recorded delivery

Status Quo

[kwoh]

Status Quo, also known as The Quo or just Quo, are an English rock band whose music is characterized by a strong boogie line. The group's origins were in "The Scorpions" founded by schoolboys Francis Rossi and Alan Lancaster in 1962. After several lineup changes, the band become "The Status Quo" in late 1967, finally settling on the name "Status Quo" in 1970. They have recorded over 60 chart hits in the UK, more than any other rock group in history.

History

Formation

The origins of Status Quo were in rock and roll freakbeat band "The Specters" formed in 1962. Francis Rossi and Alan Lancaster met at Sedgehill Comprehensive School, Catford, and were members of the same orchestra. They started a band called The Scorpions, later changing the name to "The Spectres". Rossi and Lancaster played their first gig at the Samuel Jones Sports Club in Dulwich, 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) Nothin' Yet'. All three sank without trace.

Early years

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. In late 1967 the band became The Status Quo, and in January 1968 they released the psychedelic-flavoured "Pictures of Matchstick Men". Rick Parfitt was invited to join the band just as this hit the UK singles chart, reaching Number 7. "Matchstick Men" also became their only Top 40 hit single in the United States. Though the band followed it up with another flop, "Black Veils Of Melancholy", they hit again the same year with the poppy, Marty Wilde-penned "Ice in The Sun", which climbed to Number 8. 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 the breakthrough the band management hired Bob Young as a "roadie" and tour manager. Over the years Young evolved into being one the most important songwriters for Status Quo.

After their second album Spare Parts failed to impact commercially the band decided to change musical direction, abandoning pop psychedelia and Carnaby Street fashions in favour of a hard rock/boogie sound, worn-out denims and T-shirts, which was to become their trademark throughout the 1970s. Lynes left in 1971, to be replaced (in the studio) by guests including keyboard studio player, Jimmy Horowitz and John Parker. By 1976, ex-The Herd and Judas Jump member Andy Bown was drafted in to cover keyboards, though as he was contracted as a solo artist with EMI he was not credited as a full-time member until 1982.

Success

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 each 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. Quo's more popular songs from this era include "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 becoming their only British number one single to date. Quo have now sold in excess of 118 million records worldwide.

Changes in lineup

From 1977 onwards the band's sound became more polished as they began to employ outside producers including Pip Williams, Roger Glover and John Eden. Sales remained high in the UK throughout the 1980s, but tensions within the band saw founding member John Coghlan leaving the band late in 1981 and replaced by Pete Kircher from the 1960s pop band Honeybus. This line-up played its last gig in 1984 at the Milton Keynes Bowl, although the band were contracted to record more albums. Status Quo's final appearance with the Kircher line-up was to open the Live Aid charity event at Wembley in July 1985.

That year Rossi recorded and released two solo singles with longtime writing partner Bernie Frost. Parfitt was also working on a solo album, Recorded Delivery, with bass player John Edwards and drummer Jeff Rich. The album remains unreleased, although some tracks were reworked and released sporadically as Status Quo B-sides until 1987.

In the summer of 1985 Rossi, Parfitt and Bown, along with Edwards and Rich started work on a new Status Quo album. Lancaster, who was by now permanently living in Australia, took out a legal injunction to stop the band using the Status Quo name on any records, citing his 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, underlined by his non-appearance on either the performance of the song on 'Top Of The Pops' or its Music Video. The injunction was lifted after a court hearing in January 1986. Lancaster remained in Australia, and in 1986 joined a band called 'Party Boys', who had no success in Britain. He left the band in 1987.

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. Other singles from the album included "Red Sky", "Rollin' Home" and "Dreamin'". The following album, Ain't Complaining, released in 1988, was less successful but did produce the single "Burning Bridges" which got to number 5. This was subsequently re-recorded with new lyrics in April 1994 with Manchester United F.C. as "Come on You Reds" giving the band their second UK Number 1, although the single was released as 'by Manchester United'.

However, the early-to-mid-1990s saw reduced album sales for the band. They were also involved in a dispute with Radio 1 after they failed to have their records placed on the radio station's playlist. The the later part of the decade saw the releases of the Thirsty Work (1994), Don't Stop (1996), Under The Influence (1999) and Famous In The Last Century albums. Don't Stop and Famous In The Last Century consisted almost entirely of cover versions, (with the only exception being the title track to the latter). The former brought some chart success for Quo with covers of Fleetwood Mac's "Don't Stop" and The Beach Boy's "Fun, Fun, Fun".

Parfitt had to undergo heart surgery in 1997 but was able to overcome it and make a return with performance in Norwich three months later. Rich left in 2000 and was replaced by Matt 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.

Status Quo in the 2000s

Although Status Quo still release new material every few years, recent years have seen them release a series of greatest hits compilations and covers albums.

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 successfully.

On the 1 July 2007, they performed in front of 63,000 people at the newly built Wembley Stadium as part of the Concert for Diana.

Their latest album, In Search of the Fourth Chord, was released on the band's own Fourth Chord label in September 2007 in the UK and on edel Records in the rest of Europe. Produced by veteran producer Pip Williams, who had worked with Quo in the studio since 1977, the album was critically acclaimed as a continued return to form but was not a huge commercial success.

In 2008 they teamed up with German techno group Scooter to record a jumpstyle version of their 1979 single "Whatever You Want" entitled "Jump That Rock (Whatever You Want)".

