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

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

  1. Man at C&A

    Man at C&A Forum Resident

    Quo without Rick Parfitt? Nah. I'm sure they'll put on a fine show but it's just wrong. One of the most wrong things from a great band since Queen without Freddie & John. Then we got AC/DC without Brian, Malcolm & Phil. That's not Quo, Queen or AC/DC.

    It's a real shame as I love all those bands and they've given me so much happiness for as long as I've been aware of music.
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  2. Almost Simon

    Almost Simon Forum Resident

    I was very unsure, very. Believe me, but then this was when Rick was still alive. Felt unsure but they put on a good show.

    Its a difficult one. Many will approve, many wont. There is no wrong or right answer, just a personal choice.

    Me? I'd love a third bite at a reformed Frantic Four after seeing them in London on both tours. But that cant happen. But if you want to hear Quo then Rossi and the band in a small venue isn't such a bad thing.
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  3. Man at C&A

    Man at C&A Forum Resident

    I saw the Frantic Four at Wolverhampton on the second tour. Magnificent. I'm so happy I got to that one.
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  4. KAJ1971

    KAJ1971 Forum Resident

    Worcester, England
    First band I saw was Quo, (technically Belouis Som were on first, going to have to google them!)supporting Queen at Knebworth in '86. I was 14. Loved it. Saw them in Byron Bay in '13 and I wasn't expecting much. But got down the front and they were brilliant. Best band I saw that year. Not sure about the current line up. Good luck to them though. Still, got all those LP's up to 'In The Army Now'. Enjoying reading this thread.
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  5. Leepal

    Leepal Forum Resident

    Swindon, UK

    I actually remember Belouis Some! They were nothing like Quo though, from what I can remember anyway.
    I've only seen Quo once, not the frantic four but it was still a great show.
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  6. carlwm

    carlwm Forum Resident


    I saw them on that tour in Manchester. Belouis Some was completely inaudible & Quo's sound wasn't much better. Queen were excellent though.

    I saw Quo for the first time (properly!) last Christmas at Leeds Arena. I went, mostly, to see REO Speedwagon (who were fantastic!) but Quo, even without Rick, bless him, were also magnificent.

    Truthfully, I'd rather see the current Quo than no Quo. Rick was fab (understatement!) but the band is still valid.
  7. JulesRules

    JulesRules Forum Resident Thread Starter

    It wasn't on the original album. Read my album post again :)

    I wanted to order it a few minutes ago, but had to postpone that.
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  8. JulesRules

    JulesRules Forum Resident Thread Starter

    1983: Back to Back

    1983-84: Back to Back, The Wanderer and End of the Road

    1. A Mess Of Blues (Doc Pomus/Mort Shuman) 3:23 M
    2. Ol' Rag Blues (Lancaster/Lamb) 2:51
    3. Can't Be Done (Rossi/Frost) 3:07
    4. Too Close To The Ground (Parfitt/Bown) 3:43
    5. No Contract (Parfitt/Bown) 3:40
    6. Win Or Lose (Rossi/Frost) 2:35
    7. Marguerita Time (Rossi/Frost) 3:27 L
    8. Your Kind Of Love (Lancaster) 3:24
    9. Stay The Night (Rossi/Frost/Andrew Miller) 3:02
    10. Going Down Town tonight (Guy Johnson) 3:33

    2006 reissue bonus tracks:

    11. The Wanderer (Ernie Maresca) 3:27 [7”] L
    12. Going Down Town Tonight 3:38 [Album version, NOT Single version]
    12. Going Down Town Tonight 4:20 [7” Re-Recording] [correct version on later editions]
    13. I Wonder Why (Rossi/Frost) - 3:59 [intended b-side for “Too Close to the Ground” single]
    14. Ol' Rag Blues [Extended version] 4:54 [12” A-Side]
    15. A Mess of Blues [Extended version] 4:48 [12” A-Side]
    16. Cadillac Ranch (Bruce Springsteen) 4:15 [“The Wanderer” session outtake]
    17. Ol' Rag Blues [Alternate vocal version] 2:49
    18. The Wanderer [Sharon the Nag Remix] 3:34 [B-Side “Who Gets the Love”]

    Missing is The Milton Keynes Medley (B-Side of “Red Sky” 12”).

