RUDY SARZO Talks 35th Anniversary Of QUIET RIOT's 'Metal Health'

February 2, 2019

Legendary bassist Rudy Sarzo spoke to go.Jimmy.go about the 35th anniversary of QUIET RIOT's "Metal Health" album. Asked what thoughts come to mind when he looks back on that whole era now, Sarzo said: "I was on the same circuit as Kevin [Dubrow, late QUIET RIOT singer] and Frankie [Banali, QUIET RIOT drummer] in the Randy Rhoads [guitar] version of QUIET RIOT before I joined Ozzy [Osbourne]. After Randy passed, I wasn't mature enough to know how to deal with loss and needed to get away. I had gotten a call from Kevin to come in and play on one song, 'Thunderbird'. It was a song Kevin wrote when Randy left QUIET RIOT to join Ozzy, but after Randy passed, it took on a whole different meaning. I went into the studio to do that one song, and by the time I left the session, I'd recorded almost half of the record. When I officially left Ozzy a few weeks later, I came back and finished the songs. I played on everything except 'Metal Health' and 'Don't Wanna Let You Go', which was recorded by Chuck Wright. I found emotional refuge playing with my friends again and re-discovered the joy of playing. That's what that record means to me. It was a place where I felt comfortable."

Asked if the members of QUIET RIOT had any idea of how special that album was going to be, Rudy said: "We actually felt it might do the complete opposite. I remember at the time, no one wanted to manage the band. We had to beg the original Randy Rhoads-era manager to come out of retirement, and even he was skeptical. I was aware of the new wave of metal and the possibility of how the band might be accepted outside of L.A. because I'd been touring with Ozzy for a few years and we had MOTÖRHEAD, DEF LEPPARD, UFO and STARFIGHTERS open for us. I thought we might sell 50,000 albums, which was the watermark for a young band to make a new record. Then MTV happened and they started playing 'Cum On Feel The Noize' every half hour. That made an incredible difference."

"Metal Health" hit No. 1 in America in November 1983, becoming the first heavy metal LP to reach the top spot.

The band had huge succcess with "Cum On Feel The Noize", a song originally performed by '70s glam rock icons SLADE.

"Metal Health" has maintained acclaim in the years since its release, which Banali has attributed to producer Spencer Proffer and engineer Duane Baron — who, the drummer told Connect Savannah, "both did great work" on the album.

DuBrow died in November 2007 of an accidental cocaine overdose. He was 52 years old.

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