Status Quo album-by-album thread (50 Years of Quo)

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by JulesRules, Jul 25, 2017.

  1. Ma Kelly

    Ma Kelly Forum Resident

    On the Level - another absolute classic. More poppy than Quo but just as rocking, mainly due to Spud driving things along - I mean, his hi-hat and cymbals are soooo loud on this album, which was practically unlistenable on the 2005 remaster, but on every version I've version just kick ****. His cymbal thrashing during Nightride's fadeout is immense. So too his pummeling of his kit during the final solo on Bye Bye Johnny. I probably always waffle about Spud's cymbals but I love it. The key to this album is that it sounds live - what amazes me is that they'd been doing Bye Bye Johnny live for years so you might expect that when they finally came to record a studio version it'd sound like they were going through the motions. But not a chance. Amazing song.

    My only quibbles are that the single edit of Down Down sounds more direct - the full version sounds like it has padding in comparison. My other quibble is that it's perhaps a little samey - it's not really till Broken Man that you get a slight respite from the chugging boogie that dominates the album.

    Favourite song is probably Over and Done - should've been a single IMO. That or I Saw the Light, though given that Down Down got to number 1 that doesn't seem to have been a bad choice! Love the interplay between the guitars in Over and Over.
  2. Ma Kelly

    Ma Kelly Forum Resident

    Ha now Blue For You IS one of his songs I wish Rick had sung!
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  3. Ma Kelly

    Ma Kelly Forum Resident

    I dunno, I find the vocal in Drifting Away pretty catchy to be honest. Different strokes for different folks I guess, but goes to show that not every Quo song sounds the same given that us fans can have totally different opinions on them!

    Well, I don't think having a number 2 album is that much of a downturn when you're being kept off the top spot by the world's* biggest band!

    *Were Abba the world's biggest band? That would make for a good thread....:shh:
  4. John Fell

    John Fell Forum Survivor

    "Most of the Time" On the Level is my favorite Quo studio album. :uhhuh::righton:
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  5. Man at C&A

    Man at C&A Forum Resident

    I think he was only kidding!
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  6. Man at C&A

    Man at C&A Forum Resident

    I think that Spud's cymbal thrashing drumming isn't dissimilar to Ringo on early Beatles records. They both really drive the songs along.
  7. Ma Kelly

    Ma Kelly Forum Resident

    I used to think it was just me who was obsessed with Spud's cymbals but I remember hearding Danny Baker playing a Quo song on the radio years and years ago and commenting on it too. Not sure why I was listening to Danny Baker though.
  8. Harry Hood

    Harry Hood Forum Resident

    Just spotted this thread. Love me some primetime Quo. Remember my first purchase of theirs was the Quo album, and I think I had Mystery Song on a single with Drifting Away on the b side. Would that be right? I also remember listening to Live At The NEC as it happened, broadcast live on Tommy Vance's Friday Rock Show.

    Anyway....I've got the Japanese shm's of Piledriver and Quo from a couple of years back, but never got round to getting the other three (Hello, Level, Blue). But now I've seen mention on here of the 5 Classic Albums set, covering the same run. Can anybody comment on the sound quality / mastering, please?
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  9. John Fell

    John Fell Forum Survivor

    Down Down is one of my favorite Quo singles. Little Lady is a classic Parfitt song. I dig how Most of the Time starts out slow and then rocks! I Saw the Light & Night Ride are both underrated tracks that were played live infrequently. Who To Do is almost a throwback to earlier days but I really like it a lot. Bye Bye Johnny of course had been a high energy live classic for years and is a good closer. The other tracks are not duff either. Fantastic album!

    I wish the entire Mainz show was included and the live E.P tracks are cool to have. They need to release the entire show if they can locate it in the vaults.
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  10. every hall of fame member before they vote should be made to watch this to see and hear what real rock is
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  11. Almost Simon

    Almost Simon Forum Resident

    Its good Alan got more songs, its just when he co-writes with Rick that he gets to sing 4 tunes and Rick 1. No balance, give Rick one or two more, that would of worked. Remember that Quo is my favourite album by the band, i'm not really criticising, only suggesting how the album could possibly have been better rated by others by mixing up the lead vocalists a bit more.
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  12. Almost Simon

    Almost Simon Forum Resident

    Listening again now to On The Level. Whilst 'Quo' is my favourite I will agree that 'OTL' sounds a lot better production wise. Or maybe that's just my vinyl copy but sounds less muddy.