    “Half the world is in a mess, the other half as well…”

    Status Quo were facing a massive crisis. The gulf between Francis and Alan had become bigger and bigger. Francis suggested songs that Alan didn't like (among them “In the Army Now”). Alan brought in a song called “Ol’ Rag Blues” (nothing to do with blues at all, but a song about blue jeans) that the others liked, but he also wanted to sing it, and didn't understand that Francis’ voice was simply better suited for singles. But Francis also couldn’t resist the temptation to secretly remix the song, which Rick wasn’t happy about either. Alan also didn't want “Marguerita Time” to be associated with Status Quo and didn't appear in the video (he’s also absent from the “Mess of the Blues” clip). On Top of the Pops, Jim Lea from Slade stood in for him during a memorable performance: Rick decided that he wanted to fall into the drum kit near the end! And the tape played on…

    Anyway, Francis was seemingly exhausted from the constant arguments and had already decided he didn't want to work with Alan again. The official announcement stated that Quo would stop performing live but continue to work on albums together (which is exactly what people wanted, right?). Given that exactly one song off “1982” was played live and none (!) from “Back to Back” on the following tour, I wonder how many people were actually taking that seriously. It was obvious that the band wasn’t particularly convinced of their new material; they had gone from introducing lots of new songs to almost exclusively playing older (i.e. pre-Pete Kircher) material in a short time span.

    The tour was therefore announced as a farewell tour, called “End of the Road”. The idea was to earn a lot of money so the band could retire/make solo albums/whatever. One problem with this was that a lot of the money kept going into other people’s pockets, something which Bob Young (who actually guested on this tour) had already noticed and Alan was starting to notice as well. Clearly, the rifts were also artificially increased by people who were fleecing the band and tried to cover it up, something that would fall back on Quo a few years later.

    Since the tour was billed as a farewell, the setlist contained mainly old songs. This also led to the first actual “Quo hits” medley, which would stay in the set up into the new millennium! The production was far more elaborate than usual, and the final nights at the Milton Keynes Bowl were filmed and released on two video tapes: “End of the Road” and “More from the Road”. Both releases were edited (Quote: Official video releases have cuts in 4500 times, Roadhouse blues, Big fat mama and Bye bye Johnny, and rerecorded solos..); the full show has not been officially released yet.

    The band also recorded a farewell single of sorts, the Dion cover “The Wanderer”. There were other tracks attempted during the session and if they had gotten along better, we might have gotten something like the later “Rock ‘Til You Drop” album – a mixture of covers and self-penned tracks. But only the Springsteen song “Cadillac Ranch” saw the light of day. And despite previous experiences, for “The Wanderer” Quo went back to producer Pip Williams!

    I know about half of the songs from the era, but still don't feel qualified to write a proper review. Having said that, I think “Can’t Be Done” is quite good and “Going Down Town Tonight” is possibly the worst thing Quo have ever done. The single version features the band (unlike the album cut) but it’s still a really poor composition Other tracks like “A Mess of the Blues” could have sounded a lot better, and while I have a soft spot for “Marguerita Time”, it does feel like it would have been a better track for Francis’ solo project. Generally, the Quo sound had become pretty watered down by this point.

    Here is the full setlist of the “End of the Road” gigs (the medley showed up recently on a 3 CD collection called “Whatever You Want – The Essential Status Quo”):

    1. Intro
    2. Caroline
    3. Paper Plane [unreleased]
    4. Roll Over Lay Down
    5. Backwater / Just Take Me
    6. Little Lady [unreleased]
    7. Don't Drive My Car [unreleased]
    8. Whatever You Want
    9. Mystery Medley [released on the “Red Sky” 12” single as “The Milton Keynes Medley”] 8:13
    a. Mystery Song
    b. Railroad
    c. Most of the Time
    d. Wild Side of Life
    e. Slow Train
    10. Hold You Back
    11. Rockin' All Over the World
    12. Over the Edge
    13. Dirty Water
    14. Forty-Five Hundred Times
    15. Big Fat Mama
    16. Don't Waste My Time
    17. Roadhouse Blues (with Bob Young)
    18. What You're Proposing
    19. Rain [unreleased]
    20. Down Down
    21. Bye Bye Johnny

