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Status Quo

  • Picturesque,
  • Matchstickable Messages,
  • Spare Parts,
  • Ma Kelly's Greasy Spoon,
  • Dog Of Two Head,
  • Piledriver,
  • Hello,
  • Quo,
  • On The Level,
  • Blue For You,
  • Rockin All Over The,
  • World,
  • If You Can't Stand The,
  • Heat,
  • Whatever You Want,
  • Just Supposin',
  • Never Too Late,
  • 1+9+8+2,
  • Back To Back,
  • In The Army Now,
  • Ain't Complaining,
  • Perfect Remedy,
  • Rock Til You Drop,
  • Thirsty Work,
  • Don't Stop,
  • Under The Influence,
  • Famous In The Last Century,
  • Heavy Traffic,
  • The Party Ain't Over Yet,
  • In Search Of The 4th Chord,
  • Live At The BBC,
  • Quid Pro Quo
  • Bula Quo!

  • Album Reviews |

    Status Quo

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    Picturesque Matchstickable Messages 6 ( 1968 )
    Black Veils Melancholy / When My Mind Is Not Live / Ice In The Sun / Elisabeth Dreams / Gentlemen Joe's Sidewalk Cafe / Paradise Flat / Technicolour Dreams / Spicks And Speeks / Shelia / Sunny Cellophane Skies / Pictures Of Matchstick Men

    More and more music is heard the older a person gets. Well, that stands to reason, obviously. Not everyone will break out of their early music listening habits, however. There are various roads one can take. A teenage heavy-metal fan can continue listening to heavy metal throughout their life, branching out into regular classic rock and adult oriented rock as their years advance. A hip indie kid at College/University will usually find their initial great interest in this area wanes the older they get, either losing interest in music as their life takes on other directions and interests, or broadening their musical tastes. Very few individuals, it seems to me at least, have a growing interest in music the elder they get and also manage to branch out and widen their minds. Open their ears to groups they may have previously dismissed in their younger or more 'hip' days. Alternatively, I may be talking a load of old bollocks. Which kind of leads me nicely into discussing Status Quo. America largely holds early psychedelic Quo in high regard whilst ignoring the groups boogie rock material of the 70s. In Europe and the UK, the early psychedelic style spawned a couple of hits but the albums stiffed. It wasn't until 1972 infact that Quo had a charting album here. After which of course, they never looked back. Anyway, like the Quo or loathe the Quo, they exist ( even now! ) and they are more or less harmless. Ignore them by all means, but hating them seems kind of churlish and childish.

    'Picturesque Matchstickable Messages' is the debut Quo album long-player. After hitting the top ten singles charts with the near title track, they cram in eleven other tunes in a similar, apparently mind-expanding style. We've heavy use of phased guitars, and phased vocals too, come to that. Vocals that are unrecognisable from the classic Quo sound of the 70s. Twelve songs, thirty four minutes of music and not all that much substance is to be found here. The album remains quite charming though and definitely has decent tunes in places. 'Spicks And Speeks' is a good example of this early Quo sound. Very much a period piece tied to the late sixties, very much of that era lyrically but still offering a catchy and endearing way with melody. 'Pictures Of Matchstick Men', the first big Quo hit remains the standout cut and reminds this listener of a weird hybrid of Byrds ( circa 1966 ), Beatles ( circa 1967 ) and Barrett era Pink Floyd. The guitar and melody is distinctive and the overall sound faintly sinister. Another favourite pick of mine from this set is 'Green Tambourine', a pop song born of the 'nuggets' era and sounding right at home on any nuggets inspired mix-tape. A few general comments to close, then? Ah, ok. The heavy overuse of phased vocals and production tricks and effects eventually becomes very tiresome. The rhythm section hint at the future Quo sound in places, with the bass in particular seemingly easily able to adapt itself to a different style and sound. The vocals and lyrics and songwriting in general, would need to be changed, and indeed were. If the Quo had continued with this style and sound for very many years, we'd all have forgotten them long ago.

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    Readers Comments

    Robbo rbz3779@yahoo.co.uk
    Status Quo have to be to rock music what Keith Harris and Orville are to pop music.

    CaptainSnapx chris@cjbphotography.co.uk
    I've been trying to find out- to settle an argument in the pub last night- Is 'Pictures of Matchstick Men" anything to do with LS Lowrey. If not what the .... is it about?

    John terry terry61@cwctv.net
    some wanker likened quo to keith harris & orville. what a prick. if more people listened to early quo they might understand how good a band they are.

    bill fathers wfathers@aol.com
    i cant beleive someone compared quo to orville, i have been with quo from the start, quo rock! fashions and stupid statements come annd go, some people?

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    Spare Parts 6 ( 1969 )
    Face Without A Soul / You're Just What I Was Looking For Today / Are You Growing Tired Of My Love / Antique Angelique / So Ends Another Life / Poor Old Man / Mr Mind Detector / The Clown / Velvet Curtains / Little Miss Nothing / When I Awake / Nothing At All

    Fans of the groups debut will also find much to enjoy within the grooves of this, the groups second LP. It follows on directly from the first album, rooted in a psychedelic style virtually forced upon the group by their record label. Of the 12 songs here, only one was releases as a single, the mid-tempo psych-pop ballad, 'Are You Growing Tired Of My Love'. It's the kind of thing you might expect to find on a 60s Bee Gees album. Were Status Quo being pushed in that direction? Well, 'Spare Parts' failed to chart and the group got more of their own way come the third album. But that's another story and shall be told another time. In short, although by all accounts the band themselves were none too keen with continuing on the psychedelic road, 'Spare Parts' is a more assured effort than the debut. 'Little Miss Nothing', for example. It's a charming little song and the kind of 60s psychedelia that 80s bands would ape in an attempt to revive a lost age. I'm thinking in particular of XTC aka Dukes Of Stratosphere. 'Little Miss Nothing' and 'Spare Parts' as a whole is utter nonsense from beginning to end, but it does work. Well, more or less. It's not a record I hold especially dear to my heart. Ultimately it's forgettable, bar a few moments of genuinely good melody. The beginning of 'You're Just What I Was Looking For' sets you up. The vocals then arrive and their nasally style and whiny manner immediately put you off again. The music is of the day with violins, much arrangement, brass instruments. It's basically a weaker copy of The Beatles circa 'Magical Mystery Tour'. Many of the songs on the album follow this same style and format.

    Other intriguing cuts to list alongside 'Little Miss Nothing' then? Well, 'Mr Mind Detector' is a minor psychedelic classic of the kind the famous 'Nuggets' box-sets are jam-packed with. The lead track 'Face Without A Soul' is wonderfully daft. That's about it for highlights, actually. Too many songs here share the same sonic palette. Status Quo, even in their boogie-rock pomp were never a group known for their stylistic diversity of course. So that seems a somewhat stupid critiscm. It's only important actually, because a good half of the album contains very mediocre songwriting. The other half is absolutely fine. That the album fell through a commercial black-hole and has largely been forgotten is entirely due to the fact this record didn't contain a hit and 'Picturesque Matchstickable Messages' did.

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    Ma Kelly's Greasy Spoon( 1970 )
    Spinning Wheel Blues / Daughter / Everything / Shy Fly / April Spring Summer And Wednesdays / Junior's Waiting / Lakky Lady / Need Your Love / Lazy Poker Blues / Is It Really Me - Gotta Go Home

    It's very easy to judge bands on the embarassments they later become. Is it that hard to believe that once upon a time Status Quo were actually quite good? Even Cliff Richard, once upon a time, was making vital if derivative Rock n Roll records, before releasing an odious vomit inducing Xmas single every December. What may surprise many music followers is how heavy Status Quo are here. Yes, 'Ma Kelly's' Greasy Spoon' saw a wholly succesful reinvention for the group. Out went the whimsy and the summer of love, in came long hair, long trousers and boogie rock n roll. They haven't quite reached the formula of later years, 'Ma Kelly's Greasy Spoon' is actually quite a varied album, within an admittedly narrow vision of music. It's all rock music, but we've elements of the blues, we've fast songs, slow songs. A decent rhythm section and a selection of songs that display good interplay between the band members. 'Lazy Poker Blues' for instance is a decent blues tune, utterly unoriginal of course, yet plenty of bands were unoriginal at the time. A stand-out arrives with the mighty 'April Spring Summer And Wednesdays', it's got a groove, man. Ah, are you a modern music lover? Have you heard Kings Of Leon? People that are old Quo fans, buy either of the first two Kings Of Leon records. Kings Of Leon fans? Buy 'Ma Kelly's Greasy Spoon'. I like going back into the past of music and linking it to new groups. Another highlight arrives with 'Shy Fly', speedy rock music with clashing cymbals, rumbling bass and decent lead guitar.

    Of the later, famous Quo style, opening track 'Spinning Wheel Blues' clearly demonstrates where it came from. Another decent lead guitar part here. Well, Quo weren't virtuoso's, but they were pretty tight within what they were trying to do. It's so different to the first two albums as to almost be a different band altogether, they deserve credit for that, ditching the style that had brought them an international hit song with 'Pictures Of Matchstick Men'. Ah, good harmonica blasting away during the second part of 'Spinning Wheel Blues', in particular. Factor in that none of the tracks on this album come across as filler, add in the nine minute plus closing tune. A closing tune that ends with a lengthy jam session, an impressive one too. We dig the Quo! I could ask a stupid question right about now. Status Quo, whilst meaning nothing in the USA, have been hugely popular all across Europe. Yet there appears to be little discussion about them in terms of analysis on the web? I don't mean in-depth articles, even a decent comprehensive review page seems impossible to come across. Status Quo are far from being my favourite group, they did some pretty terrible stuff through the years and clearly influenced some of the sillier moments in Spinal Tap. Yet, credit where credit is due. And yes, I do intent to at least correct one thing. There will be a comprehensive review page, this one.

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    Readers Comments

    john, county kildare john.j.doyle@nuim.ie
    it is fucking brilliant, innit!!! in fairness to the quo, this isn't their only top class album, as they were making decent records right up to the late 1970s before the formulaic vibe finally overpowered them. they're still fantastic live, even if their "creative" glory days are long gone.

