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History Ratt

United States
1976 / Present

History Ratt

Ratt is an American glam metal group formed in Los Angeles, CA and initially featured Stephen Pearcy (vocals), Robbin Crosby (guitar), Warren DeMartini (guitar), Juan Croucier (bass), and Bobby 'The Blotz' Blotzer (drums). They evolved out of 70s band Mickey Ratt, transforming into their present form in 1983, and embraced the Sunset Strip blend of pop hooks mixed with aggressive rock. Hitting a slick sound similar to the power pop of Cheap Trick as well as the metal of Iron Maiden, the band is best known for the multi-platinum album smashes 'Out of the Cellar' and 'Invasion of Your Privacy'.

Ratt released a self-titled mini-album in 1983 on a local label, the release now often known as just 'Ratt EP', and they struck up a close personal friendship with members of Mötley Crüe, friendly rivals that shared the same hard partying lifestyle. The aforementioned glam metal scene of southern California brought the fledgling band major inspiration. Ratt then made their breakthrough with their first full studio album, 'Out of the Cellar', which stayed in the Billboard Top 20 for six months. Single "Round and Round" became the signature song of the group. The album has since been certified as multi-platinum by the RIAA and continues to be loved by many metal fans.

They toured with Ozzy Osbourne before joining a Billy Squier jaunt, where they were apparently 'thrown off' because they were more popular than the headline act. Their subsequent output has seen them follow a familiar arena-friendly hard rock route, with accusations over sexist videos contrasting with their ability to sell out concert halls and produce recordings that regularly received platinum and gold certifications. In particular, their highly successful sophomore album, 'Invasion of Your Privacy', proved that they were no "one album wonder".

Still, the changing musical zeitgeist would not be kind to groups such as Ratt, with grunge and alternative rock seizing the spotlight. Ratt's 1990 release 'Detonator' featured several songs co-written with Desmond Child, known for his previous work with Alice Cooper and Bon Jovi among others, and it proved their most adventurous recording to date in some ways. Yet the group's success had clearly waned, and the years on the road had contributed to conflict within the band. Crosby would depart after the Sepember 1991 release of compilation album 'Ratt & Roll 81-91'. In 1993, Pearcy unveiled his new solo outfit, Arcade, confirming the dissolution of the band.

Though the band reformed with a new album in 1999. Pearcy would leave Ratt again not long after, unhappy with the album's sound and the musical chemistry within the band. Original guitarist Robbin Crosby's passing in 2002 caused many fans to fear that the group was gone for good. Nonetheless, the band re-united in 2007 for a successful tour with fellow 80s rockers Poison.

The band toured throughout the latter half of the 00s, as retro interests caused a general popular resurgence of 80s musical and culture, and hopes for a new album grew. Ratt went back into the studios minus original guitarist Robbin Crosby. He had died some years earlier brought on by the long and public battle he waged against drugs, having gotten AIDS from sharing needles. His last television interview was with VH1's 'Behind The Music' program, in which the rocker stated: "Don't feel sorry for me. Don't cry for me at my funeral. I've lived the life of ten men. I've been very lucky."

Ratt released a new album in 2010, titled 'Infestation', with Pearcy on the vocals. A commercial and critical comeback, fans rejoiced at the energetic metal sound. The release hit the #30 slot on the Billboard 200 album chart. It was also the first album since the death of Crosby in 2002. Today, Ratt's past studio albums as well as their compilation works and slots in multi-artist collaborations continue to sell well. A future album was reportedly in the works for some years, but tension within the group has left things murky as of 2015.


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