'The Bitch Is Back... Live'
Release date: 28th October 2013
Gary 'Rockulus' Clarke
Grab your leathers and denim 'cos we're heading to the climates of Agoura Hills in Los Angeles County, California!
The crowd sound like they're ready to party, even if their numbers don't sound convincingly great in mass. The set-list glows with a satisfactory radiance due to highlights like 'Kiss Me Deadly', 'Out For Blood' and the title track from her latest studio album 'Living Like A Runaway'.
This live recording provides Ford with the opportunity to push the point home that she's back in the zone after motherhood, and the disintegration of her marriage to Jim Gillette, former lead vocalist of a band called Nitro. Lita removed herself from the limelight and glare of the music business after releasing the 1995 album 'Black' to focus on family-related aspects you see, only to return with a comeback studio album called 'Wicked Wonderland' in 2009.
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As it happens with a sound that resembled Nu-Metal; it left her fan-base somewhat disgruntled and confused. Lita acknowledged back in June when I spoke to her: "Thank God for my fans, they heard it and they said this is not a Lita record and I thought awesome! They are so on the money, they are so right on with this because it really was not a Lita record."
Earlier in our conversation, Lita had shared her recollections from her perspective regarding Gillette wanting to produce and write all the songs, manage and even become the record label at that time.
After teaming up with Gary Hoey and Michael Dan Ehmig, Lita found herself with a creative flow and a zest for some new music that had all the stalwarts of who she was as an artist. With additional contributions from her friends like Nikki Sixx and the current six-string wonder for Whitesnake, Doug Aldrich, the follow-up to 'Wicked Wonderland' placed Lita back in the running. In 2012 fans and onlookers witnessed the results of this collaboration which was titled 'Living Like A Runaway'.
'The Bitch is Back... Live' therefore comes hot on the heels of that latest studio release and showcases four songs from 'Living Like A Runaway' (title track, 'Hate', 'Devil In My Head' and 'Relentless') whilst also celebrating the successful 1988 album 'Lita' by incorporating four songs from that album ('Kiss Me Deadly', 'Close My Eyes Forever', 'Back To The Cave' and 'Can't Catch Me').
The title tracks of her first two solo albums are also included ('Out For Blood' and 'Dancing On The Edge') along with a cover version of the Elton John nugget, 'The Bitch Is Back'. To fill the quota of 12 tracks which make up this live album, Lita also rocks out with 'Hungry' which can be found on her 1990 'Stiletto' album.
When you've lived a life of rock n'roll like this English-born Queen of Rock, one thing you're sure to have is a devoted fan-base along with quite an interesting back catalogue. As a consequence I imagine it was tough choosing the set list, especially when you consider that she had quite a career with The Runaways. Instead, the set list is celebrating Lita's solo output, and it's not a bad listening experience.
Live albums can be quite demanding or divide opinion with fans, but you'll find 'The Bitch is Back... Live' to be a safe package. The instrumentation and vocals are clear and easy to digest, with the content being the better known solo work. Some fans may be disappointed there's nothing taken from her 1991 album 'Dangerous Curves', but can savour the moment with the knowledge that what she has delivered here is presented with vigour.
Lita informed me that she's currently working on her autobiography and it would take as long as it needed to get it right, but at that point back in June things were progressing nicely. I asked her about the title of this forthcoming insight in to her world and she replied at the time that it might be called 'Living Like A Runaway', but I guess we'll have to wait and see.
'The Bitch Is Back... Live' could be seen as a guilty pleasure for fans and general admirers. With highlights that include 'Devil In My Head', 'Out For Blood' and her introduction to 'Can't Catch Me' which briefly summarises a night of indulgence with Lemmy of Motörhead, you know where Lita is at these days.
'Close My Eyes Forever' is the penultimate song leaving 'Kiss Me Deadly' to close the set which neatly tie the bow on this wrapping.
Personally, I'm looking forward to reading her exploits and hearing the next album which will hopefully see Ford building on 'Living Like A Runaway'. For a reminder of what she can offer in the meantime, you could do a lot worse than give this a spin, but it's not an essential purchase unless you're a real fan.
There's always room for a little nostalgia or maybe you prefer going back to the cave?
Lita Ford – vocals, guitar
Mitch Perry – guitar
Bobby Rock – drums
Marty O'Brien – bass
1. The Bitch Is Back
4. Living Like A Runaway
5. Devil In My Head
6. Back To The Cave
7. Can't Catch Me
8. Out For Blood
9. Dancing On The Edge
11. Close My Eyes Forever
12. Kiss Me Deadly