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    Dog Of Two Head( 1971 )
    Umleitung / Nanana / Something Going On In My Head / Mean Girl / Nanana / Gerdundula / Railroad / Someone's Leaving / Nanana

    Status Quo still weren't selling albums, so Pye records dropped them. Of course, much to Pye records dismay, the Quo became one of the biggest selling rock acts of the 70s shortly afterwards. Nice work there, Pye. Anyroad, 'Dog Of Two Head' is similar to 'Ma Kelly's Greasy Spoon', just not quite as dirty. The songs are blues rock based again, the famous Quo boogie sound more prominent than before. Things falling into place, for better or worse. The opening 'Umleitung' not only contains a great guitar solo, great bluesy piano bits and is water-tight, it's seven minutes long as well. It's a sterling opening tune for any album, I say. Onto the down side for a second. The song titled 'Nanana' you may notice appears three times. Once, right at the end of the album in its full two and a half minute glory and two more times, just the first fifty one seconds. The result of this is, discounting the two repeat showings, we've actually only got seven songs on the album. The songs that are here are decent though, so at least that's something. So yes, following on from the epic opening tune, we've got the catchy 'Something Going On In My Head'. We've a little marching section in the middle. Proper guitar. Boogie! Yes, we've got the Quo boogie. Moving onto 'Mean Girl', we get more Quo boogie, albeit in a faster tempo. Nice little tune and vocal, decent stuff. Although, as I hinted at earlier, formula was starting to infiltrate the Quo camp to the groups own detriment. 'Gerdundula' isn't formula at all, though, happily. It's a groovy eastern sounding acoustic number, the kind of delight present on these early Quo records. The kind of delight that makes any kind of long journey through their back-catalogue worthwhile. Which is just as well for me, as i've another twenty or so albums to go before this page is complete!

    We've an album highlight, of course we do. 'Someone's Learning' showcases the full talents of the Quo at this stage during their career. There's the bluesy sections, the boogie sections, a right down and dirty jam section with genuinely stellar playing from all involved. We've a great distinctive guitar riff that opens the tune, then reappears for the songs reprise. Seven minutes elapse and we're then thrown into the folksy 'Nanana' to close the album, a tune which if you close your eyes and one ear, resembles the sound of The Kinks quite well. So, do the Quo have talent? Well, yes. The likes of 'Gerundula' and 'Nanana' showcase Status Quo as proper and dare I say it, thoughtful song-writers. The rockier tunes are starting to sound somewhat similar to each other though, and this thirty six minute long album is something of a let-down after the brilliant 'Ma Kelly's Greasy Spoon'. Still, a more than decent effort overall, though. Very listenable.

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    Readers Comments

    Mike Parker mcp666@blueyonder.co.uk
    Your first 4 album reviews make interesting reading. I'm a fan of the Quo that your about to write up. I'm anticipating some keen insight and stirring of old memories. Keep up the good work.

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    Piledriver 8 ( 1972, UK pos 5 )
    Don't Waste My Time / Oh Baby / A Year / Unspoken Words / Big Fat Mama / Paper Plane / All The Reasons / Roadhouse Blues

    The Quo hit upon a now ( even then? ) familiar sounding riff that powers along 'Paper Plane' atop a rudimentary, yet effective, boogie-rock rhythm section. Suddenly Quo are having top ten hit singles and even managing to shift albums. 'Piledriver' peaked at number five within the UK, not a bad feat for their first charting album. To say the band never looked back from here on in hardly even needs stating. Let's talk about 'Paper Plane' seeing as that was the biggie, the big hit song. It was perfect for the glam-scene that was huge in Britain at the time. Alice Cooper and The Quo were the dangerous end of pop back in the early seventies, you know? It's not dangerous, suffice to say. It's pure and simple, a pop-infused, headbanging number that lasting for just over two and a half minutes, never outstays its welcome. I'll switch to the Quo's cover of The Doors 'Roadhouse Blues'. It's a genuinely authentic, stompingly enjoyable version with fantastic wailing harmonica. They chose a good time to cover the song, a time when The Doors were barely known within europe and the UK. Ah, the opening 'Don't Waste My Time' carries right on from the last couple of Quo albums, the story of Status Quo around about this period in history was one of pure consolidation and refinement towards their famous hit-making sounding, as it turned out. Beyond the hits, they could still turn in an interesting composition though, as evidenced by 'A Year', a slow burning and dramatic serious number that proves the Quo could do more than just boogie on the rock-dancefloor.

    'Piledriver' isn't the most varied album of all time, but then you would have expected nothing else from the Quo. It is a nicely rounded set though with no real weak-points and a couple of nice blues numbers, particularly 'Unspoken Words'. It's not a song with tremendous awe-inspiring playing, although the solo is absolutely fine. It's just a song with a good amount of feeling, it feels genuine. The Quo just doing what they enjoy doing, and doing it well within the limitations they'd set themselves. No side long prog-rock epics from the Quo, no. Just enjoyable, unpretentious rock music.

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    Hello 7 ( 1973, UK pos 1 )
    Roll Over Lay Down / Claudie / Reason For Living / Blue Eyed Lady / Caroline / Softer Ride / And It's Better / Forty Five Hundred Times

    The Quo go for broke now, of course. 'Piledriver' had done the trick, so now they narrow down on the parts of 'Piledriver' they thought worked critically and commercially and turn out an entire anlbum of the stuff. Of course, overall this makes for a less satisfying product, because the artistic horizons have shrunken terribly, even from just a year or two before. Now, they have one guitar sound. They have a rhythm section that seemingly do the exact same thing for every single track. I still wonder though about certain professional music critics. 'Claudie' is apparently 'beatle-esque'. In reality, it's no such thing, it's a softer, slower version of the hit song 'Paper Plane', with vocals and melodies that sound like Quo had suddenly lost all their edge in the space of a mere 12 months. The blues influenced 'Roll Over Lay Down' which opens the album is far better, staying true to the bands roots. The rhythm section do their boogie-rock mid-tempo thing, yet the lead guitar, vocals and lyrics are bluesy and convincing enough to please. Big hit, 'Caroline' follows on from the template set by 'Paper Plane' on 'Piledriver'. It's pleasing, relatively heavy, boogie riffing rock material. Nicely addictive for short periods of time, irritating for lengthy periods of time, which is why Status Quo in the eighties were a hideous proposition, because over-familiarity with their tricks and trade rendered them weak and fainting and critical, on life-support. Resting on past laurels, yet succesful thanks to more conservative daytime BBC radio one DJ's - and an entertaining, if unambitious, live show. Radio one 'roadshow' with Status Quo appearing live, miming onstage to their latest hit which sounds just like the last one! It hardly helped, let's face it. It starts here.

    The remaining material filling out this LP includes 'Softer Ride' which starts OK, you think they are gonna do something properly bluesy, yet they end up in familiar boogie-rock territory. 'Blue Eyed Lady' the same, starts promisingly enough, yet ends up sounding like another potential 'Paper Plane follow-up, not a bad thing, as such. Not a bad thing as such, yet wearying over a full LP. 'Reason For Living' is more bluesy, 'And It's Better' is more poppy, leaving the closing, near ten minute long 'Forty Five Hundred Times' to impress us. The ending of the tune is good, they get looser as the song progresses and start to reach a point where they are genuinely doing something impressive, then the song ends. Still, it's an decent enough ending to a very commercial boogie-rock album full of pop hooks, severely lacking in variety, yet just enough to please overall. The more unsure, 'experimental', if that's the right word, 'Quo' of the previous few LPs was more satisfiying to my set of ears. A Quo trying to find themselves. They found themselves then stopped searching. There was still more to come, though. They weren't quite done with yet. 'Hello' was many a Quo fans first introduction to the group. I'm aware enough that it holds a special place in many fans hearts, yet it's not quite enough for me to be 'good', not quite bad enough to be 'average'. It veers between those two states, depending on my frame of mind.

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    Quo 8 ( 1974, UK pos 2 )
    Backwater / Just Take Me / Break The Rules / Drifting Away / Don't Think It Matters / Fine Fine Fine / Lonely Man / Slow Train

    Status Quo had enough of a fanbase by now to propel almost everything they did straight into the higher reaches of the charts. Wanting to be taken seriously as an albums act, 'Quo' varies the successful formula ever so slightly. We generally get a harder edge to the songs and performances, with less emphasis on the poppier side of the band. 'Quo' therefore is heads down rock n roll. Some songs offer proper guitar solos, and/or duelling. Others offer plenty of heroics from the drummer, even though images of exploding drummers aka Spinal Tap constantly seem to enter my brain. It's all good fun at the end of the day, Quo having built up their fanbase through hard work and well received live sets. Staying true to form for my Quo reviews so far then, how about I talk about the single? 'Break The Rules' is a chugging, bluesy driving song with daft lyrics. It's simplicity in itself, the instrumental section adding a honk-tonk piano solo, then wailing harmonica. It's so unpretentious, so unartistic in one sense but dammit if I don't love this single to bits. As far as driving songs go, it's a good one, you see.

    In general, although I don't rank this as my favourite Quo album so far, it's a good one. Nothing is especially weak, although the first two tunes appear to be rather inconsequential. I've had generally great feedback for the page so far, which is nice, and it's surprising to find so many people holding this period of Quo so dearly to their hearts. For every blunder, cheesy collaboration, poor cover version or future advertising jingle they'd later produce, these golden period Quo records really do hit the spot. For any Americans that may be reading, kind of like ZZ Top records, you know? I must investigate their early catalogue too, some day. So, 'Quo' is an album to please a rock fan, it's an album that contains a superbly solid mid-section, enough variation for a listener not to get bored and instant gratification when you first pick up the disc. You'll hopefully keep digging it out every now and then and be guaranteed a good time. That's all folks, until next time around

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    On The Level 8 ( 1975, uk pos 1 )
    Little Lady / Most Of The Time / I Saw The Light / Over And Done / Nightride / Down Down / Broken Man / What To Do / Where I Am / Bye Bye Johnny

    Get down, deeper and indeed down. I’m old enough to remember lots of people walking around with Quo jackets, playing their Quo albums and a popular song was always ‘Down Down’. Whatever your persuasion and potential for music snobbery, ‘Down Down’ is one of those perennial dance-floor pleasers. The late-great John Peel would play the tune and it always went down a storm at his personal appearances and roadshows. The mid-seventies, it was a simpler time. Indeed, time moved more slowly, there were less people around and aren’t policman getting younger these days?!? Well, nostalgia is good for us all sometimes, as long as we don’t get mired and rooted within it. ‘Down Down’ is the centre-piece of ‘On The Level’, it was a number one single and everything the Quo could have wished it to be. The album version presented here is longer than the single version, basically more of the same. Arguably the single version is punchier, but in the end both versions are marvellous. A proper tune with a proper intro and proper catchy-ness. Anything with a bit of ness has got to be good, hasn’t it? Well, unless it’s Robbie Williams-ness, obviously. Anyway, if ‘Down Down’ is the nail that pins ‘On The Level’ to the shed so to speak, what about the rest of the LP? Well, here’s a quickie, a few notes compiled upon one of my earliest listening adventures with ‘On The Level’ I’ve just found in my bag at work, reproduced here completely unedited.

