Although Suzi Q never really quite hit in the U.S., her name lit up in lights in Europe after famous producer Mickie Moist (Jeff Beck, The Animals) discovered her in Detroit, Mich. Her first single titled “Rolling Stone” reached number one in Portugal and when 1973 rolled around, she blew up the charts in Europe and Australia with her second single “Can the Can”.
Though hardly the first “tough girl” in rock-n-roll, Quatro introduced a new aesthetic in the bad gal realm; one that was decked out in a full leather jumpsuit and a huge bass guitar. Not only did she know how to rock, but she did it center-stage. She took the lead with vocals and bass, roaring and shredding as freely as her male counterparts.
Her sophomore effort, simply named “Quatro”, failed to reach the electric vitality of its predecessor, having been rushed into production right after her successful debut, with only two Quatro/Tuckey originals making it on to the record.
Despite this, Quatro still managed to keep hold of the reins and remain in control of her beast. The opening track, “The Wild One” makes sure no one forgets this.
“I’m a blue-eyed bitch and I wanna get rich. Get out of my way, cause I’m here to stay,” Quatro roars. “I’m the wild one!”
With a driving beat supplied by Quatro’s magnetic bass and booming vocals, tracks like “Savage Silk” and “Devil Gate Drive” show off the musician’s verve. She shows off her softer, more sensual side in “I Wanna Be Yours”, with dripping vocals and whiny, bluesy guitar.
Quatro’s work would go on to inspire a number of aspiring young female musicians, one of them, The Runaways’ very own Joan Jett.
“I am flattered to have been the woman to have opened the door for female rockers to be accepted into the mainly male industry,” Quatro said in an interview with NYRock. “Joan was one of my biggest fans. I always listen to and do my homework on any up-and-coming females. I do take my musicianship seriously! Enough said.”
Despite this hiccup, ultimately this album would be a mere road bump in what would become a monster of a career. Quatro’s characterized sound was clear from the start. She was in music to kick ass and take names, taking nonsense from nobody, especially not men.