"Ratt & Roll '81'91" is just that, a collection of songs from mid-level hair rockers, Ratt, culled from their albums released between 1981 and 1991. To be completely honest with you, I purchased this album for two songs: "Lay It Down" and "Round and Round." Those two songs were the biggest charting tracks for the band and there's a good reason why. Almost all of the other tracks on this album are mediocre tunes. There's nothing that makes them stand out from the crowd.
I'm not saying that the album is terrible, just that Ratt doesn't measure up to other groups from the 80's and early 90's. I grew up listening to hair and hard rock bands such as Def Leppard, Skid Row, Bon Jovi and Guns n' Roses who, in my opinion, are some of the top bands of that era. I also listened to second tier groups from that time such as Tesla, Cinderella, Warrant, and White Lion. I'd have to place Ratt just below these second tier groups for the fact that outside of hair band circles, the general listening audience would only recognize "Round and Round."
To me, song recognition is a big factor as to why certain groups warrant the release of a greatest hits package. When an average music listener hears the name Def Leppard, songs like "Hysteria," "Armageddon It" and "Pour Some Sugar On Me" immediately come to mind. "You Give Love A Bad Name," "Livin' On A Prayer" and even later tunes such as "Have A Nice Day" pop into people's minds when they hear mention of Bon Jovi. What do people say when you ask them to name a Ratt tune? "Round and Round," if they can even come up with that.
In short, what I'm saying is that Ratt put out some good tunes, many of which are featured here ("Lack Of Communication" "Shame, Shame, Shame" and "Nobody Rides For Free," in particular), but didn't have as big of an impact on music as many other bands of their era.
If you're a die hard Ratt fan, I highly recommend this album to you. If you want to explore the group a bit deeper but don't want to shell out the money to buy their entire catalogue, this album is an excellent choice as it features nineteen tracks. However, if you only liked "Round and Round" or a few other Ratt tunes, you might want to skip this and look for a compilation disc that features only the biggest tunes by hair bands from that time. I'm middle of the road on this album. It's not great, but it ain't bad either.