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Cut the Fat - Number 2

It's time to cut some more fat. I struggled with this one because there were many possibilities when it comes to RATT. The band is one of my favorites - I've seen them live a dozen or so times! Still, each RATT record usually has some filler and that meant I had to choose the tightest record and go from there.

So what album did I choose to cut from? Ratt & Roll 8191 of course.

As a greatest hits album, all the fat should be gone. But alas, it's not. What would I cut?

"Heads I Win, Tails You Lose."

I actually listen to 8191 a lot but I always blow by "Heads I Win, Tails You Lose." The song is from Detonator, an album I really enjoy. I just think "Heads I Win, Tails You Lose" is too contrived, what with Desmond Child writing the song and Jon Bon Jovi singing on it. To my recollection it wasn't even a single, but I could be mistaken on that bit of trivia.

Let's not misconstrue that last paragraph. I actually think Desmond Child helped RATT a lot and the ballad "Givin' Yourself Away" is very good. In fact, I think that song could work for a lot of artists in many genres. But man, "Heads I Win, Tails You Lose" does nothing for me. I like Stephen Pearcy's raspy voice but on this song it grates on my nerves. Now that RATT is on a new label (Loud & Proud) and has released the awesome new Infestation I wonder what future greatest hits packages will look like?

Ratt & Roll 8191 track listing:

Tell the World            
You Think You're Tough            
Round and Round            
Wanted Man            
Back for More            
Lack of Communication            
Lay It Down            
You're in Love            
Slip of the Lip            
Body Talk            
Way Cool Jr.            
I Want a Woman            
Lovin' You's a Dirty Job            
Shame Shame Shame            
Givin' Yourself Away            
One Step Away            
Heads I Win, Tails You Lose            
Nobody Rides for Free

Agree? Disagree? Thoughts?

Reader Comments (23)

LOVEthat song. Totally disagree. Don't have much to add. Just my personal opinion.
August 9, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterbiggeok
I disagree with this one. Great song, good tempo and flawless chourus. Sure, the lyrics are cheesy, but it RATT...that is par for the course with them. Jon takes a strong chorus and actually makes it better.

There is no filler on the 8191. Now take ANY other RATT album, and it is half filler, but they did a great job putting this disc together.
August 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBrian C.
It's pretty bad when 8 out of 19 songs on a "greatest hits" package were neither great, nor hits.

This record was padded with crap from the get go.

Givin' Yourself Away, One Step Away, Heads I Win, Tails You Lose, & Nobody Rides for Free were all throwaway tracks from the very beginning.
August 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAce Steele
I'd rather drop Givin' Yourself Away or One Step Away. Don't think that Invasion of Your Privacy was represented well enough, so why not add Never Use Love or if you need a ballad, Closer to My Heart? Regardless, it is a great CD. Rock on!
August 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRich
Nobody Rides for Free is one of the best tracks on the CD - get a clue!
August 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRich
Its not about "hits" or being great. What's a hit ? What Billboard tells us ? Or how high the single charts ? According to wikipedia - 17 singles released by Ratt between 1983 and 1991. 16 of those "singles" are on this album. So I wouldn't exactly call this padded.

Now back to the FAT tune of Heads/Tails, its ony FAT because they should of went for a more true representation of their catalog at the time. 5 songs from Detonator ? 2 from the EP, 4 from Cellar, 2 from Invasion, 3 from Dancing, 2 from Reach for the Sky, and 1 from Point Break (movie) Cut 1 or 2 from that Detonator album and replace with 1 from Invasion (What You Give is What You Get or You Should Know By Now) and I know Reach had a lot of fillers, but c'mon the cheese of I Want to Love You Tonight or Bottom Line would of encompassed Ratt a little better.
August 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGNR
And yes RICH !!! Nobody Rides for Free !!! Great opening on that song
August 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGNR
This is a tough one for me...I mean cutting out a RATT song on their 'Best of' album, just tough but....after reveiwing the song selection I think I would have to go with Ally's choice. NOt that its bad, just a weaker link on the overall grand scale.

Anyone wish they would have put Sweet Cheater on this 'BEST OF' release?

August 9, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkari
HELL,I wish they would have made this a double CD release and put more b-sides on the 2nd disc (aka Bottom LIne, WHat's it gonna be, Never Use Love, Between the Eyes, Drive Me Crazy, Walkin' the Dog, Chain Reaction, I'm Insane, Scene of the Crime).
August 9, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkari
Ace just proved he doesnt have a clue. 'Nobody rides for free' is one of the BEST Ratt tunes. Allyson is correct. The stinker on this album is 'Heads I win..'
August 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKenny Ozz
Ratt have never, IMO, been an album band. That's why I could not believe they'd play all of 'Out of the Cellar', Infestation is their first strong album ever IMO. I LOVE Ratt, but they are a singles band. I think that the best of was just padded out with lots of Detonator because it was their last record at the time ( I dunno if it was their most successful ).

