About a year ago, I caught a grumpy Lita Ford on VH1 inquiring about where all the good times had gone. She reminded me of the little kid yelling, “I want my Maypo!” in an old commercial for oatmeal mush. And this new CD looks like her delivery of said “Maypo,” but couldn’t she come up with a less awful title than Greatest Hits Live!? Even something like Lita Rips a New Hole in Yer Ass would be better. It’s 2001, Lita, not 1978, fer cryin’ out loud!
Nevertheless, Lita’s Live! whatsis shows again that integration of funny-car muscle guitar with loud, glowstick-wavin’ arena pop was always a fine idea, even if that sad old young feller who offed hisself did kneecap the style at the beginning of the last decade. The album’s meat is taken from Stiletto, but superior to the originals by benefit of ebullience of presentation in front of perspirin’ mammals. On “What Do You Know About Love,” Lita twists her way across the dancefloor as the band drags the denim wallflowers in attendance over the limbo rock. And “Holy Man” has Lita’s journey-hack cronies punching the hook into the end zone behind Southern Cal student-body-right guitar power chomps. “Shot of Poison” is Bryan Adams versus Scandal, and Adams wins. Plus there’s Motörhead licks dressed up with reverb, and a guy gettin’ hit in the head with a beer bottle for not payin’ attention to the domme onstage.
The only shortcoming is that, as on any offering in the age of CD, the gas expands to fill all the space allowed. In other words, there’s about a mole’s worth of excess phlogiston (for you artsies, those are scientist euphemisms for what comes out of the south end of a northbound bull), an Avocado Number’s worth of duff track. For instance, “Close Your Eyes Forever” proves only Ozzie gets away with dirges. And “Hungry (for Your Sex)” . . . well, let’s just say Lita’s eyes were bigger than her stomach on that one. Oof!
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on January 23, 2001