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).
Among numerous other rare and unreleased recordings, »Riot Archives Vol.2« contains a song called “Hot Life”, which did not make it onto any Riot album, Rick Ventura believes it was written by Mark Reale. In addition to that, the record also features the original auditions for Rhett Forrester, with him singing “Hard Lovin’ Man” and “Vigilante Killer” – a real jewel – plus an extraordinary 8-minute version of “Loved By You”. Rick Ventura comments: “I know. It’s so cool! Just one of those things.”
Comparing the different eras with Guy Speranza and Rhett Forrester on vocals, Rick Ventura, whose last album with the band was »Born In America« (from 1983), concludes: “Well, certainly the Guy era was decisive, that’s what got the fan base. I enjoyed both. Rhett was fun to work with. In the end I left Riot because of frustration, overall direction and management issues. No major label wanted us. It just wasn’t the same Riot anymore.”
The CD and LP versions of this release both contain bonus DVD: Through the Years.