Detonator is Ratt's fifth studio album. Released in 1990, it was the first album that failed to go platinum for the glam metal legends.
Though their previous album, Reach for the Sky, sold enough albums to meet expectations for the band, it met with much criticism regarding the quality of their songs. To be sure, even the band realized they were cruising along on neutural after the success of their first three albums and had grown complacent by the time it came to write songs for "Reach for the Sky".
Scrambling to reignite the spark that made Ratt such a force to be reckoned with during the mid 80's, the band parted ways with long-time producer Beau Hill. Hitmaker Desmond Child, and his personal sound engineer Sir Arthur Payson were hired to helm the project, the results of which show a Ratt more polished and focused than ever heard previous.
Michael Schenker also played on the album. Although he is not credited, he played some of Robbin's parts as Robbin's increasing narcotics habit prohibited him from playing certain parts. Schenker also played a handful of solos on the album, one of which is rumored to be on one of the album's true gems, "Top Secret".
The band itself has some strong moments on the album. As usual, the rhythm section of Croucier and Blotzer kept a tight groove to accompany DeMartini's assertion of his myriad musical talents. However, it should be noted that the venerable axe slinger had by this point mostly abandoned the early Van Halen influenced "shred" style playing of previous records. For this album, his solos were slower and his tone changed from a "crunch" to a sweeter, warmer, strat-like tone (although considerably fatter than the average strat tone).
However, it was the raw live-sounding energy of the band's earlier work that defined the unique Ratt sound. While a masterfully produced album, it lacked the vitality of the Ratt that "emerged from the cellar" six years prior. Submission to such cynicism stripped the L.A. rock heroes of the urgency their music exuded during their heyday.
Detonator, released on the eve of the grunge revolution of the early '90s, would signal the end of Ratt's golden era. Soon after production was completed for the album, guitar legend Robbin "The King" Crosby exited the band. Within two years, the remaining members would go their own ways.
Tracks Intro to Shame
Shame Shame Shame
Lovin' You's a Dirty Job
Scratch That Itch
One Step Away
Heads I Win, Tails You Lose
All or Nothing
Can't Wait on Love
Givin' Yourself Away