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If You Knew Suzi / Suzi Quatro
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If You Knew Suzi... (2017 Remaster)
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Digitally re-mastered and expanded edition of the Glam Rock priestess' fifth studio album, originally released in 1978. Includes the international hit singles 'The Race Is On' (UK #43, Germany #15, Australia #20) and 'If You Can't Give Me Love' (UK #4, Germany #5, Australia #6 and America #45). Also features the German #35 hit 'Don't Change My Luck'. Three bonus tracks have been added including the previously non album "Cream Dream" and an ultra-rare version of Bruce Springsteen's 'Born to Run'. Also includes as a bonus an alternative version of 'Wiser Than You', previously only available on the Belgian issue of the 'Don't Change My Luck' 45. Booklet includes original LP artwork, lyrics, liner notes plus pictures of all relevant single sleeves. 7Ts.
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For her fourth album, Suzi Quatro underwent an almost complete image make-over, presumably to court the hitherto unresponsive US market. `If You Knew Suzi...' sees the leather-clad hard rocker of old fall to the background as a vulnerable country pop balladeer with serious intent emerges in her place. It is an "almost" makeover because she still has a stab at a few rock tracks, though they are mostly on the pedestrian side.
The first single and biggest hit, `If You Can't Give Me Love', is slick, accomplished and catchy. Along with the opener, `Don't Change My Luck', and `The Race is On', they account for the by now ubiquitous Mike Chapman/ Nicky Chinn compositions (and the singles). They also account for producer, Mike Chapman's approach to the sound, which works well for the new softer approach, but mostly sees attempts to rock hard wind up as a bit flat and unconvincing.
Quatro and husband, Len Tuckey, are once again limited to too few compositions, even though they include two of the best songs in the set. The artful, socially-conscious `Suicide' slowly and dramatically assesses the drudgery of daily life in the societal machine, while the album closes with the achingly tender, `Wiser Than You', a vulnerable reflection on the pain of a first love. `Non Citizen', on the other hand, is a lyrically strong, but otherwise uninteresting mid-tempo rocker.
Like `Quatro' and `Aggro-Phobia' before it, there are again too many covers. While her version of Tom Petty's `Breakdown' is beautifully performed and produced, the version of The Kinks' `Tired of Waiting' is on the dull side. The other two are hard rockers. Though Suzi commits to former Easybeats frontman Stevie Wright's `Evie Part 1', it does not work. There is something incongruous and silly about a woman singing such obviously masculine courtship lyrics, especially given that she is so clearly not doing so from the standpoint of any sexual ambiguity. Finally, the pointlessness of covering Rick Derringer's `Rock and Roll Hoochie Coo' suffers from a similar problem, but amps the dull quotient.
The Cherry Red remaster is sharp and clear, doing justice to the musicianship, vocals and production. It also sports - finally on CD - the original b-side of 'If You Can't Give Me Love', Cream Dream'. This Quatro/Tuckey composition is a much harder edged track than anything on the original album and was apparently part of the original Mike Chapman sessions for 'Aggro-Phobia' before Mickie Most took over the reigns. This remaster also includes a very good and acclaimed version of 'Born To Run' and a recording of 'Wiser Than You' with a slightly different arrangement.
The original album is certainly not essential, but it contains a few first rate songs worth owning. But this remastered package makes for an excellent addition for the Quatro collector.
Finally, we have this classic on CD.
The only thing missing is the hit duet with Chris Norman from Smokie, "Stumblin' In," but that's available on other collections, so it's still nice to have this available.
Suzi looks ever so cute on the cover, and the "Happy Days" star starts it all with a mid-tempo rocker, "Don't Change My Luck." We're off to a very good start.
"Tired of Waiting" is a cover of the Kinks song "Tired of Waiting for You" with a shorter title.
"Suicide" is a slower number that explores the darker side of pondering life. ("Mass production, bought site unseen/Sue society/And it's suicide on 72nd street". Teen alienation was a great theme for Miss Quatro to tackle, whether on her pop records or as Leather Tuscadero, forever with us on Nick at Nite and TV Land!)
"Evie" is substituted for "Stumblin' In," which is alright by me.
"The Race is on" is a Quatro/Tuckey tune that pleases. (Suzi's hubby is guitarist Len Tuckey).
"If You Can't Give me Love" is a song that is fun to quote: "If you can't give me love, honey that's not enough, let me go look for somebody else, and if you can't give me feelings with old-fashioned meanings then just stay in love with yourself."
"Breakdown" is a way-way cool version of the Tom Petty classic. If that sounds the very least bit intriguing, submit your credit card number for this now. You won't be disappointed.
"Non-Citizen"... hey, it's just a Quatro raver. I'm not going to wax eloquent or even try to about good aggressive rock and roll from a woman in fine form.
"Rock n Roll Hoochie Koo" is another cover. Of course it's the Rick Derringer classic, and this is just a cool album. Suzi makes the covers her own. She plays fantastic guitar, and she "owns" these songs, even though you know darn well she doesn't own them!
"Wiser Than You." Just another cool slice of Suzi.
You need to hear this. If you haven't heard it in a long time, you need to hear it again.
You know it's true!
Perhaps she wanted to be all gritty and gutsy but ends up sounding like your moody younger sister - not really a rebel,just a bit edgy this morning.
"Tired of waiting" was actually a cover of an old 1960s single and what stands out the most is sweet,radio-friendly "Stumblin' in" (duet with Chris Norman) that shows her biggest appeal lies outside of imagined rock rebel cloud.
To put is simply,Quatro was not rebellious and dangerous at all,but surely looked cute while trying to look the part.
Am I the only one who thought it was Suzi Quatro and not Patty Smith on "Because of the night"? OK,I was a kid back than but honestly I still think their voices sounds very similar on that recording.
The album had 3 singles released from it Don't change my luck, If you can't give me love and The race is on. All singles have a great sound. Also Stumblin in (duet with Chris Norman was released for the U S market, Suzi's biggest hit to date in the USA.
This cd comes in a well presented box, and is a worth while listen the album tracks such as breakdown and wiser than you are single material.
Not digitally remastered unfortunately but still a worth while buy.