"Living Like a Runaway" (Steamhammer; 2012)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

"Living Like a Runaway" is a step in the right direction for Lita Ford as far as Iím concerned ... and thatís backwards. On this CD, she returns her classic sound with her sultry voice and simpler song-writing and heavier guitar work.

Her previous album, "Wicked Wonderland," was more of a collaboration with her man at the time. It was drenched with sex and sensuality, but it was a very different kind of album, with all kinds of experimental sounds and complex songwriting. It didn't really sound like the Lita Ford I know and love. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed it, but I missed the Lita Ford of "Out for Blood," "Dancin' on the Edge" and yes, dammit! Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Cherry Bomb!

"Living Like a Runaway" has some great tracks on it, from the usual gritty rockers to a couple of really nice tracks, poignant actually, that are doused with emotion and maturity, like "Mother," in which Lita talks about how great it is to be a mom.

I don't know how successful "Living Like a Runaway" will be when compared to "Wicked Wonderland," which, I understand, was quite successful. But this is the Lita Ford I want to hear, and I hope it's the same Lita Ford that most other people want as well ... because I'm ready for more!

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"Wicked Wonderland" (JLRG; 2009)

Reviewed by Snidermann

The legendary Lita Ford is back with a new sound and a new attitude. Her new release is called "Wicked Wonderland." When you first listen to the tracks you can literally feel the sensuality of the music and her strong musical content combine to make a truly memorable musical experience.

Her new attitude reminds me a bit of Kid Rock and she has a male backup singer with a John Mayer/Stevie Ray Vaughn sound that makes it that much better. Many years ago, Rough Edge Editor R. Scott Bolton and I saw Lita in Ventura and she looked great then. I saw her on a talk show a few days ago and she looks even better now.

Each song is sung from the heart (and from any other body part she might think of) and she does show her sexuality strongly throughout this release ... and that is not a bad thing as far as I am concerned. This just may make my top 10 for this year.

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"Out for Blood / Dancin' on the Edge" (BGO; 1983 / 1984 / 2000)

Reviewed by Metal Mark

The kind people at BGO (Beat goes on) records recently re-mastered Lita Fordís first two releases and stuck them on one disc. I used to have both titles on cassette back in the 1980s, but have not heard either since the early 90s. 

Ultimately, it seems that Lita's debut is not quite as good as I remembered it while the sophomore effort is perhaps even better than I recalled. "Out For Blood" sounds a little like Fordís previous band, The Runaways, at times. So it was even slightly dated for 1983 and itís more rock with hard rock undertones than heavy metal. Itís decent, but a little clunky at times as the band seems to be struggling to establish a style and the slightly fuzzy production also makes it sound a little amateurish. Still, itís lively and energetic for the most part. 

"Danciní on the Edge" (originally released in 1984) is the real prize here though. Itís obvious that someone with some say wanted Lita to go in a more hard rock direction and she does so with some proficiency. The production values are much stronger than the debut with a more professional sound. Also, Litaís vocals are way more focused and powerful here. I think she also manages to somewhat establish her own guitar style as well. Unfortunately she didnít really follow up on this guitar style on her later albums. 

As far as the level of heaviness I would say the overall sound might be comparable to what Ratt or KISS were doing at the same time. The one thing that maybe really makes this album is that the band manages to keep the songs interesting by having new riffs interjected down the stretch. This is done on several songs and it keeps the music from being too repetitious which is a trap that too many hard rock artists fell into. 

This re-mastered version sounds fine overall. There are no bonus tracks, but there is a thick booklet with some history about what Lita Ford did between the end of the Runaways and when she finally recorded these two albums. 

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"Greatest Hits Live" (Dead Line; 2000)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

It's been too long since we last heard from Lita Ford. And this live CD, which features many of her biggest hits, is a nice, temporary, fix - but only that. We need new music, Lita!

"Greatest Hits Live" contains live versions of many of Lita's most popular tunes, including "Black Widow," "Can't Catch Me," "Shot Of Poison" and "Kiss Me Deadly" as well as a ripping cover of the Sammy Hagar/Montrose-penned "Rock Candy." The live versions are pretty cool, it a little too sterile. If it wasn't for Lita's in-between song banter, one would almost wonder if these tunes weren't just studio versions sweetened with a little audience noise and ambience. Still, Lita rocks hard and these tracks prove it.

Also featured is a new live studio tune entitled, "Nobody's Child." Not one of Lita's very best, "Nobody's Child" is still a very cool song, the promise of what we could look forward to if she got back in the studio and recorded an entirely new CD.

Lita Ford supplied us with some of the most enjoyable live performances of the 90s. This recording is a satisfactory record of those recordings (the liner notes state only that the CD was recorded at "one of Lita's favorite watering holes in Southern California). Regardless, "Greatest Hits Live" is a must-have for Lita Ford fans and for those who haven't heard much from her, it's a great introduction.

But what we're really looking forward to is some new material - one track is nice, but we want a new CD!

Featured on the live tracks are: Lita Ford - lead vocals and guitars; David Ezrin, keyboards and background vocals; Joe Taylor - guitars and background vocals; Tommy Caradona - bass guitar and background vocals; Jimmy Degrasso - drums.

Featured on the studio track are: Lita Ford - lead vocals and electric guitars; Glen Burtnick - background vocals and acoustic guitar; Phil Chen - bass; Rodger Carter - drums.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Revised: 13 May 2024 14:45:22 -0400 .