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Writers: Noddy Holder, Jim Lea
Cum on Feel the Noize is the song that made Quiet Riot, but the original band who did the song, Slade, was almost unknown in America at the time, despite having already been around over 15 years, with a whole bucketload of albums. In fact, the band was formed in 1966, in Wolverhampton. Cum on Feel the Noize was released in 1973 as a single, with no album. Quiet Riot recorded their version ten years later, in 1983.
The original Cum on Feel the Noize song by Slade reached no. 1 on the UK Singles chart and was a big favorite in Britain. The misspelling in the title was a bit of a signature. Other titles include Mama Weer All Crazee Now, Gudbuy T’Jane, Look Wot U Dun, and Skweeze Me, Pleaze Me. You’d think the misspelling of ‘come’ as ‘cum’ was pretty risque, but it does not seem to have caused any controversy at the time. Their songs were about loud music and good times.
Quiet Riot Tried to Sabotage Cum On Feel the Noize
Quiet Riot’s version of the song, while being perhaps a better arrangement, better guitar sounds, and very similar but more growly vocals, is pretty much a carbon copy of the original. Although it’s a good cover, you’d almost think they didn’t put a lot of effort into it, which turns out to be the truth. Their producer, Spencer Proffer urged them to do the song, much to their annoyance. Although it was the song that propelled them to their 80s stardom and now legendary status, the band really didn’t want to record the song. In fact, they intentionally set out to make a mess of it.
Late Quiet Riot singer Kevin DuBrow particularly hated the song, having this to say about it:
I never loved that song, but by the same token I never thought we were the greatest songwriters in the world. We were gullible and I was an angry guy at the time.
When the producer was asking them to record the song, they didn’t want to do it but they told the producer that they were working on it. Only they never actually did. So, when the time came to record the song, the band had not even rehearsed it. They wanted to ‘make an intentional train wreck’ out of it. The band figured if they screwed it up bad enough, the producer wouldn’t be able to use it.
According to drummer Franki Banali, the only original member (since 1982) to remain with the band throughout (except for a brief period), they did fess up to Proffer before recording the song, telling him that they hadn’t worked on it and were going to tank it. “I said he might want to record it to be funny,” said Banali, to which Proffer responded “Okay.”
Quiet Riot, alas, was too good a band to actually tank a song. Despite starting the song in the wrong spot and leaving out a verse and chorus, the band ended up nailing the song on the first take. The producer loved it and, Kevin said Banali, “was furious.”
Quiet Riot’s Tension and Doom
It’s not surprising that Kevin Dubrow expressed such anger as he confessed to being an angry guy at the time and was the cause of much tension when the legendary guitarist Randy Rhoads originally formed the band. In fact, it is said that his original bandmates couldn’t stand him. This tension culminated during the making of their second album as The Record Plant Studio, when Kelly Garni, Rhoads’ longtime bandmate and original founding member, got drunk, engaged in a fistfight with Rhoads, fired a gun through the ceiling, and threatened to shoot Kevin DuBrow. Rhoads had to fire Garni, and after he himself tired of the turmoil and lack of an American record deal, left to join Ozzy Ozbourne. Bassist Rudy Sarzo soon followed him.
Ressurection of the Quiet Riot Name
Despite Rhoads having defined their sound and earned the band a devoted following, and the seeming death of the band afterward, Kevin DuBrow, with Rhoads’ and Sarzo’s blessing, managed to revive the band or at least the name, in 1982 with drummer Frankie Banali, bassist Chuck Wright, and guitarist Carlos Cavazo. This lead to Quiet Riot’s first big commercial success, starting with Cum on Feel the Noize. Sadly, Randy Rhoads died in a plane crash in March of that year, while on tour with Ozzy.
Slade’s Enduring Influence
Although DuBrow may not have liked Slade at the time, Slade has been cited as an influence for many artists, including Nirvana, Ramones, Sex Pistols, The Clash, Kiss, Mötley Crüe, Poison, Def Leppard, Twisted Sister, Cheap Trick, Oasis, and others. Quiet Riot recorded another of their songs, Mama Weer All Crazee Now, to score their only other top 100 hit besides Bang Your Head.
After many ups and downs and their success in Britain, at long last, they finally did gain a following in the states, finding their biggest success in the US with My Oh My and Run Runaway, the latter being their only single to hit the top 20. They still perform today, although the only original member is guitarist/vocalist Dave Hill.