Sea Of Tranquility



The Web Source for Progressive Rock, Progressive Metal & Jazz-Fusion
  Search   in       
Main Menu

Who's Online
There are currently 83 guests online.

Google Ads





Riot: The Official Bootleg Box Set Volume 1 1976-1980 (6 CD)

Fully sanctioned by the estate of Riot founder and lynchpin, until his untimely death in 2012, Mark Reale, this latest exploration of the music of his band is a six disc romp through the period between 1976 and 1980. However, instead of simply reissuing the band's albums for the umpteenth time, this set reveals previously unheard live recordings that stretch from before Riot's 1977 debut up to their 1980 appearance at the inaugural Monsters Of Rock festival at Donington Park.

The results are excellent, but in truth, this set's desirability will be completely dependent on the level of your enthusiasm for all things Riot. With the shows no better than bootleg quality - although some are soundboard recordings - there's no doubting that at times this release can be sonically challenging. That said, with the first two discs stretching back to 1976, hearing fledgling versions of "Angel", "Desperation" and "Rock City" - all of which would feature on the Rock City debut - is both interesting and rewarding, while cuts that never made the album such as "Sweet Felicia" and "Counting On You" are fascinating. Both discs come from a New Jersey show, but with a separate set on each (presumably a matinee and then evening performance), some of these songs are repeated. As are some of the selection of covers, cuts by Montrose, Deep Purple and, amongst others, Rick Derringer all confidently reinterpreted. With little crowd noise captured, these first two discs can feel a little sterile, but they certainly offer a window back to a time where bands across the world were revealing a burgeoning new rock attack that incorporated a heavier style. In the UK it was known as the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal, but bands across the US were also utilising a similar, if somewhat more refined and commercial style to good effect and Riot were one of the chief exponents.

Across the six discs Reale was joined by the musicians who would go on to record the band's first two albums, Rock City and 1979's Narita - vocalist Guy Speranza (who already had a strong stage presence as one of his many weapons), guitarist Lou Kouvaris, bassist Phil Fiet and drummer Pete Bitelli - with Jimmi Iommi replacing Fiet as the band recorded their debut and Rick Ventura replacing Kouvaris between the first and second records.

Disc three moves on two years to The Agora Ballroom in Painesville, Ohio in 1978 and finds four tracks from the debut album augmented by "White Rock", "49er" and "Kick Down The Wall" from Riot's legendary second release, Narita. The band by this stage were on top form and while the sound quality really never picks up across the first four discs, it's clear to hear that Riot were already a mighty live force, Reale and Speranza (who sadly died in 2003) in particular, proving to be captivating performers. If you're looking for touching points on the Riot sound at this stage of their career (over the years they have continually morphed from rock to metal and much in between), then the covers of Ronnie Montrose's "Open Fire" and his band's "Starliner", alongside Deep Purple's "Highway Star", illustrate the keen melding of the newer US rock sound to the more traditional British attack.

The last three discs from the set all come from 1980, nine tracks culled together from two shows in Atlanta, Georgia and Boston for disc four, while it's a further nine song recording from the Colston Hall in Bristol in the UK that is provided on disc five. The latter of the two reveals the enthusiasm the band had built in the UK, a few high profile names bringing them to prominence with an audience that had never been keener for hard rock. Good though they all are, it's this show that finds the band really at the top of their game and illustrating exactly why songs like "Road Racin'", "White Rock" and "Warrior" would take them to the Donington stage.

Second to hit that stage at the first, legendary, Monsters Of Rock extravaganza (after fellow US act Touch), Riot were clearly (judging by the reception you can hear on disc six) firm favourites with the audience, even if that adulation never quite translated into album sales. If there's one disc in this collection that fans of the band will be desperate to hear, then it's this one, all the sets from the first Monsters Of Rock (the bill also featuring Saxon, April Wine, Scorpions, Judas Priest and Rainbow) taking on near mythical status. Even with the sound issues still present on this disc, the sheer excitement of band and crowd comes across and makes the seven song set the highlight of this box.

Casual observers of Riot will more than likely find this 57 song collection to be a tough trek, the sound issues compounded by quite a lot of song repetition from disc to disc. However, coming in a clam shell box and with liner notes by Malcolm Dome, there's little doubt that Riot fans who favour the band's early sound will absolutely revel in The Official Bootleg Box Set Volume 1 - 1976-1980. Roll on Volume 2!


Track Listing
DISC ONE - RED FOXX, NEW JERSEY 1976 (FIRST SET)
1. ANGEL
2. TEENAGE LOVE AFFAIR
3. DESPERATION
4. ROCK CANDY
5. SWEET FELICIA
6. ROCK CITY
7. SWEET JANE/FOX ON THE RUN/DEPARTMENT OF YOUTH (MEDLEY)
8. COUNTING ON YOU
9. TWENTY FLIGHT ROCK
10. I GOT THE FIRE
11. TEASER


DISC TWO - RED FOXX, NEW JERSEY 1976 (SECOND SET)
1. KEEP PLAYIN' THAT ROCK 'N' ROLL
2. TEENAGE LOVE AFFAIR
3. SWEET FELICIA
4. GOOD ROCKIN' TONIGHT
5. SHOOT SHOOT
6. COUNTING ON YOU
7. ANGEL
8. ROCK CITY
9. SWEET JANE/BE MY LOVER/FOX ON THE RUN/DEPARTMENT OF YOUTH/BASS SOLO/DRUM SOLO (MEDLEY)
10. I GOT THE FIRE (EXCERPT)


DISC THREE - THE AGORA BALLROOM, PAINESVILLE, OHIO 1978
1. ANGEL
2. OPEN FIRE
3. WHITE ROCK
4. 49ER
5. KICK DOWN THE WALL
6. OVERDRIVE
7. ROCK CITY
8. STARLINER
9. SOLOS
10. WARRIOR
11. HIGHWAY STAR


DISC FOUR - ATLANTA, GEORGIA 1980
1. ANGEL (EXCERPT)
2. WHITE ROCK
3. WAITING FOR THE TAKING
4. NARITA
5. OVERDRIVE
6. ROCK CITY
7. ROAD RACIN' (EXCERPT)
BOSTON 20th SEPTEMBER 1980
8. WAITING FOR THE TAKING
9. OVERDRIVE


DISC FIVE - COLSTON HALL, BRISTOL 22nd APRIL 1980
1. ANGEL
2. DO IT UP
3. ROAD RACIN'
4. NARITA
5. TOYKO ROSE
6. WHITE ROCK
7. OVERDRIVE
8. ROCK CITY
9. WARRIOR


DISC SIX - MONSTERS OF ROCK, CASTLE DONINGTON 16th AUGUST 1980
1. ANGEL (EXCERPT)
2. WHITE ROCK
3. WAITING FOR THE TAKING
4. OVERDRIVE
5. ROCK CITY
6. ROAD RACIN'
7. WARRIOR

Added: October 1st 2017
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Score:
Related Link: The Official Bootleg Box Set Volume 1 @ Cherry Red
Hits: 156
Language: english

[ Printer Friendly Page Printer Friendly Page ]
[ Send to a Friend Send to a Friend ]

  

[ Back to the Reviews Index | Post Comment ]




2004 Sea Of Tranquility
For information regarding where to send CD promos and advertising, please see our FAQ page.
If you have questions or comments, please Contact Us.
Please see our Policies Page for Site Usage, Privacy, and Copyright Policies.

All logos and trademarks in this site are property of their respective owner. The comments are property of their posters, all other content Sea of Tranquility

SoT is Hosted by SpeedSoft.com