    ‘Little Lady’, cools riffs, instant long haired rock disco party. Nifty little guitar instrumental breaks.

    ‘Most Of The Time’, decent, mid-tempo soft then rock.

    ‘I Saw The Light’, by now classic Quo rock boogie – accomplished! Although have to be in the mood.

    ‘Over And Done’, potential single, maybe? If treated as such. A classic Quo guitar sound!

    ‘Nightride’, chugging.

    Who sings broken man? The vocals are rubbish!

    ‘What To Do’ is pop Quo, jaunty and good.

    ‘Where I Am’, soft. Bee Gees!

    ‘Bye Bye Johnny’. Be good? Rock and roll. Poor.

    I also made two further brief notes about the album as a whole, ‘vinyl to MP3 – crackles!’ and ‘3 pronged songwriting attack!’. I apparently didn’t make any notes about ‘Down Down’. I can understand that, the entire song is easily brought up from memory without having to actually play it to remind me how it goes. That’s actually a possible complaint I can level against the rest of the album. The majority of the tunes here aren’t imbedded within my soul, heart or brain. Apart from ‘Down Down’, this is very much a standard Quo set of the era and doesn’t offer any surprises. It’s a decent set, but again for me personally, not as good as the surprises and delights offered up by ‘Ma Kelly’s Greasy Spoon’. On that note and as the guys from Quo may well have said a few times in their career, ‘Will this do?’

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    Blue For You 9 ( 1976, UK pos 1 )
    Is There A Better Way (Lancaster/Rossi) / Mad About The Boy (Rossi/Young) / Ring Of A Change (Rossi/Young) / Blue For You (Lancaster) / Rain (Parfitt) / Rolling Home (Lancaster/Rossi) / That's A Fact (Rossi/Young) / Ease Your Mind (Lancaster) / Mystery Song (Parfitt/Young)

    I've included the song-writing credits here as after this particular album it begins to become more significant. Young by the way is Bob Young, not a band member, but the groups tour manager. Lancaster is Alan Lancaster. Along with the groups drummer( John Coghlan ) and Bob Young he'd depart sometime during the eighties but we're getting ahead of ourselves, aren't we? 'Blue For You' was released at the height of Quo's seventies boogie-rock success and alters the formula slightly. The album has a real energy to it and sounds as serious and credible as any Quo album ever has. Although spawning a couple of top ten hits there isn't radio anthemn on 'Blue For You' as a 'Down Down' or a god forbid, 'Rocking All Over The World'. Instead, every single song is good. Which would you prefer? Let's take the opening 'Is There A Better Way'. An excellent song and no mistake, rolling bass, thrashing guitars and a very speedy little guitar solo. The Quo playing with almost the energy of punk-rock. Believe or not, but it's true. The sound of the entire album is great, very clear and very live, a little ommph is here that perhaps the earliest albums lacked. 'Rolling Home' is another Rossi/Young classic with duelling guitars, speedy delivery and wonderful, wailing harmonica courtesy of Bob Young. After three energetic rockers, Alan Lancaster delivers the albums title track, a restrained slice of blues/soul, a style Quo rarely ventured into and certainly not as successfully as they do here. A quick mention for 'Rain', although I haven't mentioned any weak songs yet, because really there aren't any. Sure, there's no great variety, but that's like telling a blind man he can't see when we're talking the Quo. You know, hardly the point. Uneccessary. 'Rain' as you can see from glancing above is written by Rick Parfitt, not at all a major contributer of songs to the Quo at this stage, the Rossi/Young, Rossi/Lancaster teams being the most prolific, although Parfitt had written some songs before. This has to be one of his finest efforts to this day. The song rocks really hard, almost borders on heavy metal in places. The sound retains all the crunch and pleasingly booming bass of all the other songs on 'Blue For You'.

    The classics just keep on coming, most of them songs anybody who isn't a Quo fantatic will never have heard. So, the much maligned Quo create a sterling, catchy as flu riff to underpin the really dead groovy 'That's A Fact'. A more typical Quo/Blues boogie arrives with 'Ease Your Mind' and the Piano is welcome to add that little authenticity. A good minute and a half elapses before the closing 'Mystery Song' bursts properly into life, yet once it does, a blissful look crosses this listeners face. So, a Quo album without a single weak link? Check. A Quo album with healthy production sounds, a warm analogue feel even after remastering or transferring from LP to MP3? Check. The heaviest album they ever made? Check. Where are the pop anthemns? Well, there aren't any, but there are riffs and guitars and joy aplenty. Yes, it's Status Quo but yes, it's Status Quo. That sentence might make sense to somebody, hopefully.

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    Rockin All Over The World 5 ( 1977, UK pos 5 )
    Hard Time / Can't Give You More / Let's Ride / Baby Boy / You Don't Own Me / Rockers Rollin' / Rockin' All Over the World / Who Am I ? / Too Far Gone / For You / Dirty Water / Hold You Back

    What on earth happened here? Even the album title lacks any kind of cool, let alone the contents within. A couple of changes had occured, Quo introduced an outside producer, some guy called Pip. Pip?? I ask you! Andy Bown enters on keyboards. Now, rubbish local rock bands also introduce keyboards for a 'different' element when their own imaginations have failed them. Great. What else is going on? Well, Quo made a concerted effort to crack America. They failed, but the introduction of an outside producer, keyboards, etc, etc? It all starts to fall into place, doesn't it. The mix considerably softens the guitars from Quo albums of yore. The result of all of this is the weakest sounding Quo album since their Psychedelic debut, and certainly their poppiest album since then. Now, i'm not some kind of 'rock' freak. I like Captain Beefheart and I like Kylie Minogue and then i'll switch to a bit of Quo followed by Aphex Twin followed by John Coltrane. So, the fact of lamenting the loss of the Quo's rockier edge doesn't immediately mean what's here in its place isn't as good, or indeed, very good. Just want to make that clear before I progress. Good? Right. The title song I may as well get out of the way first of all. It chugs and it's got the Quo boogie. It's a song with terribly cliched lyrics and the performance here? Well, it's not fast enough, the mid-tempo nature of it all plays it far too safe. More worryingly though, the drums have been made to sound like cardboard boxes, the bass has been mixed to all oblivion so now all it resembles is a constant, unmelodic thud. The guitars are here and the vocals are here, both of them very wimpy and insipid. The songs only three and a half minutes long, yet it sounds twice as long, possibly because there's only enough lyrics to fill out 70 seconds or so. I really don't like this song at all, not even the original version. For Quo it became an absolutely massively huge European hit single and opened Live Aid in 1985. So, what the fuck do I know?

    Alan Lancaster contributes one of my favourite tunes here, 'Too Far Gone'. A song that even the hideous mixing and production can't ruin. The guitars could be far louder, there's some really nice guitar interplay here that deserves to be heard. 'Let's Ride' also has a good energy to it, but you just yearn for it to sound like the Quo of 'Blue For You' or 'On The Level', not this sanitised version of what Quo had become. 'Rockers Rollin'? What is this piece of crap? Well, Parfitt wrote this and it's hard to believe it's the same guy that wrote 'Rain' on the previous LP. Too many of the songs here 'chug' in the mid-tempo and the guitars sound frustratingly lack-lustre. 'Can't Give You More', written by the Rossi/Young team is decent enough to overcome the production. Poor production or not however, 'Rockin All Over The World' just isn't a good set of Quo songs. With the production, it's not an album I ever have a desire to listen to very often at all.

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    Readers Comments

    Matt Sussex
    Hi Adrian, can't agree. I have extensively listened to Quo since the 70's. Too Far Gone, Baby Boy, Hold You Back - a different flavour certainly, but classics!

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    If You Can't Stand The Heat 5 ( 1978 UK pos 3 )
    Again and Again / I'm Giving Up My Worryin' / Gonna Teach You to Love Me / Someone Show Me Home / Long Legged Linda / Oh! What A Night / Accident Prone / Stones / Let Me Fly / Like A Good Girl

    The appallingly titled ‘If You Can’t Stand The Heat’….. was not quite the commercial monster that ‘Rockin’ All Over The World’ had been. The lack of a strong lead single was partly to blame. Not that ‘Rockin All Over The World’ had provided a ‘good’ strong lead single but its title track sold zillions anyway. The task fell to ‘Again And Again’ this time around, one of the least inspired lead singles the Quo had ever released. Base, totally to formula and without even the granny or housewife appeal of ‘Rockin All Over The World’. It nestled just outside the top ten at number 13. The album predictably went top ten thanks to the massed ranks of the Quo army, but didn’t stick around for very long. Having said all of this, we’ve variety for a Quo album. Rock alongside Pop and even a ballad. Shocking, I know. For the ballad, as the keyboard picks out a sickly sounding melody, ‘Someone Show Me Home’ comes sliding slowly into the ear-drums. In the age of punk and soon to be new-wave, Quo seem to have aged a good twenty years. A boy-band would reject this material for being too sappy. Still, on the otherhand, ‘I’m Giving Up My Worrying’ has enough about it as a pop song to overcome any limitations it may have in terms of ambition or subdued guitars. You know, it’s a catchy song. All of this still seems a universe away from the likes of ‘Down Down’ or ‘Blue For You’ though, released a mere couple of years before. Overall, side one of the album is ok, if spectacularly average. At least there’s a couple of semi-highlights in ‘Again And Again’ and ‘I’m Giving Up My Worrying’

    Side two of the LP is almost without exception extremely mediocre, mediocre of course being behind average in this case. No highlights to speak of, no real rockers to speak of. In the age of disco, Quo don’t exactly go disco, but they do encase several tunes within keyboards and disco sounding synthesizers. I mean, a song titled ‘Accident Prone’ you expect to have some bite about it, but it doesn’t. Only the closing ‘Like A Good Girl Should’ even manages to provide a little feel-good-ness as far as side two is concerned. With side one not exactly jumping through hoops itself, where does this leave the album overall? Well, without too many redeeming features, to be honest with you. The songs as songs go aren’t dreadful, I don’t want you to get the wrong idea. If we assume 1 is the worst music ever and 10 is the best music ever, most albums will sit somewhere around 5 or 6. Of course, I’m only reviewing certain albums. If I had the chance to review for example, the entire Garth Brooks catalogue, I’m sure that would decrease the average ratings I’ve actually given out. Where does this leave Status Quo? Well, ‘If You Can’t Stand The Heat’….. gets a ‘5’. That’s it. It’s not interesting, it’s not fascinating and if I was trying to prove to someone that actually, Quo aren’t rubbish, I’d start them instead with ‘On The Level’, ‘Blue For You’ or ‘Ma Kelly’s Greasy Spoon’.