    End of the Road ’84 – The Farewell Concert (VHS)


    1 Caroline
    2 Roll Over Lay Down
    3 Whatever You Want
    4 Mystery Medley
    a Mystery Song
    b Railroad
    c Most Of The Time
    d Wild Side Of Life
    e Slow Train
    5 Rockin' All Over The World
    6 Dirty Water
    7 Roadhouse Blues (edited)
    8 What You're Proposing
    9 Down Down
    10 Bye Bye Johnny (edited)

    More from the Road ’84 (VHS)

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    1 Keep Right On...
    2 Roll Over Lay Down
    3 Backwater
    4 Just Take Me
    5 Hold You Back
    6 Over The Edge
    7 Forty Five Hundred Times (edited)
    8 Big Fat Mama (edited)
    9 Don't Waste My Time
    10 Keep Right On
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  9. 12stringbassist

    12stringbassist Basso Profundo

    Manchester UK
    1. A Mess Of Blues (Doc Pomus/Mort Shuman) 3:23
    This is a formulaic simple Quo boogie. The band turn in a sprightly, uncluttered performance and there's little to complain about. Not exactly ground-breaking, but bearing in mind the fractures in the band around this time, it was probably a quick win to record a cover version like this.

    2. Ol' Rag Blues (Lancaster/Lamb) 2:51
    This could bring a tear to a glass eye. At the time it was seen as a sort of 'farewell' from the band and the behind the scenes rows about the different versions of this and the power struggle within the band were kept well under wraps. Both versions of this have something about them. The promo video for it was a bit of fun.

    3. Can't Be Done (Rossi/Frost) 3:07
    More formulaic stuff. I couldn't care less if I never heard this ever again.

    4. Too Close To The Ground (Parfitt/Bown) 3:43
    Maybe the best song on the album for me and I would have thought it was a Rossi tune from its mood. I really have liked this from the first hearing.

    5. No Contract (Parfitt/Bown) 3:40
    This song is just odd. Mainly it built around one rather turgid central riff. But the 'Give me private lessons, Teach me all you can, Play me silent movies, but remember baby..' section rescues it from just being boring. That bit could have maybe been slotted into a better song for an overall better result.

    6. Win Or Lose (Rossi/Frost) 2:35
    It's ok as a tune, but it's mainly word-game filler.

    7. Marguerita Time (Rossi/Frost) 3:27
    Alan Lancaster was convinced that this song was recorded for a solo Rossi album and when it turned up on the Quo album he was reportedly totally aghast and said something along the lines of how could he possibly play the album to his children? That apart, it did well in the UK charts. It's well produced and a good, bouncy commercial recording.

    8. Your Kind Of Love (Lancaster) 3:24
    This isn't much better than Marguerita Time. Alan Lancaster may have objected to Rossi's yukky pop fluff, but had no problems with his own.

    9. Stay The Night (Rossi/Frost/Andrew Miller) 3:02
    Decent riff, not much else.

    10. Going Down Town tonight (Guy Johnson) 3:33
    Alan Lancaster did a 'Loyal Family' Interview and slated this song and the album: His words:

    But beside the fact that I missed John on the records, the biggest disappointment for me was the fact that the songs just weren't as good anymore as before. I don't think John playing on it could have changed that.

    That's right. The reason being is that from then Status Quo were playing songs. Before Pip Williams came into the scene, Quo would never play songs. The song had to fit the performance of the band. The performance would come first and the song would be written around the performance. Now, each individual member was writing songs of their own and bringing them into the band to play. Which created diversity in style and confusion. You see, when we were working together and producing our own stuff we performed stuff in rehearsals or on stage during soundchecks. Then we wrote songs around those ideas. That worked. When you write a song on your own without the band around, then nobody knows where it's coming from when you want to record it. Nobody knows what the performance is to try to fit the song to. That's the way we worked. Most people try to find good songs and perform the song.