    The opening 2 are great, I Saw The Light is okay, not stunning. Same opinion of Over and Done. Nightride is very good tho.

    Down Down I've always loved but has been played to death on radio through the years. The album version much better than single. Broken Man is okay. I like false starts and studio chatter, What To Do is pretty good, Where I Am is okay, Bye Bye Johnny (why retitled?) is very good but why spoil it with "you never walk alone?" Big Man Utd fan so that part is not needed (not sure how I ever got onto speaking about football but hey!)

    Better sounding album than Quo but for me anyway, songs not quite as good.

    I'm more favourable about the albums either side of OTL so won't be comparing everything back to the Quo album going forwards.
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  13. Randoms

    Randoms Aerie Faerie Nonsense

    Great thread, and having missed the start, a little difficult to know where to jump in.

    I went from a 11 year old, into pop and Glam Rock, to a 12 year old, who started getting into rock. Six months later, I was well into the classic rock bands.

    The band that did this, was .... by a couple of months, Queen!! Killer Queen, and Now I'm Here, just sandwiched Down Down, for me, and from memory, I bought Sheer Heart Attack, before any Quo albums.

    My first Quo purchase, was the, Down Down, single, followed by the, Roll Over Lay Down, Live EP. It wasn't long before I had, and still own, the vinyl of, Dog Of Two Head, Piledriver, Hello!, Quo and On The Level. For six months, until I discovered Led Zeppelin, Quo were my favourite band, and all of these albums were played regularly.

    I borrowed Ma Kelly's Greasy Spoon, from a school friend, back when I was 13, enjoyed it, but for some reason never bought it. Have never seen a copy of, Picturesque Matchstickable Messages, or Spare Parts, but certainly like most of tracks from the previously pictured, Pictures Of Matchstick Men, Hallmark, LP, which I added in 1976.

    Reading this thread, has encouraged me to investigate the early material further, with, The Best Of The Early Years, double CD, and look forward to adding it to the budget, At Their Best, CD, 5 Classic Albums, and the Remastered, Quo.

    Backwater, contains one of my favourite Rossi solos, and coupled with, Just Take Me, is an epic start to an album.

    Another fantastic album with, On The Level, brings me up to date with this thread, and can only agree with everyone, about the great run of albums, which show they are far more than a fantastic, singles band. The singles are absolutely, not always, the stand out tracks, from their respective albums.

    The biggest impression that Quo left with me? Jeans and T-shirts!! I am still far more comfortable wearing these, and whilst the white T-shirt, doesn't tuck into the jeans these days, and the Levis waistcoat, probably couldn't be done up for the last 25 years, I'm sure that the Quo, have a lot to answer for, in the "fashion" scene.

    B*Witched, may have bought back, double denim, but Status Quo, had the ultimate three piece suit, 25 years earlier! If Quo had shares in a denim company, they could have retired years ago.

    More seriously, I still listen to Quo, mostly from the golden, 70s era, and did get to see, the frantic four, at Wembley Arena, before Spud left.

    Looking forward to the arrival of the, Best Of The Early Years, and of course, the next, rather brilliant album in this thread!
  14. Johns44

    Johns44 Forum Resident

    Yateley, UK
    On The Level - One of my favourite Quo albums and really the point at which the band's sound began to change (something a lot of 70's diehards seem to ignore). There isn't what you would call a long song on there, but what is on there is classic Quo.

    1. Little Lady (Parfitt) ~ 3:03 What a start to the album and live a real killer
    2. Most Of The Time (Rossi/Young) 3:22 following on from above not only on record but live. One of Quo's best "ballads"
    3. I Saw The Light (Rossi/Young) 3:40 Two of my all time Quo favourites in a row here. Love this and the lyrics are great.
    4. Over And Done (Lancaster) 3:55 Right up there with the best Quo have to offer.
    5. Nightride (Parfitt/Young) 3:54 A little different and some have said a bit reggae-ish which personally I don't see. Still good though.
    6. Down Down (Rossi/Young) 5:25 What can you say about Down, Down except that it epitomises everything I love about this band. Full of drive and rocks its **** off.
    7. Broken Man (Lancaster) 4:14 I always think of this as being a bit poppy for Mr Lancaster. Still good
    8. What To Do (Rossi/Young) 3:07 Love this too.
    9. Where l Am (Parfitt) 2:45 Lovely little ballad.
    10. Bye Bye Johnny (Chuck Berry) 5:21 straight from the "and here we go with.." intro this is a perfect end to a damn near perfect album
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  15. Man at C&A

    Man at C&A Forum Resident

    You must love 'Come On You Reds'!
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  16. Man at C&A

    Man at C&A Forum Resident

    Yet another classic album from Quo! Fans at the time must have thought it would never end. They could do no wrong then.

