"Round and Round", the lead single, hit number 42 in Germany, number 38 in Australia, number 12 on the US Billboard Hot 100, number 7 in the UK, number 6 in Canada, and number 4 on the US Mainstream Rock chart. VH-1 placed it at number 51 on its list of the 100 Greatest Songs of the 80's and at number 61 on its list of the 100 Best Hard Rock Songs of All-Time. Of course, I enjoyed the video that featured comedy legend Milton Berle as a guest at a wild dinner party; it was always fun to see clearly different entertainment worlds collide in such a creative way. This song was also a crowd pleaser at the college parties I went to during 1984; everyone danced and sang along with the chorus when it played.

The mid-tempo "In Your Direction" is next. Of the first side five, this one does the least for me.

The B-side to the second single was "She Wants Money", a rousing number about a girl insists on cash for her sexual favors. I think this one is so good that it could easily have been an A-side of a single.

Side two opens with "Lack of Communication". As the third single, it went to number 93 in Australia and number 14 in the UK.

"Back For More" charted at number 27 on the US Mainstream Rock chart. The original version of this song appeared on the band's debut EP; what is presented here is slightly more polished.

"The Morning After" was the B-side to the first single.

"I'm Insane", with an appropriately manic rhythm, is next.

The album closes with "Scene of the Crime", a song about catching a cheating girlfriend in the act.

As a testament to its popularity as one of Ratt's best-selling albums, Out of the Cellar is still quite readily available. If you want to revisit this release online, it is up on Spotify too. While I already had the big hit single in my library, there are a few more here that I am also planning to pick up in the very near future.

1 comment:

HERC said...

Though I didn't care for their EP, I quickly became a fan of Ratt with this, their proper debut album. Wanna say I saw them on tour behind this album in 1984 but I have no evidence other than a possibly misplaced memory. Pretty sure they filmed the video for "Wanted Man" here in town well just outside of town at the wild west movie studio but again I have no proof.

While "Round And Round" was certainly a crowd-pleaser, I've always preferred "Back For More" (the video, like the album cover, featured the guitarist's girlfriend, future video vixen Tawny Kitaen) and "Lack Of Communication" which is still one of the hardest rocking songs ever committed to vinyl.

Definitely saw Ratt on August 1, 1985. Have that ticket stubb. They were touring behind their second album, Invasion Of Your Privacy which picked right up where Out Of The Cellar left off. The opening act that night was Bon Jovi, touring behind their own second album 7800° Fahrenheit. A little over a year later, they'd hit the big time with their Slippery When Wet album.