    Status Quo weren't like that. We performed good performances and try to find songs to fit that performance. This is the reason why a lot of Status Quo songs have never been covered. Because they demand a performance. The only way you hear a Quo song covered is as when some cover band are playing it live. Because the songs are not really recording songs. And around the time John left, we would bring songs into the studio to which we would try to find a performance to fit. That was the wrong way around. And that was Pip Williams' legacy. He got that into our heads. Rossi started to go his own way. He got to write songs with Bernie Frost and came back to play around with them. But they were Bernie Frost songs. This a fact, if you’re a good writer you only hope to create two very good songs per year. You might write twelve, but you can only really hope for those two. If you're a solo artist you can't write an album with only top songs every year. The thing is, when you're on the road there's very little time to write songs. You can think of a few ideas and put those together with the ideas of the others. But we didn't write together. Francis fell out with Rick, he fell out with Bob, he fell out with Bernie, he got people to write songs for him. You know the song Going down town tonight?

    Would you consider that a Status Quo song?

    No. I've never liked it.
    That's because it's not a Status Quo song. This is to give you an idea of what went on and what broke the band up. No member of Status Quo is playing on that song.

    This is a Rossi thing. He did this behind our backs. I was in Australia and although we had plenty of songs to put on the album he put that on the album behind our backs. That's not a Status Quo song, that's somebody else. I don't know who it is, but it's not Rick and it's certainly not me. Francis might be playing a bit somewhere on it. Well, he's singing it, that's for sure. But can you imagine what we felt or what I felt when that was released as a single and we had to make a videoclip for it? This was when we start to lose control. You can't argue with cocaine.

    But it did happen. Couldn't you do anything about it?
    I couldn't do anything about it. I couldn't stop the release of the album like I tried to do with In the army now because you're outvoted. I could have stopped it but that would have broken the band up. But the band was breaking up. And before that we had Marguerita time. I did that for Rossi's solo album. He got me to play that for him. I sat there and put as much work into it as I did anything. I put my heart and soul into it. Thinking it was for his solo album. That's the reason why we were doing it.

    Do you consider that the worst song you've ever recorded?
    No, it's not the worst song I've ever recorded. It's just not a Quo song. It was never meant to be a Quo song. Going down town tonight is not a Quo song. That's somebody else. This wasn't Rossi's business or band, it was our business, our band. It's a group, a partnership. We had contracts together. But these guys were so blown away on drugs that you couldn't talk to them. I couldn't go to my management because they were also blown up on drugs. You never contacted the record company cause they were on drugs as well. I knew our record company man personally. Brian Shepherd was our man for many years. In fact he was there all those years. It was when he left the company in 1984 and when the new man came in, that 's how they managed to get all these things going. Doing things without my permission. And this is why in the end I had to sue them. But we settled that out of court. What I want to get straight is that they never went to trial.

    All this is incorrect, misquoted. All the things they say in their biography's. It's simply wrong. We went to court to stop In the army now from being released. That had nothing to do with the trial. Rossi and Parfitt never stood trial for there wrongdoings. Rossi left a contract with me. There were no arguments with me, there was nothing wrong with me and him. The only argument was that he was not fulfilling his contractual obligations. Which meant that I could get sued or Rick could get sued. He just wouldn't work. He later used me as an excuse. You know, Alan this, Alan that, but that was never the case. There was never any problem whatsoever. The only problems were between Rossi and Parfitt not getting on with one another. But that was a jealousy thing I think because I could get on with either of them. I was always fresh and ready to go. There were never any problems with me and Rossi like he likes to make out. Or pretends there is, because he's got a guilt thing. And that thing is that there was no reason that we should have broken up, except for the fact that he was on drugs. Totally out of it. And the only reason they got away with it is because the record company was there and they paid the money for the record. What they didn't know was that they paid advantage for a record without me. They only found this out when I sued them. This is when the new managing director was in Phonogram and they said they were all prepared to except the record as his. So what could I do? They paid the money for the record and said OK, we accept it as it is.

