Hollywood legend Ann-Margret returns with Pete Townshend and an all-star cast

Ann-Margaret straddling a Harley Davidson
(Image credit: Cleopatra Records)

Hollywood legend Ann-Margret, who starred as Tommy's mother in Ken Russell's film adaptation of The Who's rock opera Tommy, has released a new single featuring Who guitarist Pete Townshend

The single is a cover of the Everly Brothers' 1957 classic Bye Bye Love, and comes from a new album, Born To Be Wild, which is due for release on April 14 and features guest appearances from a host of familiar names including Townshend, Aerosmith's Joe Perry, Sonny Landreth, Paul Shaffer, Pat Boone, Chip Z’Nuff, The Oak Ridge Boys, Steve Cropper, Rick Wakeman, Lee Rocker and Slim Jim Phantom from The Stray Cats,, Linda Gail Lewis and Robben Ford.

“Being offered an opportunity to work with Ann-Margret, especially on an Everly Brothers song, was just too romantic to pass," says Townshend. "Ann-Margret’s work on the Tommy movie back in 1974 (when she was most certainly not old enough to pretend to be Roger Daltrey’s mother) was a joy from beginning to end. Her sonorous voice, her Scandinavian beauty, her sense of humour, her stamina and her strength all shone through." 

Ann-Margret, whose last album was 2011's God is Love: The Gospel Sessions 2, was nominated for an Oscar for her role in Tommy.

"I am very honoured and proud to have had this opportunity to record Born To Be Wild for Brian Perera’s Cleopatra Records," adds Ann-Margret. "What fun I had, and then to find all of the great artists that lent their support for this project. Reading the quote from my dear friend Pete Townshend brought back such great memories."

The title track of the upcoming album, Born To Be Wild, was released as a 7" vinyl single last July, as was a cover of Bobby Darin's Splish Splash featuring late country star Mickey Gilley. Another single, Rockin' Around The Christmas, Tree surfaced in November 2021. The album is available to pre-order from Cleopatra now. Full tracklist below. 

Ann-Margret: Born To Be Wild tracklist

1. Rock Around The Clock feat. Joe Perry & Jim McCarty
2. Bye Bye Love feat. Pete Townshend & T.G Sheppard
3. Son Of A Preacher Man feat. Steve Cropper & Brian Auger
4. Earth Angel feat. The Oak Ridge Boys & Harvey Mandel
5. Why Do Fools Fall In Love feat. Robben Ford & Chip Z’Nuff
6. The Great Pretender feat. Paul Shaffer, Danny B. Harvey & Adam Hamilton
7. Can’t Take My Eyes Off You feat. Cliff Richard & Rick Braun
8. Born To Be Wild feat. The Fuzztones
9. Splish Splash feat. Mickey Gilley, Linda Gail Lewis & The Rockats
10. Somebody’s In My Orchard feat. Don Randi
11. Teach Me Tonight feat Pat Boone, Rick Wakeman & Damiano Della Torre
12. Volare feat. Lee Rocker & Slim Jim Phantom
13. Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree feat. Sonny Landreth

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.