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    CPJ JayCPJ@aol.com
    Aw, cum on, it has to be a 7! You forgot to mention the excellent Long Legged Linda, Oh What A Night and Let Me Fly. Forget about I'm Giving Up My Worryin' - pure filler. IMHO! ;O)

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    Whatever You Want 7 ( 1979 UK pos 3 )
    Again and Again / I'm Giving Up My Worryin' / Gonna Teach You to Love Me / Someone Show Me Home / Long Legged Linda / Oh! What A Night / Accident Prone / Stones / Let Me Fly / Like A Good Girl

    The Quo were back rock and rolling and twelve bar guitaring. Thank goodness. The previous two albums may have damaged the groups reputation rather than popularity, but fans quickly forgave them when 'Whatever You Want' appeared on LP. True, the title song is regarded amongst Quo fans as one of the bands classic songs, but not in our house. It's appropriation for the Argos adverts has meant drastic overkill in terms of airplay for a song that's four minutes long, yet only needs to be two minutes long. It's lazy in terms of composition, yet the saving grave is the guitar interplay. It's not enough, but there is a clutch of songs on the LP, all better than the title song. They are enough to ensure this album happily exceeds its disappointing predeccesors. The semi-acoustic 'Living On An Island' is one of those rare exceptions to the Quo boogie-rock rule. You know, it's a proper song with harmony vocals and everything! Most impressive, actually. On the rockier front, the concise three minutes of enjoyable heads down, hair in your face fun of 'Shady Lady' could have sat happily on any one of the classic Quo half-dozen LPs or so. The closing 'Breaking Away' really sets the rock among the pidgeons, though. After a few years of worrying whether Quo had gone soft, the Quo fan of 1979 may well have been overjoyed with 'Breaking Away'. It's boogie-rock excelsis, all six and a half minutes of it. 'I'm changing my tune' sing the Quo. 'No your not', we cry, you sound the same you've always done! Not entirely fare, but almost certainly the average rock fans reaction at hearing said words. Nevermind though, because 'Breaking Away' has sections and splendid drumming on an album where Quo try to rock and almost manage it. Well, 'Breaking Away' fully manages it.

    What else? Well, not a lot. The filler material never descends into the dreadful, even the two songs with rock in the title on side two manage to be enjoyable, as if the band had to remind us that's what they were about. With the title song becoming another big hit, the massed ranks of the Quo army must have been feeling happy and optimistic following the release of the 'Whatever You Want' album and that's about it for now, folks. Until next time when we'll be sure to boogie on down to the Quo again. This page is neverending it seems, much like the Quo themselves!

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    Just Supposin' 6 ( 1980 UK pos 4 )
    What You're Proposing / Run to Mummy / Don't Drive My Car / Lies / Over the Edge / Wild Ones / Name of the Game / Coming and Going / Rock 'N' Roll

    Recorded around the same time as its followup, 'Never Too Late'. Why didn't they go the whole hog and release a double? Really fire it up in the studio and just vary their album making formula, just slightly? Instead, we've another regular Quo album. Self-produced but still not resembling the rock for which they'd become famous. Well, even the Quo would claim you can't keeping churning out the same old, same old. Still, it's what in the place of the rock songs we need to consider, isn't it? Rock/pop, that's what! Whoa, radical change there! Anyway, the near title track 'What You're Proposing' is stellar pop/rock as it goes, always one of my favourite classic Quo singles. Great guitar sound, nifty riffs and stuff! Also released as a single was 'Lies' a watered down sound of a watered down sound, if that makes any sense? A four minute track full of repetition and lacking a strong hook, although the chorus must have been deemed catchy enough for single consideration. Hardly classic stuff, though. What about the sound of the album overall then? Well, the Quo guitars are still here, although down in the mix. Everything seems to be down in the mix. Someone decided to retain the synths, but then mix them down. Then complaining the synths can't be heard, everything else has been mixed down. Little seperation between instruments, basically. No space in the songs to allow them to breathe. It results in the strangely 80s US rock of 'Over The Edge', for example. The bass is mixed too high on that one! The album may well be self-produced and recorded live in the studio, then mixed by a proper engineer, but he did a lousy job if that's the case. The remaster is better I suppose, but the songs are mostly mediocre in any case.

    Songs that aren't mediocre? Well, i'm struggling with this one. Past the title track, there's doesn't seem to be a lot else going on. Well, 'Coming And Going' is one of the rockier songs here, complete with harmonica and it's one of my favourites on the set. The closing 'Rock 'N' Roll' is a pop-ballad so mawkish and soppy and.... Argghh can't listen to it. What with the whistling? Was this Quo attempting to sound like Wings? Why not try and sound like something GOOD instead?! The familiar chug-boogie of 'Run To Mummy' is ok, although again the material itself is fairly weak, lyrically in particular. A six? Well, why not? It's a pretty average LP rather than an actively bad one, you see. It's dull, but there are moments here i'd excerpt onto a better album. Perhaps releasing a double album of the material the band recorded in 1980 isn't such a good idea after all, then? Perhaps not releasing either this or the follow-up and having waited until they had enough strong material for just the one good album, rather than two average ones? What do you mean you've never heard 'Never Too Late'?

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    Never Too Late( 1981 UK pos 2 )
    Never Too Late / Something 'Bout You Baby I Like / Take Me Away / Never Too Late / Falling in, Falling Out / Carol / Long Ago / Mountain Lady / Don't Stop Me Now / Enough Is Enough / Riverside

    Well, the last Quo album this is to feature original drummer John Coghlan. I guess he got fed up of not actually getting the chance to play his instrument for the kind of music he wanted to play it on. Or he just got fed up. One or the other. Quo were still in a transitional phase turning from a rock to a pop band. So, we get some rock songs recalling the Quo of yore and also get some 80s Quo pop attempts. Unsually for a Quo album, there's not really a single memorable song here in terms of hit songs, at least. 'Something Bout You Baby I Like' did enough to reach the top ten, but then again, they could have released almost anything as a single and it would have gone top ten back in those days. 'Something Bout You Baby' is an admirable attempt at Quo returning to their blues/rock mode of years earlier, but it lacks distinction and distinctiveness. A better single would have been 'Carol', the Chuck Berry tune. Quo turn it into a Quo tune and inject some energy into their performance. Not 'Blue For You' type energy, but at least some energy. The title track wasn't even a single! No other singles were taken from this set other than 'Something Bout You Baby'. Curiously, a single-edit of 'Rock N Roll' from 'Just Supposin' was issued after the promotional campaign for 'Never Too Late', which strikes me as being an odd thing to do. Back to the title track, it's one of the better songs here. A decent enough Quo slice of soft-boogie, yet the lyrics ( about the end of the world, it seems ) are sung with a little too much optimism to hit home convincingly.

    'Falling In, Falling Out' might have made for a good pop single. It's guitar-pop. It's not brilliant or anything, it's only just above average in terms of performance, but the melody is strong. The keyboards/synths work very well here in conjunction with the rest of the band, by the way. 'Take Me Away' sounds like bits of lots of other Quo songs and lacks inspiration. 'Long Ago' is ok, 'Don't Stop Me Now' is pretty good with its groovy bass and all out action introduction. One of the rockier songs here and one of the songs with the most energy here. That it's also one of the best tracks perhaps isn't much of a coincidence then. Rossi/Parfitt seem to have been running out of steam. The bands drummer was about to quit and Alan Lancaster would follow shortly afterwards. Change ended up being forced upon the band whether they wanted to change, could change or not. The edging towards a poppier direction didn't seem to be pleasing anyone, so a wholesale move towards pop music would also follow.

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    Naz Bracknell
    What! no mention of mountain ladies that's a great tune it deserves a mention at least!

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    1+9+8+2 7 ( 1982 UK pos 1 )
    She Don't Fool Me / Young Pretender / Get Out And Walk / Jealousy / I Love Rock And Roll / Resurrection / Dear John / Doesn't Matter / I Want The World To Know / I Should Have Known / Big Man

    Reached number one, just to prove the Quo were as popular as ever. The drummer left half-way through the sessions and not all was well exactly, but the Quo inevitably survived. Status Quo and the cockroaches. That's all that will be left come the armageddon. Happy things though. '1982' sounds more 'real' than the previous couple of Quo efforts. The synths aren't as much on show, they rely on bass, guitar drums. True, the songs hardly rank amongst their best, although at least one wouldn't be out of place during their classic run. Well, naturally, most people deny Status Quo even had a classic run, but they did. Any act that's huge for some reason unknown to younger listeners must have done something worthy at some point. Well, unless they're Green Day, but the less said about them the better! So, 'Dear John'? Decent enough lyrics, not too samey. Decent riffs and guitar interplay. Fairly catchy and deserved to be top 10 in the singles charts. Quo fans may have justifiably had high hopes for the album. That it didn't reach the seventies peaks was hardly surprising during all the turmoil ( although, did Quo ever actually wreck a hotel room, or get drunk even? ) 'Get Out And Walk', decent track. Actually, getting all this Quo vinyl transferred to MP3 is great. It sounds way better than the CD versions I have, even the remastered ones. Quo needed vinyl and didn't need the digital eighties. It made them sound even older than they'd become.

    It's disappointing that there's no real classic slices of Quo. It's disappointing that nearly all the songs are two to three minutes and that the album doesn't provide anything meaty to get your teeth into. 'Young Pretender' for example is perfectly fine, but it's not astonishing and it's not excellent, it's merely bordering on the good to average. It's not enough, however listenable the Quo's inate grasp of melody may be. To the advantage of '1982' is the fact barely a duff track is here. To the disadvantage is the fact there's nothing that really breaks from the mould, either. It's a fairly run of the mill thing, but the sound is good. You can hear the instruments and the synths are integrated well.

