Lita Ford is in my opinion the first lady of rock. There is a lot of rock fans out there who most likely have heard her name, but have never really listened to any of her work. Lita got started in 1975 when she was only 16 years old alongside fellow rock legend Joan Jett in a little band called The Runaways. Since then, Lita has been on and off in the rock scene as a solo artist. Lita really blew up in 1988 when she released Lita with hits like “Kiss Me Deadly” and most notable “Close My Eyes Forever” which was a duet with Ozzy Osbourne. Lita released a live album in 2000, Greatest Hits Live. Her last studio album was Living Like a Runaway in 2012. Now, after 13 years since her last live album, The Bitch is Back… LIVE! is set to release Oct 22, 2013 in the US.
The first thing to remember is that this is a live album and live albums are not always every persons forte. I however am a fan of live albums if for the one simple fact that not every person has the availability to see artists perform live, so live albums are that chance to see what the artist sounds like not just on an album or the radio. With that being said, Lita is a pure rock kind of gal, the lead track “The Bitch is Back” is really just a pure rock track and just so happens to be a remake if you will of the Elton John track by the same name. “Hungry” is a very sexy song that starts out with that thumping and rolling bassline courtesy of bassist Marty O’Brien. Lita is a truly sexual woman and that is clearly expressed in a majority of her songs, most vividly in “Hungry”. The next few songs are newer tracks from her latest studio release Living Like a Runaway, including the title track. I really dig it when songs have an off-beat rhythm like “Relentless” does, it is immediately catchy and when you’re at the show, beer (or fruity cocktail in my case) in hand and surrounded by friends and fan, you can’t help but to bob your head to the beat. “Living Like a Runaway” is a story, loosely based but no less accurate, to her life story. This track definitely slows things down and aren’t quite as quick rock beat. This is the track where the guys in the crowd would stop grooving but the girls would continue to dance and waving their hands in the air while chanting “run baby run”. One of the great guitar shredders of all time is Zakk Wylde, now if I didn’t know any better, I would think that when the guitar rips into “Devil in My Head”, that Zakk should be on stage alongside Lita just rocking the hell out of this song (psst… Lita… make this happen!)
“Back to the Cave” is that track I like to call the ‘filler up’ song because as soon as it starts, that’s when you head to the bar and fill up your drink. What this track does have that makes it stand out is a pair of great solos with at least one of them assuredly by guitarist Mitch Perry. Lita explains that “Can’t Catch Me” is the result of a 3 day booze bender with Lemmy Kilmister, and it shows! “Can’t Catch Me” is the post ‘filler up’ track that gets all the guys moving because it is as close to speed metal as Lita gets; fast, groovy and if you’re not banging your head, something is wrong with you. Little more than half way through the track, it slows WAY down and gets real deep and heavy, but thankfully picks up again to the speed it started with. “Out for Blood” is a quick tempo ‘Ramons-y’ track just like Lita says and “Dancing on the Edge” is one of her earliest tracks way back from 1984, so a bit of a blast from the past. She bounces back to a newer song with “Hate”, and this is a really great track, it’s gritty, heavy and has a solid drum track from Bobby Rock. I’m not so much a fan of the chorus, but the refrain is just fantastic. This live album closes with her two biggest songs ever recorded, “Close My Eyes Forever” and “Kiss Me Deadly”.