Ratt was the epitemy of the commercially successful hair/glam metal band of the late 1980's. Their glam metal fused with heavier riffs are what made Ratt such a well known band during the time, producing such hits as "Round And Round", and "Lay It Down", to name a few.
Founding member/vocalist of Ratt originated in the 1978 San Diego club scene with a band calle Mickey Ratt. After going through such members as Jake E. Lee, who left to join Ozzy, the classic line up of Stephen Pearcy-Vocals, Bobby Blotzer-Drums, Juan Croucier-Bass, and Warren DeMartini and Robbin Crosby-Guitars.
Ratt released a self-titled EP which included a modified version of the song we know as "Back For More", which appeared on their first album, Out Of The Cellar, which had "Round And Round", "Wanted Man", etc. Out of the Cellar sold over 3 Million copies and launched them to commercial success in Japan and in North America.
Invasion was released in July of 1985, and although failing to get the same success and attention as Out of the Cellar, it did go double platinum and had some great tunes. The album contains awesome solos and riffs, and excessive sexual lyrics which, along with the album cover (due to its voyeurish message), drew attention to the PMRC, who wanted to put a parental advisory label on the album. The cover also set trends for using models on the album art, as the woman in the chair on Invasion's cover was Playboy Playmate Marianne Gravatte.
You're In Love, 3:12- The album kicks off with a simple, heavy metal riff, classic Ratt. The drumming in this song is pretty simple, as well as the bass. The guitar is the high point of this song. The opening riff, for starters, is catchy and sets the mood for the song to be an instant headbanger, and the fills throughout the song are nicely done. The solo is fast and about is the defining kind of guitar lick for hair metal. The lyrics are also classic, typical Ratt. The consistency of the overly-sexual lyrics of this album are what tend to make me find the lyrics bland at times, but that is only after hearing the whole album. As this is the starter track, at first, I would find the lyrics a little under-creative but well written. A good way to start the album.
Never Use Love, 3:56- The opening riff makes a few different things run through my mind. At the same time I am thinking "Wow this is cool", I am saying "This reminds me a little of "You're In Love". The consistency of not only the lyrics but the overall sound of the songs is a little bit much, but overall this is a pretty good track. It still has that heavy sound that makes me respect Ratt, because when somebody thinks Glam Metal, they think something more like Poison sounding, but the heavy defining Ratt sound is what separates them from Poison, Cinderella, etc. Anyway, the drums and bass, like they will be for the most part, are pretty simple, but the lyrics are actually a little more original than "In Love". The vocal performance is good, for Pearcy, (who in my opinion, for the most part, has a good character voice, not a good singing voice). The guitars in this song, are like usual, the overall high point of this track. The solo is not as good as the predecessor, but it is above average definitely.
Lay It Down, 3:24- This is easily the best song on the album. The low point of this song is the vocals, which are just barely under-average. The opening riff is what the whole song is pretty much based around. There are really not any changes in the progression of the song. This track has a slower tempo than the first two, but still has that heavy, thick sound to it that makes you get up and raise your fist in the air. The bridge is really the only change in the sound of the song, and it is only for a few seconds, and then it leads right into the solo, which is one of the better ones on the record, because it fits the song, unlike some other ones, which are kind of just "look how fast I can go". The lyrics are well written, and for the most part, everything about this song makes it an instant rocker classic.
Give It All, 3:20- OK, the album kind of starts to go downhill after "Lay", because everything kind of becomes a repeat of another song. For the most part, the verse and solo are basically the same as "Lay", just not as good. The chorus is well done though, although it would be well done on another song, because it really is kind of different from the progression of the first half of the song. The drums are again, uninteresting at best, and the lyrics are pretty typical Ratt, again. I know I am making this song sound kind of bad, but it is average, but after "In Love", and "Lay", I just kind of don't care for songs like this, that are so similar.
Closer To My Heart, 4:31- This is the first power ballad on the record. The good thing about this song is that it keeps its classic metal sound with a ballad-like tempo, which also features keyboards I believe. The lyrics are pretty good, but the thing is, again, they are kind of like some Cinderella or Quiet Riot song I heard on the radio somewhere today. They aren't that unoriginal but its no lyrical masterpiece. Everything in this song is pretty simple, except for the solo which is nicely played. Everything else just follows the progression and just kind of lets the album take a breather, if that makes any sense. The vocals, are actually pretty well done on this track. At the end, I mean last 25 seconds end, the speed picks up and it fades out with kind of a solo going out at the end.
