QSP cover
Ambition / Sony Music Australia
This is a bit of an odd colab between a trio of big 70s glamrockers that are incidentally still alive at this day and age… namely Suzi Quatro (bass vox), Andy Scott from Sweet (Guitar, Vox) and Don Powell (drums) from Slade...
Part golden oldies of a bygone era when rock n roll reigned supreme, getting a dust off with some original material thrown in for good measure, the album ain’t a bad compilation of material, with everyone involved still able to rock, despite their visible signs of aging. Maybe the vox are a little less spontaneous than in their heyday, but still Quattro + Scott manage to save face with their combined experience allowing them to trade in range for feel and great feel.
“Slow Down” is the old Larry Williams classic RnR number, covered by a gazillion of people since it’s late 50s debut, done pretty nicely by Ms Quatro.
“Long Way from Home” is attributed to Q+S and despite using a pretty patented guitar lick, it works great.
Loudermilk’s “Tobacco Road” that has been popularized and covered by countless musicians since its inception including Eric Burdon, David Lee Roth and many others, gets also a dynamic arrangement, with Scott doing some backing semi-spoken vocals, while Quattro makes easy work of the lead…
“If Only” is a nice collaborative effort between Dick Wagner (who co-wrote some of the better Alice Cooper hits + Quatro) a semi RnR ballad, with a strong beat, that works well, feeling like something Cher, could have done in the 70s with a bit of extra oomph.
Jimmy Reed’s “Bright Lights Big City” is a classic 12 bar blues standard, from the early 60s that also gets somewhat modernized, by the 70s icons that cover it here, w/o marring the originals style too much.
“Pain” is an original offered in an orchestral/piano version here (a ballad) and reprised at the end of the album as a band version, which just feels quite different. A stirring song that might have worked a bit better if it had the band coming on in, towards the end for a big finale, which at least in the orchestral edition never happens, opting for a soft outro… maybe I’m asking for a bit too much from these rock n roll heroes… I dunno, but I’m sure it could easily turn into an awesome power ballad, easily.
“Just Like a Woman” is an old 60 Dylan tune that Quatro really makes light work of… and if memory serves right, it’s not the first take she’s covering, since some of those tracks had multiple takes and no “standardized” versions. Nicely done.
“Mend a Broken Heart” is a great number solely written by Scott, who assumes lead here, nicely too, with Quatro only doing some backing in this nice sax ladden bluesy number, which drips with melancholy and regret.
The Everly Brothers “The Price of Love” is getting a fitting joined cover here, given also a more 70s character than the original that doesn’t feel “wrong”.
“Broken Pieces Suite” starts as a pretty broken ballad, with even some children’s choir introducing it, to get into soft rock territory after the second minute… reprise the children’s choir shortly, go almost hard rock and come full circle… a daring idea that isn’t perfectly executed, but shows great ambition that unfortunately isn’t fully fulfilled.
Dr John’s “I Walk on Gilded Splinters” is a take on the psych-rock track, with Scott pulling things off rather well, with a rather salacious take on the vocal department… nothing up the sleeve of the original, but a nice eclectic selection, nonetheless.
“Late Nights, Early Flights” is another original almost too true, when it comes to the life of a traveling musician and it feels quite “infectious”… despite being more measured than a balls out rocker.
“Little Sister” is a song by Pomus/Schuman that was first performed by “The King” Elvis, as did a number of the duo’s songs that Quatro does in a somewhat grittier way than the original, which ain’t bad, all things considered…
Given the great number of covers, it’s a bit of a “songbook” + a few “nice” originals sort of release, that ain’t such a bad idea, given the long history that the participants have, but will hardly rekindle their career’s at this point. Billed as a support to Suzi Quatro’s Australian tour, this is likely to be a one off, or just a project that was good fun, but nothing more… I hope I’m proven wrong but who knows…