Hi Phil Aston here from the Now Spinning group, on nowspinning.co.uk and the Facebook group and page and also on Instagram now.
I just wanted to do a quick video on an album series I’m going to do called, Every Home Should Have One. And yes, it’s a rock album. But, to me this is a very special album. And that album is Narita by Riot. I love this album. It’s probably got one of the worst covers ever, I don’t know why Riot thought that this was going to be their emblem, but there you go, it was.
So, Narita is an airport in Japan. I think it was built on an ancient burial ground, and it’s protected by a sumo wrestler with a seal’s head. But, that aside, this is just a brilliant album.
I bought the first Riot album after hearing the track called Overdrive, in Bogarts in Birmingham and loved it. And this came out soon after I had heard that. And Riot went through lots of different styles of music. They really were an amazing band.
Mark Reale is on the guitar, he’s sadly no longer with us, he later went away into the desert to learn how to play power metal and thrash metal and his whole style of guitar playing completely changed as they went down a different route. But this period of Riot, is when they were a hard rock heavy metal band, playing with a lot of feel. The guitar solos that he plays on Waiting for the Taking are superb. It builds like the solo Ronnie Montrose does on the track Rock Candy and the ad libs in the vocals from Guy Speranza are just fantastic.
The vinyl edition I have is an Canadian import. It’s the one I bought from Virgin all those years ago, on the Attic label, from 1979.
The first time I saw them live was the year later when they supported Rainbow at Donnington. It’s the album after that everyone goes on about ‘Fire Down Under’ but this to me, is the one to have. With tracks like Waiting for the Taking, 49er, Kick Down the Wall, Born to be Wild (which is a cover of the Steppenwolf classic, Narita, which is stunning, Here We Go Come Again, Do it for Love, Hot for Love, White Rock and Road Racin‘.
Road Racin is still in the set today. It’s absolutely brilliant. So, what should you try and find? I think you need this one the Rock Candy remaster. It sounds so exciting.
A bit of trivia for you, I used to be in a rock band called the Handsome Beasts and Riot used to play Breaker by the Handsome Beasts before they came on stage. When I found this out, I became even more of a fan. I just loved the fact that they liked what I did.
As usual with Rock Candy releases, there’s a lot of love and heart that’s gone into this, so I cannot fault it. The remastering is just immaculate.
If you’re into hard rock, late 70s rock, American Rock then Riot Narita is essential.
Phil Aston | Now Spinning