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'The Girl From Detroit City' Deluxe Box
Out Now

mark taylor

suzi quatro

Last Year Suzi Quatro amazingly celebrated her 50th anniversary in the rock n' roll business.

It's been an astonishing career that has seen the girl from Detroit City make the hard decision of leaving her sisters behind in the Pleasure Seekers to seek fame and fortune in Europe. That decision saw her become a household name all across Europe and Down Under with smash hits in the early seventies and finally getting recognition back on home soil when her acting career took off playing 'herself' as Leather Tuscadero in Happy Days with Henry Winkler as the Fonz.

Cherry Red have done a fantastic job on this lavish career spanning deluxe box set with 82 tracks spread over four discs. The package itself is housed in a hard book style complete with a 54 page booklet.

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Renowned music journalist Michael Heatley has written an exhaustive and highly informative essay on the works of Suzi and each track has memorial notes behind it's history by Suzi herself.

Made to the size of a standard DVD case but three times as thick, this package can be easily stored away, although Suzi fans will be reaching for the shelf time and again to play this all-embracing beauty.

Suzi Quatro was the first real lady in rock who not only had the voice but was also out front with the bass heavily slung over her body which was wrapped up in those unforgettable tight leather cat suits, a look and sound that would later totally inspire Joan Jett and countless others.

The first three discs are set in chronological order from Suzi's early recordings with the Pleasure Seekers and Cradle before Mickie Most spotted her and took to England to became not the next Janis Joplin as some had promised, but to be the next Suzi Quatro.

Her first Number One is included, which was actually a subtle track called 'Rolling Stone', a smash in Portugal of all places but nowhere else.

Suzi came to the attention of UK fans through support tours with Slade, Thin Lizzy and Cozy Powell's Hammer where she really learned her hard rocking credentials and although she was thrown in with the glam rock era, especially as a lot of her hits were written by the song writing hit factory team of Mike Chapman and Nicky Chinn, Suzi was a rocker at heart brought up on a diet of Elvis Presley.

'Can The Can' proved to be the song that put Suzi on the global map and this was followed by a string of hits that would make her a regular on the TV screens throughout the seventies. Although most of the hits were written by Chapman/Chinn Suzi, her then husband and guitarist Len Tuckey was still a composite writer himself as shown on the raucous 'Glycerine Queen'.

All the A & B-sides are here from the singles we know and love. Towards the end of the seventies Suzi had a more country flavour without forgetting her rocking roots. Her first US smash was a duet with Smokie's Chris Nelson on the hearty and sublime 'Stumblin' In' which reached Number 4.

As the eighties approached and after a brief image change Suzi Quatro was back in leather and meaning business competing with the post punk sounds of Blondie and although not seriously denting the charts as before, our Suzi still knew how to 'Rock Hard'.

Three years later Suzi Quatro would have a high billing at the Reading Festival sharing the stage on the same day as headliners Black Sabbath as well as Marillion, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Magnum and even Anvil.

Disc 3 is made of her later day material which also includes a piano version of 'If You Can't Give Me Love'. Incidentally the first instrument that Suzi learnt to play was the ivories and then the bongoes before she picked up the four sting. There's also a brand new track, 'The Girl From Detroit City', where the lyrics portray her life in under four minutes.

Disc 4 features a whole host of intriguing forgotten odds and sods.

One thing that Suzi dosn't get enough recognition for is her unique way of covering another artist's tune. Whilst she dosn't sway away too far from the original, Suzi's golden voice and deep passion for the song makes it very much her own. Just check out 'Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood' or even 'Desperado' which even features a solo from none other than Jeff Beck.

There's even a joyous ride here through Abba's 'Does Your Mother Know' recorded with Sweet's Andy Scott last year.

This is a comprehensive package with over four hours worth of music. Go on and treat yourself to a night in with Suzi.

Mark Taylor interviewed Suzi Quatro for Record Collector in the rock hang out of the Crobar late last year to speak about 'The Girl From Detroit City' and you can watch that interview right here.

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