    Another couple of blinders to start like the Quo album, but then the next three are only good to me. I'm not a fan of Night Ride.

    Down Down is classic Quo. I've never tired of it and What To Do is my next favourite on the B-side. This album falls slightly short of the standard of the previous four for me, but it's still essential Quo.

    On the Level sounds fantastic on vinyl and the original CD. John Coghlan's cymbal thrashing is high in the mix but sounds right. Sadly the 2005 remaster made this sound far too trebly and harsh, making it more difficult to listen too. As Johns44 says above, this is where the sound begins to change. This album sounds cleaner and clearer than the previous ones, but it's not to the detriment of anything yet. It's still a real rocker!

    Another album of Quo at their peak. What more could anyone want?
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  17. Ma Kelly

    Ma Kelly Forum Resident

    You sir are nuts! Seriously though, for whatever reason it's Nightride that when I listen to it, it always without fail leaves me gobsmacked that only a couple of years later they wimped out so much. Not sure why, but as much as I love the song (go Spud, go!) it always puts me in a vaguely sad mood. The whole of On the Level and Blue for You showed how they could be poppy AND rock. I might be mad and slightly obsessive, but I'd put Quo wimping out in the same category of musical tragedies as Brian Wilson not finishing Smile. Not that I dislike their post-1977 stuff mind you. Oh well, I'm just jabbering...I tend to do that with the Quo.
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  18. Almost Simon

    Almost Simon Forum Resident

    Blue for You up soon??
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  19. JulesRules

    JulesRules Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Live in Madrid 1975

    1. ►Backwater/Just Take Me
    2. ►Claudie
    3. ►Little Lady/Most of the Time
    4. ►Big Fat Mama
    5. ►Roadhouse Blues
    6. ►Caroline
    7. ►Drum Solo
    8. ►Bye Bye Johnny

  20. JulesRules

    JulesRules Forum Resident Thread Starter

  21. Man at C&A

    Man at C&A Forum Resident

    I can get Quo or Queen into just about any conversation! Often by just changing it completely!

    I've recently been listening to the Rockin' All Over the World remix. But I'll wait till later for that. There's another classic to come first...
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  22. JulesRules

    JulesRules Forum Resident Thread Starter

    1976: Blue for You

    1976: Blue for You and Wild Side of Life

    1. Is There a Better Way (Lancaster/Rossi)3:30 L
    2. Mad About the Boy (Rossi/Young) 3:34 L
    3. Ring of a Change (Rossi/Young) 4:17 (L)
    4. Blue for You (Lancaster) 4:07
    5. Rain (Parfitt) 4:37 L
    6. Rolling Home (Lancaster/Rossi) 3:04
    7. That’s a Fact (Rossi/Young) 4:22 A
    8. Ease Your Mind (Lancaster) 3:14
    9. Mystery Song (Parfitt/Young) 6:43 L

    Bob Young – Harmonica on “Rolling Home”
    Andy Bown – Keyboards


    2017 Deluxe Edition CD TWO: Bonus Tracks

    1. You Lost The Love [B-Side of “Rain”] (Rossi/Young) 3:01 [2005 reissue]
    2. Mystery Song [Single Version] 4:01 [2005 reissue]
    3. Wild Side Of Life * (Arlie Carter/William Warren) 3:18 M [2005 reissue]
    4. All Through The Night * [B-Side of “Wild Side of Life”] (Lancaster/Rossi) 3:16 [2005 reissue]
    5. Wild Side Of Life [Demo Version] 3:51
    Live at Stoke Trentham Gardens 2nd March 1975
    6. Most Of The Time
    7. Roadhouse Blues
    Live at Osaka Koseinenkin Hall in Japan on the 19th November 1976
    8. Bye Bye Johnny
    9. Caroline
    10. In My Chair
    11. Roll Over Lay Down
    12. Is There A Better Way
    13. Rain
    14. Honky Tonk Angel (demo version)

    I know some people consider “Blue for You” a slight step down after a string of fantastic albums, but I'm not one of those. In fact, I'd say that it’s my favourite along “Piledriver” and “Hello!” Somehow I prefer the lighter mood of this album to the serious “Quo” and the diversity is increased compared to “On the Level”. Francis sings four songs, Alan three and Rick two. I would have maybe liked one more Rick vocal, but otherwise that’s a good balance. I also think the LP flows almost as well as “Hello!” did. In the liner notes, Alan specifically mentions how much effort went into sequencing albums and live shows – and it shows. The cover ties in with the Levi’s ad they did at the time – for which somebody saw money, but certainly not the band!

