Title - Back To The ... Spotlight [2CD]
Artist - Suzi Quatro
Back To The ... Spotlight (due out April 15th, 2022 via 7T’s Records/Cherry Red Records UK) is a double CD containing two albums by legendary ‘70s actress, broadcaster and the self-proclaimed First Lady of Rock, Suzi Quatro!
For those wanting a little bit more than that, Suzie Quatro is the aforementioned American singer-songwriter, musician, and actress who in the 1970s scored a string of hit singles that found greater success in Europe and Australia than in her homeland; reaching #1 in the UK, other European countries and Australia with her singles Can the Can (1973) and Devil Gate Drive (1974).
Quatro released her self-titled debut album in 1973 and since then she has released fifteen studio albums, ten compilation albums, and one live album. Her other solo hits also include 48 Crash, Daytona Demon, The Wild One, and Your Mama Won’t Like Me.
Following a recurring role as bass player Leather Tuscadero on the popular American sitcom Happy Days, her duet Stumblin’ In with Smokie’s lead singer Chris Norman reached #4 in the US.
Between 1973 and 1980, Quatro was awarded six Bravo Ottos and in 2010, she was voted into the Michigan Rock and Roll Legends online Hall of Fame. She is reported to have sold over 50 million records worldwide and continues to perform live.
Indeed, Quatro’s most recent studio album, The Devil in Me, was released in 2021 and saw the collaboration of her son Richard Tuckey who had already taken part in No Control in 2019.
Featuring on Disc One, 2005’s “comeback” Back To The Drive album. Produced by The Sweet’s Andy Scott it saw Suzi return to her Rock roots. The stunning array of tracks was written by the legend that is Mike Chapman who co-wrote most of her ‘70s hits.
CD 1: Back To The Drive (2005)
1. Back To The Drive
2. 15 Minutes Of Fame
4. I Don’t Do Gentle
5. I’ll Walk Through The Fire With You
6. Wasted Moments
7. Rockin’ In The Free World
8. No Choice
9. Sometimes Love Is Letting Go
10. Dancing In The Wind
11. Free The Butterfly
12. Born Making Noise
13. Desperado [Bonus Track]
14. No Choice (Demo) [Bonus Track]
15. Free The Butterfly (Demo) [Bonus Track]
16. Dancing In The Wind (Demo) [Bonus Track]
I’m Back!! Kicking off her first collection of all new material in over a decade at that time with one of the most unequivocal declarations in her entire catalog, the Divine Miss Q was clearly out for blood!
Titled for one of the most self-defining singles of the ’70s, the raw roar of Devil Gate Drive, Back To The Drive serves up a dozen tracks that might look back to the Chinni chap era for energy and enthusiasm (as noted, Mike Chapman is among her collaborators here), but were also eyeing the future too.
Too many of her contemporaries, after all, were content to simply spin out the old hits again and again, until you cannot move for all the re-recordings, but Back to the Drive was all new. Which she instantly showcased with her assault upon its one cover, Neil Young’s pulsating Rocking In The Free World!
Guitars on stun, vocals on 11, Back To The Drive rocks as hard as any of Quatro’s ’70s discs, but, and more importantly, it sounds as fresh as any of them ever did.
This newly expanded edition now tags on four bonus tracks in the form of a breathtaking cover of The Eagles’ Desperado, that features Jeﬀ Beck on guitar, and Demos of the searing guitar balladry of No Choice, the beautiful Free The Butterfly and the fervent rock of Dancing In The Wind.
Disc 2 features 2011’s In The Spotlight album which was produced by Mike Chapman and which includes the tribute to Elvis, Singing With Angels that features a guest appearance by his original backing singers The Jordanaires.
CD 2: In The Spotlight (2011)
1. A Girl Like Me
2. Whatever Love Is
4. Strict Machine
5. Breaking Dishes
6. Rosie Rose
7. Hurt With You
8. Hot Kiss
9. Turn Into
10. Hard Headed Woman
11. Singing With Angels
12. Does Your Mama Know [Bonus Track]
Once again co-written with previous collaborator Mike Chapman (Blondie, Mud), In The Spotlight, her first album since 2006’s Back To The Drive, showed that unlike many of her counterparts, the contemporary pop scene had not completely passed her by.
There’s a raucous cover version of Rihanna’s Good-Girl-Gone-Bad album track Breaking Dishes, which turns the R&B anthem into an equally feisty slice of barroom rock; a guitar-chugging mash-up of Goldfrapp’s electro-pop reinvention in Strict Machine; her own 1973 U.K. chart-topper Can the Can, cleverly referencing the subtle similarities between the two; the Hole-esque grunge of Whatever Love Is, a sly nod to her riot grrrl pioneer reputation, and the yelping, dirty, garage blues-rock of Hot Kiss, which could have been lifted from the first few White Stripes records.
As convincing as these attempts to show she’s not stuck in some ’70s time-warp are, it’s the tracks which harken back to her heyday which are likely to leave her former glam rock army swooning.
Acknowledging the influence Elvis had on her career, Hard Headed Woman is an old-fashioned rockabilly rendition of his 1958 standard, while Singing with Angels is a heartfelt tribute to the King featuring his guitarist James Burton and backing vocalists, the Jordanaires, but elsewhere, opener A Girl Like Me sets the tone with its ballsy attitude and anthemic Knack-inspired guitar hooks, Turn Into features shades of classic girl group doowop with its Spector-ish Wall of Sound production, and the title track is a spacy, T. Rex-esque acoustic-driven ballad which reveals Quatro has lost none of her whiskey-soaked lung power.
The disc now comes with the bonus track of a rocked-out version of Abba’s Does Your Mother Know (here now as Does Your Mama Know) produced by Sweet guitarist Andy Scott.
A beautiful deluxe color booklet also includes lyrics to all the songs plus a track-by-track commentary by Suzi herself.
Official 2CD Purchase Link