Status Quo

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Status Quo

Background information
Origin England
Genre(s) Rock and roll
Pop rock
Hard rock
Years active 1962 - Present
Label(s) Sanctuary Records (2005 - present)
Pye Records (1966 - 1971)
Vertigo Records (1972 - 1991)
Polydor (1994 - 2003)
Eagle Records (1999)
Website Status Quo Official Website
Francis Rossi
Rick Parfitt
Andy Bown
John 'Rhino' Edwards
Matt Letley
Former members
John Coghlan
Alan Lancaster
Pete Kircher
Jeff Rich
Roy Lynes

Status Quo are an English rock band whose music is characterised by a strong boogie line. The group was founded by bassist Alan Lancaster and guitarist Francis Rossi in 1962.


[edit] Early career

Status Quo began as a rock and roll freakbeat band in 1962. At Sedgehill Comprehensive School, Beckenham Francis Rossi and Alan Lancaster who were members of the same orchestra, started a band called The Scorpions. Changing their name to The Spectres, Rossi and Lancaster played their first gig at the Samuel Jones Sports Club in Dulwich, South London. In 1963 they added drummer John Coghlan. They began writing their own material and after a year met Rick Parfitt who was playing with a band called The Highlights. By the end of 1965, Rossi and Parfitt, who had become close friends, made a commitment to continue working together. On July 18, 1966 The Spectres signed a five-year deal with Piccadilly Records, releasing two singles that year, 'I (Who Have Nothing)' and 'Hurdy Gurdy Man' (written by Alan Lancaster), and one the next year called 'We Ain't Got Nothing Yet', but all three sank without trace.

[edit] History of the band

By 1967, the group discovered psychedelia and changed their name to Traffic (later Traffic Jam, to avoid confusion with Steve Winwood's Traffic.) At this time the line-up also included organist Roy Lynes. They released another single 'Almost But Not Quite There' which was also a flop. Meanwhile Parfitt had quit The Highlights after his twin sister co-stars attack him with their stillettos, and he soon got a call from Francis to join Traffic Jam. Late in 1967 with their twin guitar lineup, the band became The Status Quo and released the very successful Top 10 single "Pictures of Matchstick Men" in November. The single charted as high as Number 7. The band followed it up with "Ice in The Sun", which was almost as successful, climbing to Number 8. "Pictures of Matchstick Men" remains the only Top 40 hit single the group has ever charted in the United States. Though the group's albums have been released in the United States throughout their career, they have never achieved the same level of success and fame there that they have enjoyed in their home country.

After their second album Spare Parts they decided to change into a heavy boogie rock band, abandoning the Carnaby Street fashions of the late 60s and donning instead worn out denims and t-shirts. This look was to become their trademark throughout the 70s. Lynes, apparently unhappy with the reduced emphasis on keyboards in the group’s heavier sound, left in 1971, to be replaced initially by guest keyboard studio players, including Jimmy Horowitz and John Parker, and later, on a more permanent basis on record and stage, by ex-The Herd and Judas Jump member Andy Bown, though as he was contracted as a solo artist with EMI, he was not credited as a full-time member until 1982. After two well-received but relatively poor selling albums in 1970 and 1971, their major breakthrough came when they signed with the well-respected heavy rock and progressive label, Vertigo. Their first album for Vertigo, Piledriver came in 1972 and heralded an even heavier self-produced sound. This album was essentially the template for every subsequent album they released up until Blue for You in 1976. During this period, and throughout the rest of the 70s, they became one of the UK's leading rock bands, gaining a faithful following due to their live gigs. They are best known for songs from this era such as "Paper Plane" (1972), "Caroline" (1973), "Down Down" (1975), "Rockin' All Over the World" (1977) and "Whatever You Want" (1979). "Down Down" topped the UK singles chart in January 1975, their first of two British number one singles to date.

From 1978 onwards their sound became more polished as outside producers were enlisted. Sales remained high in the UK throughout the 80s, but there were tensions within the band, and founding members John Coghlan and Alan Lancaster both left during this period. Coghlan left in late 1981, to be replaced by Pete Kircher from the 1960s pop band Honeybus. This short-lived line-up played its last gig in 1984 at the Milton Keynes Bowl, and reformed briefly to open the Live Aid charity event at Wembley in July 1985.

