FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
ABOUT STATUS QUO IN NORTH AMERICA
by Alex Gitlin
Upon popular demand, here's a small QUO FAQ (sort of), as compiled
by me originally on Dec. 22, 1994.
In March/April 1994, Record Collector magazine has published a
two-issue Quo feature written by a friend of mine and another
Quofan, Jason Hodgson of Harrogate. It included a definitive
retrospective of the band, a definitive singles and albums
discography and videography, as well as a superb interview with the
man himself, Francis Rossi (and a bit of Rick, if I reckon
Anyway, some of the following paragraphs are helpful hints for
other Quofans on the net who are trying to locate the stuff, so
please don't be confused. Afterall, this is my first attempt to
throw together a FAQ of some sort...
Part I: Helpful hints and the Quo story:
...the ony Back2Back release NOT to buy is "Whatever You Want"/"Just
Supposin'" as it lacks 2 album cuts, "High Flyer" and "The Wild Ones".
The others are OK, but I would still have preferred individual CD
issues instead, as the quality of album cover art has definitely
suffered on the Back2Back releases.
Alan Lancaster left the group in 1984, after a bitter court
injunction, which he had lost... The band had broken up for about a
year, and, although they did appear with Alan on bass at the Live
Aid concert in 1985, this was a one-off, and their next (imminent)
reunion was with new members, John Rhino Edwards (bass) and Jeff
Rich (drums, ex-Stretch, Champion, Def Leppard).
John Coghlan left in 1981, after the decade of "greasy boogie" had
ended and a more commercial feel of Rossi and Parfitt's songwriting
had filled the air instead (although R&P couldn't stand each other
by then); he formed his own band later on, called JC's Diesel, in a
commercial '80s hard rock vein.
In 1986, SQ made a huge comeback with "In the Army Now" (highest
chart position: single #2, album #7) and have never quite left the
scene since, participating in many great events around England
(like that 1991 signing of their "Just For the Record" book, their
bio, and the Blackpool "switch"), and playing constantly around the
UK and mostly Europe...
Here's my scoop of their post-1980 releases:
1980 Just Supposin'
1981 Never Too Late
1983 Back To Back
1986 In the Army Now
1988 Ain't Complaining
1989 Perfect Remedy
1990 Rocking All Over The Years (of all compilations, perhaps
the most significant one - it reached #2 in the album
charts and is the definitive Quo collection)
1991 Rock 'Til You Drop
1992 Live Alive Quo (live as you could guess :)
1994 Thirsty Work
1995 Don't Stop
1980 Just Supposin' (#4)- a great follow up to their #3 hit
"Whatever You Want" LP, great tracks off the top of my head: Lies
(#11), "What You're Proposin'" (#2), "Wild Ones", and Rick's
quasi-disco spoof, "Don't Drive My Car" (recently rechristened as
"Can't Drive My Car" by poor Rick who's been banned from driving
for a year after a reckless accident.
Done in the style you must be mostly familiar with - "no nonsense
boogie" with just a touch of synth (hopefully not enough to
irritate you). Most tracks are fast, very melodic and very
1981 Never Too Late (#2) - Good solid rock; early '80s Quo
(excellent production, too!); the denim and leather thing still
there, warts'n'all! Great cuts: "Something Bout You Baby I Like",
(#9), "Rock'n'Roll" (#8), a ballad penned by keyboardist Andrew
Brown, and "Riverside".
Probably more pop and more synth than its predecessors, but
not too much. It's still a great rock album... In 1981, tons of
New Wave Of British Heavy Metal acts started coming out, which,
much as punk rock, seemed to threaten Quo's popularity Status... In
reality, nothing can affect it. They still sell out venues and
their "Never Too Late" album reaches #2!
1982 1+9+8+2 (#1) - this one many fans regard as a shoddy
offering. A lot of synth, a lot of brass (where'd that come from),
and more keyboards than ever. Tunes are generally uneven, but I
still like a lot of them: "Dear John" (#10), "She Don't Fool Me"
(#36), "Jealousy", "Young Pretender" (my favourite), although there
are some stinkers, primarily penned by our friend Alan Lancaster
(not that he's a bad songwriter or anything): "I Want The World To
Know", "Big Man".
The year 1982 was also marked by their televised concert at the
NEC, Birmingham, in the presence of HRH Prince or Duke of some
sort(?), which is now available on a home video, aptly titled
Status Quo Live (or in case of the CD of the same gig, Live at the
NEC 1982) - great concert indeed.
