Status Quo


Band members                          Related acts

  line up 1 (1962-63) as The Spectres

- Alan Lancaster -- vocals, guitar, bass
- Mike Rossi -- vocals, guitar  

 

  line up 2 (1963-64) as The Spectres

NEW - John Coghlan -- drums

NEW - Jess Jaworski -- keyboards

- Alan Lancaster -- vocals, guitar, bass
- Mike Rossi -- vocals, guitar  

 

  line up 3 (1964-67) as The Spectres

- John Coghlan -- drums

- Alan Lancaster - - vocals, guitar, bass

NEW - Roy Lynes -- vocals, keyboards (replaced Jess Jaworski)

- Mike Rossi -- vocals, guitar  

 

  line up 4 (1967) as Traffic / Traffic Jam

- John Coghlan -- drums

- Alan Lancaster - - vocals, guitar, bass

- Roy Lynes -- vocals, keyboards

NEW - Rick Parfitt -- vocals, guitar, keyboards
- Mike Rossi -- vocals, guitar  

 

  line up 5 (1967-69) as The Status Quo

- John Coghlan -- drums

- Alan Lancaster - - vocals, guitar, bass

- Roy Lynes -- vocals, keyboards

- Rick Parfitt -- vocals, guitar, keyboards
- Mike Rossi -- vocals, guitar  

 

  line up 6 (1969-71) as Status Quo

- John Coghlan -- drums

- Alan Lancaster - - vocals, guitar, bass

- Roy Lynes -- vocals, keyboards

- Rick Parfitt -- vocals, guitar, keyboards
- Mike Rossi -- vocals, guitar  

 

 

  line up 7 (1971-76) 

- John Coghlan -- drums

- Alan Lancaster - - vocals, guitar, bass

- Rick Parfitt -- vocals, guitar, keyboards
- Mike Rossi -- vocals, guitar  

 

  line up 8 (1976-81) 

NEW - Andy Bown - keyboards, backing vocals

- John Coghlan -- drums

- Alan Lancaster - - vocals, guitar, bass

- Rick Parfitt -- vocals, guitar, keyboards
- Mike Rossi -- vocals, guitar  

 

  line up 9 (1981-86) 

- Andy Bown - keyboards, backing vocals

NEW - Pete Kircher - drums, percussion, backing vocals  (replaced 

  John Coghlan)

- Alan Lancaster - - vocals, guitar, bass

- Rick Parfitt -- vocals, guitar, keyboards
- Mike Rossi -- vocals, guitar  

 

  line up 10 (1986-2000) 

- Andy Bown - keyboards, backing vocals

NEW - John Edwards -- bass

- Rick Parfitt -- vocals, guitar, keyboards

NEW - Jeff Rich -- drums, percussion
- Mike Rossi -- vocals, guitar  

 

  line up 11 (2000- ) 

- Andy Bown - keyboards, backing vocals

- John Edwards -- bass

NEW - Matt Letley --  drums, percussion (replaced Jeff Rich)

- Rick Parfitt -- vocals, guitar, keyboards

- Mike Rossi -- vocals, guitar  

 

 

 

 

- Andy Bown (solo efforts)

- Champion (Jeff Rich)

- Climax Blue Band (Jeff Rich)
- Diesel (John Coghlan) 

- The Peter Framp[ton Band (Andy Bown)

- The Heard (Andy Bown)

- Honeybus (Peter Kircher)

- Judas Jump (Andy Bown)

- The Liverpool Express (Peter Kirsher)

- The Loving Kind

- The Original Mirrors (Peter Kirsher)

- Rick Parfitt (solo efforts)

- The Party Boys (Alan Lancaster)

- Rhino's Revenge (John Edwards)

- Rococo (John Edwards)

- Mike Rossi (solo efforts)

- Shanghai

- The Spectres (John Coghlan, Alan Lancaster, Rick Parfitt and 

  Mike Rossi)

- Stretch (Jeff Rich)

- Wildlife (Jeff Rich)

 


 

Genre: psych

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Title:  Messages from Status Quo

Company: Cadet Custom

Catalog: LPS 315

Year: 1968

Grade (cover/record): VG+ / VG+

Country/State: UK

Comments: bullet hole through center; sticker on cover

Available: 1

Catalog ID: not yet listed

Price: $50.00

 

Over the course of some 25 years and 30 albums Status Quo have become major stars in their native England. Unfortunately, in spite of occasional brushes with the American charts, the group's never managed to attract much attention in the States.