In December 2008, they will release their first ever Christmas single, entitled "It's Christmas Time".

Band members

Current members

Lineups

(1962–1963)
The Spectres

  • Francis Rossi – lead guitar, vocals
  • Alan Lancaster – bass guitar,
  • Jess Jaworski – keyboards
  • John Coghlan – drums, percussion

(1964–1965)
The Spectres

  • Francis Rossi – lead guitar, vocals
  • Alan Lancaster – bass guitar, vocals
  • Roy Lynes – keyboards,
  • John Coghlan – drums, percussion

(1965–1967)
The Spectres

  • Francis Rossi – lead guitar, lead vocals
  • Rick Parfitt – rhythm guitar, lead vocals
  • Alan Lancaster – bass guitar, vocals
  • Roy Lynes – keyboards,
  • John Coghlan – drums, percussion

(1967)
Traffic Jam

  • Francis Rossi – lead guitar, lead vocals
  • Rick Parfitt – rhythm guitar, lead vocals
  • Alan Lancaster – bass guitar, vocals
  • Roy Lynes – keyboards,
  • John Coghlan – drums, percussion

(1967–1971)
The Status Quo

  • Francis Rossi – lead guitar, lead vocals
  • Rick Parfitt – rhythm guitar, lead vocals
  • Alan Lancaster – bass guitar, vocals
  • Roy Lynes – keyboards,
  • John Coghlan – drums, percussion

(1971–1973)
Status Quo

  • Francis Rossi – lead guitar, lead vocals
  • Rick Parfitt – rhythm guitar, lead vocals
  • Alan Lancaster – bass guitar, vocals
  • John Coghlan – drums, percussion

(1973–1981)
Status Quo

  • Francis Rossi – lead guitar, lead vocals
  • Rick Parfitt – rhythm guitar, lead vocals
  • Alan Lancaster – bass guitar, vocals
  • Andy Bown – keyboards, rhythm guitar, harmonica
  • John Coghlan – drums, percussion

(1982–1985)
Status Quo

  • Francis Rossi – lead guitar, lead vocals
  • Rick Parfitt – rhythm guitar, lead vocals
  • Alan Lancaster – bass guitar, vocals
  • Andy Bown – keyboards, rhythm guitar, harmonica
  • Pete Kircher – drums, percussion

(1985–2000)
Status Quo

  • Francis Rossi – lead guitar, lead vocals
  • Rick Parfitt – rhythm guitar, lead vocals
  • John "Rhino" Edwards – bass guitar, rhythm guitar, vocals
  • Andy Bown – keyboards, rhythm guitar, harmonica, vocals
  • Jeff Rich – drums, percussion

(2000–present)
Status Quo

  • Francis Rossi – lead guitar, lead vocals
  • Rick Parfitt – rhythm guitar, lead vocals
  • John "Rhino" Edwards – bass guitar, rhythm guitar, vocals
  • Andy Bown – keyboards, rhythm guitar, harmonica, vocals
  • Matt Letley – drums, percussion

Discography

Remakes and cover versions

References

  • Guinness Book of British Hit Singles - 16th Edition - ISBN 0-85112-190-X
  • Guinness Book of British Hit Albums - 7th Edition - ISBN 0-85112-619-7
  • Guinness Rockopedia - ISBN 0-85112-072-5
  • The Great Rock Discography - 5th Edition - ISBN 1-84195-017-3
  • The Guinness Book of 500 Number One Hits - ISBN 0-85112-250-7

Literature

  • John Shearlaw, Bob Young: Again & Again. Sidgwick & Jackson, October 1984, Paperback, ISBN 0283991011 (1st edition (1979) and 2nd edition (1982) as The Authorised Biography by John Shearlaw)
  • Tom Hibbert: Status Quo. Omnibus Press, 1982, ISBN 0-86001-957-8
  • Neil Jeffries: Rockin' All Over the World. Proteus Books, March 1985, Paperback, ISBN 0-862-76272-3
  • Bob Young: Quotographs - Celebrating 30 Years of Status Quo, IMP International Music Publications Limited, 1985, ISBN 1-859-09291-8
  • Francis Rossi, Rick Parfitt: Just For The Record. Bantam Press, September 1994, hardcover, ISBN 0-593-03546-1
  • Patti Parfitt: Laughing All over the World: My Life Married to Status Quo. Blake Publishing Ltd, Oktober 1998, ISBN 185782198-X
  • David J. Oxley: Rockers Rollin' - The Story of Status Quo. ST Publishing, Januar 2000, Paperback, ISBN 1-898927-80-4
  • David J. Oxley: Tuned To The Music of Status Quo. ST Publishing, 2001, Paperback, ISBN 1-898927-90-1
  • Francis Rossi, Rick Parfitt, Mick Wall: Status Quo. XS All Areas. Sidgwick & Jackson, September 2004, hardcover, ISBN 0283073756 (paperback edition: Macmillan Publishers Ltd, August 2005, ISBN 0330419625)
  • Francis Rossi, Rick Parfitt, Bob Young: „Status Quo“: The Official 40th Anniversary Edition . Cassell Illustrated, Oktober 2006, hardcover, ISBN 9781844035625.
  • Status Quo: La Route Sans Fin, foreword by Bob Young - ISBN 2-910196-42-9

External links

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