1983 Back To Back (#9) - despite the latest metal craze
(Fastway, Gary Moore, Motorhead, etc.), Quo's popularity still
seems unaffected, and sales are far from dwindling (#9 ain't bad
for a veteran British Rock group in the age when Michael Jackson,
Def Leppard, and Dire Straits seem large enough to take away all
the glory)... The greasy boogie idea is back - at least on the
cover (two lorries, standing back-to-back); Pete Kircher on
drums. Tunes: "Ol' Rag Blues" (#9), "Mess Of Blues" (#15,
Pomus/Shuman), "Marguerita Time" (#3, mellower Quo), "Going Down
Town Tonight" (#20, 1984).
This year, a dispute occurred between Alan and R&P; Alan didn't
like the more commercial approach R&P undertook in the recent
years, and was generally a pain in the behind, wanting to move to
Australia and take the whole band with him... When R&P refused, he
took the matters to court, hoping to prevent R&P from using the
name SQ. Well, he lost! He then departed to Australia where
his wife lived then, and joined the Party Boys (again, I heard
their S/T album isn't anything to write home to England about);
he's been rumoured since to have commented about a possible
reunion, "I won't confirm it but I won't deny it... Time heals
all wounds", so anything's possible. (I would feel bad for Rhino
if he was fired because Alan wanted to come back, though, but it
doesn't look like it's going to happen anyway).
Their famous comeback happened in...
1986 In the Army Now (#7) - (the introduction of the
current lineup) - a great rock album, very modern, very up
to date, a lot of synth, a far cry from "Piledriver", but you
gotta love 'em! Tunes: "Rollin' Home" (#9, prod. by Dave Edmunds),
"Red Sky" (#19 - great video, very humourous), "In the Army" (#2),
Tunes are generally even in production, speed, creativity, etc. I
love the last one on the album, "Speechless" - written by Ian Hunter.
1988 Ain't Complaining (#12) - THE BAND showed signs of
gracious aging for the first time. A lot of great tunes, but not
all of them are fast-paced kick-ass rockers. A weaker offering
compared to its predecessor, but still has a few mean songs, title
track (#19), "Who Gets The Love" (#34), "Burning Bridges" ("On &
Off & On Again") (#5 - a great pop-rock shuffle, rhythm favoured by
Rossi: "When I was a kid, one of the first tunes I heard was 'Papa
Piccolino' which was a shuffle" (or something like that).
1989 The dreaded US compilation came out, binding material from
two previous LPs and the otherwise unreleased 1988 update version of
"Rockin' All Over the World". This compilation is quite dreadful, but
the only one available from '89 to '91 in the US and my introduction
to "Ain't Complaining" album. Now out of print.
1989 Perfect Remedy (#49) - the lowest album chart placing in
years, and it deserves it! The tunes are deemed by many die-hard
Quo fans as wimpy and superficial - a really low point for Quo. A
lot of synth and not much of that no-nonsense rock'n'roll we're so
accustomed to. Country tunes, "Tommy's in Love", late '80s styled pop
tunes ("Heart On Hold" - yuck!), "Not At All" (#50 - one of the better
tunes on the album), "Little Dreamer" (I like this one too).
Personally, I don't play this album much these days. But the video
from that tour I do like. It's titled "Rocking All Over the Years"
- Live, Birmingham 1989. Here's what Rossi had to say for himself:
"We have a new album now...most people have new albums..." They
still rock live on this one.
1991 Rock Til You Drop (#10) - this is a true Quo comeback!
The emphasis is on heavy rock'n'boogie, not pop, and the sign of
the times makes itself quite visible! They haven't aged much,
judging by the songs on this one "Like a Zombie", remakes of their
"Can't Give You More" (#37), and 4500 Times (about time they threw
in some oldies!).
"Don't know whose fault it was... Not unlike the Marx Brothers...
OK, let's Roll it!" The CD contains 16 tracks, unlike the vinyl
LP, which only has 12 (album cover art is quite bad though).
