Lita Ford: The Bitch is Back Live

0215tem_en_de.pdfBorn Carmelita Rosanna Ford in 1958, rock goddess and guitar legend Lita Ford showed an interest in music at a very early age. By age 11, she had picked up and started to master the guitar and at the tender age of 16, was recruited to be lead guitar player, alongside Joan Jett and Cherrie Currie for hard rock’s original all female supergroup, the Runaways.

The band was a bonafide smash and media darlings right out of the gate and remained a staple of the 70’s rock scene, until their eventual break up in 1979, to pursue solo endeavors. Ford unveiled her first solo album, Out For Blood, in 1983 to critical acclaim and, in 1984, achieved her first top 10 hit with the single “Gotta Let Go” from her Dancin’ On The Edge record.

Her 1988 album, Lita, reached gold status with the help of lead single and video “Kiss Me Deadly.” The album also spawned the monster hit “Close My Eyes Forever,” a duet with Ozzy Osbourne, which went to #8 on Billboard Hot 100 chart.

Ford took an extended break from music to start a family with her husband, Nitro vocalist Jim Gillette, before returning in 2009 with her first album of new material in over a decade, called Wicked Wonderland, which received mixed reviews from both fans and critics alike. All critics and naysayers were silenced in 2012, when Ford released her comeback album, Living Like A Runaway, which was a monumental return to form.

Coming hot on the heels of that remarkable album is her newest masterpiece, The Bitch Is Back, a live record for SPV, that captures the true essence of a Lita Ford concert in all its glory.  The songs are presented sonically in a style that is infinitely heavier than their studio counterparts.

It is those slight improvisational liberties and subtle nuances that are the real highlights of the evening’s performance.

The show begins and over the hum of the speakers, Ford’s voice breaks the silence…“Hello, the bitch is back.” With that, the band plows mercilessly into their rendition of the Elton John classic, “The Bitch Is Back,” a version that buries the original in a barrage of guitar riffs where the piano used to be with breathtaking results.

The band continues to rip relentlessly through classics like “Dancin’ On The Edge” and the Lemmy Kilminster-penned “Can’t Catch Me,” each song heavier and more devastating than the last, including an almost Ramones-like punk depiction of “Out For Blood.”

“Hate,” is a darkened and disturbing number about a teen serial killer that leads to “Close My Eyes Forever.” It is executed with an eerie acoustic elegance and has a slow build that erupts into an epic crescendo of dizzying solos and resonating power chords.

All that is left at this point is the rousing encore of “Kiss Me Deadly” and to tell the crowd they all kicked serious ass and to thank them all for coming out.

Here’s the bottom line- This is a more focused and much heavier Lita Ford than you think you remember from the 80’s. The performance is tight and the band works well as a unit, playing off one another’s energy to deliver a show of the highest caliber.

Rating: 9 out of 10.

-Eric Hunker