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    Back To Back 6 ( 1983 UK pos 2 )
    A Mess Of Blues / Ol' Rag Blues / Can't Be Done / Too Close To The Ground / No Contract / Win Or Lose / Marguerita Time / Your Kind Of Love / Stay The Night / Going Down Town Tonight

    Trouble and strife. Rick and Francis had discussed ending the band, Rossi unwittingly upsetting Parfitt by declaring ‘I’ll be ok as the voice and face of the band’. Alan Lancaster, happy that his tune ‘Ol Rag Blues’ was being released as a single wasn’t happy enough that he didn’t also insist he should be allowed to sing it, as well. This wasn’t terribly likely to happen, the record company don’t like things like bass-players doing vocals for singles. Two versions were recorded in the end to placate Alan, one him on vocals. Unsurprisingly, the record label fail to pick Alan’s version, much to Alan’s growing disillusionment with the entire Status Quo affair. Even more distressing for Alan and almost certainly the final straw of all was the release of ‘Marguerita Time’ as a single. He was dead against this lightweight slice of Butlins and house-wife pleasing nostalgia and watched even more unhappily as it sailed inevitably towards the top of the charts. So, this may have been the last ever Quo album, if it hadn’t been for Live Aid later reactivating the band, albeit in minus Alan Lancaster form, ultimately. As for ‘Maguerita Time’, I’m not against the tune as such, but I’m against the simplistic lyrics and the irritating way they’re sung. I’m against the cosy cheeriness of it all and the safe, sterile atmosphere it presents. Far better for instance is ‘Ol Rag Blues’, proper Quo nostalgia and an excellent way to update their seventies sound. it’s got energy, a nice catchy hook and pleasing lyrics.

    ‘A Mess Of Blues’ hit top twenty and opens the album with a bang. Bar one dreary ballad side one of the album is pleasing enough, in that ‘A Mess Of Blues’ and ‘Ol Rag Blues’ manage to be better than average. Side two unfortunately is entirely forgettable. The band fall between two stools far too often, the rock and the pop side not always convincingly placed next to each other, even within the same song. Believing themselves to be a rock band at heart, the sound had simply softened too much to the point where rock fans didn’t believe in the band anymore and pop fans just dug the singles. The albums had ceased to be cherished events, something which upset the groups core 70s fanbase in particular. Had John Coughlan been right in bailing out when he did? Should he have left sooner? Should the Quo indeed have been put to bed following the release of this album? Was ‘Marguerita Time being soft enough to get the band appearances on ‘Little And Large’ really cause for celebration, or a sign that Alan Lancaster perhaps had the right to be embarrassed, after all? The dreary ‘In The Army Now’ would follow, but that’s another story and shall be told another time. For now, a slightly negative but not really ‘6’ is the fate of ‘Back To Back’.

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    In The Army Now 4 ( 1986 UK pos 7 )
    Rollin Home / Calling / In Your Eyes / Save Me / In The Army Now / Dreamin' / End Of The Line / Invitation / Red Sky / Speechless / Overdose

    Lancaster gone and seemingly with him the last of Quo's rock credibility. Rossi, Parfitt and keyboardist Bown get together seemingly as equal partners, much to the distress of listeners everywhere flinching at the plastic, fairground novelty keyboard sounds playing in a lowest of the low creative manner. Rossi and Parfitt carry on as normal, more or less. Pop Quo much to the fore even on the rock material. The production evens and smooths out any rough edges that probably weren't even there in the first place. To be fair, 'Quo' had sounded dated for a few years, but 'In The Army Now' is an LP where it's so blindingly clear the band are re-writing themselves, let alone the same combination of boogie-rock riffs they'd been mining for a decade or more. Are there any interesting cuts here then? Well, two. The ZZ Top-isms for 'Red Sky' seem to work ok. The title track which has a love it or loathe it reputation amongst the Quo fans at least proves Quo could turn their hands to then contemporary rock music, have a big hit and not look silly with it.

    So, what else is old? Well, 'Invitation' is a hideous country tune, 'Speechless' makes even a synth act like Dollar seem cutting edge. The opening 'Rollin Home' might have made it were it not for the terribly plastic and weak sound. Keyboards on an equal par with the guitars all three instruments disappearing into a generic, soft-mor rock sound. It's very sad to say so but take away the title track, bearing in mind how maligned it is in Quo's fanbase, would this album have then seen a release by any kind of notable, major label? It's doubtful. Increasingly un-hip and irrelevant, 'Margeurita Time' and the title track of 'In The Army Now' lost Quo a big part of their original audience. A 3 then? Well, I quite like 'In Your Eyes' actually. It may not be innovative at all, but at least it has a decent tune. A couple of other songs i've already mentioned, yes, including the title track at least manage to be average. So, a low '4' rating for this unhappy collection of meaningless rock tunes in search of a reason to exist

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    Ain't Complaining 3 ( 1988 UK pos 12 )
    Ain't Complaining / Everytime I Think Of You / One For The Money / Another Shipwreck / Don't Mind If I Do / I Know You're Leaving / Cross That Bridge / Cream Of The Crop / Loving Game / Who Gets The Love / Burning Bridges / Magic

    Please no. God no, no, no.... Status Quo go from bad to worse. Unsure what direction to go into, they do a bunch of songs trying out other people's styles instead. Ever heard a dance-quo tune? It's here, the miami vice alike horror that is 'One For The Money'. Inspid Peter Cetera type material such as 'I Know You're Leaving' jostle side by side with the novelty hit ( the bands last ever sizeable hit song ) 'Burning Bridges'. Well, at least the jig-rock of 'Burning Bridges' ( Pogues done by Status Quo? ) has a little life about it. The title track also at least attempts to inject some energy into proceedings. It reminds me of the odious Robert Palmer, though. Why was it all the styles Quo were borrowing were from the early to mid-eighties when it was 1988 by the time the album was released? 'Don't Mind If I Do' is a half-decent tune, I suppose. It at least sounds like Status Quo, which is something when it's a song that's on a Status Quo album. Ah, but that's not fair is it? We complain that Quo stuck to their three chords and never changed, yet they did change. They just didn't evolve very well during the eighties and changing fashions ( radio 1 all but banning them from the airwaves circa 1989 ) would seek to wipe Quo off the musical map altogether. At least we have to give them credit for persisting, I suppose.

    Ah, 'Cross That Bridge' is Cochrans 'Something Else' with a fiddle on it, to all intents and purposes. Played by a band that were old and sounded old. Guys in their forties or fifties can indeed sound young as long as the drive and passion remains. We can only conclude 'Cross That Bridge' is a tune where Quo took to trying to insult not only their heroes but themselves. Did they have no pride when playing back this 'Ain't Complaining' LP? Did they really consider it a good work themselves? I guess they must of done. Makes me wonder, does that. Perhaps they'd all gone deaf, what do we think? Ok, i'll stop now. Overall, this album is perfectly professionally played and the production is a tad beyond 'In The Army Now'. Individual songs for the most part come and go and don't stink the house out. Yet, the whole is by far less than the sum of it's parts, because nothing on the album with the possible exception of 'Burning Bridges' really stands-out.

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    Perfect Remedy 5 ( 1989 )
    Ain't Little Dreamer / Not at All / Heart on Hold / Perfect Remedy / Address Book / The Power of Rock / The Way I Am / Tommy's in Love / Man Overboard / Going Down for the First Time / Throw Her a Line / 1000 Years

    'Perfect Remedy' failed to chart, the first occasion that had happened to Status Quo since 1971. So yes, i'm reviewing an album even Quo fans hardly know about or heard and nobody else will care anyway. That's me, always pandering to the popular masses, haha! Even more so when I suggest that this album, whilst hardly a rocking Quo classic, is actually far better than its reputation deserves. The keyboards are toned down and the band are playing to their strengths once more. True, there's no classic material here and many of the tracks are worthy but just a little dull. The band performances lack energy somehow, as if producer Pip Williams sucked it all out of them upon entering the studio. A problem with the mix, perhaps? Had the Quo got the guitars right back to the fore, i'm sure this album would have fared better. This mix turns down the guitars although there's not actually anything else to put in their place. Everything ends up at the same level, there's no seperation and it just doesn't sound like four/five guys playing in a studio. It's a shame because the title track is really good. I mean, it's as good a song as the Quo had written in years. The opening 'Little Dreamer' is also a fine track. It doesn't quite manage a distinctive intro, although it tries. The drums are too loud, but they try. The song rides along quite enjoyably even with a flaw here and there. It's catchy material from the off, actually.

    'The Power Of Rock' is a keyboard led power ballad with a hint or Irish folk music and it stinks. 'Throw Her A Line' is uptempo and could have sounded great with a 'live' production. The song ain't no classic, but at least try and give yourselves a fighting chance. 'Perfect Remedy' ultimately doesn't have direction and that's its main fault. It seems to be a compromised set and as such, failed to hit home with fans who by now wanted something a little rawer from the guys. Still, it can be seen retrospectively as a step in the right direction. The poor commercial reception for the record ultimately wasn't the encouragement the band needed to try and fine themselves making real music again and again.

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    mayhem16uk UK
    being a massive quo fan and seeing them over a hundred times i actually believe the power of rock to be an absolute classic. one that should definatly be played live!

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    Rock Til You Drop( 1991, UK Pos 10 )
    Like a zombie / All we really wanna do / Fakin' the blues / One man band / Rock 'til you drop / Can't give you more / Warning shot / Let's work together / Bring it on home / No problems / Good sign / Tommy / Nothing comes easy / Fame or money / Price of love / Forty five hundred times

    Let us write some proper songs and stop pissing about. Our last album didn't even CHART! Whilst there are no out and out Quo classics here, this is easily their most satisfying album for quite some time. 'Warning Shot' for example, which appears right in the middle of this set is good enough to appear on a recent Fairport Convention album and I do make that comparison deliberately. On the otherhand, 'Let's Work Together', better known as 'Let's Stick Together' is an utterly pointless if convincing cover thanks to the stellar harmonica and lead guitar work. We don't expect originality from a Quo album and we don't get any. We also don't get any nods towards any musical styles that will appeal to anybody under the age of thirty, which just discounts over half of my readership. With an open mind however, just listening to this stuff, you should appreciate a great deal of it. 'Bring It On Home' is a convincing blues number, thanks to the guitar work. Indeed, across the whole album the sound is natural and the Quo seem to have remembered their roots. Some of these tunes I swear i've heard before, yet Oasis get away with ripping off others tunes left right and centre, give these Quo guys a break! Especially if you don't want to, I know people whom would rather have a labotomy than listen to a Status Quo album, even one as fine as any from their peak period. I know people who despise everything Status Quo stand for, and I was one of those people until I grew up, met some musicians, listened and learned. Readers of N.M.E take note. The closing 'Forty Five Hundred Blues' is good enough to be metallica with a little old fashioned british imagination. Obviously, it sounds nothing like metallica, but if metallica apparently have conviction, this does too.