"Rock 'Til You Drop" was actually heavily promoted and televised;
it resulted in a double video documentary of the same title, as
well as the band being placed in the "Guinness Book of World Records"
for playing the most gigs (5) in the shortest period of time (less than
12 hours) around the UK. This marathon was pretty rough on the
boys, but they handled it with enviable courage, as documented by
the video. Jason Hodgson has been to one or two of those gigs so
he'll tell you more... if he ever regains internet access... :)
1992 Live Alive Quo (#37) - a cheeky title only Quo can get away
with, and their 1st live album since the famous "Live" from 1977.
I love this one, but most group subscribers don't seem to favour it
much, especially those who were present at the concert. Recorded at
the Party at the Sutton Park, and contains a lot of their great
early and mid-career hits ("Don't Drive My Car", "Whatever You Want",
etc). Rossi: "Rolling Stones play most of their old material during
their gigs, why shouldn't we?... Actually, I am sick and tired of
singing Rocking all over the World for the N-th time... And what
the fuck does 'Down Down' mean? Fuck knows!" (Quote from Tom
Hibbert's backstabbing 1992 "Q Magazine" interview. Don't hold me to
it, as Hibbert is an infamous liar!)
The video is even better. It showcases Andy with harmonica during
the Roadhouse medley and contains a bonus video remix of their
1994 Thirsty Work (#13) - their 1994 European and British
tours were a storming success, and I have lots of reviews from
those who've been to the concerts that year (including myself)
somewhere on the diskspace - email me your requests... I have one
from the Netherlands, a few from the Chelmsford Spectacular, and a
bunch of reviews of the Blackburn, Blackpool, Sheffield and Wembley
gigs, as well as one or two Finnish reviews...
Three singles have been spawned by the new album, "I Didn't Mean
It" (#21), "Sherri Don't Fail Me Now!" (#38), and later, a Jennifer
Warnes cover, "Restless" (#39), which Radio One refused to play!
Gigs continued well into the year 1995, a US appearance having been
promised but not delivered, (where some hoped "Restless" would
finally break them big, as it is a very American sounding tune.)
1995 Don't Stop (#2) - their biggest album chart success in
years, was greeted by Quo fans around the world with mixed
feelings. Indeed, many didn't know what to make of their
collaborations with the Beach Boys on "Fun Fun Fun" (#24) or Maddy
Prior (of Steeleye Span) on "All Around My Hat" (#47).
This album is a collection of covers of classic rock and pop tunes,
like the Searchers' "When You Walk in the Room" (#34), Fleetwood
Mac's "Don't Stop" (#35), The Beatles' "Get Back", and much more,
and is, generally, a Rossi-dominated pop record, as far removed from
the original spirit of heads-down-boogie Quo we were all accustomed to.
Despite the chart success, BBC Radio One refused to play Quo's
singles and, subsequently a lawsuit ensused between Quo and BBC.
BBC have won the first round, and thus got away with not playing
Quo, if they so choose, despite the band's country-wide and
continent-wide appeal and popularity. Undeterred, Quo continue to
persevere and play more excellent gigs, like the Munich, Germany
(earlier this year; review elsewhere on this page), and Frankfurt,
Germany (a bootleg of which has already made several rounds amongst
1997 Whatever You Want: The Very Best of Status Quo (#13) - no
comment availiable yet due to its very recent release.
We, Quo fans, have stuck with the band through thick and thin, good
records, and crap ones. If Francis Rossi decides that now, in the
mid-90s, it's time to mellow out and aim for wider mass appeal,
then more power to him. I, for one, would like to see more of
Rick's contribution to the band, and maybe another album in 1997
that would be even more *back to the roots* than 1991's "Rock 'Til
The band still rock live, and Rick's interpretations of "Get Back"
and Bob Seger's "Get Out of Denver" are scorching hot!
Hope this helps. As I said, above are solely my opinions, and my
potted history might be quite incorrect in places (hint hint!)
so please feel free to make corrections and pinpoint them to me.
Here's to Quo in the year 2000!