The group's roots can be traced to 1962 when school friends Mike "Francis" Rossi and Alan Lancaster formed a jazz combo. With the addition of drummer John Coghlan and keyboard player Jesse Jaworski the band began playing school dances and local clubs as The Spectres. Replacing Jaworski with Roy Lynes in 1965 the group signed with the small Piccadilly label. After releasing three unsuccessful singles the group changed it's name to Traffic Jam. Unfortunately, after Traffic Jam's first single ("Almost But Not Quite") was banned by the BBC the group was dropped from Picadilly's recording roster. Left without a contract the band found itself forced into the role of back up band for stablished acts such as Madeline Bell and Tommy Quickly. Adding to their problems, the band found themselves threatened with a lawsuit from Island Records which was concerned with the similarity between the Traffic Jam name and that of Steve Winwood's Traffic. Traffic Jam quickly became Status Quo.

Following the addition of guitarist Richard Parfitt the band was signed to Pye Records (Chess' Cadet Concept subsidiary acquiring American distribution rights). Produced by John Schroeder, their 1968 debut "Picturesque Matchstickable" showcased an entertaining, if uneven collection of psychedelic pop. In one of those odd marketing moves the English and American releases differed significantly. Retitled "Messages from the Status Quo" for the American market, Cadet Concept opted for new cover art, as well as a different track listings - covers of The Lemon Pipers' "Green Tambourine" and Tommy Roe's "Sheila" dropped in favor of original material. Musically the set was surprisingly impressive, tracks such as "Black Veils of Melancholy", "Sunny Cellophane Sky" and "Technicolor Dreams" opting for a heavy psychedelic influence, while "Ice In the Sun" (Written with '50s rocker Marty Wilde) and a cover of The Bee Gees "Spicks and Specks" offered up a lighter, more commercially oriented attack. Released as a single, the instantly recognizable title track b/w "Gentlemen Joe's Sidewalk Cafe" provided the band with their only American top 40 hit. In spite of the hit and two brief American promotional tours, the LP failed to attract much domestic attention, Cadet Concept quickly electing to drop it's American distribution rights. 

"Messages from the Status Quo" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Black Veils of Melancholy   (Frances Rossi) - 
2.) When My Mind Is Not Live   (Richard Parfitt) - 
3.) Ice In the Sun   (Marty Wilde - R. Scott) - 
4.) Elizabeth Dreams   (Marty Wilde - R. Scott) - 
5.) Gentlemen, Joe's Sidewalk Cafe   (Kenny - Young) - 

(side 2)

1.) Paradise Flat   (Marty Wilde - R. Scott) - 
2.) Technicolor Dreams   (T. King) - 
3.) Spicks and Specks   (Barry Gibb) - 
4.) Sunny Cellophane Sky   (Alan Lancaster)- 
5.) Pictures of Matchbox Men   (Frances Rossi) - 

 

 



Genre: rock

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Title:  On the Level

Company: Capitol

Catalog: ST-11381

Year: 1968

Grade (cover/record): VG+ / VG+

Country/State: UK

Comments: original lyric inner sleeve

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 6377

Price: $9.00

 

Like lots of other folks, I've never quite understood how American radio and the buying public didn't get caught up in the mid-1970s wave of British hard rock bands like Status Quo.  Zeppelin just swallowed the full bandwidth ?  These guy were too British for American tastes ?   Beats me, but the fact of the matter is  while these guys were massive stars in the UK, they couldn't even get arrested in the States. 