    'Fakin The Blues' and the storming opener, 'Like A Zombie' both could have been hits for the Quo in times gone by. 'Fakin The Blues' is one of the most satisfying Quo compositions for several years, properly constructed and with just enough bite, although not all that much. Again properly constructed is 'One Man Band', a storming guitar twirler, a proper rock n roll performance far in excess of the filler album tracks Quo introduced in the eighties. The title track is lyrically cliched, yet the music and performance convinces. A good Quo album? Well yes, and we never thought we'd say that in the first place, let alone say it again.

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    Thirsty Work( 1994, UK Pos 13 )
    Goin' Nowhere / I Didn't Mean It / Confidence / Point of No Return / Sail Away / Like It or Not / Soft in the Head / Queenie / Lover of the Human Race / Sherri Don't Fail Me Now! / Rude Awakening Time / Back on My Feet / Restless / Ciao-Ciao / Tango / Sorry

    Three hit singles for the Quo in 1994. 'I Didn't Mean It' hit a peak of number 21 in August. 'Sherri Don't Fail Me Now' reached #38 and 'Restless' hit #39. Obviously, they'd had far better commercial days in the past. The album itself, supported by Quo's still respectable fanbase, went straight in at number 13 on the album charts. The three singles, then? Well, 'I Didn't Mean It' is a more than decent Quo rocker with a spirited energy and a strong chorus. It's no 'Down Down', but it more than stands up to then recent Quo single releases. Would sound great played live, of that i've no doubt. Love the rock n roll piano rolls in this song in particular. 'Sherri Don't Fail Me Now' is a Quo pop song that leans heavily on keyboards and sounds somewhat dated, very 80s. The song has fine construction but the chorus isn't really at the expected Quo singles standard. The third and final single released from 'Thirsty Work', then? Well, 'Restless' is a keyboard led ballad, nothing wrong with it in particular if treated as an album track to provide variety, but highly unlikely to succeed as a single. Indeed it didn't, scraping into the top 40 on the strength, no doubt, of the Quo fanbase alone. Kind of sounds like a singer/songwriter 70s MOR ballad. What songs could the Quo have chosen then for the 2nd or 3rd single release choices? Well, how about the storming 'Queenie' for one? Even something like 'Sail Away', which borders on novelty thanks to the production values, but remains a strong tune. The production values? The Quo sound tamed, they sound like they are playing in a cheap, seaside resort. Whilst you can hear the drums, guitar and especially the keyboards and everything is well performed, there is a sense that the sound isn't quite appropriate. Sure, they needed a couple of 'safe' sounding tunes to aim for the radio, I guess. That's no excuse for making the album sound so inoffensive, though.

    I like something like the three minute 'Back On My Feet'. It's the kind of song the Quo have written dozens of times before. It doesn't however outstay its welcome at all and has nice guitar parts to provide the album with a much needed injection of ROCK. Even better is 'Soft In The Head'. Finally, 'Thirsty Work' provides something alongside 'Queenie' and 'I Didn't Mean It' which sounds like a proper rock n roll boogie stomper. Come to think of it, this also would have made a better single than either 'Restless' or 'Sherri Don't Fail Me Now'. So, in support of 'Thirsty Work', it has a clutch of very good Quo songs. The more negative side includes the production and sound of the actual album, which i'm not altogether comfortable with. Along with that, 16 songs running to an hour of music is perhaps four songs of filler too many. Not everything here works and the album does sag in places. Still better than their 80s nadir, though.

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    Don't Stop 3 ( 1996, UK Pos 2 )
    Fun, Fun, Fun / When You Walk In The Room / I Can Hear The Grass Grow / You Can Never Tell / Get Back / Safety Dance / Raining In My Heart / Don't Stop / Sorrow / Proud Mary / Lucille / Johnny And Mary / Get Out Of Denver / The Futures So Bright / All Around My Hat

    The 30th anniversary album. A large amount of promotion on the bands part saw this effort reach number two in the UK album charts, right in the middle of britpop. Seems almost impossible to believe, doesn't it? And why oh why oh why do I punish myself so? Status Quo and Mike Love of The Beach Boys got together for the Quo cover of 'Fun Fun Fun' and Brian Wilson was dragged onstage to promote the song for a daytime UK tv show. It was one of the most horrific public appearences Brian Wilson had ever made. He clearly didn't want to be there. The Beach Boys themselves hadn't been played on Radio One for twenty years, Quo for a good five years. Quo decide to therefore kick up a fuss that Radio One wouldn't playlist this cover of a forty plus year old song recorded by two ageing bands well past their peak. They lost their case and Radio One indeed, quite rightly, weren't forced to place the song on their playlist, however popular the Quo claimed the recording to be. For the record, this cover is one of the most hideous things to come out of popular music in recent years. The entire album suffers from poor, unimaginative production values, making the once mighty Quo sound like a competent bar band and little more. The very idea of a covers album is almost enough to make me retch in the first place. That's whoever decides to do one, there have been very few worthy cover albums ever, let's face it. Still, The Quo's very of Men In Hats every eighties synth novelty hit 'Safety Dance' is entertaining, although I prefer the cover by Homer Simpson, it must be said.

    The title track is the one track here that most resembles the sound of Quo. The Quo's take on this Fleetwood Mac effort having fully the Quo mark stamped upon it. 'Sorrow' is a decent cover and 'Lucille' at least sounds like rock n roll, albeit sanitised. 'Get Out Of Denver' has energy and sounds like the Quo, but where are those duelling Quo guitars of old? The closing tune is a cover of Steeleye Span's 'All Around My Hat'. Released as a Quo single, it stalled just outside the top 40, despite the obvious quality of the tune. Quo naturally stick their boogie-stomp on the folk classic. It doesn't quite work, but it's better than the majority of the album, it's fair to say. All in all, this album is utterly missable even for the Quo fanatic. Download 'All Around My Hat', the title track and 'Safety Dance' by Homer Simpson.

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    Under The Influence 6 ( 1999, UK Pos 26 )
    Twenty Wild Horses / Under The Influence / Round & Round / Shine On / Little White Lies / Keep 'Em Coming / Little Me And You / Making Waves / Blessed Are The Meek / Roll The Dice / Way It Goes / Not Fade Away

    Dull, boring, safe, competent and predictable are just some of the words I could use to describe this album. At least we do have some energy in places, notably the enjoyable title track which could almost pass for prime-time Quo. We do need to give the band credit where it's due, even if we don't want to. Still here in the 21st century? Check. Unchanged, stable line up of rossi, parfitt, bown, edwards and rich since 1986? Check. A good title track where we get proper actual guitars as well as a nifty blues feel and a great instrumental break. Have I gone mad? Well, no. Those words I plucked up for the first sentence still stand when considering the album as a whole. Another positive? Well, only one hit single from the album, 'Way It Goes', but it's a good one, certainly. Again, the guitars are to the fore, which is always how we want our Status Quo to sound. I like the album cover, too! They'd make good landlords would Rossi and Parfitt. Maybe they can work that one into the old retirement plan ( as if! ). They let themselves down though with a good intentioned maybe, but needless cover of Buddy Holly's 'Not Fade Away'. They try and give it a new shine, but it doesn't quite work. Speaking of 'Shine', 'Shine On' is an awful, clumsy and downright dull tune that i'll pass over quickly because I don't like listening to this attempted late night modern soulless blues.

    'Roll The Dice' is typical Quo, they strike up a boogie with the guitars, which sounds decent, although ultimately the song goes nowhere. Songs like 'Keep Them Coming' are both good and bad. At least the sound is there and the effort is there. A spirited vocal and the guitars sound fresh. Not quality material though when compared to the bands finer work from the past. Let's find another good song, then? I like 'Round & Round', it does what it sense on the tin and it's a lot of boogie rock fun. Lead track 'Twenty Wild Horses' is decent, although lyrically challenged, as much of the album sadly appears to be. I can't and won't write the Quo off just yet, though. There's half a very good album here.

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    Famous In The Last Century 4 ( 2000, UK Pos 21 )
    Famous In The Last Century / Old Time Rock 'n' Roll / Way Down / Rave On / Roll Over Beethoven / When I'm Dead And Gone / Memphis Tennesse / Sweet Home Chicago / Crawling From The Wreckage / Good Golly Miss Molly / Claudette / Rock 'n' Me / Hound Dog / Runaround Sue / Once Bitten Twice Shy / Mony Mony / Famous In The Last Century

    A contractual obligation album, another covers album and according to the band themselves, not a very good album. To quote leader Francis Rossi, Or, put another way, another bloody covers album! We went along with it, as usual, but inside I felt like a fraud...for me it was the worst Quo album there had ever been - or ever will be!' So, where do we even start with 'Famous In The Last Century'? Well, the music is as you would expect. The guitars and no-frills boogie rock of the Quo is present and correct. 'Roll Over Beethoven' is one of the worst offenders on this over-lengthy album, a squeak as opposed to a roar. Clumsy where it should be racing elegantly ahead. Better is the Buddy Holly tune 'Rave On', given a spicy little Quo guitar solo in the middle. The one original tune here is the title track which bookends the album. A mere minute or so long, it would have been nice if it had been a little longer. It had an idea and a decent guitar sound. We move on though, The Everly Brothers 'Claudette' is turned into a lifeless attempted Quo stomp and loses all charm as a song in the process. 'Mony Mony'? I mean, jesus, do we really need a new version of this dog-tired old supposed 'classic'? No, we don't, in all honesty.

