Round and Round ~ Ratt

Ratt is an American heavy metal band that had significant commercial success in the 1980s. The band is best known for songs such as “Round and Round,” “Wanted Man,” “Lay It Down,” “You’re in Love”, “Slip of the Lip”, “Back For More”, “Dance”, “Body Talk”, “I Want a Woman”, and “Way Cool Jr.” Ratt has been recognized as instrumental in the formation of the early 1980s Los Angeles hard rock and glam metal scene.

The origins of Ratt go at least as far back as 1977 with a San Diego band called Mickey Ratt, which was formed by founding member vocalist Stephen Pearcy. Several CDs have been released of the Mickey Ratt line-ups, including several demo compilations and a live concert.

Mickey Ratt went through various line-ups. Members included guitarists Jake E. Lee, Chris Hager, Paul DeNisco, and Bob DeLellis, bassists Matt Thorr, Tim Garcia, and Dave Jellison, Mike New, and drummers John Turner, Seth Faver, Dave Alford, and Bob Eisenberg.

In 1980, the band moved to Los Angeles to increase their chances of landing a recording contract with a major label. The band recorded a single called “Dr. Rock” / “Drivin’ on E”, which was given to fans at their early Los Angeles club shows. Guitarist Jake E. Lee joined the Mickey Ratt line up.

In 1981, the band’s name was shortened to Ratt. Robbin Crosby played with the band later in the year. Jake E. Lee, Chris Hager, Matt Thorr, and Dave Alford all left Mickey Ratt to form another band called Rough Cutt. Guitarist Warren DeMartini joined in January 1982 (recommended by Lee). Bassist Gene Hunter (from Jake E. Lee’s Teaser) and drummer Khurt Maier (who played drums on the early “Tell The World” recording) would temporarily play in Ratt before Bobby Blotzer and Juan Croucier (also with the band Dokken). DeMartini was only 18 years old when he was called up to Los Angeles to join Ratt. At the time he was attending college in San Diego and reluctant to drop out to join a band that had, so far, had only limited success. Marq Torien briefly replaced DeMartini, though Warren returned in time for the recording of their EP, later in 1982.

After a well-received, self-titled independent EP, the band signed with Atlantic Records and immediately started writing and recording what would be its first proper album Out of the Cellar. Released in March 1984, the breakthrough album was critically praised by both fans and critics alike at the time of its release. Milton Berle’s guest appearance, dressed in his Uncle Miltie drag character, in the video for “Round and Round” helped draw even more attention to the band.

Out of the Cellar combined the then-prevalent Van Halen and Aerosmith influenced bravado elements with the then-novel muted, staccato guitar-picking style of Judas Priest.

The album scored much radio and MTV play with the blockbuster anthem “Round and Round” (which peaked at #12 on the Billboard Hot 100), “Wanted Man”, “Back for More”, and “Lack of Communication”. Pearcy’s raspy yet bluesy vocals melded well with the pyrotechnic guitar playing of twin leads Robbin Crosby and Warren DeMartini. Their music videos, especially for that of “Round and Round”, exposed them to an impressionable teen audience first tuning into the then fledgling MTV cable network.

Out of the Cellar became a commercial success, going platinum many times over in the United States as well as making them stars in the Far East. The album catapulted the band to the top, capped off by an incredibly successful world tour that saw the band sell out countless stadiums and arenas worldwide. Out of the Cellar is today widely regarded as the band’s best work and a definitive moment in 80s heavy metal.

Tawny Kitaen, High School sweetheart of Crosby, who’d graced the cover of the band’s EP from the previous year, agreed to appear on the cover of their debut full-length album. She also appeared in their video for “Back For More” as the girl in the 50s skirt at the jukebox.

In 1984 the band toured extensively, sharing the stage with such acts as Billy Squier, Ozzy Osbourne, Blackfoot, Iron Maiden, Mötley Crüe, Twisted Sister and Lita Ford.

Round and Round

“Round and Round” is known for Stephen Pearcy’s raspy, bluesy, yet provocative vocals, Robbin Crosby’s and Warren DeMartini’s twin guitar leads, Juan Croucier’s thumping basslines and Bobby Blotzer’s thunderous drum sounds.

The music video finds the band set up in the attic of a rich family’s mansion. They start to terrorize the family members during dinner while causing a major racket with their music. During the song’s guitar solo, Ratt guitarist Warren DeMartini falls through the attic floor, onto the dining room table where the family members are eating. The video briefly features comedian Milton Berle, whose nephew Marshall Berle was Ratt’s band manager at the time.

Milton Berle played the staid head-of-household and crossdressed to play the matron in the video. Both characters seem perturbed by the loud volume of Ratt’s playing, and quickly leave the table. Meanwhile, a seemingly shy yet attractive woman is drawn by the music to the attic. On the way her dress becomes caught and she rips the bottom of it off. She appears in the attic as a completely different person, and begins dancing to the song. At the end of the video, the butler is seen dressed up as a metalhead and “rocking out” in a separate room.

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Out on the streets, that’s where we’ll meet
You make the night, I always cross the line
Tightened our belts, abuse ourselves
Get in our way, we’ll put you on your shelf
Another day, some other way
We’re gonna go, but then we’ll see you again
I’ve had enough, we’ve had enough
Cold in vain, she said

I knew right from the beginning
That you would end up winnin’
I knew right from the start
You’d put an arrow through my heart

Round and round
With love we’ll find a way just give it time
Round and round
What comes around goes around
I’ll tell you why

Dig it!

Lookin’ at you, lookin’ at me
The way you move, you know it’s easy to see
The neon light’s on me tonight
I’ve got a way, we’re gonna prove it tonight
Like Romeo to Juliet
Time and time, I’m gonna make you mine
I’ve had enough, we’ve had enough
It’s all the same, she said

I knew right from the beginning
That you would end up winnin’
I knew right from the start
You’d put an arrow through my heart

Round and round
With love we’ll find a way just give it time
Round and round
What comes around goes around
I’ll tell you why

Yeah!

Out on the streets, that’s where we’ll meet
You make the night, I always cross the line
Tightened our belts, abuse ourselves
Get in our way, we’ll put you on your shelf

Round and round
With love we’ll find a way just give it time
Round and round
What comes around goes around
I’ll tell you why

Round and round
With love we’ll find a way just give it time, time, time, time
Round and round
What comes around goes around
I’ll tell you why, why, why, why
Round and round

  • Audio from the 1984 album, Out of the Cellar:

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About DJ Allyn

DJ Allyn is a burned out radio guy who went on to become a burned out sound engineer for a few Seattle area grunge bands in the 1980s and 1990s. Left the madness of worldwide tours with bands, cleaned up my act and went into the relative sanity of sound engineering for television series. Currently working as the Director of Sound for a television series being filmed in North Vancouver, British Columbia. I am always on the lookout for interesting videos, old music, and fun.

One thought on “Round and Round ~ Ratt

  1. Admittedly when metal came around, we looked at Ratt and Crue as the very definition of poseur. At least Crue was easy on the eyes, though lol. But sure, being older I can enjoy it all right. Of course, Yngwie is still the king; and he’s gotten to the point where there are no mistakes (he has gotten where he wanted to be then)- and can keep up those classical riffs for 4 hours with one 3 minute break – fabulous to see live. The thing with the Japanese philharmonic was astounding too. Please don’t put down Yngwie lol.

    I have a musical question to ask your opinion about, but it isn’t about this so I was wondering if there was a place I could ask it?

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