Francis Rossi
Francis Rossi

That year Rossi recorded and released two solo singles with longtime writing partner Bernie Frost. Parfitt was also working on a solo album which is still unreleased, although some tracks have been re-recorded by Status Quo and released as B-sides. Bass player John Edwards and drummer Jeff Rich, both ex-Judie Tzuke Band and Climax Blues Band, assisted Parfitt in the studio.

In the summer of 1985 Rossi, Parfitt and Bown, along with Edwards and Rich started work on a new album. Lancaster, who was living in Australia at the time, took out a legal injunction to stop the band using the Status Quo name on any records. The injunction was lifted after a court hearing in January 1986. Lancaster had had increasing musical differences with the group, notably during the sessions for the 1983 album Back to Back over two tracks which became hit singles for the group around that time. He had written "Ol' Rag Blues", but was angered when the producers chose to release a version with Rossi singing lead vocal in preference to the one sung by himself, and he objected to "Marguerita Time", which he thought unduly corny and too pop-oriented for them. He remained in Australia, and in 1986 he joined a band called Party Boys, who had no success in Britain. He left the band in 1987.

Rick Parfitt
Rick Parfitt

The commercially successful In the Army Now album was released in 1986, the single of the same name becoming one of the band's biggest selling UK singles, reaching number 2. The following album, Ain't Complaining, released in 1988, was less successful but did produce the single "Burning Bridges", which got to number 3. This was subsequently re-recorded with new lyrics in April 1994 with Manchester United Football Club as "Come on You Reds", giving the band their second UK Number 1. However the early to mid 1990s saw reduced album sales for the band. They were not helped by falling victim to Matthew Bannister’s shake up of BBC Radio 1 and they lost the subsequent court case they brought against the station. Parfitt had to undergo heart surgery in 1997, but was able to overcome it and make a successful return with a memorable performance in Norwich three months later. Rich left in 2000 and was replaced by Matthew Letley. Andrew Bown also took a year off at the same time for family reasons, and was temporarily replaced on stage by Paul Hirsh, formerly of Voyager.

Although Quo still release new material every few years, recent years have seen them release a series of greatest hits compilations and covers albums. One of the band's most recent original albums, Heavy Traffic, is considered by many fans to show a return to their classic 1970s form.

They have a loyal group of fans in the United Kingdom, where they have enjoyed more hits than any other group in rock and roll history (over 60 as of 2006), as well as a big following in mainland Europe, most notably in The Netherlands.

In September 2005, a contestant on the long-running BBC television quiz programme Mastermind chose Status Quo as his specialist subject. That same year they took part in the long running ITV soap opera Coronation Street in a storyline which involved them being sued by the layabout Les Battersby, and performing live at his wedding as compensation.

In December 2005, it was announced that Parfitt was undergoing tests for throat cancer. All subsequent dates of the UK tour were cancelled as a result. However, the growths in Parfitt's throat were found to be benign and were removed.

In November 2006, they performed in a Children in Need feature called "How Clean Is Your Gig?", looking at their tour bus.

[edit] Band members

[edit] Present band

[edit] Former members

  • Alan Lancaster - vocals, bass (1962–1985)
  • John Coghlan - drums (1963–1981)
  • Roy Lynes - keyboard (1964–1970)
  • Pete Kircher - drums (1982–1985)
  • Jeff Rich - drums (1986–2000)
  • Mike Gill - bass, backing vocals (1962 before signing)

