Ratt (1976-1992, 1996-2014, 2015-present): a Glam Metal band from Los Angeles, California, USA.
volving from '70s rock act Mickey Ratt, the modern Ratt was founded in 1981 by Stephen Pearcy (vocals) and Robin Crosby (guitar). Within two years Warren DeMartini (guitar), Juan Crocier (bass) and Bobby Blotzer (drums) would join.
The Ratt EP would be their self-titled debut on the indie 'Time Coast' label in 1983. With the help of friends Motley Crue, they secured a deal in 1984 with 'Atlantic', a company who was hot on the trot for glam metal acts of the day. Out Of The Cellar (1984), their second effort, featuring Robbin Crosby replacing Lee, boasted enough pop flavor to hold for a while in the US charts, finally topping out at 7; it's feature track gone single, Round And Round, managing to make it to top 10. The album was notable for combining the then-prevalent Van Halen and Aerosmith-influenced bravado elements with the then-novel muted, staccato guitar-picking style of Judas Priest and eventually went platinum several times over.
Ratt then engaged on a tour with Ozzy Osbourne before teaming up on tour with Billy Squier, where they were supposedly thrown off for being more popular than the headlining act.
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Invasion Of Your Privacy (1985) and Dancing Undercover (1986) would follow-up with slight improvements on the musical formula, even if the image was still the typical hair band look and feel. For the second, in an effort to be taken more seriously, Ratt broke from the tradition of featuring a girl on the cover. They instead opted for gritty black-and-white photos of each of the five band members. The album also did not contain a single power ballad, choosing experimental forays into more thrash metal and heavier sounds instead. Other popular tracks generated by the album included Dance andSlip of the Lip. Through 1987, Ratt embarked on a US tour with newcomers Poison. They also played in Europe as a part of the Monsters Of Rock Tour that year; a widely bootlegged resulting recording.
Subsequent releases starting with Reach For The Sky in 1988, would fail to receive the chart standings of the band's earlier works even though they maintained a strong live turn out in the USA, despite the band videos receiving controversy for sexual innuendo. They were children of the video age back when it all started, and those same videos and networks could return to bite them back. Reach for the Sky, although achieving platinum sales status to reach 17 on Billboard's album charts, was widely panned by critics. Complaints ranged from it being formulaic and sophomoric to the album being uneven and lacking in focus. The surreal, Dali-esque album cover featured a statue wearing night vision goggles, a human hand emerging from a bundle of twine, a World War II fighter plane, and a wicker chair.
Detonator (1990) would see Ratt step into the new decade on a high note with movement into the UK market. Detonator featured among its tracks, Givin' Yourself Away (Ratt's only power ballad) and Lovin' You's a Dirty Job. Robbin Crosby performed on the album (acknowledged in a KNAC interview), despite rumors to the contrary.
1991 would see Ratt was featured on the first season of MTV Unplugged to promote their most current album and new single, sharing the stage with all-female rock band Vixen.
Later in 1991, Rat n' Roll 81-91, a sort of "best of..." compilation, would see them recording sans 'Atlantic'. But just as the pop metal market was finally starting to realize their talent, Pearcy would leave to form Arcade with two albums under that moniker to follow titled Arcade (1993) with himself on vocals, Fred Coury (ex-Cinderella; drums), Frankie Wilsey (ex-Sea Hags; guitar), Johnny Angel (ex-Michael Monroe; guitar) and Michael Andrews (bass), followed by A/2 (1994) with Donnie Syracuse taking over from Angel. Crosby would also find the exit.
In 1997 Ratt would attempt a reformation with Collage; it proved to be a disappointing effort.
It wasn't long before the band tried again by adding Keri Kelli as a second guitarist. In January 2000, Pearcy left the group again and went on tour with his band Nitronic, which soon after became Ratt Featuring Stephen Pearcy.
Until 2010, Ratt engaged in various tours and live appearances until Infestation appeared in 2010. But it wouldn't be long until it was announced Ratt would be going into an indefinite hiatus after tensions within the band reared their heads again.
During the new hiatus, various members engaged in side projects, until those projects lit legal matters. In June 2015, Bobby Blotzer formed a band called Bobby Blotzer's Ratt Experience to tour. In August 2015, Juan Croucier formed a touring band that played Ratt's previous hits, with the band debuting in September. Within days, Blotzer criticized Croucier for using the band's logo, arguing trademark infringement.
The legal matters didn't end there, in September 2015, Blotzer took over control of WBS, a company he set up with DeMartini and Pearcy back in 1997 to handle Ratt's business affairs. Today, however, and over the objection of DeMartini, he announced that he had "taken control" of Ratt and his Ratt Experience side-project lineup was the real Ratt and would be embarking a tour in 2016 titled the American Made Re-Invasion Tour. Within days, DeMartini spoke out against Blotzer using the name, as he still had control over the Ratt name for his half of the WBS partnership, but Blotzer claimed he had the legal right to do so on his half. In October 2015, DeMartini sued Blotzer for falsely advertising his "tribute band" as the real thing. On November 5, 2015, the Los Angeles federal court rejected DeMartini's attempt to procure an injunction to prevent Blotzer from using and touring under the Ratt trademark, as WBS, Inc. owns the Ratt trademark. From that time until early 2017, Blotzer toured using the name Ratt under a different membership. On November 29, 2016, Pearcy, Croucier and DeMartini announced that they had expelled Blotzer.
Later, in 2018, DeMartini, Cavazo and Degrasso departed. The new Ratt membership would feature Stephen Pearcy (lead vocals), Juan Croucier (bass/backing vocals), Jordan Ziff (lead guitar/backing vocals) and Pete Holmes (drums).
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Ratt performing in 2010
Photo by: Nick Ares
CC BY-SA 2.0
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