Status Quo – Rock ‘n’ Roll ‘n’ You
Status Quo are an English rock band whose music is characterized by their distinctive brand of boogie rock. The group originated in The Spectres, founded by schoolboys Francis Rossi and Alan Lancaster in 1962. After a number of lineup changes, the band became The Status Quo in 1967 and Status Quo in 1969.
They have had over 60 chart hits in the UK, starting with 1967’s “Pictures Of Matchstick Men”, and the most recent being in 2010, which is more than any other rock group. 22 of which reached the Top 10 in the UK Singles Chart. In 1991, Status Quo received a Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music.
Status Quo starred in their first feature film, Bula Quo!, which was released to cinemas in July 2013. The film coincided with the release of the soundtrack album Bula Quo!, which peaked at number 10 in the UK Albums Chart. The first single from the album, “Bula Bula Quo” was released in June 2013, and is Status Quo’s one hundredth single release.
The late 1980s and 1990s
On 11 and 12 July 1986 they played at Queen’s Live at Wembley ’86 concert. The band also supported Queen at Knebworth and Queen’s European shows.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 hit single “Burning Bridges” which got to number 5. This was later re-recorded (with new lyrics) in April 1994 with Manchester United F.C. as “Come on You Reds” which would have given the band their second UK Number 1, but the single was released as ‘by Manchester United’.
The early-to-mid-1990s saw falling album sales for the band. To promote the release of the Rock ‘Til You Drop album (1991), Quo performed four arena gigs across the UK in the space of a single day, earning them a place in the Guinness Book of Records. The 1994 Quo album Thirsty Work included a cover of the Jennifer Warnes song “I’m Restless” revealing an alternative and lighter sound to the band.Don’t Stop (1996), and Famous in the Last Century (2000) 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 Boys’ “Fun, Fun, Fun”. The band became involved in an acrimonious dispute with Radio 1 after the station refused to include the “Fun Fun Fun” single on the radio station’s playlist.
In 1993, Francis Rossi and Rick Parfitt attracted a crowd of over 25,000 when they performed the annual Blackpool Illuminations lights switch on.
Parfitt underwent quadruple by-pass surgery in 1997 but was able to make a full recovery and returned with a performance at the Norwich City Football Club ground three months later. Status Quo also returned to Australia in 1997, completing their first tour there since 1978. A greatest hits compilation, Whatever You Want – The Very Best of Status Quo was also released, achieving silver sales in the UK that year. In 1999, Quo toured Germany, Holland and Switzerland. Dubbed the ‘Last Night of the Proms’, the band were backed by a full orchestra during the concerts.
Rich left in 2000 and was replaced by Matt Letley. Andrew Bown also took a year off at the same time following the death of his wife, and was temporarily replaced on stage by Paul Hirsh, formerly of Voyager.
Rossi and Parfitt were awarded the OBE in the New Year Honours 2010 for their services to music. Their long-standing work for charities includes The Prince’s Trust, British Heart Foundation and Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy.
Classic Rock magazine reported on 17 March 2010 that the band had patched up their relationship with Alan Lancaster, and were discussing the possibility of a collaboration in the future. The article stated “While the band are back on friendly terms with Alan, it’s unlikely we’ll see any future reunion, with Quo continuing as normal and Lancaster busy with charity events and overseeing the activities of his son’s band The Presence”.
On 20 September 2010, Status Quo was honoured with a PRS for Music plaque commemorating their first gig at the Welcome Inn in Well Hall Road, Eltham, where the band first performed in 1967.
On 26 September 2010, a new version of “In the Army Now” was released through Universal / UMC. All profits from this updated and lyrically reworked version will be donated equally to the British Forces Foundation and Help For Heroes charities.
A box set of sessions, live concerts and TV appearances at the BBC was released on 25 October 2010, titled Live at the BBC. The full 7CD version (+DVD) covers almost all appearances, while the 2CD and 4CD version present some highlights.
Their twenty ninth studio album, Quid Pro Quo, was released in a deluxe format exclusively at Tesco on 30 May 2011. The regular edition was released elsewhere on 7 June. The album peaked at number 10 in the UK chart.
December 2011 saw Status Quo undertake their first all arenas UK winter tour. Quo also performed for the first time at the O2 arena in London. The tour was dubbed Quofest and featured Roy Wood and Kim Wilde as support for all shows. They joined the band during the encore.
