Lost or Forgotten Oldie of the Day: 1984 Ratt – Round and Round

1984 Ratt – Round and Round

Singer Stephen Pearcy and a collection of musicians formed the hard rock group Mickey Ratt in San Diego in 1977. Could the name be a play on Mickey Mouse? By 1981, everybody but Stephen had left the group. Stephen moved to LA and recruited four more musicians to round out the group: Robbin Crosby and Warren DeMartini on guitars, Juan Croucier on bass guitar, and Bobby Blotzer on drums.

The band released an EP of six songs in 1983 that impressed Atlantic Records sufficiently to earn the group a contract with the label. Their first album, Out Of The Cellar, came out the next year and spawned the single Round and Round. Thanks to a lot of airplay on MTV, the single peaked at #12 on the Hot 100 in 1984 and helped establish the hair metal band.

By 2010, the band had ten more top forty singles on the Mainstream Rock chart, but they only had one more single do well on the Hot 100. Lay It Down peaked at #40 on the Hot 100 in 1985 but got as high as #11 on the Mainstream Rock chart. The band released their last single in 1991.

Their first two albums went 3x and 2x platinum, and two more platinum albums and one gold album followed by 1990.

The band split up in 1992. Stephen formed Arcade and later joined Vicious Delite in 1995 and Vertex in 1996. Robbin joined the band Secret Service. Bobby tried running several small businesses and played with Montrose. Warren joined Whitesnake for a while before releasing two solo albums. Juan ran his own studio and produced underground bands.

Stephen, Warren, and Bobby added new member Robbie Crane and reformed Ratt and began touring again in 1997. Stephen left again and joined the group Nitronic, which began billing itself as Ratt Featuring Stephen Pearcy in 2000.

Robbin died from a heroin overdose in 2001. The remaining four members of Ratt reformed and began touring in 2006 with other musicians joining the band on tour. The band recorded another album in 2010 and then drifted apart again. In 2014, Stephen announced that he was finished with Ratt due to internal group problems.

Bobby formed Bobby Blotzer’s Ratt Experience and began touring in 2015. Juan formed a touring band that used the Ratt logo and the lawsuits over the band’s name and logo began. Juan eventually prevailed in court.

At the present time, Stephen and Juan lead the touring band.


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Lost or Forgotten Oldie of the Day: 1983 Laura Branigan – How Am I Supposed To Live Without You

1983 Laura Branigan – How Am I Supposed To Live Without You

Laura Branigan grew up near New York City. She worked as a waitress until 1972 when she became a member of Meadow, a folk-rock band. The band broke up and she worked at various jobs, including background singer for Leonard Cohen’s 1976 European tour.

Laura signed with Atlantic Records in 1981 and released her first album the next year. After several singles failed to produce results, the song Gloria broke out at dance clubs and eventually reached #2 on the Hot 100 in 1982. The single sold over two million copies. Her recording of Solitaire from her second album also reached the top ten in 1983.

Michael Bolton co-wrote a song with Doug James, How Am I Supposed To Live Without You. Air Supply had seven top-five records on the Hot 100 in 1980 through 1982, and the president of Arista Records (Clive Davis) had lined up the group to record Michael’s song. Clive requested permission from Michael to change a few lyrics in the chorus, and when Michael refused the request, Arista dropped the song from their schedule.

Laura snapped up the song, which became her second single release in 1983. Her single peaked at #12 on the Hot 100 and easily topped the Adult Contemporary (AC) chart for a few weeks. Michael would release his own version of the song and finally have his first #1 record in 1990.

Falco co-wrote and recorded Der Kommissar and had a big hit in Germany and most of Europe in 1981. Unfortunately for Falco, American radio wasn’t quite ready for his version of the song. Laura recorded Deep In The Dark on her second album. About twenty seconds into the record it becomes clear that her song is new lyrics with the old melody sung over the top of similar instrumental backing from Der Kommissar. Laura’s record company released the single as her follow-up to How Am I Supposed To Live Without You in 1983. About the same time, the British band After The Fire released a more direct cover of Der Kommissar with English lyrics and reached the top five on the Hot 100. Laura’s record vanished from the airwaves. It would be three more years before Falco’s Rock Me Amadeus would make him an overnight sensation.

In early 1984 Laura released her third album and the title song, Self Control, would become her most successful single. It reached #4 on the Hot 100 and topped the charts in a half-dozen other countries.

