Jeff Beck? Rihanna? Goldfrapp? It can only be a Suzi Quatro reissue

The two albums that sparked Suzi Quatro's 21st-century renaissance have been repackaged as a satisfactory single set

Suzi Quatro: Back To The Spotlight cover art cover art
(Image: © Cherry Red)

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Enlisting Sweet guitarist Andy Scott as producer/ co-writer for her 2005 comeback album Back To The Drive was perfect to rebuild Suzi Quatro’s glam rock credibility. The album never quite tops its opening title track, a belter written for her by Mike Chapman, who alongside Nicky Chinn crafted many of her 1970s hits, but Scott keeps her rockin’. 

She blitzes through Neil Young’s Rockin’ In The Free World and her own Dancing In The Wind, but generally steers closer to pop. The disc adds four bonus cuts, including a demo of Free The Butterfly that tops the album version, and her superb 2014 take on the Eagles’ Desperado, featuring Jeff Beck.

For 2011’s follow-up In The Spotlight, Chapman occupied the producer’s chair, but his new material isn’t great. So the best songs are all covers of female-fronted acts: Goldfrapp’s excellent Strict Machine (here referencing Can The Can), Hot Kiss (by Juliette And The Licks), Turn Into (Yeah Yeah Yeahs) and a rockier take on Rihanna’s Breakin’ Dishes

None of them (or the bonus, an Andy Scott-produced stab at ABBA’s Does Your Mother Know) tops its original. Quatro is far more convincing singing like Elvis on his Hard Headed Woman and about him on Singing With Angels, featuring his backing singers the Jordanaires.

Neil Jeffries

Freelance contributor to Classic Rock and several of its offshoots since 2006. In the 1980s he began a 15-year spell working for Kerrang! intially as a cub reviewer and later as Geoff Barton’s deputy and then pouring precious metal into test tubes as editor of its Special Projects division. Has spent quality time with Robert Plant, Keith Richards, Ritchie Blackmore, Rory Gallagher and Gary Moore – and also spent time in a maximum security prison alongside Love/Hate. Loves Rush, Aerosmith and beer. Will work for food.