When thinking of the decadent decade of 1980s Glam Metal and hard rock, your Leppards, Guns, Jovi’s and Crüe’s are more often than not the first ones you’ll rattle out. But one not mentioned as much and could probably be categorised as being in the supporting cast are LA’s pouting rockers Ratt. Originally formed in 1976 under the ludicrously named Mickey Ratt, 1981 saw them wisely shorten the name to Ratt, and the seeds were sown in what was to become of the genre’s biggest success stories.
Ratt – The Atlantic Years (BMG)
Release Date: 9 June 2023
Words: Brian Boyle
With fellow spandex buddies Mötley Crüe and Dokken both having recently reissued their classic albums, The Atlantic Years serves up an entertaining reminder of a band whose contribution to that glorious era should be more celebrated. And what impresses straight off is that the first five albums which are featured all include the classic lineup of Stephen Pearcy, Bobby Blotzer, Warren DeMartini, Juan Croucier and the late Robbin Crosby, a feat in itself considering the era’s excess and volatility.
1984 saw the band unleash their verminous rock on the world with the triple-platinum selling Out Of The Cellar. Containing the well-regarded hits Lack Of Communication and I’m Insane, it was the now iconic Round And Round that was the album’s flagship tune. Reaching an impressive No.12 in the US charts, it heralded Ratt’s arrival in style, helped by regular exposure on the career-enhancing MTV platform.
It’s also worth mentioning the album’s cover art which features the late Tawny Kitaen, the former wife of Lord Coverdale and famed for starring in that famous trilogy of Whitesnake videos. But at the time, she was girlfriend to Robbin Crosby and also turned heads in the video for the slithery Back For More.
Although they didn’t ever match the commercial success of Out Of The Cellar, the Ratt machine just kept rollin’. 1985’s Invasion Of Your Privacy still racked up over two million sales in the US alone and further solidified them as an arena band. The album was another consistent slab of crotch-thrusting rock. Big guns like the beastly anthemic Lay It Down and the Metal-fuelled You’re In Love are still potently addictive and Give It All and Between The Eyes provide sturdy foundations.
Producer Beau Hill was back in the saddle a year later for a third time with Dancing Undercover. While some baulked at the more aggressive sound on tracks like Body Talk and It Doesn’t Matter, the more familiar-sounding Slip Of The Lip and Dancin still retained their commercial spark and were lapped up by the MTV generation.
1988’s Reach For The Sky spelt curtains for producer Beau Hill, but his run of platinum albums with the band remained intact. While it’s mainly littered with fillers, the towering singles I Want A Woman and Way Cool Jr are right up there with their best material.
Detonator was the last album released before the shit hit the fan. Drafting in the hit banker Desmond Child to co-write the bulk of the record was, in some ways, like the last act of a cornered Ratt. And any hope of enjoying the same success Child had with Bon Jovi was far from realised, but it’s still worth a listen for primo tunes like the sleazy Lovin’ You’s A Dirty Job and the pop balladry of Givin Yourself Away.
Two years after Detonator’s release, Pearcy left the band, and Crosby’s substance abuse also led him to the exit door. And with grunge annihilating almost every rock band with a penchant for tight pants and a melody, it was extermination for Ratt.
There’s been a renewed love for bands of Ratt’s ilk in recent years, and The Atlantic Years proves that despite the sneering and snobbery towards their sometimes alarming appearance, they were great musicians with bloody great songs, and their music has stood the test of time.
Ratt – The Atlantic Years, is available from https://lnk.to/rattatlanticyearsPR.
Out Of The Cellar (1984)
- Wanted Man (Cristofanilli/Crosby/Pearcy)
- You’re In Trouble (DeMartini/Pearcy/Crosby)
- Round And Round (DeMartini/Pearcy/Crosby)
- In Your Direction (Pearcy)
- She Wants Money (Croucier)
- Lack Of Communication (Croucier/Pearcy)
- Back For More (Pearcy/Crosby)
- The Morning After (DeMartini/Pearcy/Crosby)
- I’m Insane (Crosby)
- Scene Of The Crime (Crosby/Croucier)
Invasion Of Your Privacy (1985)
- You’re In Love (Croucier/Pearcy)
- Never Use Love (Pearcy)
- Lay It Down (DeMartini/Pearcy/Crosby/Croucier)
- Give It All (Pearcy/Crosby)
- Closer To My Heart (Crosby/Pearcy)
- Between The Eyes (DeMartini/Pearcy)
- What You Give Is What You Get (Croucier)
- Got Me On The Line (Crosby/Pearcy)
- You Should Know By Now (Crosby/Pearcy/Croucier)
- Dangerous But Worth The Risk (DeMartini/Pearcy/Croucier)
Dancing Undercover (1986)
- Dance (Pearcy/Crosby/DeMartini/Hill)
- One Good Lover (Crosby/Pearcy)
- Drive Me Crazy (Pearcy/Crosby/DeMartini/Blotzer)
- Slip Of The Lip (DeMartini/Pearcy/Croucier)
- Body Talk (DeMartini/Pearcy/Croucier)
- Looking For Love (Crosby/Pearcy/Croucier)
- 7th Avenue (DeMartini/Pearcy/Croucier)
- It Doesn’t Matter (Croucier/Pearcy)
- Take A Chance (DeMartini/Pearcy/Crosby/Croucier)
- Enough Is Enough (DeMartini/Pearcy/Crosby/Croucier)
Reach For The Sky (1988)
- City To City (Pearcy/Crosby/DeMartini/Croucier/Hill)
- I Want A Woman (Crosby/Pearcy/Croucier/Hill)
- Way Cool Jr. (DeMartini/Pearcy/Hill)
- Don’t Bite The Hand That Feeds (Pearcy/Crosby/Croucier/Hill)
- I Want To Love You Tonight (DeMartini/Crosby/Pearcy)
- Chain Reaction (DeMartini/Pearcy/Croucier)
- No Surprise (DeMartini/Pearcy)
- Bottom Line (Croucier/Pearcy/DeMartini/Crosby/Hill)
- What’s It Gonna Be (Croucier/DeMartini/Crosby/Pearcy/Hill)
- What I’m After (Croucier/Pearcy)
- Intro To Shame (DeMartini)
- Shame Shame Shame (DeMartini/Pearcy/Child)
- Lovin’ You’s A Dirty Job (DeMartini/Pearcy/Croucier/Child)
- Scratch That Itch (Croucier/Pearcy/Child)
- One Step Away (Blotzer/Pearcy/DeMartini/Croucier/Child)
- Hard Time (DeMartini/Pearcy/Child)
- Heads I Win, Tails You Lose (DeMartini/Pearcy/Child)
- All Or Nothing (DeMartini/Pearcy/Crosby/Kilgore/Child)
- Can’t Wait On Love (Crosby/Croucier/DeMartini/Pearcy/Blotzer/Child)
- Givin’ Yourself Away (Child/Warren/Pearcy)
- Top Secret (Pearcy/DeMartini/Child)