    Rossi said that the record company would only accept Status Quo with Rick and him. The record company got nothing to do with any of this. They are not the band, they don't tell the band what to do. They don't own my property or anyone's. We tell the record company what we're going to do. We went to the record company to get money to make a record. But instead of Status Quo making a record, Rossi went in made it on his own and the management allowed him to do that. Than Rick followed him! So when I complained all hell broke loose and in the end I had to sue them. But when I sued them the record company came in and said look, we accept the record as it is because if we don't do that we have to sue you all for not giving us the record as contracted. But the record that was contracted was us three making a record. So I had no choice to allow them to use the name. The record company was allowed to use the name Status Quo for the next three records or so. I received money for that and allowed them to do that. So have Rossi and Parfitt. The record company said, leave it as it is and try to solve the problems. But they didn't care. They just wanted to release the record under the Status Quo name.

    They already wasted a lot of money on Rossi and Parfitt's solo ideas so they were prepared to accept the album as it was. They went to bloody court to own the rights of the name!! It's ridiculous. That's the story. And the fans, the Quo army were sending me the wrong messages. Everything I said, about Quo being an ideology, anti establishment and being a peoples band, was turning into something else. The Quo army bought the 1+9+8+2 album. The one without John Coghlan. It spent 26 weeks in the charts and went to number one. That's simply the wrong message. It said, you don't agree with my ideology, you agree with Rossi's ideology. You want songs like Baby boy and stuff like that. That was the message for me. The next message the fans send me was Marguerita time. It was against everything I thought Quo stood for. It sold 400.000 copies in the UK. One of our biggest singles. So I couldn't do anything. Then I had a number one record in Australia. It sold over 100.000 copies and went gold.

    We also had a platinum album. We released He's gonna step on you again in the UK, it got lots of airplay but it got nowhere. And a Punk band recorded a funny version of it six months later and it went to number one. I was getting the wrong messages from the Quo fans. It was like they don't want this stuff, they want stuff like Marguerita time and Going down town tonight. And The wanderer, that was another stupid idea. That was again an idea by Pip Williams. He thought that would be a great Quo track. We thought, Oh really? We discussed that many years ago. We always said no to it. It should have been recorded 5 or 6 years previous but we always said no. Rossi wanted to record it so we tried it but it wasn't right. But in the end he got his way and got Pip Williams to do it.

    And again that was a big hit.
    Yes it was. But again, the wrong messages. I mean, If you can't stand the heat is a bit of a naff album. But even the bad stuff on those albums did have the right style. It still had a certain feeling. But how do you feel when you buy a record with the name Status Quo on it when it's not a Status Quo record?
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  10. JulesRules

    JulesRules Forum Resident Thread Starter

    While some of what he's saying is very interesting, he also comes across as really nasty and bitter in that interview IMO. Repeatedly saying things like "The Quo Army did this or that wrong...", how can one's fans be wrong? And besides, he might not realize it but it's actually not the Quo army that made those things successful. The Quo Army would buy anything by Quo back then I guess, but the huge success of, say, Marguerita Time, came from elsewhere. Those were casual fans, people who bought singles they liked, not so much depending on the band. That song appealed to a general public, and would have done so even if it had been released under a pseudonym, I think.
    He also doesn't mention the full band re-recording of Going Down Town Tonight. And he targets Pip despite actually asking him for help when it came to choosing between the two versions of Ol' Rag Blues!

    As for ITAN being demanded by the record company, I think he is simply deluded. Look at what Eric Clapton went through at the same time. Suddenly the label weren't accepting his LP anymore and demanded more commercial songs. I'm sure Quo would not be immune to that, whether with or without Al. Besides, ITAN was mainly started from Rick's solo band rehearsing with Francis, so his timeline can't be right at all?!
  11. 12stringbassist

    12stringbassist Basso Profundo

    Manchester UK
    The whole interview shows his absolute bitterness towards Rossi. I was astonished when the reunions came off.
  12. JulesRules

    JulesRules Forum Resident Thread Starter

    From when is that interview?

    He complains about GDTT in the Hello Quo documentary but seems to have toned down a lot of the bitterness (or maybe it was edited out).
  13. 12stringbassist

    12stringbassist Basso Profundo

    Manchester UK
    I've messaged you re the interview.
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  14. Almost Simon

    Almost Simon Forum Resident

    Oh well, we've reached the bitter period. Heads down, listen to the records and work our way through it.

