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'Time Capsule'
Release Date: Friday 20th May 2016

Johnny Main

johnny main

lita ford

Lita Ford was born Lita Rossana Ford on 19th September 1958, and is best known for her role within the ground breaking American Rock band The Runaways in the late Seventies before she embarked on a solo career in the Eighties.

Ford was actually born in London to a British father and an Italian mother before the family emigrated to Los Angeles, California. At the age of eleven, Ford was inspired to play guitar after seeing Deep Purple's Ritchie Blackmore. In 1975, she was recruited by US record producer, singer and musician Kim Fowley to join an all-female rock band he was assembling. The band was named The Runaways and in 1976 they managed to secure a recording contract with Mercury Records on which they released their self-titled debut album.

The band would go onto release another three studio albums via Mercury ('Queens of Noise' and 'Waitin' for the Night' both came out in 1977 with 'And Now... The Runaways' surfacing in 1978). There's no doubt that Ford's lead-guitar playing became an integral element of the band's sound, however, internal conflict within the band, which came to a head in 1979 when vocalist/guitarist Joan Jett wanted the band to shift to a more Ramones-influenced punk rock sound, while Ford and drummer Sandy West wanted to continue playing the hard rock-oriented songs the band had become known for, led to the eventual break up of the band.

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As 1980 dawned, Ford found herself without a band so set about launching herself as a solo artist. The first fruits of her new career trajectory came in 1983 when she released her debut solo album, 'Out for Blood', which was a commercial disappointment. Her second release, 'Dancin' on the Edge' came out in 1984 and was more successful than her debut effort. The single 'Fire in My Heart', reached the Top 10 in several countries outside the United States with the follow-up single, 'Gotta Let Go' reaching number one on the Mainstream Rock charts.

In the late Eighties, Ford signed a deal with RCA Records, and also signed up with Sharon Osbourne's management company before releasing the 'Lita' album in 1988 which had a more radio-friendly pop-metal sound and became her most commercially successful album. The album featured several singles including 'Kiss Me Deadly', 'Falling In and Out of Love' (a track co-written by Nikki Sixx of Mötley Crüe) and the ballad 'Close My Eyes Forever' which was a duet with Ozzy Osbourne. The 'Stiletto' album was released two years later, but failed to reach the heights that 'Lita' had and 1991's 'Dangerous Curves' repeated the feat before she parted ways with RCA Records.

By the mid-Nineties, Ford had abandoned her musical aspirations to bring up her young sons (fathered by former Nitro vocalist Jim Gillette) and it wasn't until 2008/2009 when she sporadically returned to the live scene. Ford would also return to recording in 2009 when she released her 'Wicked Wonderland' album in 2009, which wasn't a hugely successful album. Ford split from Gillette in 2011 and kept a low profile until 2012 when she signed a deal with SPV/Steamhammer on which she released 'Living Like a Runaway' which took a back to basics approach keeping it simple with vocals, guitar, bass, and drums. The title was also acknowledgement that as Ford had recently settled differences with her former Runaways' band mates.

lita ford

With her return to form, Ford has been energised over the last couple of years and her "spark" has returned, so building on the foundations laid by the 'Living Like a Runaway' album comes her ninth studio album, 'Time Capsule'. On the face of it, it's a ten track opus that deals with her past, looks to the future and shows us exactly where she is in her life now, and with the help of friends like Billy Sheehan, Dave Navarro, Jeff Scott Soto, Rick Nielsen as well as Gene Simmons, Ford's produced a highly polished piece of work.

After the initial intro that harks back to Ford's younger days, you'd expect the first proper track to blast out and get the album off to a rip-roaring start but the reality is a bit different. With 'Where Will I Find My Heart Tonight' there's a much simpler guitar riff that sets up a mid- paced number rather than a full on rocker of a track. The two vocalists (Ford and Jeff Scott Soto) which give the sing a bit of extra power and then, of course, there's the neat guitar riff which underpins the whole song.

