Kevin DuBrow, lead singer of the heavy metal band Quiet Riot, was found dead Sunday at the age of 52. The causes were unknown.
DuBrow was born October 29, 1955 in Hollywood, California. By age 13 his family had moved to Van Nuys, California. He became interested in music as a teenager. It was in 1975 that legendary guitarist Randy Rhoads formed Quiet Riot with Kevin DuBrow as lead singer. The group recorded two albums (unreleased in the United States) before breaking up in 1979, when Rhoads left to work with Ozzy Osbourne. DuBrow then formed his own band, called DuBrow, with some of the old members of Quiet Riot. Not long after Rhoads' untimely death, DuBrow was renamed Quiet Riot.
This new version of Quiet Riot would have a hit single with a remake of Slade's "Cum on Feel the Noize." The success of the single would drive their album, Metal Health, to number one on the Billboard albums chart. Quiet Riot seemed poised for stardom. But their second album, Condition Critical (which included another Slade remake, "Mama Weer All Crazee Now," fizzled on the charts. As the album failed on the charts, DuBrow criticised other metal bands, the press, and even the record company. The end result was that DuBrow effectively alienated many of Quiet Riot's fans. Eventually even the other members of Quiet Riot tired of DuBrow and he fired from the band in 1987.
DuBrow would return to the band in 1991. The band continued to release albums throughout the Nineties and the Naughts, but they never again saw the success that they had with Metal Health. DuBrow recorded his own solo album in 2004, consisting of nothing but covers (such as T. Rex's "20th Century Boy" and Mott the Hoople's "Drivin' Sister").
I cannot say that I ever was a huge fan of Quiet Riot. While I am a metal fan, I have never been fond of pop metal and Quiet Riot was a most typical pop metal band. I must admit that I did like their remakes of "Cum on Feel the Noize" and "Mama Weer All Crazee Now." And there is no denying their influence. Both the single "Cum on Feel the Noize" and the album Metal Health were among the earliest metal records to hit the top of the charts, thus paving the way for other metal acts in the Eighties where Billboard was concerned. For better or worse, Quiet Riot also paved the way for other pop metal bands. Regardless of what serious metalheads thought of the subgenre of pop metal, it was certainly popular in the Eighties. Although he would only have one successful album, Kevin DuBrow then left his mark on music history.