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Musician: Suzi Quatro

Audio CD


In the wake of the success of her new In The Spotlight (2011), Suzi Quatro is re-issuing her older albums that were once international hits. That is, hits everywhere else but the states. Rock Hard is a case in point. When Quatro’s seventh album debuted on Dreamland Records in 1980, it was certified platinum—in Australia. Ever since, fans on other continents have hankered for a good CD release of Rock Hard.

 Finally, Glam / 7t's Records obliges with a nice package of the 11 songs. In addition, there’s a booklet with liner notes by Phil Hendriks and pictures of the sleeves for the singles culled from the album. These  include the title track (from the movie Times Square), Lipstick” (built on Van Morrison’s “Gloria” riff), and Suzi’s cover of the Dave Clark 5’s “Glad All over.” Now, how can you resist a 70’s rocker updating a DC5 classic in the days when the British Invasion band was all but forgotten?     

As usual, the producer was Mike Chapman, the erstwhile musical partner for most of Suzi’s studio work. For this album, he also co-wrote “Rock Hard” and Lipstick” with Nicky Chinn, another longtime composer for Quatro’s canon. Likewise, as on many an LP, guitarist Len Tucky co-wrote five of the songs with Quatro, in this case “State Of Mind,” “Woman Cry,” “Ego in the Night,” “Lonely is the hardest,” and “Lay Me Down.” Joining Tuckey and Quatro on bass were Jamie Crompton (guitar) and Dave Neal (drums). For trivia buffs: one of the backup singers was Michael Des Barres, lead vocalist for the British group, Silverhead. Suzi had been a “Silverette” as a backing singer for Silverhead in the early ‘70s, and Des Barres was returning the favor.    

Relying on her basic formula  of stripped-down, straight-up, no frills rock ‘n roll, Quatro didn’t surprise many of her fans back in 1980. Likewise, few longtime listeners will hear anything unexpected now. But if you know and like Suzi Quatro’s brand of raw, no-nonsense rock, this will be a nugget you’ll be delighted to have with its original track list. (A number of the songs have popped up on various compilations.) As Horton the Elephant once said, sort of, “`Rock Hard’ is what I said, `Rock Hard’ is what I meant.” That’s 100%, folks.

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