ON THIS DATE (38 YEARS AGO)
May 3, 1974 – Status Quo: Quo is released.
# ALL THINGS MUSIC PLUS+ 4/5
# allmusic 4/5
Quo is the seventh studio album by Status Quo, released on this date in May, 1974. Despite the band believing the album’s opening track, “Backwater”, was the most suitable candidate for release as a single, the only track to actually be released as a single was “Break the Rules”, in April 1974, and it peaked in the UK at #8. The album reached #2 in the UK.
Quo features the line-up of Francis Rossi, Richard Parfitt, Alan Lancaster and John Coghlan. Like the previous album Hello!, it consisted entirely of songs written or co-written by the group. The only guest musicians featured were Bob Young and Tom Parker, who played harmonica and piano respectively on “Break the Rules”. In retrospect this album is regarded as one of their heaviest, possibly due to the influence of bassist Alan Lancaster, who is credited with co-writing six of the eight tracks.
The UK LP contained a gatefold insert with a picture of the band playing live on one side, backed with the lyrics on the other.
by Dave Thompson, allmusic
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.
“Backwater” (Parfitt/Lancaster) – 4:22
“Just Take Me” (Parfitt/Lancaster) – 3:31
“Break the Rules” (Rossi/Parfitt/Lancaster/Coghlan/Young) – 3:37
“Drifting Away” (Parfitt/Lancaster) – 5:00
“Don’t Think it Matters” (Parfitt/Lancaster) – 4:48
“Fine Fine Fine” (Rossi/Young) – 2:31
“Lonely Man” (Parfitt/Lancaster) – 5:05
“Slow Train” (Rossi/Young) – 7:55
2005 reissue bonus track
“Lonely Night” (Rossi/Parfitt/Lancaster/Coghlan/Young) – 3:26