It’s almost impossible to overestimate the importance of Riot for the evolution of American heavy metal. The New Yorkers built the bridge between the first generation of hard rock and metal bands springing up in the early to mid-1970s (Blue Öyster Cult, Kiss and Van Halen) and the new wave carrying the torch in the late 1970s and early 1980s (led by Canadian proto speed metal merchants Anvil and Exciter).
Formed in New York City in 1975, Riot recorded one of the best heavy metal albums of all time: 1981’s »Fire Down Under«. However, before this landmark album finally saw the light of day, it took Riot six long years and two studio albums (1977’s »Rock City« and »Narita« from 1979) to get the formula right.
Although the main protagonists of Riot are no longer with us, singer Guy Speranza died on November 8th 2003 and main man Mark Reale, guitarist and principal songwriter, sadly passed away on January 25th 2012, it’s second guitarist L.A. Kouvaris who is an important first-hand witness.
On the Riot »Archives Vol.1« album there are no less than 18 unreleased tracks on there (including different mixes). Some of the studio/demo tracks like “Sweet Sweet Felicia”, “In Every Way”, “Come Back To Me”, “I’m A Marshall”, “Teaser” and “Loving Comes Easy” have never before seen the light of day.