[edit] Discography

[edit] Original UK studio albums

[edit] Compilation albums

[edit] Official UK singles

  • "Pictures of Matchstick Men" (Jan 1968) #7
  • "Black Veils of Melancholy" (Apr 1968) Did Not Chart
  • "Ice In The Sun" (Jul 1968) #8
  • "Technicolour Dreams" (Oct 1968) Did Not Chart
  • "Are You Growing Tired Of My Love" (Apr 1969) #46
  • "The Price of Love" (Sep 1969) Did Not Chart
  • "Down The Dustpipe" (Mar 1970) #12
  • "In My Chair" (Oct 1970) #21
  • "Tune To The Music" (Mar 1971) Did Not Chart
  • "Gerdundula" (Jul 1971) Did Not Chart
  • "Paper Plane" (Nov 1972) #8
  • "Mean Girl" (Apr 1973) #20
  • "Caroline" (Aug 1973) #5
  • "Break The Rules" (Apr 1974) #8
  • "Down Down" (Nov 1974) #1
  • "Roll Over Lay Down" (May 1975) #9
  • "Rain" (Feb 1976) #7
  • "Mystery Song" (Jul 1976) #11
  • "Wild Side Of Life" (Dec 1976) #9
  • "Rockin' All Over the World" (Sep 1977) #3
  • "Again And Again" (Aug 1978) #13
  • "Accident Prone" (Nov 1978) #36
  • "Whatever You Want" (Sep 1979) #4
  • "Living On An Island" (Nov 1979) #16
  • "What You're Proposing" (Oct 1980) #2
  • "Lies" / "Don't Drive My Car" (Nov 1980) #11
  • "Something 'Bout You Baby I Like" (Feb 1981) #9
  • "Rock 'n' Roll" (Nov 1981) #8
  • "Dear John" (Mar 1982) #10
  • "She Don't Fool Me" (Jun 1982) #36
  • "Caroline (Live At The NEC)" (Oct 1982) #13
  • "Ol' Rag Blues" (Sep 1983) #9
  • "A Mess Of Blues" (Nov 1983) #15
  • "Marguerita Time" (Dec 1983) #3
  • "Going Down Town Tonight" (May 1984) #20
  • "The Wanderer" (Oct 1984) #7
  • "Rollin' Home" (May 1986) #9
  • "Red Sky" (Jul 1986) #19
  • "In the Army Now" (Sep 1986) #2
  • "Dreamin'" (Nov 1986) #15
  • "Ain't Complaining" (Mar 1988) #19
  • "Who Gets The Love" (May 1988) #34
  • "Running All Over The World" (Aug 1988) #17
  • "Burning Bridges (On And Off And On Again)" (Nov 1988) #5
  • "Not At All" (Oct 1989) #50
  • "Little Dreamer" (Dec 1989) #76
  • "The Anniversary Waltz - Part 1" (Sep 1990) #2
  • "The Anniversary Waltz - Part 2" (Dec 1990) #16
  • "Can't Give You More" (Aug 1991) #37
  • "Rock 'Til You Drop" (Jan 1992) #38
  • "Roadhouse Medley" (Anniversary Waltz Part 25) (Sep 1992) #21
  • "Come On You Reds" (Apr 1994) #1 (with soccer club Manchester United F.C.)
  • "I Didn't Mean It" (Jul 1994) #21
  • "Sherri Don't Fail Me Now" (Oct 1994) #38
  • "Restless" (Nov 1994) #39
  • "When You Walk in the Room" (Oct 1995) #34
  • "Fun Fun Fun" (with The Beach Boys) (Feb 1996) #24
  • "Don't Stop" (Mar 1996) #35
  • "All Around My Hat" (with Maddy Prior from Steeleye Span) (Oct 1996) #47
  • "The Way It Goes" (Mar 1999) #39
  • "Little White Lies" (Jun 1999) #47
  • "Twenty Wild Horses" (Sep 1999) #53
  • "Mony Mony" (May 2001) #48
  • "Old Time Rock n' Roll" (Nov 2001) Did Not Chart
  • "Jam Side Down" (Aug 2002) #17
  • "All Stand Up (Never Say Never)" (Oct 2002) #51
  • "You'll Come 'Round" (Sep 2004) #14
  • "Thinking Of You" (Dec 2004) #21
  • "The Party Ain't Over Yet" (Sep 2005) #11
  • "All That Counts Is Love" (Oct 2005) #29

[edit] Remakes and cover versions

[edit] References

[edit] External links