Ratt – The Atlantic Years’ 1984-1990 (Limited Edition Box Set Review)

During the ’80s era of Hard Rock there were a list of bands which made an impact, but perhaps one of the most understated is Ratt. A part of what is popularly known as the Glam Metal scene that emerged from Los Angeles, in truth, this is a handicap, because what Ratt produced, is simply just great Hard Rock and Metal music. 

A perfect cocktail of stellar instrumentation of Guitarists Robbin Crosby and Warren DeMartini, Bassist Juan Croucier, plus Drummer Bobby Blotzer, matched with quality songwriting, great production primarily thanks to Beau Hill, the x factor in it all would have to be Vocalist Stephen Pearcy. Different from his contemporaries at the time, Pearcy is not really a natural vocalist with high soaring pipes like a Don Dokken, Dee Snider or even a Vince Neil. Rougher around the edges, it is the grit and unique delivery of Pearcy that separated himself and his Ratt brothers from the rest. 

So, why do we say Ratt is understated? Well, because of the stigmata mentioned called Glam Metal, or worse yet Hair Metal. Derogatory in nature, because it is boxing a band like Ratt into a corner as ’80s over the top cheese, they are simply much more. Too often in modern society we look back on past eras of music with an arrogance as if we are so much better now than we were then. That said, no one should diminish Ratt’s significant commercial success in the 1980s, with their albums having been certified as gold, platinum, and multi-platinum status. 

Still beloved by long-time fans, thankfully Ratt has weathered time and continued well into present day with several reunions, some lineup changes, and even a really impressive more modern effort in 2010 with the release of the album Infestation. However, if one is looking to study the history of Ratt, reignite their interest in the band, or simply revel in appreciation of them, they would have to look back to the Atlantic Records era for the band. A span of time that began back in 1984 with their mega successful debut Out of the Stellar album and continued on through 1990, before they put out their 1991 compilation Ratt & Roll 81–91 (featuring the non-album track “Nobody Rides for Free”), this is a seven-year period where Ratt shined the brightest.

Unquestionably a special moment in history for Ratt, now in 2023, BMG, in partnership with Rhino Entertainment, announces The Atlantic Years Limited Edition Box Set. A set which celebrates Ratt’s first five albums – 1984’s Out of the Cellar, 1985’s Invasion of Your Privacy, 1986’s Dancing Undercover, 1988’s Reach for the Sky, and 1990’s Detonator – the collection is available in both a CD and Vinyl formats. Released on June 9th, the vinyl collection should be highly coveted, because it is truly a dream come true for any Ratt fans. 

Leading with the music itself, the five albums are remastered on 180g black vinyl, and once you put the needle to the groove you will be blown away by the clarity. Crisp, bright, and full of detail, the songs off each album sound simply perfect. Presented with original art for each LP, it is unified in a custom lift top box that really solidifies the set. Giving you more, it includes a rare “Nobody Rides for Free” 7” single, 12-page replica tour book (featuring rare and never before seen photos from Ratt’s personal archives), a 11”x17” Wanted poster, bumper sticker, replica backstage pass, and guitar pick. 

Extremely high quality, if you are appreciative of such detail, you will not be disappointed with care and craft put into The Atlantic Years’ Limited Edition Box Set. Attractively presented and sounding great, hands down the boldest aspect of this set is that it pays just homage to the legacy of Ratt. Quite possibly the ultimate Ratt collection, and the last piece you will ever need to invest in to honor this band, Cryptic Rock The Atlantic Years’ Limited Edition Box Set 5 out of 5 stars. 

Ratt – The Atlantic Years’ 1984-1990 Limited Edition Box Set / BMG (2023)

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