In the '70s, rock was in the business of growing into young adulthood. Experimentation with the phenomenon of rock and roll was rampant, touching every known genre of music outside of its own, and creating musical fusions of all kinds. Jazz and rock. Blues and rock. Classical and rock. As every merge occurred, little was left to the creative imagination. One of those was a blend into the very powerful pop style, a style that has been in vogue since music began. The popular song. The one everyone sang.
Suzi Quatro, a very popular American singer who oozed sex, an increasingly popular ingredient in the recipe of a hitmaker, was riding the British charts in whoopin' and hollerin' ways back then. Poured into titillating leather and other tight and sparkly outfits, the young singer found success with a hit, "Can the Can," which did very well in the UK and Australia. Not so much in the US where the song teased listeners on radio but never rose into the venerable Top 40. But because the song skirted the US Top 40, she did garner plenty of fans, likely young males in love with the leather-clad cutie who sang rock and roll with a bite.
Suzi Quatro released a small string of
other hits for audiences outside the US, which kept her making albums
if only for fans outside of her native country. Selected by chance
for a small, recurring role in the popular US series Happy Days, Quatro achieved popularity away from the real goal of rock and roll.
Eventually, a duet recorded with Chris Norman of Smokie, a popular English rock band with a small US following, provided Quatro with a high-charting pop song, “Stumblin' In,” and gave her the US audience that she had been looking for. Unfortunately, the kind of music that Quatro specialized in was falling out of vogue with world audiences. Even more unfortunate was the inability to follow up the success of “Stumblin' In” with more equally successful songs that might have transitioned her into a pop singer of note.
Cherry Red, a label of note in the UK, will give Suzi Quatro another chance at rock fame again with the upcoming release of her new album, In The Spotlight, slating the set for UK release on August 29. A quick glance at the album cover will show you that Suzi Quatro retains a youthful look, fitting well into whatever clothes she wears. I haven't heard anything from this new album, but having been a fan back in the '70s, I'm hoping that she has opted to give us a completely new Suzi, with a sound that could give her a foothold in today's vast array of styles.