Great Metal Albums of 1983: Quiet Riot- Mental Health


Here’s one reason why I was so excited about music in the Autumn of 1983. In the months leading up to when my household finally acquired MTV, we were still relying on the late night, half hour programme called “Video Rock” for our television musical feed. One video got a lot of play on that show, though I liked it and the song from the very first viewing. Sorry, no 80smetalman points for guessing it because I think you all know that it was “Cum On Feel the Noize” by Quiet Riot. Seeing this video and hearing the song, sometimes on radio, it was no wonder I was so pumped up when I went to see them open for Black Sabbath in the November. Black Sabbath/Quiet Riot is definitely in my top ten of concerts I’ve seen in my life. However, I didn’t have to buy the album, “Mental Health” back then because my sister did. Of course, I borrowed it quite a lot.

Some misguided rock officianadoes, at least they think they are, have marked Quiet Riot as one hit wonders because later albums weren’t as commercially successful as “Mental Health” and the follow up single, “Mental Health,” only reached 31 in the charts. Hey, who gives a stuff about that? Obviously, these so-called experts never sat down and listened to the album because if they had, they would have been completely blown away. I know I was.

While the two singles lead the album, there are so many great metal tunes on it and a couple I wouldn’t call metal but are good nonetheless. Take “Don’t Wanna Let You Go” for example. There is definitely a funk infusion on this song that is definitely not metal but is good anyway. Plus there’s the tribute song to the late Randy Rhoads, “Thunderbird.” It is slow and there is a piano in it but I think Randy would have still approved of it. Another observation is that lead singer Kevin DuBrow’s singing style is the same on those two songs as well as the more metal ones on the album. In fact, I think he would sound the same if he sang country/western.

What raises “Mental Health” to the precipice it stands upon is the great metal tunes on here. Everyone I know agrees that “Slick Black Cadillac” is a great metal tune and the harmonizing is done so well. I can hear a Black Sabbath vibe in “Life’s a Bitch” at the beginning of the song while “Breathless” is a straight forward in your face metal tune as is “Run For Cover.” “Let’s Get Crazy” goes more on the anthem side of things but trust me, when they played it live, it had me ready to jump out of my seat. Guitarist Carlos Carvazo is more than sufficient throughout the album but he does get his time to shine on “Battleaxe.” As far as I can remember, this was the second time I heard a track where the guitarist was just given the chance to show his stuff and Carlos rises to the occasion. “Eruption” was the first.

Track Listing:

  1. Mental Health (Bang Your Head)
  2.    Cum On Feel the Noize
  3. Don’t Wanna Let You Go
  4. Slick Black Cadillac
  5. Life’s a Bitch
  6. Breathless
  7. Run For Cover
  8. Battleaxe
  9. Let’s Get Crazy
  10. Thunderbird
Quiet Riot

Quiet Riot

Kevin Dubrow- lead vocals

Carlos Carvazo- guitar, backing vocals

Rudy Sarzo- bass, synthesizer

Frankie Banali- drums, backing vocals

Not only was did “Mental Health” propel Quiet Riot onto the metal and commercial world stage, it gave a  famous British band from the 1970s its big break in the US. Once people learned that “Cum On Feel the Noize” was originally recorded by Slade, many people like myself investigated said band further. That would mean big things for Slade with their next album, which I’ll get to in time. Besides, Mrs 80smetalman met Slade back in 1979. Like, “Pyromania” by Def Leppard, “Mental Health would be considered on of THE albums of 1983. In fact, here’s a piece of useless information my strange brain managed to retain: “Cum on Feel the Noize” squared off against “Photograph” on the MTV Friday night video fights. From what I remember, “Photograph” won by a landslide.

Next Post: Krokus- Headhunter

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21 Responses to “Great Metal Albums of 1983: Quiet Riot- Mental Health”

  1. Great way to start my morning. I love this album. I just picked it up at the record store on vinyl when I was out a couple weeks ago (for like $4). It was the first time I had listened to it from beginning to end in a long while and it was glorious. They were very underrated and Kevin is just aces as a metal singer. I can’t wait for your next post as well as Headhunter was my first Krokus album!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. This album was my first “metal” album. I loved Quiet Riot. I didn’t even know what they looked like. There was no picture on the tape, just the front cover art, so I squinted really to try and make them out on the guy’s buttons.

    I still love this album, 5/5 stars.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Great writeup! It’s a very solid album and has aged quite well except for a couple of goofy lyrics here an their but for the most part it still stands the test of time! Too bad they went into the Tank after this one….
    Krokus….Yeah….look,forward to that one…Metal Rendezvous was my first Krokus listening exp!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I’m with you and everybody else. Super-cool record when we were kids! It even had a song in Footloose! I mean, come on! Haha great record, great write-up! \m/ \m/

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh yes, Kevin Bacon plays the title track on his car stereo and gets pulled by the police. Well, if you’re going to get pulled over for playing your music too loud, then “Mental Health” is a good song to have it happen to.


  5. Great write-up of a record I’ve only gotten to know recently. I actually hadn’t heard of these folks until Deke reviewed a couple of them… really enjoyed this album a lot, though. As Deke mentioned there, a few lyrical missteps, but a solid album nevertheless.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi,
    A fine blog you have, and I admire your productivity.
    But as a so-called heavy metal (and I suppose, spelling) aficionado, I simply have to ask, why do you call it “mental” health instead of metal health?? Is it some sort of inside joke? Like when you call the Twisted Sister song “What you don’t know (sure can’t hurt you)”, even though Dee Snider and the rest of us know that what we don’t know sure CAN hurt us. And what we can’t see makes us scream…
    Anyway, just wondering. Have a great day.

    Liked by 1 person

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