Part II: For North America only--Quo material availability (FAQ)
The US pressings of the following albums can be occasionally found
at your used record store (*--indicates "If you're extra lucky!):
Pictures Of Matchstick Men (68) *
Piledriver (73) * A&M
Hello (73) A&M
Quo (74) A&M
On The Level (75) Capitol or Vertigo import
Status Quo (76) (a.k.a. Blue For You) Capitol
Rockin' All Over the World (77) Capitol or Vertigo import
Live! (with bonus 7" Wild Side of Life) 2LP Capitol
If You Can't Stand The Heat (78) * Vertigo import
Now Hear This (80) (a.k.a. Whatever You Want) Riva / Polygram
Status Quo (jukebox, sneakers, guitars and drumsticks on the cover)
(actually, a compilation of songs from 2 albums, '86 In the
Army Now, and '88 Ain't Complaining)
Polygram CD, cassette or LP (now deleted)
CDs generally available at budget prices at Tower Records, etc:
(Castle Communication imports):
Pictures Of Matchstick Men (68)
Spare Parts (69)
Ma Kelly's Greasy Spoon (70)
Dog of Two heads (71)
...and various Pye records era compilations (Castle Collection,
1985; The Early Years, 1993; etc., etc. - there are tons)
Imports available through various vendors/importers in Goldmine (US
Piledriver, Hello, Quo, On the Level, Blue For You, Rockin' All
Over the World, and...
If You Can't Stand The Heat (usually coupled with 1+9+8+2 on a
Just Supposin' (79) (usually coupled with Whatever You Want (80)
on a 2-on-1 CD),
Back To Back (83) (usually coupled with Never Too Late (81) on a
In the Army Now (86), Live At the NEC 1982, Ain't Complaining (88),
Rocking All Over The Years (90 - a definitive collection),
Perfect Remedy (89), Rock 'Til You Drop (91), Live Alive Quo (92),
Thirsty Work (94), Don't Stop (95), Whatever You Want (97), and the
new one is in the making currently...
Try Music Machine (410)356-4567,
Rock Dream (609)275-8171,
Worldwide CD (312)665-0030,
or Sprockets (313)284-2212.
They all take credit cards.
Part III: Highest U.K. chart positions
Year Title Highest Chart Position
1968 Pictures Of Matchstick Men 7
1968 Ice In The Sun 8
1969 Are You Growing Tired Of My Love 46
1970 Down The Dustpipe 12
1970 In My Chair 21
1972 Paper Plane 8
1973 Mean Girl 20
1973 Caroline 5
1974 Break The Rules 8
1974 Down Down 1
1975 Roll Over Lay Down 9
1976 Rain 7
1976 Mystery Song 11
1976 Wild Side Of Life 9
1977 Rockin' All Over The World 3
1978 Again And Again 13
1978 Accident Prone 36
1979 Whatever You Want 4
1979 Living On An Island 16
1980 What You're Proposing 2
1980 Lies / Don't Drive My Car 11
1981 Something 'Bout You Baby I Like 9
1981 Rock'n'Roll 8
1982 Dear John 10
1982 She Don't Fool Me 36
1982 Caroline (Live) 13
1983 Ol' Rag Blues 9
1983 A Mess Of Blues 15
1983 Marguerita Time 3
1984 Going Down Town Tonight 20
1984 The Wanderer 7
1986 Rollin' Home 9
1986 Red Sky 19
1986 In The Army 2
1986 Dreamin' 15
1988 Ain't Complaining 19
1988 Who Gets The Love? 34
1988 Running All Over The World 17
1988 Burning Bridges 5
1989 Not At All 50
1990 Anniversary Waltz (Part One) 2
1990 Anniversary Waltz (Part Two) 16
1991 Can't Give You More 37
1992 Rock 'Til You Drop 38
1992 Roadhouse Medley 21
1994 I Didn't Mean It 21
1994 Sherri Don't Fail Me Now! 38
1994 Restless 39
1995 When You Walk In the Room 34
1996 Fun Fun Fun 24
1996 Don't Stop 35
1996 All Around My Hat 47
1972 Piledriver 5
1973 Hello! 1
1973 The Best Of 32
1974 Quo 2
1975 On The Level 1
1976 Blue For You 1
1977 Live 3
1977 Rockin' All Over The World 5
1978 If You Can't Stand The Heat 3
1979 Whatever You Want 3
1980 12 Gold Bars 3
1980 Just Supposin' 4
1981 Never Too Late 2
1981 Fresh Quota 74
1982 1+9+8+2 1
1982 From The Makers Of... 4
1983 Back To Back 9
1984 12 Gold Bars Vol. 2 12
1986 In The Army Now 7
1988 Ain't Complaining 12
1989 Perfect Remedy 49
1990 Rocking All Over The Years 2
1991 Rock 'Til You Drop 10
1992 Live Alive Quo 37
1994 Thirsty Work 13
1995 Don't Stop 2
1997 Whatever You Want: The Very Best of... 13