Suzi Quatro: In The Spotlight

Lock up your fathers.

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Many a dad heaved a sigh of relief in the early 70s when posters of a leather-clad Suzi Quatro irrevocably broke the Ziggy/Bolan monopoly on their pubescent sons’ bedroom walls.

With proto-punk Chinn & Chapman hits like 48 Crash and Devil Gate Drive the US-born Anglophile demonstrated that, hey, women rock too! Now, excitingly for glam-pop fans, she’s reunited with Mike Chapman – who’s since of course produced such cult obscurities as Blondie’s Parallel Lines – for an album that’s fiercely fun.

Blazing in with those distinctive broad strokes that are Chapman’s happy default mode, A Girl Like Me even throws in a drumbeat breakdown on its chorus, a grin-inducing sign that the aim here is to recapture the sound of those TOTP days. If Whatever Love Is reveals Quatro’s worrying tendency towards countrified melodies, that’s balanced by grungy chords and a vocal raspier than Courtney Love.

Even the covers offer ideas: Goldfrapp’s Strict Machine good-naturedly plays up its similarities to Can The Can, while Rihanna’s Breakin’ Dishes is punkishly dispatched.

The inclusion of Elvis’s Hard Headed Woman suggests Suzi didn’t want to grow young without a fight, but overall this is as close to a ‘true return to form’ as is credible.

Chris Roberts has written about music, films, and art for innumerable outlets. His new book The Velvet Underground is out April 4. He has also published books on Lou Reed, Elton John, the Gothic arts, Talk Talk, Kate Moss, Scarlett Johansson, Abba, Tom Jones and others. Among his interviewees over the years have been David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Patti Smith, Debbie Harry, Bryan Ferry, Al Green, Tom Waits & Lou Reed. Born in North Wales, he lives in London.