Review Summary: A seemingly forgotten classic live album that will blow you away! It's time for a revaluation of the Quo.
Unambitious, unadventurous, very British, no nonsense, addictive, eclectic, professional, rousing, hypnotizing, modest, fun, passionate, obstinate, sturdy, denim, long hair, working class, solid: these are qualifications for Status Quo, aka the Quo, the Frantic Four. Not only the most succesful band in British rock history, Status Quo is also one of the most remarkable and memorable. Their trade mark sound, combining hard rock, blues, folk, boogie and rock 'n roll is immediately recognizable. It's an amazing fact that they never 'made' it in America, but maybe they are too 'British'. The sound, the feeling and the accent are unmistakebly British. From the late 70's throughout the 80's Status Quo were demigods in Europe, but almost non-existent in America.
Still, the live album they produced in 1977, selected from the best parts of live performances in Glasgow, belongs to the most memorable and enjoyable of the 70's. The album radiates a real live feeling, allowing all the different instruments to be clearly recognizable. The vocals from various members, the thumping guitars, the deep bass, the drums and even the harmonica and quiet passages are discernible during the concert. The songs selected are all great, there is no filler to be found and a few killers present. The Quo deliver what they are good at: raunchy, raw and thunderous bluesy rock 'n roll with some folkish, Celtic accents.
The album opens with a famous introduction, being the vivacious voice of Jackie Lynton: 'Is there anybody out there that wants to rock'" The reaction of the audience in the sold out Apollo in Glasgow is unanimously positive. Musician Lynton is a life long co-writer of Quo songs. Together with 'fifth member' Bob Young, who is a main songwriter for the band and a gifted harmonica player, the audience is one of the main characters in the show. You can hear them yell, applaud and sing along during some thrilling, spun out songs. Album closer Roadhouse Blues
is the most impressive example of this jamming approach. This lengthy song, a very well done Doors cover, lasts for more than 14 minutes and never ceases to entertain. Treating the listener to a heavy blues song, with a long interlude of singing along, harmonica and guitar solos. Most of the Time
starts with a nice clean arpeggio melody joined in by the audience and thus creating a cheerful atmosphere, before the song bursts into a thick blues monster with exciting guitar solos. The unadulterated, locomotive rock beast Forty Five Hundred Times
however surpasses this song in length and strength, it's one of the highlights of the album. Of course Quo's classic anthem Roll over lay down
doesn't fail on this record. This live version has become canonical, providing everything the band represents and it is a demonstration of the versatiltity of the band. As said, this album includes no weak spots or bad song and is best savoured uninterrupted from start to finish so you can experience the atmosphere and excitement.
This live album can rival the best of it's generation thanks to the vivid atmosphere, quality song writing and excellent performance. Status Quo is a genuinely underrated foursome (plus Lynton, Young and audience) because they hold on to the same musical style. In regard to their life long output I can understand this point of view. But you must not overeat. Just try this piece and enjoy!