RIOT – Fire Down Under

Riot – Fire Down Under [Remastered] (1999, Metal Blade Records)
Original Release: 1981, Elektra Records

1. “Swords and Tequila” … 3:18
2. “Fire Down Under” … 2:31
3. “Feel The Same” … 4:52
4. “Outlaw” … 4:21
5. “Don’t Bring Me Down” … 2:59
6. “Don’t Hold Back” … 3:14
7. “Altar Of The King” … 4:44
8. “No Lies” … 4:18
9. “Run for Your Life” … 3:16
10. “Flashbacks” … 3:59
11. “Misty Morning Rain” … 3:08
12. “You’re All I Needed Tonight” … 2:58

Guy Speranza – Vocals
Mark Reale – Guitar
Rick Ventura – Guitar
Kip Leming – Bass
Sandy Slavin – Drums

Produced by: Steve Loeb and Billy Arnell

The album that was TOO HEAVY for Capitol Records. Yeah, I just found that out but thought it was pretty funny. The band recorded this album under a deal with Capitol but they weren’t happy with the finished product being so heavy. Capitol Records’ loss was Elektra Records’ gain because they had the guts to release this oh-so-heavy album.

It’s funny as the years go by what passes for heavy. There’s no doubt this is New Wave of British Heavy Metal put forth by an American band and I’m sure it really was heavy for the time, but I think of a lot of it sounds like good ol’ American classic hard rock (like “Feel The Same” and “No Lies”). As for the NWOBHM, I’m seeing comparisons to the standards like Judas Priest, Iron Maiden and early Def Leppard but I think Riot sounds more similar to Diamond Head at times than anything else.

It’s amazing to think this band didn’t have a whole lot of success. Though their style has evolved with each other, just on Fire Down Under below they should been seen as American metal giants. This is a fantastic album with virtually no filler and I can’t wait to try out the rest of their releases.

Anyway, Fire Down Under was previously released on CD in 1997 by High Vaultage Records, but for some reason, the mix was drastically changed which made Riot fans want to riot. This 1999 re-issue restores the mix to its original Elektra mix (though it drops 3 of the 5 bonus tracks the ’97 re-issue had).

Can someone please explain to me the story behind this, um… I dunno — “ferret man” they had on their early albums? Those album covers are some of the worst I’ve ever seen!

Highlights: “Swords & Tequila”, “Feel The Same”, “Don’t Hold Back”, “Altar of the King”, “No Lies”, “You’re All I Needed Tonight”

Posted on September 6, 2009, in Riot and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Fire Down Under is one of my all time favorites. I can still remember receiving the vinyl LP from my brother for Christmas. It’s as good now as it was then. Classic!

    You’re right about the album covers. Maybe they would have sold more records if they had had more visually appealing artwork. Back in the day, I bought quite a few albums based solely on the album cover.

  2. That’s a good question. I really don’t know.

  3. Johnny was the name of the mascot. He’s actually a baby seal….for some reason.

    Thus the song “Johnny’s Back” on Thundersteel as well as appearing on Immortal Soul.

  1. Pingback: RIOT – Thundersteel « Metal Excess

  2. Pingback: RIOT – Restless Breed « Metal Excess

  3. Pingback: RIOT – Nightbreaker « Metal Excess

Leave a Reply to Metal Misfit Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: