Status Quo: Reissues

The Frantic Four line-up’s Qulassics expanded.

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Fans may dispute the exact beginning and end of Status Quo’s golden age, but there’s no doubt that these three albums landed smack dab in the middle of it. Between their first steps at super-greaser heavy shuffle and their later, still successful transformation into an unlikely 80s pop group, Status Quo released album after album of joyful-sounding boogie.

From Francis Rossi’s oddly folkie vocals to Rick Parfitt’s sometimes powder-powered melodies, they were always mocked for songs that sounded the same, yet the truth was that nobody else sounded like Status Quo except them.

At the peak of their success as a singles band – 1973’s Hello (810) features both Roll Over Lay Down and Caroline; 1974’s Quo (810) offers Break The Rules and the somewhat later Rockin’ All Over The World (710); 1977 has, well, you work it out – Quo were always about much more than just the hits.

From the steamhammer melancholy of Softer Ride and And It’s Better Now on Hello to the amazingly wistful Lonely Man on Quo, this was a band whose songwriters did a lot more with their deliberately limited template than some of their officially less conventional contemporaries.

By the time of Rockin’ All Over The World, a degree of studio slickness had set in, but as the extra discs included here from various concerts display, this was always offset by live Quo, who generally sounded as though they were being fired from cannons every time they set foot on a stage.

Status Quo’s reputation and brilliance have for many never needed salvaging. But just in case, these reissues put the case for the denim demons brilliantly.

David Quantick

David Quantick is an English novelist, comedy writer and critic, who has worked as a journalist and screenwriter. A former staff writer for the music magazine NME, his writing credits have included On the HourBlue JamTV Burp and Veep; for the latter of these he won an Emmy in 2015.