    A highlight or two, then? Well, the brief title track is one. 'Way Down' is another, is has an actual genuine energy, isn't an old cliched piece of dusty overdone rock'n'roll and is given the Quo twist, without sounding like everything else they've ever done. 'Memphis Tennessee' starts out great, suffers a little through the not dangerous enough and far too clean production, but still provides enjoyment, all the same. Best song? 'Once Bitten Twice Shy', a real rock'n'roll boogie that suits the Quo down to the ground. It's not enough for the album to be utterly forgettable, though.

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    Heavy Traffic( 2002, UK Pos 15 )
    Blues And Rhythm / All Stand Up (Never Say Never) / The Oriental / Creepin Up On You / Heavy Traffic / Solid Gold / Green / Jam Side Down / Diggin' Burt Bacharach / Do It Again / Another Day / I Don't Remember Anymore / Money Don't Matter / Rhythm Of Life

    The Quo's habit for carrying on, turning up and never-changing was bound to produce dividends eventually and so it is here with one of their strongest album releases. Even 'allmusic.com' have declared it to be a masterpiece and what a Quo album should be, the guys simply playing live in the studio and not relying on production and technology to sway them. Certain excitable Quo fans though have proclaimed this album as right up their with 'Blue For You', etc. Not quite, the second half of the album trails away without a firm conclusion. As it is though, we've a handful of strong tracks where 'Heavy Traffic' gets it's pulsebeat from. It's a joy to hear Quo songs again so firmly rooted in the blues-boogie they used to do with their eyes shut. Right from 'Blues & Rhythm' we can sense a renewed purpose within the band. 'All Stand Up' has genuine energy, for example. 'The Oriental' is catchy and fun, 'Creepin Up On You' a genuinely quality composition wih blues guitar and that Quo boogie backing it up to fine effect. The lead single was 'Jam Side Down', becoming the first Quo original to make the top twenty of the UK singles charts for quite some time. It sounds like it could have been released by Quo at any stage within the past thirty years. That may not seem a good thing, but when we're speaking of the Quo, it means the song has a certain Quo quality that benefits 'Jam Side Down' being a charting Quo single. Harmonica see-sails right through 'Solid Gold' and it's a joy to hear. 'Green' is an intriguing track complete with acoustic guitars. It sounds atypical of the Quo, yet absolutely works. It sounds real and is perhaps my favourite song here.

    'Do It Again' is an anthemic tune that sounds absolutely committed as the group kick up a storm that belies the guys ages. They may be 400 years old or something between them, but 'Heavy Traffic' is a convincing argument for old guys making rock n roll music. They could have knocked a couple of the tracks off towards the end of the LP to ensure the whole came in under forty minutes. As it is, this still manages to be a wholly convincing argument as to why the Quo do and should still exist.

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    The Party Ain't Over Yet 7 ( 2005 )
    The Party Ain't Over Yet / Gotta Get Up And Go / All That Counts Is Love / Familiar Blues / The Bubble / Belavista Man / Nevashooda / Velvet Train / Goodbye Baby / You Never Stop / Kick Me When I'm Down / Cupid Stupid / This Is Me

    It's new years day, 2008, at the time of writing. My phone and internet connection is down and the internet connection may be down for a week or more. What to do? Well, my normal reasearch avenues are down, for a start. I have a few books, but not a library, you understand. So, i'm picking and choosing artists to review where really, the music matters above and beyond all else. Status Quo, love em or loathe em, are just such an act. Yes, for all their often embarassing TV appearences whoring themselves out to get their music heard in the absence of radio play ( for which I don't actually blame them for, and besides, one of their most recent was with the wonderful Adrian Chiles on 'The One Show' ) you know the Quo are in this for the love of music. 'The Party Ain't Over Yet' is an album containing solid original Quo songs and they sound like a band, continuing on from 'Heavy Traffic' stylistically. We've brief tantalising glipses of the classic Quo duelling guitar sound from the Seventies and generally interesting guitar parts elsewhere. Certain songs are saved by such sections, lifting average material to a good level otherwise unobtainable. The title track sent the Quo back into the UK top twenty, yet another hit single in a seemingly neverending line of hit singles for the group. It's pretty much Quo by numbers, enjoyable enough but nothing genuinely exciting. Genuinely exciting? Well, take 'Velvet Train' for example. See-sawing harmonica parts lends a genuine edge and the guitars chug with intent, oh yes they do! We've also got a great instrumental break with guitar solo, harmonica solo and it comes across not so much as a velvet train, but a steaming, mechanical monster.

    How about a moment then that rescues an otherwise plodding tune? The harmonica parts through 'Belavista Man' raises the stakes and means the song appears to improve as it goes along, quite strange for a song that's all circles of guitars and a very traditional blues rock type structure. 'Gotta Get Up And Go' begins like utter classic Quo material, the guitars sound right and we wait through the opening seconds awaiting an explosion. Instead of the expected explosion, although the energy of the tune is retained, it never really reaches a higher level. Still a decent enough song, mind you. A harmless, catchy highlight arrives with 'All That Counts Is Love'. Again, Quo fail to resort to mid-tempo plodding, keep the energy up and this could have been a hit, for my money. What else? Well, a few tracks, 'Familiar Blues' being the worst offender, just simply fail to go anywhere. Indeed, 'Familiar Blues' and 'The Bubble' are ten minutes long between them right next to each other on the LP and sleeping is possibly advised during this section. Well, 'The Bubble' would be ok if it didn't resemble 80s AOR. Nevertheless, 'The Party Ain't Over Yet' is an album with more highs than lows, a solid collection for fans to enjoy.

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    In Search Of The Fourth Chord 7 ( 2007 )
    Beginning of the End / Alright / Pennsylvania Blues Tonight / I Don't Wanna Hurt You Anymore / Electric Arena / Gravy Train / Figure of Eight / You're the One for Me / My Little Heartbreaker / Hold Me / Saddling Up / Bad News / Tongue Tied

    The ironically titled 'In Searth Of The Fourth Chord' is the Quo's umpteenth album and continues their recent return to some kind of boogie-rock roots. Their sound remains uninventive, their lyrics remain unimaginative yet Status Quo still manage to demonstrate enthusiasm and energy, which is quite something after so many years in the job. We even get something of a first, bassist John "Rhino" Edwards handles the vocal duties on 'Bad News', the first time he gets a lead vocal in twenty odd years as part of the Quo line-up. It's a strongish rocker and his vocals are decent and suitably gritty. The strangely weak vocal that decorates 'Tongue Tied', a ballad in search of a tune undoes a lot of the good work 'Bad News' performs towards the close of the album, however. At the other end of things, the lead single opens up the album with a bang, catchy riffs and a memorable chorus. It's no 'Caroline' or 'Down Down' of course, yet the guitars combine well to create an impressive sound all the same. A potential second single, should they choose to release one, could well be the powerful 'Gravy Train', a great chugging thing with sterling keyboard work combine with the vocals to remind this listener of the rockier moments from classic Sixties group, The Doors.

    'You're The One For Me' revolves around another guitar riff variation sounding suspiciously similar to dozens of other Quo tunes, yet we're going back to 70s Quo rather than 80s, so that's not a bad thing. Indeed, the energy and refreshingly natural sound of 'You're The One For Me' is almost enough to remind a listener of the Quo's classic run of albums in the early to mid-seventies. Another welcome highlight has to be 'Pennsylvania Blues Tonight', a surprisingly modern sounding rhythm section provide an insistent groove, hence a groove based rather than riff based Quo tune, although a catchy little guitar figure pops up here and there to move the tune forwards. Inbetween said highlights, we have a few near-clunkers, undistinguished material not likely to lodge itself in your brain in the first place, let alone stay around. So, material like 'My Little Heartbreaker' is all the more fun inbetween such material. Not a classic Quo set then by any means, yet certainly listenable and matching the quality of the groups best recent works.

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    Live At The BBC 8 ( 2010 )
    Gloria / I (Who Have Nothing) / Neighbour, Neighbour / Bloodhound / Bird Dog / I Don't Want You / Almost But Not Quite There / Spicks and Specks / It Takes Two / Spicks And Specks / Judy In Disguise (With Glasses) / Pictures Of Matchstick Men / Things Get Better / Pictures of Matchstick Men / Gloria / Bloodhound / Black Veils Of Melancholy / Ice In The Sun / Paradise Flat / When My Mind Is Not Live / Make Me Stay A Bit Longer / Are You Growing Tired of My Love / The Price Of Love / The Price Of Love / Junior's Wailing / Spinning Wheel Bluesv Down The Dustpipe / In My Chair / Need Your Love / Mean Girl / Don't Waste My Time / Oh Baby / Paper Plane / Softer Ride / Paper Plane / Softer Ride / Don't Waste My Time / In My Chair / Caroline / From A Jack To A King / Down The Dustpipe / Railroad / Caroline / The Party Ain't Over Yet / Whatever You Want / Belavista Man / Rockin' All Over The World / Junior's Wailing / Someone's Learning / In My Chair / Railroad / Don't Waste My Time / Paper Plane / Roadhouse Blues / Bye Bye Johnny / Caroline / Roll Over Lay Down / Backwater / Little Lady / Don't Drive My Car / Whatever You Want / Hold You Back / Rockin' All Over The World / Over The Edge / Don't Waste My Time / Dirty Water / 4500 Times / Big Fat Mama / Roadhouse Blues / Rain / Down Down / Bye Bye Johnny / Whatever You Want / Little Lady / Roll Over Lay Down / Cream Of The Crop / Who Gets The Love? / Hold You Back / Don't Drive My Car / Dirty Water / In The Army Now / Rockin' All Over The World / Don't Waste My Time / Bye Bye Johnny / Whatever You Want / In The Army Now / Burning Bridges / Rockin' All Over The World / Roadhouse Blues/The Wanderer/Marguerita Time/Living On An Island/Break The Rules/Something 'Bout You Baby I Like/The Price Of Love/Roadhouse Blues Caroline / Paper Plane / The Wanderer / Proud Mary / Wild Side Of Life /Rollin' Home/Again And Again/Slow Train / Get Back / Whatever You Want / In The Army Now / Something 'Bout You Baby I Like / Don't Waste My Time / Rockin All Over The World / Roadhouse Blues / Caroline / All Around My Hat (with Maddy Prior) / Caroline / Roll Over Lay Down / Backwater / Little Lady / Don't Drive My Car / Whatever You Want / Hold You Back / Rockin' All Over The World / Dirty Water / Down Down / Don't Waste My Time

    Beginning with a cover of Van Morrison's 'Gloria' and ending with tracks recorded for the BBC in 1996 this set covers a selection of recordings The Quo made for BBC radio. When 'GLoria' kicks into gear Status Quo are still known as The Spectres. In 1996 they had become a somewhat derided national institution, albeit one with a committed and appreciated fanbase, particularly on the live circuit. 'Roadhouse Blues' from one of these 1996 live performances for instance displays an immensely impressive powerful performance from Quo, proof at last that they'd actually lost none of their Seventies firepower, at least when they put their minds to it. These 1996 live performances bristle with intent, 'Paper Plane' sounds like a tank about to destroy an entire village. Switching to live performances from 1992 contained on disc six is therefore a bit of a surprise. A much more crowd-pleasing set full of hits, 'Whatever You Want', 'Burning Bridges', 'Rockin All Over The World', etc. Just comparing the 1992 and 1996 performances of 'Roadhouse Blues' is revealing for me. The 1992 version hasmarkedly less power coming from the rhythm section and coarser lead vocals.