 

Self-produced, 1975's "On the Level" debuted at the top of the UK charts, capturing the band at the peak of their commercial run.  Commercially this was also prime Status Quo - a good thing if you were a fan, probably less impressive if you missed their head banging appeal.  And that was at least some of the beauty behind Status Quo,  These guys made no pretense of being sophisticated musicians trying to expand musical boundaries and expose fans to new ideas and concepts.  Exemplified by the likes of 'Little Lady', 'Nightride', and ''Down Down (their biggest hit), the messages here were pretty much your standard rock and roll lexicon of booze, partying, and women (typically in one combination).  Yeah, King Crimson and Yes fans were probably appalled by the band's successes, but you've got to admit these guys could recycle a Chuck Berry riff like nobody else and yes - there are times when we all want to just party and relax a bit.  This is a great soundtrack to crank up after a hard day and have a couple of cold ones ...  And yes, It is an album I still play on a regular basis.  

 

- Admittedly 'Little Lady' was little more than a recycled Chuck Berry tune, but few bands could turn in a track like this with as much energy and enthusiasm.  Berry would have approved, even if he would have wanted songwriting royalties.   Excellent boogie track and it got the album off to a roaring start.   rating: *** stars

- 'Most of the Time' started out as a surprisingly sensitive acoustic ballad (it sounded like Rossi was recorded live), before abruptly morphing into a squalling blues-rock number.   I'm not normally a big fan of the genre and this wasn't one of the album highlights for me, but still this one was actually pretty good.   rating: *** stars

- Kicked along by a bouncy melody and singsong chorus that climbs in your head and won't leave 'I Saw the Light' was one of the album's more commercial tracks.  It was a prime slice of Quo with a fairly uncomplicated structure (I suspect any good garage band could master it in a day or two), but cute lyrics.  rating: *** stars

- One of two Alan Lancaster compositions, 'Over and Done' was even more pop-oriented with some wonderful jangle rock guitars and a cool hyperactive lead guitar solo.  Hard to believe this one wasn't tapped as a single.  rating: **** stars

- Moving back towards bar-band rock, kicked along by Lancaster's pounding bass line, 'Nightride' had a slinky rhythm that was incideously catchy.  Simply another classic Quo tune that go lost as a 'B' side.   rating: **** stars

- Previously released as the album's lead-in single (in an edited format), 'Down Down' has always been kind of a puzzle to me.  Original entitled 'Get Down' it was their biggest UK single,.  The song's always struck me as an okay blues-rocker, but as least to my ears, not particularly original, or commercial.  I'd label it a good arena rocker and not much more than that.  Lancaster's ''Over and Done'' and 'Broken Man' both made a bigger impression on me.   YouTube has a clip of the band playing the song on BBC's Top of the Pops: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bNPJuJSVmNA    rating: ***  

- Lancaster's always struck me as the band's secret weapon.  Not only was he an excellent bassist; had a likeable gruff voice, and consistently wrote some of the band's strongest material - witness 'Broken Man' which gets my nod as the best performance on he album.   rating: **** stars

- Folks tend to overlook the fact Quo could write highly commercial pop-rock that was easily as good as anything Sweet, or the competition was pushing out there.  Anyone doubting that comment only needs to check out the infectious 'What To Do'.  Another one that left you wondering why it wasn't tapped as a single.   rating: **** stars

- The album's lone disappointment, 'Where I Am' sounded like the band was trying to morph themselves into an acoustic folk group.  Dull and forgettable.    rating: ** stars

- Chuck Berry covers are usually pretty lame affairs - what's the point of trying to out-do the original ?  Mind you their cover of 'Bye Bye Johnny' wasn't about to make you forget the original, but as an also-ran version it wasn't half bad showing they knew where their roots came from.   rating: *** stars

- It wasn't shown of the track listing, but the album ended with a  short segment featuring a drunk audience singing along with the band (not sure what they were singing to ...).  rating: * star

 

As mentioned above, 'Down Down' was released as a single in advance of the album, providing the band with their first UK # 1 chart entry, though the US release vanished without a trace.