In August 2011, Status Quo began filming their first cinematic documentary with film director Alan G Parker. Entitled Hello Quo!, the production opened in cinemas on 22 October 2012. A Blu-ray/DVD release followed, through Anchor Bay Productions, on 29 October. The movie included contributions from Brian May, Jeff Lynne, Cliff Richard, Joe Elliott, Paul Weller, Joe Brown, Jim Lea, Andy Scott and Steve Diggle.
In April 2012, Status Quo announced they were shooting their first feature film, over several weeks in Fiji. A 90-minute action comedy, entitled Bula Quo!, taking its name from the islanders’ traditional Fijian greeting, and also referencing the title of the band’s best-selling album, Hello! featuring the band as themselves, and also starring Jon Lovitz, Craig Fairbrass and Laura Aikman. The film was directed by Stuart St. Paul, produced by Tim Major and was released in cinemas on 5 July 2013. The film was accompanied by a soundtrack album of the same name, the band’s 30th studio album, released on 10 June. It featured nine new songs and ten re-records and live tracks, and debuted in the UK chart at number 10.
On 9 July 2012 the band released the single “The Winner” for the 2012 Summer Olympics.
In July 2012 Coles, an Australian national supermarket chain, signed Status Quo to record a version of “Down Down” using Coles’ tag line ‘Down, down, prices are down’. In November 2012, Coles continued their association with Status Quo, producing a series of television adverts with the band appearing and performing “It’s Christmas Time”. In 2013, new adverts were released by Coles with Quo using “Whatever You Want” as the new jingle.
In December that year, Quo toured under the Quofest banner for a second year, this time supported by Bonnie Tyler and Eddie and the Hot Rods. On 17 December 2012, Matt Letley announced his decision to leave the band after 12 years, and subsequently departed following completion of their 2012 winter tour. However, Letley toured with Quo their Australia and Mexico tour in March and April 2013, due to limited time to find a new drummer after the Frantic Four Tour.
The 1970–76 line-up (Francis Rossi, Rick Parfitt, Alan Lancaster and John Coghlan) reunited in March 2013 for a series of dates in Manchester, Wolverhampton, Glasgow and London. The last date of the tour, at Wembley Arena on 17 March, was filmed for a DVD, released in September 2013.
In May 2013, Leon Cave became Quo’s new drummer. In the latter months of 2013, Status Quo embarked on their Bula Quo tour, supported by Uriah Heep on German dates, and 10cc in the UK. This will be followed by nine concert dates in the UK during 2014. On 25 November 2013, it was announced that Status Quo will be headlining the second stage at the Download Festival in June 2014.
In January 2014, Wychwood Brewery announced they would be releasing a Status Quo brand of beer named after their 1972 album ‘Piledriver’ exclusively in JD Wetherspoon pubs across the UK in February before going on general sale in April. March 2014 saw the second ‘Frantic Four’ reunion tour featuring Rossi and Parfitt with original members Alan Lancaster and John Coghlan once more with their last gig being at the The O2 in Dublin. Rossi has indicated that this will be the last ever reunion tour of the ‘Frantic Four’ lineup. On 8 March 2014, Rossi and Parfitt appeared on ITV show Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway performing “Rockin’ All Over The World” with McBusted.
In October 2014 the two appeared on BBC’s The One Show performing an acoustic version of “Pictures of Matchstick Men”.
For more details on this topic, see Status Quo discography.
Picturesque Matchstickable Messages from the Status Quo (1968)
Spare Parts (1969)
Ma Kelly’s Greasy Spoon (1970)
Dog of Two Head (1971)
On the Level (1975)
Blue for You (1976)
Rockin’ All Over the World (1977)
If You Can’t Stand the Heat (1978)
Whatever You Want (1979)
Just Supposin’ (1980)
Never Too Late (1981)
Back to Back (1983)
In The Army Now (1986)
Ain’t Complaining (1988)
Perfect Remedy (1989)
Rock ‘Til You Drop (1991)
Thirsty Work (1994)
Don’t Stop (1996)
Under The Influence (1999)
Famous in the Last Century (2000)
Heavy Traffic (2002)
The Party Ain’t Over Yet (2005)
In Search of the Fourth Chord (2007)
Quid Pro Quo (2011)
Bula Quo! (2013)
Aquostic: Stripped Bare (2014)
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