Saturday, July 26, 2014

Lita Ford - Dancin' on the Edge

Following her 1983 solo debut Out for Blood (click here for that review), Lita Ford returned to the studio to make Dancin’ on the Edge. This 1984 release spent sixteen weeks on the US Billboard Album chart, peaking at number 66. It also hit number 96 in the UK.

Side one begins with the mid-tempo rocker “Gotta Let Go”, a song about dropping one’s inhibitions. Ford’s guitar solo on this one was a little too abbreviated for my taste. This was released as the second single.

The title track “Dancin’ on the Edge” earned Ford a Grammy nomination for Best Rock Vocal Performance - Female (she lost to Tina Turner’s “Better Be Good to Me”). The song has a rousing rhythm and some sweet guitar riffs. This one more than makes up for the album’s opener and is easily my favorite track from the first half.

“Dressed to Kill”, the first single, has a dark, predatory vibe to it.

“Hit ‘n Run” applies the symbolism of a parking lot accident to the world of love.

Side two starts with “Lady Killer”, a rocking ode to a guy who leaves women brokenhearted in his wake.

On “Still Waitin’”, Ford takes on the role of a woman who is committed to her lover even if he is not. Randy Castillo’s thundering drums are a highlight here.

The high energy “Fire in My Heart” is next. Her vocals are very strong on this one.

It is time for a ballad entitled “Don’t Let Me Down Tonight”. The closing guitar riff is killer.

The album closer and B-side to the second single was “Run with the $” (run with the money). This is another rousing number to get your engine running.

Dancin’ on the Edge is a solid, rocking record. It is exactly what I would have come to expect from Lita Ford in 1984 when she was closing out her first decade as a performer. The longest track on the record runs five minutes, the title track. That means Ford knew how to get in, do her job and bring it to a close without going on for too long. A couple of the tracks could have worked with extended solos, but they were not necessary.

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