Following on from The Resident Weebles great piece on musical preference I have a confession. Well I say that, but it shouldn’t be a confession. I should be proud, I am a fan of one of the most successful music acts in British history. However they are spoken of in hushed voices even in bone-fide music circles. This band have appeared more times on Top of the Pops (the once flagship BBC music show) than any other, they opened Live Aid in 1985, to a huge worldwide audience. They have had top ten UK singles and albums for the best part of 40 years. Their live shows are polished but have a uniquely raw quality. If they were American they would be held in high esteem, ala Aerosmith.
They are British. They are straight forward. They are Status Quo.
The frantic four, the original line up of the band, are touring this year for the first time in 30 years. I am waiting to hear back from Wembley box office to see if I have tickets. Fingers crossed. Francis Rossi, Rick Parfitt, Alan Lancaster and John Coghlan. Proprietors of unashamed foot to the floor blues based rock!
Now I like, Hendrix, Floyd and I have been even known to get the Led out. But I have a special place in my heart for Quo. They are my band, the first I saw live. Some may think that this devalues any musical opinion I hold. They are wrong. Francis Rossi once said “Our fans go and see other bands, AC/DC, Metallica, U2 but apparently they turn into wankers when they come to see us.” That is how Quo are viewed, rock lite.
Maybe this is because of the perceived simplicity of the songs the old joke that Quo only use three chords. A perception that Quo themselves parodied for the title of a recent album “In Search of the Fourth Chord” maybe it is also the band’s willingness not to take themselves too seriously that has led perception too. Yes there have been plenty of PR faux pas over the years, namely taking Radio 1 to court and the mid to late 1990’s cover album phase. 3 albums, (Don’t Stop, Riffs and Famous in the Last Century) all contained hardly any Quo penned songs.
All of Quo’s mid 70’s albums are classics. That should be spoken about in the same sentences as Led Zepellin vol 1 or even Pink Floyds Dark Side of the Moon. Instead they have become a guilty pleasure, mentioned along with cruise liner acts like Chesney Hawks. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying the Quo are as musically intricate as Floyd, but like Floyd they are good at what they do, unlike Floyd they are still doing it.
Quo are the reason I have my hair long and my guitar (that I can’t play) is a Fender Tele (well the cheaper Mexican version.) Whilst they may frustrate me with the same set list tour after tour or the lack of willing to release acoustic material, maybe I am expecting too much. If you however want a band who you can go see and have a great time, with songs that even the most avid listener of 1xtra will know (almost by osmosis) Quo are your band. Hurry before they retire and leave space for another bland-o-band on their labels books.