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Articles Home » 1981 Articles » Cheetah - 1981 Rock And Roll Women
Cheetah - 1981 Rock And Roll Women

ARTIST: Cheetah
ALBUM: Rock 'n' Roll Women
LABEL: Albert
YEAR: 1981


LINEUP: Lyndsay Hammond - vocals * Chrissie Hammond - vocals * Ian Miller - lead guitar * Ronnie Peel - rhythm guitar * Les Karski - bass * Mike Peters - keyboards * Ray Arnott - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Bang Bang * 02 Suffering Love * 03 Spend The Night * 04 Rock And Roll Women * 05 Scars Of Love * 06 My Man * 07 N.I.T.E * 08 Come And Get It * 09 Let The Love Begin * 10 I'm Yours


Though they may be English bred, they are Australian raised, and I don't think Australia has seen the likes of this lovely duo ever since! It would be easy to say that the Hammond sisters and their band Cheetah were considered AC/DC clones back during the late 70's/early 80's timeframe, but give them credit, they were typical of that overall Aussie sound coming out of the Antipodes, and also consider that both girls had a considerable track record as individuals and together as session singers before they combined officially for Cheetah. Name checks include Daryl Braithwaite, Jon English, Ted Mulry Gang and Flash And The Pan, and that's just for starters. Previously, Chrissie (the brunette one) had performed in an Australian cast version of Jesus Christ Superstar, whereas blonde sister Lyndsay had her own band Skintight and was part of Renee Geyer's backing band for three years. It would seem that the sisters joined forces in 1977, with the release of a single 'Love Ain't Easy To Come By'. In 1978, Aussie media legend Ian 'Molly' Meldrum produced a single for the girls called 'Walkin' In The Rain' which went high into the Australian charts. 'Deeper Than Love' was another successful single released the following year, and by 1980, AC/DC mentors George Young and Harry Vanda had convinced the girls that international success lay around the corner if a slight change to the hard rock genre could be made.

The Songs
With that in mind, the sisters released 'Rock And Roll Women' in early 1981 on the Australian made Albert Productions label. Cheetah tested the market in Sept 1980 with the single 'Spend The Night', following it up with 'Love You To The Limit' (Feb 1981) and 'Bang Bang'. The songs showcase the big booming vocals of both girls, the sound very much in a watered down AC/DC style, but also representative of other local Aussie acts doing the rounds at the time - most notably Renee Geyer, who also had a big voice though operating in a different genre (R&B). Aussie fans were very loyal to Cheetah, and by the time the band had made inroads into Europe, they were playing huge festivals culminating in an appearance at 1982's Reading Festival.

In Summary
Still, over the years Cheetah and this one-off album has endured a bit of indifference from listeners, ranging from 'love it' to 'hate it'. I will admit to having owned this LP once, but at the time I did not take a great deal of interest in it, due to leanings toward all things mainstream AOR coming out of the USA. Historically though, 'Rock And Roll Women' has proved to be a little diamond in the rough as far as Australian rock music is concerned. Though the Hammond sisters call London home these days (they are English after all), Cheetah has still endeared the duo to retain the 'brand', so to speak. Appearances in TV reunion shows (Australia's ABC Music Specials hosted by Molly Meldrum springs to mind), plus a 2003 Cheetah reunion show still proved that they have pulling power. Still looking great after all these years, the sisters may have had the looks that won over a heap of fans, but ultimately it's all about the music.

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#1 | swampula on April 18 2009 17:00:51
A perfect rock album to me. Great voices, great songwriting, great groove. Timeless heavy rock with soul/blues influences.
#2 | super80boy on May 26 2013 00:30:58
Yes, these women really rock out on this effort. I like 'Scars Of Love' and 'My Man' as they are a bit more polished, but overall, this fits the female fronted hard rocker appetite just fine.
#3 | reyno-roxx on September 22 2013 20:02:10
Recenly picked up the Bad Reputation CD reissue. Haven't heard this record in years. I saw them support Saxon in 1982 and Steve Hammonds and I interviewed the girls in the bar either before (or even while) Saxon were on stage for our fanzine 'White Lightning'. 'appy daze.
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