What's number one, I wonder ? I keep expecting to see Slippery When Wet, because other albums I can think of, have too much fat. For example, Theatre of Pain and Girls, Girls, Girls are more a case of 'pick the 2-3 songs that don't suck'.
August 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterChristian
best choice thus far
August 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSMK not SMF
Christian -- the entirety of Theatre of Pain is fat!
August 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNiklas
I have to agree w/ Allyson on "Heads I win...". Pretty weak. But I also agree with many others here on the positive merits of "Nobody Rides for Free". It was a great song back in the day, and it's still solid today.

I just saw Ratt play that song while opening for the Scorpions last month, and it still rocked!
August 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGator
This album would be way better if Stacey Blades recorded the guitar parts!
August 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBrian C.
First of all I don't know why you featured "Best Of's". Except for The Stones, "Hot Rocks", there really aren't any that stand up as real records (if you've got any beyond Beatles and Beach Boys, I'm all ears).

Ratt, one of my faves of all time, primarily based on THE greatest Hair Metal Song, Glam Metal Song, Sleaze Metal Song, all wrapped up into one...

THE one, THE only...

"Round And Round"!!!

Unsurpassable as the definitive Glam Metal Anthem of All Time!

On the other hand, unfortunately, not only did Ratt turn in half albums, meaning at least half of each record was filler, maybe "Out of The Cellar" their only shot at near perfect.

And now, I claim that a lot of their great "songs" were only half songs, to boot! Half baked ideas not fully realized.

Which is weird coming from a band that one might even dare refer to as a one-hit-wonder, as "Round And Round" just towers over everything else.

And the perfect example of one of their half-songs is "Nobody Rides For Free"...

Like GnR and others here, I think it's got a helluvan opening and it's generally catchy as hell, too. Yet it's missing something. Still this would have made a great defiller for any of the albums that came out whenever this was put in the can for "Point Blank". I bought that soundtrack CD and one of the reasons was, "Nobody Rides For Free"....

I actually kinda like "Heads I Win...", though, again, it's kinda one of Ratt's half songs. Same with "I Want A Woman". In fact, I contend that's just horribly and insipidly stupid! That's a song all right, just a really, really bad one!

Let's see, hmmm... what else is incredibly dumb of their stuff. I mean, look, some of it is great tunesmithing. Then when you start listening to the ridiculously inane words of some of them, it's total ZZZZ-Ville.

"Back For More"? Are we sure that isn't a Spinal Tap song? True, it is kinda catchy. Again, it's the words that try a Metaloid's soul.

"Your In Love" is stupid as hell, too, though a great great song in terms of music.

Here's what I like, not including those that I'm critiquing here. The others that stay off the list, I honestly, don't even remember or am trying not to.

In no particular order...

Here we go:

Round And Round
Lay It Down
Slip Of The Lip
Body Talk
Way Cool Jr.
Lovin' You Is A Dirty Job
Shame Shame Shame
Nobody Rides For Free
Chain Reaction
Scene Of The Crime

I'm sure there are others that merit inclusion and are songs I would actually like, too, but in case you haven't been able to tell yet, in terms of my slip-shod fact checking displayed here over the last couple of weeks, I'm a lazy Rat (har-har), too lackadaisical to bother trying to find out what they are.

I moved beyond these guys years ago. Gimme some K.K. Wilde!

p.s. Hey, Kenny, got another one for ya besides K.K. and Aviator. Check out the Sweet Lips album, XOXO! Now THAT is Rock'n'Roll! Good adds of the latter two, Kari...I want everyone to know, I seriously combed over Ratt's catalog like 2 years ago and this is all pretty much it of what I can tolerate now.

p.s.s. Hey, Niklaas, seriously, Theatre Of Pain is all fat? Ha! True to their heritage, it's only half fat. "Smokin" and "Home" are the two killers of the killers on that one. I mean, "Home Sweet Home", c'mon, it's easily one of THE Top 5 Power Ballads of All Time!

p.s.s.t. GnR, I agree with you all the way about Billboard Charts, etc. These days I am unearthing extraordinary Indy Bands whose albums just blow away most of our faves, which now have really become my kinda once faves. I've taken the mission of Allyson's site here by heart...Bring Back Glam! And in the case of a lot of these bands, Bring Back Glam From The Dead! Check out K.K. Wilde, Cream House, Jillson, Sweet Lips, Cleavage, Bronx Zoo, Theatre, Kidd Wikkid, Mr. Meana, The Movies, Mr. Perfect, Spellbound, Mr. Scary, etc. and with those you are on your way when you start You Tubin' and making lateral moves on there...

Here we go Round and Round!
August 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMetalboy!
Dude, you're going to start to rate 80s tunes based on how "deep" the lyrics are? What's that all about? One of the great assets of 80s music is that it was truly about the party - play it loud, forget about your troubles and have another brewski. Were some of the lyrics a little inane and meaningless - of course they were!! There are enough bands now days that have forgotten all about the party (and the musicianship), which is why there are teenagers like my son that love this music. And as far as lyrics are concerned, I'll still put most any 80s band up against the likes of Nickelback, or going a little further back, did you ever take a look at the average lyric written by pinheads like Kurt Cobain? "A mullato, an albino, a mosquito, my libido....." Really? And this is from the song that supposedly single-handedly ended the reign of 80s music?
August 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRich
Rich! Hahahaha!!! Kobain was The Last Great Rock Star! How about that! He's spoofing as well as displaying irony with your quoted lyrics of his here.