    In 1988 live at Wembley Arena we open with a perfuntory run through of Argos favourite 'Whatever You Want', move into a throroughly entertaining and energetic 'Little Lady' moving through some 'select' album tracks from 'Ain't Complaining', my least favourite Status Quo album ever. The energy levels drop and they turn into some kind of American arena act, losing much of their character in the process. Let's compare and contrast 1988's 'Whatever You Want' then with 1982's 'Whatever You Want' recorded at the Birmingham NEC. The classic Quo guitar boogie sparkles for one and a version of 'Caroline' taken from the same gig may have slightly bored sounding vocals but the band themselves sound pretty good when blasting through my ears. The live tracks taken from 1973 sound like a band in transition even though the transition to the boogie monsters they were famous for being by then was already complete. Just goes to show how much the Quo continued to improve throughout that decade. Although their albums may not have sounded very different at all to each other, live at least they were still developing and honing themselves both as a unit and as individual performers.

    Personally, being a massive fan of the late, lamented John Peel, hearing two tracks recorded for a Peel Session in 1972 was revelatory. Re-writen history would pretent that Peel arrived when punk did and listened to nothing but noisy white boys who would later crop up in the pages of NME. So, a run through of 'Paper Plane' and also 'Softer Ride' which has insistent guitar riffs and a proper bluesy feel - albeit all done at 100 miles an hour. Best thing on the box-set? Well, quite possibly, at least in our house. Seven songs from a 1972 'Sound Of The Seventies' demonstrates well why Quo blossomed into the huge act they became, particularly a roaring version 'Oh Baby'. I like the way the highlights of this box overall aren't necessarily the ones you would expect. Yeah, the sound quality is variable throughout although that doesn't detract one bit from the overall pleasure to be had. Yes, Quo=pleasure. Well, at least they should do for any reasonable thinking person, especially when dipping into the early to mid-seventies output of Quo.

    A quick word about formats. The deluxe edition contains seven CDs and one DVD. There's a four disc box and also a 2CD version. A veritable feast for Quo fans. I mean, those early sessions when Quo were known as The Spectres showcase a promising rhythm and blues outfit. Four tracks as 'The Traffic Jam' are caught somewhere inbetween the rhythm and blues and the pyschedelic outfit they would become. The songs from 1968 showcase a number of covers and also an airing of 'Pictures Of Matchstick Men' their first chart-breakthrough. Still sounds good some astonishing 42 years later. A very posh sounding Hairy Cornflake then takes us through three or four tracks when Quo had all but completed their move back to the blues, to rhythm and blues and well towards developing into that mighty seventies behemoth they became.

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    Quid Pro Quo 8 ( 2011 )
    Two Way Traffic / Rock 'n' Roll 'n' You / Dust To Gold / Let's Rock / Can't See For Looking / Better Than That / Movin' On / Leave A Little Light On (Parfitt/Morris) / Any Way You Like It / Frozen Hero / Reality Cheque / The Winner / It's All About You / My Old Ways

    Reaching number 10 in the UK album charts for a band that has been around as long as Status Quo have is a very impressive feat. Well, let's think of it this way. Will U2 still be charting in the top ten come 2020? Bono will have no voice, The Edge will be deaf and the rhythm section fat and bald. Francis Rossi still composes the majority of Quo tracks, by the way, yet the Parfitt/Bown axis get plenty of writing credits also, although curiously no songs are Rossi/Parfitt co-writes, they rarely ever did write together if my memory serves me correctly. Anyway, 'Quid Pro Quo' captures the sound of the band playing live, there's very few overdubs and it's a guitar heavy sound. The songs are lyrically reminding one of their previous hits yet musically rush along in a manner no forty year old band have any right to be able to achieve.

    Salient points lazily cribbed from Amazon reader reviews follow.

    "To me, Quid Pro Quo sounds like the culmination of Status Quo rediscovering their soul (their 'Quoness' if you like) that started with Under the Influence in 1999"

    "I have a massive soft spot for the Quo. I used to listen on a Saturday afternoon to the Alan "Fluff" Freeman radio show praying he would play a Quo track...and he did lots of them! I go back as far as Ma Kellys Greasy Spoon"

    "Following on from poor efforts in the 80s and 90s Quo are starting to produce some good albums again."

    "Bought this for my hubby as he is a Quo fan! Cant comment on the album as I m not particularly a quo fan myself but I have a happy hubby"

    Isn't that what music is all about? Following that final comment, I may get my wife to go-to a Quo gig instead of me going to a Take That gig. Well, I'm not a Quo fan, as such, but the live disc here gets my curiosity juices flowing - to think, when I started this page I thought I absolutely despised the group and everything they stood for? True, the lyrics are as cliche as Jeremy Clarkson yet when did that ever stop him being popular? The music is rock, the rockiest they've been for quite for years, consistently so rather than just the odd track here and there. I mean, Parfitt can even get away with 'Let's ROCK, Let's ROCKIT' and we don't mind. Not enough bands do rock these days, I mean, who has even come through in the past few years? 'Reality Cheque' and 'Leave A Little Light On' are also Parfitt co-writes and he seems on fine form throughout this LP set. LP? See what I did there - trying to confuse the already bewildered youngsters!

    Andy Bown plays keyboards that sound like Piano and Organ - perhaps they are. It all adds to a very real sounding Quo set that doesn't scream out 2011, as it very much shouldn't do, and what's this? 'Frozen Hero' penned largely by Rossi sounds like a Quo classic if ever there was one, a song to slip seamlessly into any Quo live set. The guitars spiral and turn and the chorus is mighty and why the hell didn't they release this as a single anyway? Well, their days of hit singles are quite probably way behind them yet I'm glad to report they've still got it in them to try.

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    Readers Comments

    Paul Lillis Republic Of Ireland
    only after finding your website and what a pleasure it is to read your reviews and there are very good have all these albums you talked about and i must say i agreed with you on what you said. but tou didnt review to be or not to be album i think release in 1979, in my opinion i think this would only recieve a 4 rating one of there poorer albums i love the quo and always get there albums but havnt bought much of there new stuff prefer there music from the early 70s thanks again it was great to find your site

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    Bula Quo!( 2013 )
    1. Looking Out For Caroline / GoGoGo / Run And Hide (The Gun Song) / Running Inside My Head / Mystery Island / All That Money / Never Leave a Friend Behind / Fiji Time / Bula Bula Quo (Kua Ni Lega) / Living On An Island / Frozen Hero / Reality Cheque / Rockin' All Over The World / Caroline / Beginning Of The End / Don't Drive My Car / Pictures Of Matchstick Men / Whatever You Want / Down Down

    Status Quo have gone silver screen in Kiss fashion with a film Bula Quo, disappointingly, this isn't 'Family Guy Kiss Do Christmas' but was perhaps an inevitable concept from a band searching for ways to remain in the news and to remain relevant. You do suspect though a lot of the dodgier concepts coming from the Quo camp are Rick Parfitt ideas - these guys appeared on TV and Rossi just nodded politely. 'Bula Bula Quo' becomes, astonisingly, the groups 100th single. That's a staggering fact, surely?

    As for the film, "Rocking All Over The World, Status Quo witnesses a gang murder in Fiji. They flee with crucial evidence; have they played their last gig? Rock legends Status Quo are finishing their 50 Year Celebration tour. They come off stage to thunderous applause and slip away for a quiet drink. Suspecting a bigger party is going on in the back bar, Francis Rossi and Rick Parfitt slip through security and gate crash the event. They witness a gambling ring forcing competitors to play Russian Roulette. The winner gets dinner. The other loses their head. Parfitt and Rossi grab evidence of the murder and create a commotion so they can get away. Wilson (Jon Lovitz – Happiness, The Wedding Singer, Friends), the lead gangster, catches sight of them and orders their heads. Parfitt and Rossi are on the run. Simon (Craig Fairbrass – Cliff Hanger, Rise of The Footsoldier), their manager, and Caroline (Laura Aikman - Keith lemon Movie, Freight, Blood Monkey etc), a cheeky intern, are tasked with keeping the press in the dark while protecting Status Quo. An ambitious reporter, Dave (Matt Kennard - Freight, BBC TV Doctors), senses there is a story. Caroline holds him off as long as possible, but as the situation escalates, enlists his help. Using sea-planes, speed boats, jet skis, golf carts and scuba gear, Status Quo and their entourage evade capture and manage to leave paradise."

    First thing I notice listening to this, it's very produced, it's very commercial with almost every song tipping its hat towards the charts, if only it were twenty years ago, of course. That's a fact Quo live to ignore, so we have 'GoGoGo' which is a genuinely brilliant track, with an actual thrilling guitar solo of the type you would not readily associate with Status Quo. The opening 'Looking Out For Caroline' is decent, although a little too familiar for what we expect from Quo. 'Run And Hide' has some heavy bass guitar work which is nice and 'Running Inside My Head' is faintly bluesy and lots of fun, if not exactly serious. We'll skip 'Mystery Island' for being a piss-poor attempt at a Beach Boys 'Kokomo' and the single 'Bula Bula Quo' is just weird, tribal drumming and an all too jaunty lead vocal. The 2nd disc consists of remakes of Quo songs and a few live numbers, ancient Quo number 'Pictures Of Matchstick Men' being done particularly well.

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    Readers Comments

    Thx for all the great Reviews, can’t wait for the AQUOSTIC review. rock on

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    this page last updated 230/08/15

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