Wednesday, May 2, 2012

You Were Robbed – Ratt

"You Were Robbed" features artists and bands that should have gotten much more recognition and fame than they did. Check them out now...better late than never!

After getting thrust into the limelight in 1984 with their remarkable full-length debut, “Out of the Cellar”, the L.A. based band Ratt struggled throughout the 80s to maintain that phenomenal out-of-the-box success. The efforts were mixed commercially speaking, but one thing is for sure: they built a devoted fan base that loved what they have termed Ratt N Roll. The fifth album, 1990’s “Detonator” was probably the most polarizing release the band made in their history to that date. Produced by Sir Arthur Payson, and bringing in monster AOR songwriters like Desmond Child and Diane Warren, represented a shift from the raw rock of their early days to a more radio-friendly melodic style. The album performed well, but this one should have been a huge crossover comeback for the band.

I think the album would have done even better had it not been for the two lead off singles, “Lovin’ You’s A Dirty Job” and “Shame Shame Shame”. They are what you’d expect from Ratt, but weren’t exciting or catchy enough to compete with the droves of hairbands fighting for airtime.

While perfectly good tracks, there are much stronger songs here that I believe would have charted well and pushed “Detonator” into the stratosphere. There was no one hotter than Bon Jovi at the time, so I am puzzled why his duet with Ratt on “Heads I Win, Tails You Lose” was not released as a lead single. This song is crazy infectious and Jon Bon Jovi’s guest vocals are brilliant.

Then there is the song, “One Step Away”, which contains one of the best choruses to grace a Ratt song, featuring a sugary sweet melody and some amazing harmonies.

Arena-ready power ballads were also ubiquitous on radio and MTV in the late 80s, and “Detonator” contained a whopper in “Givin’ Yourself Away”.

This record pretty much spelled the end for Ratt as most people remember. However, there was a reunion in 2009 that led to the recording of “Infestation”, which for many recaptured the essence of the band’s early days of Ratt N Roll.

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