The Of­fi­cial Boot­leg Box Set 1976-1980

Classic Rock - - The Hard Stuff - Ge­off Bar­ton

New Yawk hard rawk­ers Riot were vir­tu­ally un­known in their home­town but rode the coat­tails of the New Wave Of Bri­tish Heavy Metal to earn a smidgen of pop­u­lar­ity in the UK. They toured here with Sammy Ha­gar and even man­aged to snaf­fle a slot at the very first Cas­tle Don­ing­ton Mon­sters Of Rock fes­ti­val in 1980. That per­for­mance is ex­humed on one of six live CDs here, the oth­ers show­cas­ing gigs at Bris­tol Col­ston Hall (with Ha­gar) and di­verse clubs across the USA. The son­ics have been mas­tered from tapes in the col­lec­tion of the es­tate of founder mem­ber and gui­tarist, the late Mark Reale. One may well ask the ques­tion: why such in­dul­gence for a band that rarely fin­ished above mid-ta­ble in the Isth­mian League? Riot’s early al­bums such as Rock City and Narita had a tinny-sound­ing charm, thanks to their man­agers’/pro­duc­ers’ day jobs mak­ing jin­gles for com­mer­cial ra­dio. And they had a slew of slick songs such as Kick Down The Wall, Tokyo Rose and Road Racin’. But Riot were hardly the might­i­est of live acts: dual per­for­mances at the Red Foxx club in New Jersey in 1976 have a whiff of sham­bol­i­cism and are full of cover ver­sions; why, even MOR ‘80 is hardly the stuff of leg­end. This col­lec­tion will only ap­peal to the most ra­bid Riot fan, a cu­ri­ous crea­ture some­times spot­ted in the Mada­gas­can jun­gle and surely one of the world’s most en­dan­gered species.

A live Riot in your home, six times over.

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