The Pleasure Seekers – What A Way To Die (2011 Cradle Rocks Music)
Review by Rebecca Jansen
Following an entertaining intro (by DJ The Lord, of Shangrlaradio.com), the Quatro sisters original composition “Gotta Get Away” comes on heavy with a wall of organ and guitar likes a snarly Detroit version of an Avalon ballroom mainstay! This is the first taste of seven previously unreleased ’60s recordings by Michigan’s Pleasure Seekers. It was long rumored the girls had laid down more in the studio than the three singles well known to serious rock & roll fanatics, but now the wait is over.
The first thing that becomes clear is how Arlene Quatro’s organ work is impeccable throughout, providing a solid foundation to the tracks she performed on. The second track “Never Thought You’d Leave Me” is of an earlier vintage however, when the Ball sisters, Nan and Mary Lou were in the group, and Arlene, the eldest Quatro had yet to join. Not yet out of their teens, Patti Quatro’s lead guitar and Suzi’s vocals are already solid on their 1966 debut on the Hideout record label, from the people who gave Detroit it’s Hideout club. Suzi’s bass is a real highlight here. On the title track from the same single you can hear how the Pleasure Seekers held their own on the same stages as The Rationals and Bob Seger & The Last Heard. In fact Suzi Q’s vocals are pretty much as strong they would be later at the height of her solo ’70s fame.
From the Mercury era the standout track here is “Light Of Love”, an upbeat rocker that equals the best sides by labelmates The New Colony Six. There is a cool chant aspect to the chorus here making me wonder why some glam group didn’t cover this in the ealry-mid ’70s, it would’ve outshone much of the repertoire from the period! Stax/Booker T style organ with soul harmonies tend to dominate the remaining cuts, but Patti’s guitar licks get elastic and really shine making possibly average material something more engaging. There is one great vocal performance, by drummer Darline Arnone apparently, on “Good Kind Of Hurt” also worth mentioning. The set closes with a slower experimental freak-out song called “Mr. Power” which comes over like Joe Meek, a great surprise and a cool note to end on definitely leaving me still wanting to hear more.
A pre-Hideout recording titled “White Line” for the Golden World label is missing or in that label’s archives. The CD also doesn’t include the song “Shame”, the b-side of one Mercury single. With the addition of Nancy Quatro The Pleasure Seekers evolved into the group Cradle, and there is an album’s worth of this material also available for the first time on CD.
Disc ordering info at: www.quatrorock.com.
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