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Album Review

By spring 1974 and the release of Status Quo's seventh album, the band was already regarded as among the most reliable institutions in British rock, denim-clad purveyors of a rocking, rolling boogie beat that never knew when to quit. And, when "Break the Rules" peeled off the still unreleased LP to give the group its fourth Top 20 hit in little more than a year, it was clear that Quo would be business as usual. Eight tracks followed the now standard format for a new Quo album, a neat division between the two sets of songwriters (Rossi/Young, Parfitt/Lancaster), a final track that went on forever, and — best of all — a couple of intros that sounded nothing at all like Status Quo. Only the intros, though, and it quickly become one of the best games of the age, trying to predict how long it would last before the bandmembers ripped off their disguises and unleashed the boogie. "Backwater" keeps the mask on for one minute and eight seconds, but it's a hallmark of Status Quo's genius that, all these years later, it can still keep you guessing. "Just Take Me," too, packs more than its fair share of surprises, rolling in on a drum solo that itself grows out of "Backwater"'s back end. And if "Break the Rules" contrarily doesn't break a single one, that's probably just as well; there have been enough shocks already. Elsewhere, Quo indeed settles down to the status quo, with even the ballad "Lonely Man" holding onto the spirit of the band's earliest boogie excursions ("In My Chair" and "Gerdundula" spring to mind). The pièce de résistance, however, is the closing "Slow Train," an eight-minute epic that confusingly drives like an express, then collides with a Gaelic jig. The Chieftains would do such things a lot better — but Status Quo did it louder.

Customer Reviews

This album will really surprise you !

I first heard this album as an impressionable teenager and loved it. Upon its release to CD I revisited it some 30 years later - and the music did not diminish one bit. Quo has an energy that bursts into life with Backwater Junction and sets the tone for the rest of the album. Slow Train is to me a demonstration of their skills as a band. Yes the chords are simple but they are truly effective like Rock and Roll should be. The music builds, then mellows then builds up again to crescendos that leave you wanting more. Confine those old prejudices about this band to the bin and listen to them at their glorious best in their prime.

so good i changed my clothes afterwards

quo made me apreci8 southern blues so sad tht lancaster will never go back

Forgot

Forgot how good this album
Is ain't heard it for years. So looking forward to 6th April seeing the frantic four at manchester

Biography

Formed: 1967 in London, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Status Quo are one of Britain's longest-lived bands, staying together for over 40 years. During much of that time, the band was only successful in the U.K., where it racked up a string of Top Ten singles across the decades. In America, the Quo were ignored after they abandoned psychedelia for heavy boogie rock in the early '70s. Before that, the band managed to reach number 12 in the U.S. with the psychedelic classic "Pictures of Matchstick Men" (a Top Ten hit in the U.K.). Following that single,...
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Quo, Status Quo
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