 

  UK release:

- 1974's 'Down Down' b/w 'Nightride' (Vertigo catalog number 6059 114)

 

  US release:

- 1975's 'Down Down' b/w 'Nightride' (Capitol catalog number 4039)

 

Certainly one of their most consistent and enjoyable allbums, it hit the top of the UK charts, but did nothing in the States.  By the way, the cover art showing the band poising in an Ames room was quite intriguing - what's an Ames room you ask ?  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ames_room


"On the Level" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Little Lady   (Richard Parfitt) - 3:05

2.) Most of the Time   (Frances Rossi - Bob Young) - 3:21

3.) I Saw the Light   (Frances Rossi - Bob Young) - 3:55

4.) Over and Done   (Alan Lancaster) - 3:55

5.) Nightride  (Frances Rossi - Bob Young) - 3:52

(side 2)

1.) Down Down  (Frances Rossi - Bob Young) - 5:24

2.) Broken Man   (Alan Lancaster) - 4:13

3.) What To Do  (Frances Rossi - Bob Young) - 3:15

4.) Where I Am   (Richard Parfitt) - 3:10

5.) Bye Bye Johnny   (Chuck Berry) - 4:35

 

 

 


Genre: rock

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Status Quo

Company: Capitol

Catalog: ST-11509

Year: 1976

Grade (cover/record): VG / VG+

Country/State: UK

Comments: bullet hole bottom right; die cut cover

Available: 1

Catalog ID: not yet listed

Price: $20.00

 

Self-produced, "Blue for You" offered up another set of patented boogie rockers. Gawd only knows why they bothered, but in the States Capitol chose to repackage the set, issuing it as the cleverly-titled "Status Quo". Judging by material such as "Is There a Better Way", "Mad About the Boy" and "Rolling Home" anyone looking for subtlty or social insight was simply in the wrong place. (Was it just us or did "Ring of a Change" sound like it was being played at 45 rpm? - the band's readily admitted to having recorded most of the set while on speed.) Perhaps due to the fact they offered up atypical changes from the boogie base, the slow title track was probably the standout track. If you're into the genre, there wasn't anything wrong with the set, in fact "That's a Fact" and "Rain" (love the way to pronounced it as "re-in") were catchy and worth hearing a couple of times. Otherwise, the cutting edge marketing campaign that saw the album promoted through clothing stores that sold Levis was probably more interesting - ah, to be known for their marketing skills! Curiously, given it wasn't a major change from their prior catalog, the set hit #148 (it went #1 in England), providing the band with their only American chart success. (The set originally released with a die cut cover and metallic inner sleeve.)

"Status Quo" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Is There a Better Way (Alan Lancaster - Francis Rossi) - 3:28
2.) Mad About the Boy (Francis Rossi - Robert Young) - 3:31
3.) Ring of a Change (Francis Rossi - Robert Young) - 4:18
4.) Blue for You (Alan Lancaster) - 4:05
5.) Rain (Richard Parfitt) - 4:37

(side 2)

1.) Rolling Home (Alan Lancaster - Francis Rossi) - 3:01
2.) That's a Fact (Francis Rossi - Robert Young) - 4:20
3.) Ease Your Mind (Alan Lancaster) - 3:12
4.) Mystery Song (Richard Parfitt - Robert Young) - 6:43

 

 



Genre: rock

Rating: ** (2 stars)

Title:  Status Quo Live

Company: Capitol

Catalog: ST-11623

Year: 1976

Grade (cover/record): VG+ / VG+

Country/State: UK

Comments: double album; gatefold sleeve

Available: 1

Catalog ID: not yet listed

Price: $20.00

 

 

Recorded during a series of three dates before partisan crowds at Glasgow's Apollo Theatre, "Status Quo Live" was a double album live collection. Self-produced, the set completely ignored the group's psychedelic-pop roots, instead material such as "In My Chair", "Just Take Me" and "Big Fat Mama" focusing on the band's boogie roots. There wasn't anything wrong with the set, though there wasn't anything particularly attractive to be found. To their credit, the band elected to release the set pretty much as recorded, complete with blown notes, fractured harmonies and other mistakes.  In case you cared, former Herd member Alan Bown provided keyboards. A massive English hit where it reached #3, the set failed to chart in the States. (The album was originally released with a gatefold cover.)

