OK, so I'm not going to pretend that I was familiar with The Right To Rock on its first time round the block. I think I can be forgiven for that, I was a mere five-year-old at the time being made to suffer my parent's rather scary taste in music that included Barbara Streisand, the Bee Gees and The Osmonds (anyone else feeling a little light-headed right now?)! But this was a pretty important album for KEEL as it was their second studio album, released at the height of their popularity and was produced by KISS legend Gene Simmons.
This anniversary edition of the album has been remastered and is released by Frontiers, alongside KEEL's new album Streets Of Rock & Roll. It features two additional tracks, Easier Said Than Done (Remix) and The Right To Rock, which features a blended chorus created from MP3 files submitted by the band's fans via their website. Despite its age, The Right To Rock: 25th Anniversary Edition sounds great. It's a step back in time to when hair metal was cool and with the recent influx of new bands picking up that sound this album doesn't feel out of place in 2010!
The Right To Rock is the opener and probably the most well known KEEL song. Period. Catchy guitar riffs from Marc Ferrari and screaming vocals from Ron Keel and most importantly with songs of this era an anthemic chorus line that would have crowds punching fists in the air in time to the words 'The Right To Rock'. KEEL really could never have gone wrong with this song!
The choice to cover the Rolling Stones song Let's Spend The Night Together could have been a dangerous one; let's be honest, doing covers is a dangerous sport that can lose a band credit if it fails. But KEEL pull it off with flair and even manage to propel this to one of the highlight spots on the album!
There's definitely obvious input from Gene Simmons on this album, not only as a producer, but with writing credits on a few of the songs, including Get Down which has a real KISS feel to it. That certainly isn't a bad thing though. It's a great song that will remind you why this style of metal is experiencing a revival.
The bonus tracks on the album are medicocre and just don't do it for me. Penultimate song and first bonus track Easier Said Than Done (Remix) just doesn't cut it, and I don't see that much difference in the two versions except they seem to have been done in a different key, and the bonus version has a clearer recording which is probably due to being recorded in 2009 rather than 1985!
In summary this is an enjoyable album, and a nice step back in time to some quality 80s metal. Although, we could have done without the bonus tracks.
KEEL's The Right to Rock: 25th Anniversary Edition is out now on Frontiers/Riot.