Friday, November 30, 2007

The Week That Was (11/26 - 11/30)

Bergman Rocks the Casbah II: Configuring an account on the YouTubes is not a self esteem boost. (See above). However, I endured the task in order to interview KingGidora, the wit behind the mash-up of Ingmar Bergman's The Seventh Seal and The Clash's "Rock the Casbah" (about which I posted here last week). KingGidora was unable to reply to my inquiry by my initial self-imposed publication deadline, but I have updated the original post with his comments as to the origin of and labor behind his amusing and fun creation. Enjoy.

Quiet Riot: "I don't really have any special love for Quiet Riot . . . but their loud, angry sound marked the dark and dangerous end of . . . my musical spectrum as a grade school kid. . . . Quiet Riot burst onto the scene with 'Cum on Feel the Noize' and somehow helped to make me understand why bad was sometimes good and how angry sounds could somehow feel liberating. Quiet Riot played a pretty cheesey version of Top 40 style heavy metal, and I guess they stole some of their biggest hits from Slade, but they were just the band that was there in the 'scary, angry, heavy metal' slot at the moment that such things began to enter the constellation of my thoughts. . . . There's something absurd and yet still awesome about a bunch of middle class, white, elementary school kids rolling through our suburban neighborhood in our yellow school bus and singing at the top of our lungs about how we were going to get, 'Wild! Wild! Wild!' Ahhh, the 80's . . ." - Steanso, commenting upon the death this week of Quiet Riot's lead singer, Kevin DuBrow, in his post, "Untitled," The Adventures of Steanso, 11/26/07 (internal links omitted).

Quiet Riot represented an era and a trend in music but was destined to have but a song or two remain in the public memory. These days, if a music listener owns a Quiet Riot song, he or she likely does so by virtue of a compilation album featuring a dozen similar songs from wonders forgotten save for their one hit. Few trek to the record store to purchase a Quiet Riot album; but anyone familiar with the music of the 1980s knows this band. But not many could say much about the members of the band, until this week, when lead singer Kevin DuBrow died.

Quiet Riot's 1983 album, Metal Health.

We in the present have the benefit of knowing the legacy of a hard rock band like Quiet Riot and can rightly place them in the correct spot in the annals popular. For example, Steanso's post drew the following comment from one user calling himself The Pope, who noted:
In the grand scheme of things, Quiet Riot were never as dangerous or original as Diamond Dave era Van Halen or Jane's Addiction, but never as goofy as the Crue or Winger or Poison. And they were essentially a 2 or 3 hit wonder (depending on how you feel about "Metal Health"). But damn....when that song first kicks in. That, my friends, is RAWK and ROLL.

But to some, in the foreign land we call the past, Quiet Riot was just a new band seeking to capitalize on a decade old hit by another band, Slade. On September 20, 1983, writing on net.records forum, Gene Spafford (now known as an Internet pioneer) noted:

The song by "Quiet Riot" which is entitled "Cum on feel the noiz" or some such misspelling was originally done by the British Rock group "Slade" in the early to mid 70s, I believe. Someone borrowed my Slade albums a few years back and never returned them due to a bizarre set of circumstances so I can't go check. In fact, does anyone know if members of Slade are in Quiet Riot? The vocals sound awfully familiar.

(Emphasis added).

Just a few hours later, John V. Smith replied to Spafford's post:

"Cum [on] Feel the Noize" by the group "Quiet Riot" was indeed done by a British group called "Slade" around 1974-75. Quiet Riot's version sounds very similar to the original except for some flashier guitar work. The first few times I heard this song I thought it actually was Slade. I thought, wow, Slade is finally going to make it in the states. No such luck. But the lead singers of both groups, at least in this song, have very similar voices. I had to go home and play my "Slade Smashes" (greatest hits) album a few times before I could tell the difference. The next time I heard the song on the radio I found out it was Quiet Riot and once again let Slade slide off into oblivion. Too Bad!

Reached last night via email, Spafford notes: "I never did get my albums back." And so it goes.

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