"Status Quo Live" track listing:
1.) Junior's Wailing (White - Pugh) - 
2.) Backwater (Richard Parfitt - Alan Lancaster) - 
3.) Just Take Me (Richard Parfitt - Alan Lancaster) - 
4.) Is There a Better Way (Richard Parfitt - Alan Lancaster) - 
5.) In My Chair (Francis Rossi - Robert Young) - 
6.) Little Lady (Richard Parfitt) - 
7.) Most of the Time (Francis Rossi - Robert Young) - 
8.) Forty-Five Hundred Times (Francis Rossi - Richard Parfitt) - 
9.) Roll Over Lay Down (Francis Rossi - Robert Young - Richard Parfitt - Alan Lancaster
- John Coghlan) - 
10.) Big Fat Mama (Francis Rossi - Richard Parfitt) - 
11.) Caroline (Francis Rossi - Robert Young) - 
12.) Bye Bye Johnny (Chuck Berry) - 
13.) Rain (Richard Parfitt) - 
14.) Don't Waste My Time (Francis Rossi - Robert Young) - 
15.) Roadhouse Blues (The Doors) - 

 

 

 


Genre: rock

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Rockin' All Over the World

Company: Capitol

Catalog: ST-11749

Year: 1977

Grade (cover/record): VG+ / VG+

Country/State: UK

Comments: --

Available: 1

Catalog ID: not yet listed

Price: $10.00

 

 

Recorded in the midst of a world tour (the set was recorded in Sweden), 1977's "Rockin' All Over the World" was co-produced with Pip Williams (brought in as much to mediate growing personnel disputes as to produce). Exemplified by tracks such as "Hard Time", "Let's Ride" and "Dirty Water" boogie remained a prime force, but powered by their cover of John Fogerty's classic title track (always wondered why more folks don't do Fogerty covers), the album found the band opting for a cleaner and more commercial sound. While the set proved their biggest English seller, it attracted more than its share of criticism, longtime fans put off by the inclusion of horns.  Unfortunately, given the absence of domestic sales, Capitol dropped the group from it's recording roster.

"Rockin' All Over the World" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Hard Time (Rick Parfitt - Francis Rossi) - 4:42
2.) Can't Give You More (Francis Rossi - Robert Young) - 4:15
3.) Let's Ride (Alan Lancaster) - 3:02
4.) Baby Boy (Francis Rossi) - 3:11
5.) You Don't Own Me (Lynton - Rick Parfitt) - 3:03
6.) Rockin' All over the World (John C. Fogerty) - 3:35

(side 2)

1.) Who Am I? (Williams) - 4:29
2.) Too Far Gone (Alan Lancaster) - 3:08
3.) For You (Rick Parfitt) - 2:59
4.) Dirty Water (Francis Rossi - Robert Young) - 3:50
5.) Hold You Back (Rick Parfitt - Francis Rossi - Robert Young) - 4:30

 

 



Genre: rock

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Now Hear This

Company: Riva

Catalog: RVL 7402

Year: 1981

Grade (cover/record): VG / VG+

Country/State: UK

Comments: cut lower left corner

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 5801

Price: $10.00

 

 

Surrounded by a sea of punk aggression and new wave angst, Status Quo soldier on with the release of 1979's "Whatever You Want".  Released by Vertigo in the UK, propelled by the title track single, the album proved a major commercial success, but the band remained unable to attract the attention of an American distributor.  