Besides, I never really thought "Smells Like Teen Spirit" is what killed 80's Hair Metal. It was all the subsequent shite Seattle bands that Cobain despised like Pearl Scam that wiped us out.

Remember, "Smells Like Teen Spirit" got it's premier on MTV's "Headbanger's Ball" (fact check, somebody, please), the Multi-Hour Oasis of Non-Stop Hair Metal that aired Saturday Nights and was in major rotation on that show for like a year.

I remember all the bands loving it, when asked about it... The Cult, especially, who were hosting that night of the premier.

Relax, dude! It's the producers and then the record companies who could have kept it all going but instead bailed for Grunge and Rap.

I've got tons of stuff and I'm still hunting down all of the stuff I missed that came out subsequent to "Nevermind" and it's the best stuff ever, with some of it better than your sacred loveable clowns, Ratt ("Round And Round", the sole real exception).

As far as lyrics, I'm not looking for "deep"! I'm looking for at least, "clever". These guys wouldn't know "double entendre" if it hit 'em in the face.

And not all their lyrics suck.

I also mentioned in the same breath, that their song, "Round And Round" is The Greatest Hair/Glam/Sleaze Metal Song Of All Time.

Those lyrics aren't deep, but they are COOL.

The rest of this band's songs including almost all of the stuff I listed above suffer from mailed in, idiotic lyrics.

These guys always were nimroddish, which kind of added to the hilarity of their stupidity, but there is no denying, their music and sound was and is completely KILLER! If only more of their lyrics matched.

Yeah, a lot of our bands had stupid lyrics, but Ratt's were some of the absolute dumbest, no easy feat, except to not put any effort into them at all, which seems to be the case with most of Ratt's stuff. Name anybody more stupid, except maybe Twisted Sister.

You guys gotta quit dancin' on the head of a pin and try something new...

Check out Ana Black, Sweet Teaze, Mr. Perfect, K.K. Wilde, Emergency, Jillson, Theatre, and Concrete Jungle, for starters. They're all killer bands on indie labels.

Many of 'em got signed to major label deals only to have the very record companies that put them in development turn around and pull the plug on them before The Hair Metal Show was really over.
August 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMetalboy!
Hey, I like bands that put some thought into their lyrics as well, but it's certainly not a prerequisite for me to enjoy it (I'm not that pretentious). I'm a huge fan of King's X, Queensryche, Triumph, Rush, the late great Dio, Fates Warning, Dream Theater, Extreme, Iron Maiden and other bands that have many songs with great lyrical content. But I'm just as big a fan of Ratt, Dokken, BlacknBlue, Coney Hatch, Tora Tora, Poison, Y&T, Kix, Skid Row and others that wrote killer tunes with lyrics that didn't necessarily explore the meaning of life (that is, unless the meaning of life IS sex, booze and rocknroll!).

Furthermore, you're giving Cobain way, way too much credit. I've got the first three Nirvana releases and they ain't that great. They didn't invent the drop D tuning and any idiot can play a guitar using it. Dave Grohl was probably the best musician in the band anyway. Oh well, if Courtney hadn't had Kurt killed then I guess we would have a little better idea about what was really going on in his head.
August 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRich
Rich! It ain't about Drop D Tuning! It's about ART. Cobain was the best songwriter since Lennon and their ain't been nobody since.

There are some "legit" musical artists out there, but none ever coming near his level.

Still waiting.

p.s. Pretention? That would be Queensryche, Triumph? (their lyrics are a bigger joke than Ratt's, dude, come on!), Rush, Extreme (what a joke!), Dream Theater (boring!), Rush (boring and more stupid than Ratt!). Dude, no irony here. Kix, who are all good time and catchy have more way more intelligence to their lyrics than any of these tasteless overplayers you consider to be legit lyricists, Peart, the biggest joke of 'em all. He shoulda been the final drummer at the end of the drummer's disappearing routine in "Spinal Tap" At least that would have taken the edge off his overpretentiousness that's only matched by his overplaying. Dokken's lyrics far from suck and Black'n'Blue -- listen to "I'll Be There For You". Those are great genuine heartfelt lyrics! They also have funny lyrics that are kinda stupid but in a cool way, like "Nasty Nasty". Man, as Louis Armstrong once said about Jazz, "If you gotta ask, you'll never know"... I say the same about Rock And Roll. Huh-uh-lo-oh! We are talkin' about Ratt's lyrics! They're frickin' the stoopidest, okay? They win the Grammy for Stupidest Lyrics Ever, kapish? And I still say they're one of the greatest Hair/Glam/Sleaze Bands of all time! Kapish?!
August 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMetalboy!

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