Riot – Fire Down Under turns 34 years old today.
So every “in the know” self-important metalhead rates this in their top ten. I agree. Not sure if it gets you kicked-out of the old school heavy metal club if you disagree.
Anyway, Riot really upped their game on this album. While the first two were good and had a unique sound, Fire Down Under was a crowning achievement. Everything about it, except the cover, was better by a long shot. When this came out American metal was at best underground and there was not much, if any, that was this good.
Guy Spirenza left after this album and the bluesy Rhett Forrester replaced him. While never reaching the greatness of Fire Down Under again Restless Breed and Born in America are damn fine records. This was also their last album with Capitol Records. If you want to hear what happens when a record company tells a band to be more commercial try to find the High Voltage version of the album. It contains demos for Capitol that hardly sound like the same band.
Take a listen