Between The Eyes, 3:55- Another version of "Lay", and that's exactly what this album didn't need. Not as good as the third track, but better that "Give It". This is actually not a bad song but if you are listening to this album in order, track by track, you will be sick of this song pretty quick. The song features some clean guitars in the chorus, which is the high point of this song. The solo was a slight variation of the others on this album, and only the vocals actually stood out as a good job that's not just like every other song. The guitar playing is good, like always, but it gets old. At the end, there is a small acoustic solo, which fits the moderato tempo, and it fades out with a nice solo, kind of like "Closer".
NOTE: The previous track is the beginning of where good songs get not so good reviews because I tend to get so tired of the same thing.
What You Give Is What You Get, 3:48- This is yet another version of "Lay It Down". There is really nothing new in this track. The drums are uninteresting and the guitar work is great and as old as the Bible. The pre-chorus and chorus are well done and are the only really original things about the song. The lyrics, however, are well written and these lyrics are some of the better ones from Invasion, as this is, lyrically, my favorite song from the album. The solo is actually a bit different from other ones, and similar at the same time, but it is still not fresh. This song has the same overall progression and tempo as "Between", for the most part.
Got Me On The Line, 3:04- This is one of the peppier songs on the album. This is the first "fresh" song on the record since "Lay It". Some of the drum fills are actually OK for one of the first times in awhile. The lyrical work is dripping with sexual connotations but are overall fairly well written...I guess. The vocals are pretty average for Pearcy, but the guitars are actually a bit varied from other tracks, which makes them able to be appreciated for their great sound and awesome riffs/solos. The song is pretty simple but they hit the nail on the head with track listings, because you DO get pretty tired of the same thing.
You Should Know By Now, 3:29- OK, so Ratt writes "Got Me", and people start to like the whole change our sound so people don't get bored. COOL. So then what do they go off and do. Make something sound like the track that's supposed to be different! I actually played the intro to each song back to back and how amazingly similar they were shocked me. So except the drums, which again failed to excite me, the guitars, and vocals are pretty much similar to "Got Me". The lyrics are well written however, which is a high point. The solo is actually my favorite part of the song, because it is simple and different, and that's something that becomes kind of rare on this album. There's not much to say about this song other than, "We could have used this between "Between The Eyes", and "What You Give".
~This song probably gets a 3.5/5 but since "Got Me" is the greater of the two, I give it a 3/5~
Dangerous But Worth The Risk, 3:29- This song is actually pretty good. It is kind of a mix between "Got Me", and every other repetative song on this album. The guitars are nicely played and the solo is one of my personal favorites, just because of how well it fits the song, plus it is nicely played and not overly-drawn out like other songs. The progression of this song is pretty all over but in a good way. The vocals are pretty good, but the lyrics are probably the high point with the guitars. This was a good choice to end the album with.
OK, so this album is rated 4 in my opinion, because the guitar work is good, the lyrical work is pretty good, and the songs are fun if you are in the right mood for them. But as a metal head, and on a more personal base, I listen to maybe half of the songs at best for the sole fact that I'll get bored. Now yes, I actually averaged my personal ratings and the album ended up at about 3.6 so it was pretty close but, the cons are:
The tracks can get repetative, the vocals can sometimes get a bit annoying, and the bass and drums throughout the whole record failed to excite me, and raised maybe one or two small sparks of my attention. They are kind of just there. However, overall, pretty much every song on this album is good and well done, and Invasion could probably pull off a 4.5 if the track listing was a bit more diversified.
Ratt went on to release another platinum album, Dancing Undercover, which did not commercially deliver but did help Ratt be taken a bit more seriously, and helped them into harder, thrashier sounds, with the whole album being without a power ballad. "Body Talk" was featured in Eddie Murphy's "The Golden Child", but to many peoples' disappointment, the next few albums were more bluesy than anything. Reach for the Sky, although heavily critiqued by fans and reviewers alike, still produced hits such as "Way Cool Jr.", and "I Want A Woman".
Although Ratt had achieved global fame, the early 1990's was the era of grunge, and the release of Detonator (in my opinon, better than Out Of the Cellar) proved to be disappointing. The first really good Ratt album in awhile, containing hits like "Shame, Shame, Shame", "Lovin' You's A Diry Job", and "Scratch That Itch", nobody was really into it anymore. Ratt's string of Platinum albums was broken when Detonator got to only Gold (which is pretty lame considering it is better than some of their Platinum ones). They had gone from selling out arenas back into clubs in some places.
While Pearcy and DeMartini did other side projects, the rest of the band waited for the right time for Ratt to rejoin, and Robbin Crosby was diagnosed with HIV, which later became AIDS. It was believed that, knee deep in a heroin addiction, Crosby had used a used needle. He died in 2002.
Ratt went on to release a few commercially unsucessful albums with only two of the original members, after a lawsuit failed, with Pearcy trying to claim the rights to the name Ratt.
Ratt may never be the same again but one thing is for certain. They were a defining group of the 80's hair metal scene and a stepping stone in musical history.