As the drummer Rodger Carter counts in 'Killing Kind' he's joined by a mandolin (courtesy of Jane's Addiction guitarist Dave Navarro) during the intro before Ford takes centre stage with a soulful vocal in a jolly sounding number, which belies the rather downbeat lyrical content about a failed relationship. It's nice to treat the subject matter in a more upbeat way than the usual turgid ballads about loss and separation, oh, and there's a killer guitar solo in there too, even if it's hidden right in the back of the mix!

lita ford

Talking of ballads, the album has to have one and it's pretty early on here. 'War Of The Angels' starts off with an acoustic guitar and voice combination as it takes it time to get where it's going. It's a great vocal performance from Ford with that taking the lead as the guitar takes a backseat in the mix once again. Carter keeps the rhythm tight and simple but it's the exceptional vocals that make this track so memorable. If they're looking for a single from the album then this must be a contender as it ticks all the boxes really – it's a slow, power ballad with soulful vocals and show stopping guitar solo – great stuff!

'Rotten To The Core' features KISS main man Gene Simmons on bass guitar as well as ex-KISS guitarist Bruce Kulick and has a real eighties feel to it, right the chunky guitar riff to the thundering bass lines. It's a great mid-paced number with the guitar riff driving the song onwards to its glorious chorus. The lyrics may be tinged with a bit of venom but the lethargic nature of the sing is clear from Ford's crisp delivery. The guitar solo too is everything you want it to be - great stuff from start to finish and a real favourite of mine.

'King Of The Wild Wind' is a track that starts off slowly and is subtle enough to make you think it's another ballad but the song really kicks into gear at the three and a half minute mark with the introduction of the faster section. It's a great song of two halves with simple drums and guitar in the first half with Ford giving a passionate performance whilst the second half is another showcase guitar solo before the pace quickens and Ford ups her game dramatically in the vocal stakes.

In comparison, 'Little Wing' is a slow, almost blusey instrumental with a simple drum beat from Carter which holds the whole thing together. If there was any doubt about Ford's guitar ability, by the way, then this should prove that her talent isn't diminished by her years ink the wilderness.

This is an album that shows that Ford's return to former glories continues. This isn't her best work ever, however, but it's a definite improvement on what's gone before, so let's hope that she continues on her upward trajectory and attains the heights she did in the late Eighties.

You can see Lita Ford live here:
Friday 1st April – Reading Eagle Theatre, Reading *
Saturday 2nd April – Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom, Hampton Beach *
Sunday 3rd April – Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom, Hampton Beach *
Tuesday 5th April – Big Sandy Superpstore Arena, Huntington *
Wednesday 6th April – Singletary Center, Lexington *
Thursday 7th Aril – The Ritz, Raleigh *
Saturday 9th April – Hard Rock Live, Biloxi *
Monday 11th April – Gillioz Theatre, Springfield *
Tuesday 12th April – Club Brady, Tulsa *
Wednesday 13th April – Cotillion Ballroom, Wichita *
Friday 15th April – Fargo Civic Center, Fargo *
Saturday 16th April – Hard Rock Live, Sioux City *
Sunday 17th April – Diamond Jo Casino/Mississippi Moon Bar, Dubuque
Tuesday 18th April – Mark C. Smith Concert Hall, Huntsville *
Wednesday 20th April – Spartan Memorial Auditorium, Spartanburg *
Thursday 21st April – Freedom Hall Civic Center, Johnson City *
Saturday 23rd April – State Theater, St. Petersburg
Sunday 24th April – 98 RockFest, Exchange Park Fairgrounds, Ladson
Monday 25th April – Norva Theatre, Norfolk *
Wednesday 27th April – Webster Hall, New York *
Friday 29th April – Taft Theatre, Cincinnati *
Saturday 30th April – Egyptian Room, Indianapolis *
Friday 10th June – Sweden Rock Festival, Sölvesborg
Sunday 14th August – Alcatraz Festival, Kortrijk

* - with Halestorm

'Time Capsule' Track Listing:
Where Will I Find My Heart Tonight
Killing Kind
War Of The Angels
Black Leather Heart
Rotten To The Core
Little Wing
On The Fast Track
King Of The Wild Wind
Mr. Corruption
Anything For The Thrill

'Time Capsule' features:
Lita Ford – Vocals/Guitar
Billy Sheehan – Bass Guitar
Rodger Carter – Drums
Gene Simmons – Bass Guitar
Bruce Kulick – Guitars
Jeff Scott Soto – Vocals
Rick Nielsen – Backing Vocals
Robin Zander – Backing Vocals

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