Jacob Zinn :: journalist + photographer

HEAVY Rotation: Quiet Riot’s “Cum On Feel the Noize”

Posted in Heavy Metal, HEAVY Rotation, Music by Jacob Zinn on October 9, 2011

Quiet Riot may widely be considered a one two-hit wonder, but the truth is, they were one of the most successful metal bands of the ’80s.

In preparation of their North American debut record, Quiet Riot was told by a record producer to record a demo version of a cover song. He insisted on ’70s glam rock outfit Slade’s hit, “Cum On Feel the Noize” from a decade earlier.

“We hated it,” said drummer Frankie Banali in VH1’s 2006 rockumentary, HEAVY: The Story of Metal.

“We didn’t want to do it. [Lead singer] Kevin DuBrow was dead set on not doing it.”

They purposely played the song badly in hopes that a decidedly poor attempt would get the song cut from the demo. But when Banali started with the pounding drum track, DuBrow glared at him through the glass of the studio because it sounded good–too good to be dropped.

Evidently, the producer loved the song and it was kept on their 1983 album, Metal Health. After the first single, “Bang Your Head (Metal Health)”, only reached #31 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts, “Cum On Feel the Noize” was released as a single.

We hated it. We didn’t want to do it. Kevin DuBrow was dead set on not doing it.

Frankie Banali
VH1’s HEAVY (2006)

It reached #5.

Then, on the last week of November 1983, Metal Health reached the #1 album position ahead of Lionel Richie’s Can’t Slow Down, The Police’s Synchronicity and Michael Jackson’s Thriller. It became the first heavy metal album to peak at the top of the charts, thanks to the success of an unrehearsed glam rock cover.

“What you have on record is the first take,” said Banali. “That was the first time that we had ever played that song.”

Just imagine what it would sound like if they tried to play it well.


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