    I dont own the album, will give it a listen on youtube tomorrow. I like the singles, Old Rag Blues, still find it weird that Alan allowed that one to come out with Rossi on vocals, for the singles market does probably work better.
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  15. There's quite a lot on "Back To Back" that I enjoy but there are a couple of not so great tracks.
    I especially like "Ol' Rag Blues" and "Stay The Night".

    In regards to the "End of the Road" concert not being re-released on DVD, I read somewhere that the masters were lost in a warehouse fire.
    Anyone else heard of this? I really hope it's not true.

    I know the band hate the performance but I quite like it personally.
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  16. Almost Simon

    Almost Simon Forum Resident

    Definitely Lancaster was not at full anger in that documentary, i assume things have mellowed through the years, over time. What with the frantic four reunion.

    There's many hours of Hello Quo footage on the cutting room floor. Would like to see a longer version, more detailed, maybe more like Tom Petty's Running Down a Dream. That would be interesting for the hardcore fans, Hello Quo does seem a little lightweight.
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  17. 12stringbassist

    12stringbassist Basso Profundo

    Manchester UK
    The interview is from 2005. Mainly concerning Lancaster's views on the split and comments about the current Quo.
    Not happy reading. I'll give anyone who messages me a download link for it.
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  18. JulesRules

    JulesRules Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Some of the audio tapes have shown up recently, from what I heard. The problem is finding the full unedited video, which may be lost.
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  19. 12stringbassist

    12stringbassist Basso Profundo

    Manchester UK
    I'd like the EOTR gig from Milton Keynes to be released on DVD. I was there.
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  20. Almost Simon

    Almost Simon Forum Resident

    News relevant to fans contributing to this thread:

    Rick Parfitt’s debut solo album ‘Over And Out’ to be released posthumously in 2018

    A 10-track studio album recorded by Status Quo's Rick Parfitt before his untimely death on Christmas Eve 2016 will be released next year.

    Titled ‘Over And Out’, Rick recorded the album whilst undergoing a period of recuperation after his heart attack in Turkey in June 2016.

    The record will be released on Friday 23rd March 2018 via EarMusic and includes the album title track that was played at Rick’s funeral back in January.

    Created by Rick, produced by Jo Webb and mixed by Ash Howes, the album is said to showcase ‘the softer side of Rick’ as a writer, artist and performer away from Status Quo.

    Rick had finished all the vocals and guitar parts before he passed away, however further recording sessions were due to take place in February 2017 leaving some songs only partially finished.

    Musicians drafted in to complete the record following Rick’s death include Queen guitarist Brian May, Muse bassist Chris Wolstenholme, Rick Parfitt Jnr, John “Rhino” Edwards and Alan Lancaster.

    Alongside the ‘finished’ version of the album, there will also be a raw and pure version as a bonus disc on the special editions of the album.

    The album track-listing is as follows:

    1. Twinkletoes
    2. Lonesome Road
    3. Over And Out
    4. When I Was Fallin In Love
    5. Fight For Every Heartbeat
    6. Without You
    7. Long Distance Love
    8. Everybody Knows How To Fly
    9. Lock Myself Away
    10. Halloween
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  21. Almost Simon

    Almost Simon Forum Resident

    I've got audio of the show, need to give it another listen, also have a copy on DVD. But has been a while since i watched it.
  22. Almost Simon

    Almost Simon Forum Resident

    Why on earth did they release the EOTR concert as two separate VHS's? Doesnt make sense.
  23. JulesRules

    JulesRules Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Time limitations, I guess?
  24. I have a feeling they were a released a couple of years apart too.
  25. Man at C&A

    Man at C&A Forum Resident

    Especially as even across two tapes you don't get the whole concert and Roll Over Lay Down is on both tapes! I have a nice quality DVD transfer of them both.

    Fascinating interview with Alan. He may seem bitter and angry, but I don't blame him. I've owned all the Quo albums at some point, though I got rid of a lot of them later. Back To Back is mostly horrible. I struggled to listen to the albums from 1982 through the rest of the 80s. Depressing stuff. Surprisingly they were still very successful even though the quality of their records had plummeted.

    I do like Ol' Rag Blues and Marguerita Time as pop records. But they are very tame for the Quo. From this point onwards they often become embarrassing. But in spite of all that, I've always loved them!
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