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Status Quo: Status Quo Live! Boxset

The seminal Frantic Four Live! album – with extra boogie bang for your buck.

With due respect to Classic Rock’s Dave Ling and “fifth member” Bob Young (who wrote and supplied rarely seen photos for its 36-page booklet) you’ll buy this because, as well as the legendary Live!, it includes two extra live albums, previously officially unavailable in the UK.

These are Live Sydney (oft bootlegged) and Tokyo Quo (a Japan-only release in 1977 that briefly emerged here, on vinyl, for Record Store Day 2014). Live!, the remastered two-disc balcony-wobbling Glasgow Apollo album (recorded in October 1976) restores the original 93-and-a-half-minute running order of the vinyl so – presuming we can take it as read that it’s the cat’s cojones – we need only consider the other two here.

The Tokyo album is, all things considered, a disappointment. Recorded just three weeks after Live!, it’s only half as long and replicates nine of the original’s 15-strong setlist. Quo rock hard enough to win over their far more reserved Japanese audience, but it lacks the frenzy of the Apollo gigs. Much more interesting is the 62-minute Sydney disc – including Claudie and Railroad among earlier takes of the Live! classics.

Admittedly, although cleaned up, the mixing-desk tape (a C90 cassette, I’ll wager) sounds flat alongside Live! or Tokyo Quo – and a break in the audio sees Roadhouse Blues split in two (shame it didn’t instead coincide with the lettuce-limp Drum Solo). But no amount of tape hiss or crackling can ruin this. Rossi is in full-on Del-Boy mode with his patter and the band play like boogie hooligans running riot.

Freelance contributor to Classic Rock and several of its offshoots since 2006. In the 1980s he began a 15-year spell working for Kerrang! intially as a cub reviewer and later as Geoff Barton’s deputy and then pouring precious metal into test tubes as editor of its Special Projects division. Has spent quality time with Robert Plant, Keith Richards, Ritchie Blackmore, Rory Gallagher and Gary Moore – and also spent time in a maximum security prison alongside Love/Hate. Loves Rush. Aerosmith and beer. Will work for food.