There’s always so many hearts in my eyes when I come upon some female musicians in this challenge – especially when it’s those for whom I already hold a fair amount of admiration. Suzi Quatro has been reveled by many as one of the biggest figureheads for female representation in the largely male-dominated rock scene. She was the first female bass player to become a major rock star in the US, leading the way to a multitude of other women playing bass in some of the biggest rock bands around (some of whom being among my absolute favorite musicians ever). Although I’ve always preferred her early work as a member of the proto-punk band The Pleasure Seekers, there’s no denying her just how interesting her solo career is as well. While she has released numerous biting rock ‘n’ roll singles throughout her career, her only top ten hit in the US is the AOR duet with Chris Norman, “Stumblin’ In”, during a brief period where her music took a far more mellower turn.
Today’s single comes from Quatro’s 1980 album Rock Hard which, while being a return to more rambunctious form for the musician, also came at a point where her career was starting to wane and was her least commercially successful album to date. “Glad All Over” is, as many would guess, a cover of the Dave Clark five song of the same name. I was actually quite pleased to see a cover of this song pop up on my radar, considering that The Dave Clark Five have been one British Invasion group that seemed to have been mostly forgotten about today. Sure this single release comes right at the sweet spot of the early 80s infatuation with the 60s (which I wrote about sporadically in my overview of Billboard’s top 100 songs of 1981), but most of the time it’s The Kinks, The Animals, and especially The Beatles that have gotten the cover treatment through the years. History shows that The Dave Clark Five, at their peak, were the second biggest British Invasion band, so it warms my heart to see them being paid just a bit of homage.
As a cover song, though, this is pretty straight-forward. I have written about a good number of cover songs on this challenge at this point, and I’ve mentioned recently that a great cover is one that pays just the right amount of respect to its source material, with the artist also adding their own distinct flair to the recording and not just strictly adhering to the original formula. While it is true that Quatro injects a profound element of glam rock into this song that just so happens to work perfectly with the poppy love song, I think it also hand-holds with the original to a certain degree that prevents it from reaching any stage of true greatness. With that being said, though, even though there is a noticeable tiredness in the quality of production here, Quatro’s performance and personality revitalizes the otherwise dated track into something intrinsically pure and wonderful. It’s just a fun party song, nothing more and nothing less. By such measures, there’s no way this could be anything other than yet another glimmering success from the legendary performer.