Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Suzi Quatro

  • Suzi Quatro [Bell, 1974] B
  • Quatro [Bell, 1974] B-
  • Your Mama Won't Like Me [Arista, 1975] B-
  • If You Knew Suzi [RSO, 1979] C+

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Suzi Quatro [Bell, 1974]
This woman sings "I Wanna Be Your Man" and "All Shook Up" without gender changes, although she does rewrite a line of the latter so that she's "queer as a bug." But nothing in her own songwriting equals the one-riff rock of the two Chapman-Chinn singles, especially "48 Crash," and the last time I got off on someone dressed entirely in leather was before John Kay started repeating himself. B

Quatro [Bell, 1974]
Dumb, yes. Samey, still. Leiber-Stoller's "Trouble" sounds silly--even in that chrome sweat suit, Suzi can't convince me she's evil. And I wish her physical equipment--her medium-sized voice, her static bass playing, and her workmanlike band--were up to her concept and the likable, mostly Chapmann-Chinn material. But I do believe she's tough and independent, and I'd rather hear Quatro shouting out "Keep a Knockin'" than a whole album of Maria Muldaur stylizations. B-

Your Mama Won't Like Me [Arista, 1975]
The songs are a shade weaker, but the real problem--and I'm sure Clive Davis had nothing to do with it--is classier arrangements that give her more room to sing. Suzi just doesn't have the stuff to make like an interpreter, whether torching up "Fever" or doing a Janis on "Strip Me." She lives and dies as a straight-ahead rocker. B-

If You Knew Suzi [RSO, 1979]
Just because she's with Robert Stigwood doesn't mean she's trying to sound like Andy Gibb. But she doesn't put out Blondie's snazz just because Mike Chapman is still producing, either. Yvonne Elliman's, maybe. C+