The Essentials

by: Ratt

It's hard to believe nowadays that there was a time during the 1980s when Ratt was one of the biggest rock bands in the U.S. -- challenging the likes of Mötley Crüe for the top of the glam metal mountain. Like the Crüe, Ratt combined anthemic hard rock with pop hooks, and also followed the same dress code (heavy on the makeup and hair spray). Though most of their albums were not very consistent, a best-of set like 2002's The Essentials comes in quite handy. Just about every Ratt track that ruled the MTV airwaves is presented here, including the band's best known song (and breakthrough hit), "Round and Round," plus such similar fare as "Wanted Man," "Back for More," "Lay It Down," "You're in Love," "Dance," and "Way Cool Jr." (the latter of which is supposedly a dig at Sunset Strip bands of the late '80s, which is a bit confusing since Ratt was the prototypical Sunset Strip band). The only track that should have been included that is mysteriously absent is the early composition/band standard "You Think You're Tough," which prevents the Ratt edition of The Essentials from being definitive. Still, the whole purpose of the series is just to serve an affordable taster of Warners' album artists from yesteryear, and from that viewpoint, Ratt's The Essentials fits the bill. ~ Greg Prato

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