Sunday, July 27, 2014

Quiet Riot - Conditional Critical

Following their smash 1983 album Mental Health (click here for that review), the Los Angeles heavy metal band Quiet Riot returned to the studio to record their fourth studio album. The result was 1984’s Condition Critical which is celebrating its thirtieth anniversary today (July 27th).

The album charted at number 71 in the UK, number 42 and Germany, number 35 in New Zealand, number 33 in Norway, number 18 in Sweden, number 14 in Canada, and number 13 in Norway. Here in the US, it spent twenty-eight weeks on the Billboard Album chart and peaked at number 15.

Side one starts with “Sign of the Times”, a fist-pumping and foot-stomping party anthem.

“Mama Weer All Crazee Now” is a cover of the 1972 song by the British band Slade. Released as the first single, this version went to number 51 on the US Billboard Hot 100. This one had a good bit of life at campus parties my sophomore year, with everyone chanting along with the chorus. There is nothing like thirty or forty inebriated college students dancing around a strobe-light lit, packed dorm lounge with the music shaking the walls. You just gotta love the 80’s.

“Party All Night” was released as the second single.

The rapid-fire “Stomp Your Hands, Clap Your Feet” shares the same name as the US Version of Slade’s third studio album Old New Borrowed and Blue. I like the guitar work on this one.

The self-affirmation ballad “Winners Take All” was the third single.

Side two begins with the title track “Condition Critical”. It has a slow stomp of a rhythm to it.

The band‘s rapid-fire, high-energy returns with “Scream and Shout”, an audience enticing number.

The B-side to the third single was “Red Alert”

“Bad Boy” was the B-side to the first single.

The album closes with “(We Were) Born to Rock”.

To paraphrase the great bard William Shakespeare, Quiet Riot’s Conditional Critical is “full of sound and fury, signifying nothing”. If you are looking for thought-provoking lyrics, this is not the place to search. However, if you want some loud metal that sounds great turned up while you cruise down the road, then this record certainly works. It was also a good record for teens and college students in 1984 that wanted some metal to party to.

1 comment:

Kris Shaw said...

My older brother and I shared a room growing up. He had this album. I remember side one very well and like it, but side two always seemed to run out of steam. Then again, I haven't heard it in 30 years!