    Is There a Better Way: Aggressive, progressive. Listen to Alan’s vocal, listen to the sudden pinkfloydian switch to a slower gentler tempo. Anybody who thinks all Quo songs sound the same and all contain three chords… well, we’ve talked about that enough, but this is another one of those songs which clearly busts that myth.

    Mad About the Boy: As if to balance the opening track out, here we have a very classic Quo three-chord shuffle with a catchy chorus. No surprises here, but it’s good fun to listen to.

    Ring of a Change: Fast and furious! Here’s a song to blow any listener away. That’s some serious speed right there. But if you try to analyse the composition itself, it may reveal itself to be pretty lightweight and a precursor of things to come. I mean, those backing vocals…:-/

    Blue for You: Alan wrote the song but Rick seems to have changed it around a lot. According to Alan, it was originally meant to have “a far harder chug”. But I like the result: a gentle blues ballad with some lovely sixth chords and a sweet guitar solo. A buffer before…

    Rain: one of the most enduring Quo classics. Even if it’s far less popular with the “casuals”, it never left the setlist since 1976. While Rick probably didn't actually write it all alone as the credits suggest, it’s still become his trademark song. The “six inches thick” guitar sound, the powerful vocal, the riff in the middle, the relentless mid-tempo groove – all very unmistakable and very much Rick. An additional feature of the studio version that was never reproduced properly live is the Queen-esque vocal harmonies here and there (Andy playing those chords on the organ just ain’t the same).

    Rolling Home: Oh, you needed some more speed? Here you are! Like “Ring of a Change”, this was probably never attempted live, and I can see why. It’s just too breathless! But I love it. Bob plays his harp here and it increases the bluesy flavour of the song. There are some surprises here; a part with fast doubled guitars á la UFO or Wishbone Ash isn’t that Quo-typical. And the punchy ending will knock you out!

    That’s a Fact: Speaking of untypical, here we have the closest Status Quo have ever come to a “funky” track. The guitars play an interesting intertwined rhythmic pattern, the chorus ends with low notes and the instrumental parts are really “cool”. Know what? Had this song been released in the US as a single, it might have brought Quo some success! (That’s a… guess, not a fact. But who knows?)

    Ease Your Mind: Here’s another breather between all the heavy monster trucks tracks. And like the title track, it’s credited to Alan alone. Alan wanted it to be more of a shuffle than a swing. But hey, it’s not like Quo didn’t record a lot of shuffles… so a swing is a bit more of a novelty. I really enjoy this song for what it’s worth, bouncy, fun and harmless. “Welcome to the crystal ball”!

    Mystery Song: While the single version distils the essence of the song (with a dodgy edit near the end), the album version is far more interesting because it’s like a journey. It starts out all quiet and ominous with a part that doesn’t really indicate what’s coming and slowly builds towards the monster riff thrashed out by Rick, before collapsing into a curious bouncy end groove. The oft-recounted legend tells that Francis had put speed into Rick’s tea, which led to Rick playing the guitar all through the night and still sitting there the next morning when the other guys came back. And perhaps that’s also why the song is called “Mystery Song”, he had forgotten what the title was! But I’m not sure about that. What I am sure about is that this is an unusually explicit lyric given that Quo weren’t usually as direct as, say, ZZ Top. And in any case, “Mystery Song” really stands out from the band’s back catalogue. It’s one of Quo’s masterpieces.

    The 2017 BFY sounds far smoother and more natural than the 2005 remaster. The dynamics come across nicely and I'm hearing more details (especially cymbal stuff).

    The 2005 remaster added five tracks, which are all included in the deluxe edition, and then some more…

    You Lost the Love: While I think this is a better song than “Joanne” or “Lonely Night”, it’s still b-side material. The song just ain’t that strong. It’s still catchy! But not in such a great way!

    Wild Side of Life: Recorded after (but released before) the “Live” album, this single is a direct precursor to “Rockin’ All Over the World”: Poppy chorus, straight beat and overall far less edgy than the two (!) singles from BFY, “Rain” or “Mystery Song”. Plus it’s a cover.

    All Through the Night: Now here’s a song that deserved to be more than a b-side. While it’s relatively poppy, it has the bass growling through the mix (after all, it was produced by Roger Glover!), a drum interlude and generally quite a lot of “snap”.