In 1986, Michael worked with Laura again and wrote another song for her. She recorded and released I Found Someone, but while the single reached #25 on the AC chart, it barely got up to #90 on the Hot 100. Cher covered the song in 1988 and her version reached the top ten in the US.

Laura had a few more singles that reached the Hot 100, but none got higher than #20. By 1991 the chart hits were a thing of the past.

In 1994, Laura recorded the duet I Believe with David Hasselhoff that got used over the closing credits for season five of Baywatch.

Laura died in her sleep in 2004 at the age of only 52 after suffering from headaches caused by an undiagnosed ventricular brain aneurysm.

The National Hockey League team, The St. Louis Blues, adopted Laura’s recording of Gloria as their victory song on their road to winning the Stanley Cup in 2019.


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Lost or Forgotten Oldie of the Day: 1982 Greg Guidry – Goin’ Down

1982 Greg Guidry – Goin’ Down

Greg and five of his brothers and sisters formed a gospel group while still teenagers. Curtis Mayfield signed them to Curtom Records as an R&B act, but no recordings appear to exist.

He also played in bands in the St. Louis area with Michael McDonald (and shortly after that, Michael became a member of the Steely Dan touring group and ended up a member of the Doobie Brothers).

Greg signed with CBS Records in 1977. He worked with Nashville’s Rich Lang and recorded demos. The list of artists that recorded songs Greg wrote includes Climax Blues Band, Robbie Dupree, Johnnie Taylor, Sawyer Brown, and Reba McEntire. He also did some studio work, including background vocals on an Allman Brothers album in 1981.

Greg signed with Columbia Records in 1982 and John Ryan produced his first album, Over the Line. Greg wrote the song Goin’ Down and co-produced the recording with John. He sang and played piano on the single. It peaked at #17 on the Hot 100 in 1982 and reached #11 on the Adult Contemporary chart. A follow-up single only reached #92, and that was Greg’s last chart appearance.

Greg’s next albums did not appear until 2000 when he self-released two more albums.

Police found Greg’s burned body in a car in his garage in 2003, with his death resulting from suicide.


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Lost or Forgotten Oldie of the Day: 1980 Dr. Hook – Better Love Next Time

1980 Dr. Hook – Better Love Next Time

George Cummings, Ray Sawyer, and Billy Francis played together in the band the Chocolate Papers in the early sixties. After the group broke up, George got the other two and a few more musicians together and formed a group in 1968. Ray sported an eyepatch because of an automobile accident and that look inspired George to name the group Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show. Dennis Locorriere joined the group as their bass player and eventually became their lead singer. Eight other musicians joined the group over the years.

The group toured for three years without a recording contract. Their big break came in 1971 when they were picked to record several Shel Silverstein songs for the film Who Is Harry Kellerman and Why Is He Saying Those Terrible Things About Me? That turned out to be such a good fit that Shel wrote all the songs for the group’s first album, including the top five single Sylvia’s Mother.

The group is probably best known for a song Shel wrote that showed up on their second album, On The Cover Of The Rolling Stone. Ray sang lead vocals on that single, and it not only reached the top ten but also propelled them onto the cover of the Rolling Stone magazine.

In the next two years, the group charted no single higher than #68. George left the group, and they shortened their name to Dr. Hook and signed with Capitol Records. They released the album Bankrupt in 1975 and subsequently released two singles from the album that failed completely.

Sam Cooke wrote and recorded Only Sixteen in 1959. His single only reached #28 on the Hot 100. Dr. Hook released their cover of the song as their third single from the album and finally had another hit: the single reached #6 on the Hot 100 in early 1976.

The group had six top ten singles spread out through the seventies and early eighties. Sandwiched in between the million-selling records When You’re in Love with a Beautiful Woman and Sexy Eyes, the group released Better Love Next Time. That single still did fairly well even though it didn’t sell a million copies. It peaked at #12 in early 1980.

The group’s last visit to the top forty came in 1982 when Baby Makes Her Blue Jeans Talk reached #25. The video for the record is simply too politically incorrect to get much airplay anymore. It’s not clear if they meant the song to be satire or funny or not.

Dennis has ownership of the group name. He licensed Ray to appear as “Ray Sawyer of Dr. Hook” or “Dr. Hook featuring Ray Sawyer” through 2015, after which Ray retired from public performances. Ray died in 2018.

When his health permits, Dennis still leads a Dr. Hook group on tour.


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