Quiet Riot are a heavy metal band from Los Angeles, CA, that were instrumental in the rise of L.A. glam metal, aka “hair metal.” Quiet Riot are famous for their songs “Cum on Feel the Noize” and “Metal Health” from the album Metal Health, which sold over six million copies in the USA. They were founded in 1973 by bassist Kelly Garni and guitarist Randy Rhoads, at first called Mach 1, then Little Women, then settling on Quiet Riot. Vocalist Kevin DuBrow and drummer Drew Forsyth rounded out the original lineup.
Quiet Riot established a massive following in Los Angeles, opening for Van Halen before securing a record deal. In 1977, they signed with Sony and released their album Quiet Riot, released exclusively in Japan, followed by Quiet Riot II in 1978. After the recording of Quiet Riot II, Garni left the band, and was replaced by Rudy Sarzo. In 1979, Randy Rhoads auditioned for Ozzy Osbourne‘s solo band, and won the gig. Sarzo also left the band to join Osbourne, which led to Quiet Riot disbanding. Sarzo has stated that many of the songs from Quiet Riot’s demo sessions wound up being used as riffs and song structures for Ozzy. The remainder of Quiet Riot toured under the name DuBrow from 1980-1982.
In March 1982, founding Quiet Riot member Randy Rhoads died in a plane crash. Sarzo quit Ozzy’s band following his death. “Thunderbird,” a tribute to Rhoads, was worked on by Sarzo and DuBrow, which led to a reunion of the two former bandmates. Guitarist Carlos Cavazo and drummer Frankie Banali of the band DuBrow also helped on this track, which ultimately led to a half album full of material. The band settled on calling the new lineup Quiet Riot once again, in the spirit of Randy Rhoads. In September 1982, the band were signed to CBS Records and finished the recording of what would become Metal Health, which was released on March 11, 1983. The first single from the album, “Metal Health,” did not fare well commercially at first. The second single, a cover of a Slade song, “Cum on Feel the Noize,” reached #5 on the Billboard Hot 100, which made it the first heavy metal song to do so. The popularity of the song pushed the album to #1 on the Billboard 200. The video for “Cum on Feel the Noize” was in heavy rotation on the newly debuted MTV.
Later, the track “Metal Health” hit #31 in early 1984 due to MTV exposure. Through 1983-1984, Quiet Riot opened for Black Sabbath on the Born Again tour. The album Metal Health would go on to sell over six million copies.
Their next album, Condition Critical, released on July 7, 1984, reached #15 on the Billboard 200, and sold one million copies. The second song on the album was a Slade cover song, “Mama Weer All Crazee Now.” Critically and commercially, Condition Critical was seen as a disappointment. Following the relative failure of the album, DuBrow began to verbally assault other L.A. metal bands in the media, pointing out often how Quiet Riot paved the way for the other metal bands. The turmoil led to Sarzo quitting and joining Whitesnake, but not before the foursome would participate in Hear n’ Aid, a benefit organized by Ronnie James Dio to raise famine awareness. QR III was released in 1986, which again commercially and critically did not reach near the level of Metal Health. Things came to a boiling point in 1987, with DuBrow being fired from his own band and replaced with Paul Shortino of Rough Cutt. A DVD was released in 2004 of this time period, titled ’89 Live in Japan. The members quietly disbanded in April 1989.
With no original band members left, Kevin DuBrow won the rights back to the name Quiet Riot, and assembled a brand new band. The material worked on during this time would become the 1993 release Terrified. In 1990, Carlos Carvazo made amends with DuBrow and began to work in a band together called Heat. They’d change the name to Quiet Riot later. Banali would later rejoin on drums, with Chuck Wright rejoining during the tour for Terrified.
The Randy Rhoads Years, a compilation of their first two Japan-only releases featuring Randy Rhoads, was released in 1993. It contained some previously unreleased songs, as well as new vocals on some songs. In 1995, the band released Down to the Bone, followed by Greatest Hits in 1996. In 1997, Rudy Sarzo rejoined the group, resulting in a full reunion of the Metal Health lineup. Alive and Well was released in 1999, which featured this lineup. Guilty Pleasures was released in 2001, the first full studio album to feature the Metal Health lineup since Condition Critical. In 2003, the band released Live in the 21st Century, but broke up again two months before the release in September 2003.
Kevin DuBrow released his first solo album, In for the Kill, in 2004. Later that year, Quiet Riot would reunite again with Alex Grossi on guitar. They were featured on the Rock Never Stops tour in 2005, which also featured Cinderella, Ratt, and Firehouse. On October 3, 2006, the lineup of DuBrow, Banali, Neil Citron, and Tony Franklin would release the album Rehab. The album would feature a more diverse overall sound, harder metal elements, and quality vocals from DuBrow.
On November 25, 2007, Kevin DuBrow was found dead in his Las Vegas apartment. Later, it was determined DuBrow had died of a cocaine overdose. As the voice and main writer of their material, all signs pointed to the band disbanding.
Despite the insistence of Frankie Banali that Quiet Riot were done for good, he reformed the band with the blessing of DuBrow’s mother in 2010. Chuck Wright, Frankie Banali, Alex Grossi, and Mark Huff rounded out the lineup. Huff was replaced eventually by Scott Vokoun.
- Quiet Riot (1978)
- Quiet Riot II (1979)
- Metal Health (1983)
- Condition Critical (1984)
- Quiet Riot III (1986)
- QR (1988)
- Terrified (1993)
- Down to the Bone (1995)
- Alive and Well (1999)
- Guilty Pleasures (2001)
- Rehab (2006)