Up until the autumn of 1983, most of my musical consumption to that point had consisted of generally pop/rock fare (Survivor , Journey, The Police, Toto, Men At Work and others). To me heavy metal music was actually a bit scary (and so were the “big kids” that listened to it). I remember going to record stores and flipping through the albums in the heavy metal section, seeing bands like Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Black Sabbath and their frightening (at least it was to me back then) album covers with characters like “Eddie” staring back at me. The very limited amount of heavy metal music I had heard was loud, fast, aggressive and intimidating to a 12 year old boy growing up in a small Northern Ontario town. I wasn’t exposed to much heavy metal music in video form either, as MuchMusic was yet to exist and we didn’t get MTV in Canada. CBC’s “Video Hits”, Good Rockin’ Tonite and the American classic show “Friday Night Videos” were my main avenues of music video consumption and for the most part consisted of the standard pop/rock hits of the day.
It wasn’t until watching Good Rockin’ Tonite one Saturday in October 1983 that I became fully aware of how heavy metal music was going to become a significant part of my life. Good Rockin’ Tonite was a great purveyor of Canadian hard rock, and had introduced me to bands like Loverboy, Chilliwack and Helix all of whom became staples of my music collection. On the show that night was a video by a band called Quiet Riot (I had no idea who they were) of a song called Cum On Feel The Noize, which had been rocketing up the American music charts. The video started playing and I was transfixed…. that opening drum beat, Kevin DuBrow’s killer vocals and the song suddenly grabs me and doesn’t let go. It was the heaviest song I had ever heard and I loved every minute of it. Not only was it loud and aggressive it had a fantastic melody and that gang chorus begged to be sung along with. Cum On Feel The Noize is by far the premier track on the record, but there are a number of other great tracks including the hard rocking “Slick Black Cadillac” (which was originally on Quiet Riot II and was re-recorded for the Metal Health album) and the classic title track “Metal Health (Bang Your Head)” which rocks with ferocity. Other album cuts have stood the test of time, including the song “Breathless” (a fast rocker with Frankie Banali’s rollicking pounding of the drums) and the piano based ballad “Thunderbird”, which I actually like more now than I did back then.
I played the absolute hell out of this album; I think I went through at least 2 cassettes and 1 LP before buying the CD later in the 80’s. Although I don’t listen to the album as much as I used to, it will always be the record that opened my ears and my mind up to the crazy world of heavy metal. Thank you Quiet Riot!
Enjoy some of the classic tracks from this landmark metal album!
The classic song that launched Quiet Riot into the mainstream, “Cum On Feel The Noize”
The hard rocking title track, “Bang Your Head” (Metal Health)
One of my favorite tracks from the album, “Slick Black Cadillac”