new album released Oct 6th
from the album - Crave
YouTube - Lita Ford - Crave
One of two solo stars to spring from the ashes of the '70s all-girl hard rock band the Runaways, Lita Ford has long been a more frustrating, contradictory proposition for critics than former colleague Joan Jett. Ford is subtly feminist in her musical approach, displaying guitar heroics on the level of any male metal hero; the mere fact of her existence in the otherwise testosterone-driven heavy metal genre has made her a hero to some, but her persona has often been criticized as calculated to appeal to male adolescent sexual fantasies, simply embodying the standard wild-girl stereotypes of many male metal artists' lyrics. When she has the material to back her up, though, Ford is inarguably capable of rocking out aggressively and assertively.
Ford was born on September 19, 1958, in London, emigrating to the U.S. as a young child. She began playing the guitar at age 11; just five years later, she joined the Kim Fowley-produced Runaways, an all-female project designed to mix the aggression of simple, punky hard rock with teenage bad-girl sex appeal. When the band dissolved, Ford took voice lessons and embarked on a solo career, supporting herself through a variety of jobs (gas station attendant, perfume salesperson, fitness instructor, hairdresser, etc.). She released her debut album, Out for Blood, in 1983; it was followed the next year by Dancin' on the Edge.
Nothing was heard from Ford for the next four years; the follow-up to Dancin' on the Edge, titled The Bride Wore Black, was abandoned and never released, as Ford switched from Mercury to RCA. By the time Ford returned, the lighter pop-metal she had long favored had broken through to mainstream audiences, which set the stage for her most successful album, 1988's Lita. Slickly produced by Mike Chapman, the album featured Ford's first hit, the number 12 "Kiss Me Deadly"; its follow-up, a duet with Ozzy Osbourne entitled "Close My Eyes Forever," provided both artists with their first Top Ten single.
Ford celebrated her newfound success with a marriage to W.A.S.P. guitarist Chris Holmes, but unfortunately, this, like her commercial success, would be short-lived. Follow-up efforts like 1990's Stiletto and 1991's Dangerous Curves failed to match the popcraft of Lita, and Ford found herself without a label after alternative's explosion in the early '90s. She married Jim Gillette, former vocalist with hair metal kings Nitro, had two children and moved to the Caribbean. She eventually re-emerged on the scene in the 21st century with the uncharacteristically heavy Wicked Wonderland in 2009. The album was released on her own label, JLRG Entertainment; the set was co-produced by Greg Hampton, Ford, and Gillette.
Though former Runaways guitarist Lita Ford has been absent from the recording industry since 1997, she hasn't exactly been idle. After releasing Kiss Me Deadly, her final album after a string of them in the '80s and '90s, the music scene — and the industry with it — changed, and alternative ruled the airwaves. Ford got married to Jim Gillette, former vocalist with hair metal rockers Nitro, and started a family. In addition, she relocated to the Caribbean. Wicked Wonderland is uncharacteristic of the pop-metal she released a decade ago. It's an in-your-face metal record, but ultimately it's a very studied and calculated 21st century pop-metal record. It's an album with explicit sexual content, examining S&M, bondage, power exchanges, and all manner of kink and crave in lyrics, words, and sleeve images. Ford wrote all of these songs with her co-producers Greg Hampton and Gillette. Gillette is also either a duet partner or backing vocalist on every track here. Hampton handles bass, keyboard, and other sonic duties, and there are a pair of drummers who alternate in Chris Collier and Stet Howland. The album's first single (and longest track), "Bed," was released exclusively to Stockroom.com, one of the leading suppliers of S&M and bondage gear on the internet. Ford claims that she and her husband have carved out a path to a happy family life, and it does seem that they detail it on this recording. Musically, while Wicked Wonderland is harder, edgier, darker, and more visceral than anything she's released in the past, this is still a very pop-oriented heavy music recording. The songs have hooks as well as blazing guitars and triple-time drumbeats, and they're saturated in keyboards and samplers. Metal has morphed and changed so radically in the last decade, this record sounds more like a late White Zombie tribute album than it does a contemporary metal recording. Check out the hooks in tracks like "Indulge," or the post-'80s metallic musical architecture of "Scream 4 Me," or even the industrial keyboard sounds combined with growling death metal vocals, and Ford's own almost-nostalgic balladic style, all of which make for something that feels not quite of the moment and something not quite dated, either. It also provides a link, however thinly disguised, of the persona she displayed on her earlier recordings. With the proper marketing strategy it will get some play and push in certain quarters of the music world, and perhaps in some markets not even normally associated with music at all. It's an intriguing listen — once. Otherwise, Wicked Wonderland is a set so steeped in sexual and faux metal clichés it's more a comedy record than a creative or, ultimately, memorable one. So little imagination is actually explored here that one has to wonder why she bothered to come back at all.
1 Crave Ford, Hampton, Jim 03:45
2 Piece (Hell Yeah) Ford, Hampton, Jim 03:41
3 Patriotic Sob Ford, Hampton, Jim 04:32
4 Scream for Me Ford, Hampton, Jim 03:57
5 Inside Ford, Hampton, Jim 04:12
6 Wicked Wonderland Ford, Hampton, Jim 03:49
7 Indulge Ford, Hampton, Jim 04:42
8 Love Ford, Hampton, Jim 05:31
9 Betrayal Ford, Hampton, Jim 03:58
10 Sacred Ford, Hampton, Jim 04:34
11 Truth Ford, Hampton, Jim 03:55
12 Everything Ford, Hampton, Jim 03:35
13 Bed Ford, Hampton, Jim 06:51
14 Garden [*] Ford, Hampton, Jim 04:06
15 Push [*] Ford, Hampton, Jim 04:16