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The Right to Rock (25th Anniversary Edition)

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Album Review

Keel's second album, 1985's The Right to Rock, may as well have been their first. Hardly anyone had noticed the fledgling hair metal outfit's first effort of a year earlier, but one of the ones who did happened to be Kiss legend Gene Simmons, who must have seen dollar signs where others could not when he decided to take the band under his bat-wing. For their part, Keel couldn't have asked for a more motivated Svengali to mould their second album, which, was not only produced by Simmons himself, but saw the band's logo re-fashioned into a simple, angular design coincidentally reminiscent of — who else? — Kiss. As to its actual contents, The Right to Rock was of course led off by the very title track that would become Keel's trademark, bust down the doors to MTV rotation, and ultimately endure as their biggest hit. And with good reason, for as irrepressibly anthemic as it was colossally stupid, the song was nevertheless perfectly tailored to the emerging pop-metal market; instantly landing Keel their no doubt dreamt of full-page spreads in Circus magazine, and, in the eyes of their hairspray 'n' spandex-loving crowd, unofficially branding them "little brothers" to scene leaders Mötley Crüe and Ratt. As for the rest of the album, well, it didn't really matter now, did it? But, for the record, competent hard rockers like "Back to the City," "Electric Love" and semi-metallic racers like "Speed Demon" and "You're the Victim (I'm the Crime)" are pulled off competently enough — their fist-pumping energy nestling comfortably amidst the period's L.A. set. And what truly embarrassing, cock rock drivel does crop up (see the laughable "So Many Girls, So Little Time," the unbearably mindless plod-metal stomp "Get Down," and band's useless cover of the Stones' "Let's Spend the Night Together") isn't really that offensive, given the circumstances of the time. Through it all, Simmons' all-seeing presence also imprints itself on the album's economical, Kiss-tested template: ten songs which rarely run over the four-minute mark, and conclude in just over half an hour. In sum, even though its 1986 successor, The Final Frontier, would arguably top it for sheer consistency, The Right to Rock is likely to stand as Keel's definitive statement.

Customer Reviews

Metal Classic!!!

Been keeping my eye out for this one for awhile now and I finally got my hands on it. Just hearing Back To The City again really brings back memories of having my long hair back and dreaming of being a rock star!
Got to see these guys twice in Boston in the '80's and they were great. My old band even learned how to play King Of The Rock from the self-titled album note for note, that's influential these guys were to us.
They remastered this so it really sounds powerful and slams you in the face. Glad to hear they got back together, maybe I'll get a chance to see 'em again.

From Keel, back to Steeler

iTunes, I really dig being able to find the Music I grew up with, or missed out on due to age, money, etc. I'm glad that you carry most of Yngwie Malmsteen's albums, & I'm glad you carry some Keel, but some, is not enough. I've been replacing or straight buying music from you, yet you do NOT have the original STEELER (album) w / Ron Keel & Yngwie Malmsteen. How can this be? Can you PLEASE find/carry it so I can FINALLY hear it again? My cassette is SO dead. :( Thanks. Rock On.

Cool memories

Wow blast from the past , I remember seeing these guys on MTV way back ! I got this tape right afterwards, I was 15 and its got some cool tunes speed demon and the title track are great !


Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s

After the demise of his first band Steeler following the departure of Swedish guitarist Yngwie J. Malmsteen, vocalist Ron Keel drafted guitarists Marc Ferrari and Bryan Jay, bassist Kenny Chaisson, and drummer Dwain Miller to form his self-monickered group, Keel. The band's first album, Lay Down the Law, was released by independent Shrapnel Records and attracted the attention of Kiss bassist Gene Simmons, who became the band's mentor, eventually helping them sign with MCA Records. He also produced...
Full Bio
The Right to Rock (25th Anniversary Edition), Keel
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Customer Ratings