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Suzie Quatro – The Devil In Me Award winner

Suzie Quatro
The Devil In Me
by Neil Cook at 13 June 2021, 8:49 PM

So, I was probably a tad too young to really appreciate Suzie Q in her full-on Leather-clad 70s heyday.  I was definitely aware of the music, but I am sure I remember my older brother having a poster or two on his wall back in the day.  I definitely remember developing a crush on her character Leather Tuscadero on the 50s infused TV show Happy Days.  And If we are analyzing Suzie’s career we cannot ignore the influence she has had on numerous female fronted bands and performers, from the RUNAWAYS (heck Joan Jett’s whole image must be a nod to Suzie!) to GIRLSCHOOL and the GO GO’s bassist cited Suzie as a big influence. BUT this isn’t a retrospective, this is a review of her latest long player “The Devil In Me”, and if the lady herself says this is some of her best work, who am I to argue.

From the hard rocking opening track, “The Devil In Me”, which proves the band behind her are as tight as Gnats Chuff and the superb production job gives room to everything from the rock and roll guitars, the honky-tonk piano, Suzie’s bass and voice all have their place.  “Hey Queenie” carries on the quality, just adds some sass and a stomping chorus, an early contender for best track in my mind, just not the only one.

Betty Who?” keeps up the pace and quality, driven along and a funky piano line. As does “You Can’t Dream It” which has some crunchy guitars and is a very rhythmical rocker, not really heavy, but rocks nicely.  So the first 4 tracks illustrate the lady’s Rock and Roll credentials, so by the time we get to the gearchange of the Christmassy tinged “Heart And Soul” is an amazing soulful, Detroit, Motown-like ballad, full of Suzie’s smokey, sexy vocals, with some lovely harmonies and sublime horns, it might be a little weird listing to a song that refers to Christmas so much on a swelteringly hot June Sunday, but this isn’t a Christmas song, it simply tells a wistful story about the singers regrets their baby wasn’t there at that significant part of the year, which after the year we’ve all experienced and no doubt some of us missed loved ones at that time, and this song reflects those feeling right on point.

Get Outta Jail” starts like an old blues/gospel standard before turning into a dirty Rocker. “Do Ya Dance” struts its funky stuff big style! From the so, so damn sexy yelps and pure funk of the guitars, will get you dancing in your pants no doubt. And then we are transported to a smokey dirty gin-joint somewhere on the wrong side of the tracks for “Isolation Blues”.  A torch-song for our age. It is actually hard to put into words how good this song is, from Suzie’s HUGE vocal delivery to the wail of the sax, oh!

Another gearchange with the short sharp modern Rocker “I Sold My Soul Today” with its fuzzed-up chorus and punchy pace, into another 180 degree turnabout with the fresh bluesy jazzy ballad “Loves Gone Bad”.  “In The Dark” stays in the same territory, and really shows how amazing versatile her voice is.  Hear the sex simply drips from her tonsils.  These two are superb late-night listening.  It is very rude to talk about a lady’s age, but Suzie Quatro must be the sexiest 70 year young lady out there.

Any then wraps everything up with yet another solid slab of Glammed up Rock and Roll in “Motor City Rider”.  I have visions of Leather and Fonzie tearing up the road on a pair of bikes up to no good.  Only one thing to say. Haaaayyy!!

I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised, but yes Suzie this writer agrees, this is not only some of your best work in years, but will be a contender for my top 10 albums of the year.  Only one thing to do…

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. The Devil In Me
2. Hey Queenie
3. Betty Who?
4. You Can‘t Dream It
5. My Heart And Soul (long version)
6. Get Outta Jail
7. Do Ya Dance
8. Isolation Blues
09. I Sold My Soul Today
10. Love‘s Gone Bad
11. In The Dark
12. Motor City Riders
Lineup:
Suzie Quatro – Bass, vocals
Record Label: SPV / Steamhammer Records
     


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