 

Vertigo catalog number 6360 175

 

Finally Riva Records signed the group to an American distribution deal but apparently concerned the English title and cover wouldn't sell in the States,  the label decided to repackage the album with a different title and cover art.  The track listing remained untouched, though the running order was inexplicably switched around.  The result was 1980's "Now Heart This".  Call me cynical, but somehow I missed out on how the group mug shot-styled photo and dumbsh*t title were suppose to sweep American audiences off of their collective feet.  Produced by Par Williams, the album actually marked a nice return to form for the band.  Far more melodic and pop oriented than some of their recent releases, virtually all of the ten compositions had commercial possibilities.  The album also found the band taking a couple of unexpected chances, including the acoustic pop song Living On An Island'.

 

- As a sunny, easy going acoustic pop song, 'Living On An Island' opened the album with a completely atypical effort.  Mind you the song was quite good, in a Smokey (the band) top-40 way, but it was just so radically different from standard Status Quo.  Yeah, it took a little time to get use to this new, sensitive style ...   rating: **** stars

- 'Shady Lady' was closer to the patented Status Quo sound.  A short and sweet slice of mindless power pop, this one had definite commercial appeal.   rating: **** stars

- One of two Alan Lancaster contributions, 'Who Asked You' was easily the album's stand out performance.  A classic pop song with fantastic melody and an instantly catchy title track hook, it's hard to understand why this one wasn't a top-40 hit.   rating: ***** stars   

- 'Your Smiling Face' was a decent slice of boogie-rock.  You've heard similar stuff dozens of times before, but these guys played it with more energy than you'd expect and there was a nice guitar solo midway through.  It's one of those songs that got better the more beer you drank.  Yes, I've actually danced to this one.   rating: *** stars   

- 'Whatever You Want' was a big British hit for the band which in turn attracted the attention of Riva Records and led to the release of the modified parent LP in the US.  To my ears this was classic Status Quo and I can actually remember hearing this one while living in Belgium in the early 1980s.  Lyrically it didn't have much to offer, but the song was quite catchy and the group's harmony vocals were very nice.    rating: **** stars  

- While listed as separate tracks, 'Come Rock with Me' and 'Rockin' On' were really a continuous medley.  Curiously the track listing seemed to get them listed backwards.  Musically and lyrically (pretty much just 'rockin' on' sung over and over), this was another one that sounded better as your alcohol consumption increased.    rating: *** stars  

- 'Runaway' was one of the more pop-oriented selections, but I didn't like it one bit.  Not an original thought in the whole thing and the goofy synthesizers at the end were terrible.   rating: ** stars  

- Co-written by Lancaster, 'High Flyer' was another mindless boogie-rocker with a set of woe-is-my-life-on-the-road lyrics.  Kind of hard to shed any tears for their lifestyle choices.   rating: ** stars    

- 'Breaking Away' was probably my favorite song on the album.  In addition to showcasing the band's talented guitar pool, the song started out with a nice chugging rhythm that effortlessly switched over to a bluesy segment.    rating: **** stars    

 

In the UK the album was tapped for a pair of singles:

 

 

- 1979's 'Whatever You Want' b/w 'Hard Ride' (Vertigo catalog number 6059 242)

- 1979's 'Living On An Island' b/w 'Runaway' (Vertigo catalog number 6059 248)

 

Now Hear This" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Living On An Island   ( Richard Parfitt - Robert Young) - 4:50

2.) Shady Lady   (Francis Rossi - Robert Young) - 3:00

3.) Who Asked You   (Alan Lancaster) - 3:57

4.) Your Smiling Face   ( Richard Parfitt - Robert Young) - 4:22

5.) Whatever You Want   ( Richard Parfitt - Robert Young) - 4:03

(side 2)

1.) Come Rock with Me   (Francis Rossi - Robert Young) - 3:17

2.) Rockin' On   (Francis Rossi - Robert Young) - 3:24

3.) Runaway    (Francis Rossi - Robert Young) - 4:28

4.) High Flyer   (Alan Lancaster - Robert Young) - 3:50

5.) Breaking Away   ( Richard Parfitt - Robert Young) - 6:40

 

 

 

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