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Lita Ford “The Bitch Is Back – LIVE” CD Review By: Jack McKissock

Lita_Ford_Live_CD_1

 

 

Lita Ford    The Bitch is Back …Live

 

Live albums are all the rage. Rush, for example, puts out a live CD and DVD after every tour. I for one love the live stuff, which is why we feature at least two live songs every week on Power Chord. There’s just something about trying to capture that raw energy of a really good live show. If done right, you almost get the feeling of being right there in the crowd. It’s also a lot easier to record a show, bring it back to a studio tweak it, master it and voila, you’ve got a new CD for public consumption. I’m sure there’s much more to it than that, but as a consumer that’s what it seems like to me.

For the second time in her career, Lita Ford has put out a live disc. “The Bitch is Back…Live” works simply because her last studio CD was so good. “Living Like a Runaway” was like taking a look into Ford’s personal diary. The stories she tells are real and raw. This collection of songs is so honest, you almost feel you need to look away because what she’s singing about is so personal. On “Bitch” she does four of these songs. That’s one-third of the entire CD and I wish she had included more. The real standout, both on the studio and live albums, is “Relentless.” Knock her down and she’s getting right back up and in your face. It’s a great song to have blasting in your ears while you’re at the gym or coming down the home stretch of a long run.

The record begins with the title track, Ford’s take on the Elton John classic, which she takes and makes her own. There are also great versions of “Hungry,” “Can’t Catch Me,” “Dancing on the Edge,” and more. A really nice surprise is “Out for Blood,” which, as she describes, has a strong Ramones feel to it. Of course there are also the megahits “Kiss Me Deadly” and “Close My Eyes Forever.”

Everyone knows by now that Ford can play guitar and do it at an elite level. The part of her craft that I think has been overlooked over the years is her singing. When you hear her you know exactly who it is – she just doesn’t sound like anyone else. Her phrasing is just different from everyone else’s. Phil Lynott of Thin Lizzy was the master of saying things just a little bit different than you’d expect. I’ve always thought that too about Ford, in the way she writes and sings just out of the norm. And that’s a good thing.

The queen is on her throne and all of us in the kingdom are happy she is.

Jack McKissock can be heard on Power Chord every week on the iTunes-licensed station Yoo-Rock.

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