Saturday, 21 June 2014

7 Inch Singles Collection; Suzi Quatro - Tear Me Apart

The ever-lovely leather-clad...


A-side: Tear Me Apart
B-Side: Same As I So
(RAK 1976)

We all love Suzi Quatro, don't we? The correct answer to that is of course "Yes, we do". Even if you're not that taken by her music she always seems fun, open, and welcoming individual. Her records do that too. You know how some records (TV programs, films and other creative endeavours too) you can tell that the people making them had fun doing so, don't it doesn't include the audience in it - and so it's like going to a party at which you are only allowed to watch and not participate. Suzi Quatro's records are the exact opposite - she has a cheeky grin, and a twinkle in her eye that says, "Come on in and join the fun".

Tear Me Apart certainly has that infectious fun element to it. It's a rocking head-down boogie that drives the beat along at a pace, you don't realise 'til it's over that your tapping you feet, and nodding your head along with it as it sweeps you in the moment. There's a smile and warmth to her voice which, in too many other female singers would be replaced by a harsher rasp. It's exactly what you expect from a Suzi Quatro single, however I was struck by something as I was listening - "you've got to tear me apart, if you want to win my heart" - what!? Surely that's not saying that some for of abuse (physical or emotional) is the best way to win over the narrator. It's certainly not the intention - the verses make it clear that it's about a strong, independent-minded woman, who doesn't fit traditional feminist stereotypes, but the chorus is slightly dodgy. I'm positive Suzi would never have sung it if it did have that interpretation, but my over-thinking of the lyrics has made me feel slightly uncomfortable with a song that I actual really rather liked - stupid brain!

Most of the Suzi Quatro a-sides at this time written by hitmakers Chinn & Chapman, they knew exactly what would get into the charts. The b-sides however were written by Quatro herself in partnership with Len Tuckey (her husband and guitarist). Often, like Same As I Do, these show a different side to Suzi Quatro. This song is much slower with hints of calypso in the melody. It doesn't have the driving bass sound that we associate with her. It's a very mellow gently swaying slow bop. Definitely more complex and musically accomplished than Tear Me Apart - but with less hooks certainly not hit material.

So there a record that I previously thought was fine, that I just may have ruined for myself. Sometimes I'm idiot. 

Next time some more later 80's guitar pop...

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