Status Quo is a true legend of rock music, not only British. The band’s albums have sold a total of 112 million copies, and the Top Ten of the British charts includes as many as 22 songs by Status Quo. The specific sound collage of blues, country and rock fascinates the third generation of fans, and rockers are far from retiring from music.
Status Quo’s roots lie in the London-based beat group Spectres, of which Francis Rossi and Alan Lancaster were members. The band released three poorly received singles before changing their style to play psychedelic rock while changing their name to Traffic Jam. When another single was released, which did not catch the attention of the audience, in August 1967, Rick Harrison joined the band, and the group changed its name again, this time to Status Quo.
At the end of the year, their first single, “Pictures of Matchstick Men”, was released and soon reached 7th place in the British ranking, and after a few months it was 12th in the US. In 1968, the band released the single “Black Veils of Melancholy” and another hit – “Ice in the Sun”. In the same year the band’s debut album was released – “Picturesque Matchstickable Messages from the Status Quo”.
Over the next few years, the musicians tried to repeat the success of the first singles and created material in a similar, psychedelic atmosphere. Eventually, in 1970, they decided to change their style and released the single “Down the Dustpipe”, with a heavy, bluesy-boogie-rock sound. The song heralded the hard-rock album “Ma Kelly’s Greasy Spoon”, which, however, did not arouse much interest at the time. Then the band started to play a lot of concerts and became more and more popular throughout England.
Soon Status Quo signed a contact with Vertigo Records and the first single released by the label – “Paper Plane” – began to hit the charts in 1973. Also the album “Piledriver” (1972) remained at the forefront of the charts. The album “Hello!”, Also released in 1973, became number 1 among British albums, and the single “Caroline”, which promoted it, was ranked 5th.
In the 70s, the band focused on proven sound and each Status Quo LP was included in the top five albums in the British Isles, while the singles – “Down Down” (1974), “Roll Over Lay Down” (1975), “Rain” ( 1976), “Wild Side of Life” (1976), and a cover of “Rockin ‘All Over the World” (1977) – all reached the top ten. Despite these successes in the Old Continent, America remained deaf to the Status Quo.
In the 1980s there were changes in the band – first drummer John Coughlan was replaced by Pete Kircher. You can hear it on the album “Never to Late” from 1982. Later, the disagreements between Lancaster and guitarists Rossi and Parfitti, who made up most of the material, escalated. As a consequence, Lancaster left the band and brought a lawsuit against his colleagues for the prohibition of using the name “Status Quo”, which he lost. Eventually, the Lancaster was replaced by John Edwards, and the Kircher by Jeff Rich. Andy Brown played the keyboards.
The group’s subsequent albums were very popular in Great Britain and Europe, and the concerts were almost completely sold out. In 1994, the single “Come on You Reds” was ranked 1st in the UK Top Ten.
The band recorded a total of 33 albums, of which the latest, with a telling title – “The Party Ain’t Over Yet”, was released in September 2005. On this album, Rossi again collaborated with Bob Young, the co-author of the band’s greatest hits. The title track was included on the first single.