    Wild Side of Life aka Honky Tonk Angel (Demo): I've always been confused by this recording because, er, well, who plays the fiddle and saxophones?! However it’s less polished than the finished product and in some ways shows more Quo-ness to it. Making the matter even more confusing, the track appears twice on the deluxe edition! I don’t hear any difference between the two versions…

    Live in Stoke-on-Trent 1975 (two tracks): We get some more “On the Level” era tracks with Francis waffling more than usual during “Roadhouse Blues” and messing up his guitar parts at times. Interesting, but not really necessary either. The sound quality is pretty average (but not as bad as the new Hello! and Quo live tracks).

    Live in Osaka 1976: Starting with “Bye Bye Johnny”, huh? This is also an audience recording, but one of the best I've heard. There's not a lot of distortion or artifacts and the atmosphere really comes across well. Actually this is also sort of the wrong era because this was from the same Japan tour as “Tokyo Quo”, which took place after recording the “Live” album. This tour, incidentally, marked the last time Quo opened with “Junior’s Wailing” – from the RAOTW tour onward, the concerts would usually start with the “Drone” leading into “Caroline”.
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  23. John Fell

    John Fell Forum Survivor

    Another classic Quo album. My favorites here are Rain and Mystery Song. My feeling is that That's A Fact and Rolling Home are somewhat overlooked. Mad About The Boy is cool. Too bad they never play some of these live. I think Is There A Better Way is overrated and not tuneful enough for me. I would actually replace Blue For You and Ease Your Mind with All Though The Night and You Lost The Love if it were up to me. I don't care much for Wild Side Of Life.
  24. Almost Simon

    Almost Simon Forum Resident

    No band name or album title on the cover but very clear who the band are. Anyone notice Coghlan's 1976 era Eric Clapton tee shirt under his double denim??

    Is There A Better Way - great starter and written by Alan and Rossi, a rare songwriting partnership, did they write together again after this?
    Mad About The Boy - great tune, could've been a single.
    Ring of a Change - another great track, hell of a fast one, time for a chill now
    Blue for You - always liked this one, fits nicely, I really like the running order of A side.
    Rain - my favourite Quo tune, well, that changes from time to time but definite top 3. Superb. Rick at his very best.

    Rolling Home - one thing you notice is the pace, I know the last track on the album was famously written whilst on speed but the albums is very fast,. Another great tune.
    That's a Fact - slower, that Bo Diddley riff/beat, another good tune.
    Ease Your Mind - nice poppy Lancaster tune, piano from Andy Bown. A consistent album, I like every track.
    Mystery Song - The speed tune. Always knew the single then heard the album version which is even better, great stuff. Great ending to the album.

    For me this is my 2nd favourite Quo album after Quo. Both the singles from the album were Rick tunes, very balanced album. I find little to critic here.
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  25. Man at C&A

    Man at C&A Forum Resident

    Along with Piledriver, Blue For You was the first non-compilation Quo album I owned and heard. I bought them both on the same day sometime in the late 80s, when I was about 15. It was incredibly uncool to like Quo then, but when I heard these superb rocking records I didn't care less.

    It's still one of my favourites. A lot of my favourite Quo tracks are here.

    That's A Fact is wonderful, what a groove and the intertwined guitar lines sound fantastic. Aside from the singing, most people wouldn't recognise it as the Quo. I wish they'd done more like this. It's a one off in their discography.

    Ring of a Change is about as fast as Quo ever got. This is often referred to as Quo's speed album as this was the drug of choice for them at that time according to Rossi and Parfitt. Great song, almost punk rock in tempo and with that riff. I've always thought the tape must have been sped up on this too, along with the similarly fast and rockin' Rollin' Home. Those vocals are high pitched!

    Two classic singles in Rain and Mystery Song. Neither are typical Quo. Rick was on top form at this time which led to him getting lead vocals on massive hit singles. A good thing too.

    I agree with who said they would rather have Parfitt sing Blue For You than Lancaster, but it's good.

    I love Is There A Better Way as an exciting intro. It rocks hard and then that awesome middle section totally changes it. A fantastic arrangement, well played and produced. Like the whole record.

    I'm not too fond of Mad About The Boy or Ease Your Mind but they're OK. I would replace Ease Your Mind with You Lost The Love, which I love. Along with Lonely Night, my favourite B-side. Admittedly there's very few non album ones!

    So, they did it again, another classic album. Things do change...
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