12 November 2011

STATUS QUO: 'Spinning Wheel Blues' - 1970

When I was a kid growing up in the late 70s, I used to comb regularly through the discount rack and often came-across various LPs by British boogie-rockers Status Quo in those bargain-bins. I was left thinking 'Who the hell is this- and why are their records always being dumped by the pound...?'

None of my friends were into the band, they didn't get US airplay, and I never did buy them, perhaps spooked by the glut of unloved product out there. I would say that most Americans would be likely know the band best for 1967's US/UK psychedelic-rock hit 'Pictures of Matchstick Men'- a song which in fact was their only Top 40 chart hit in the United States. 

Yet while in my mind they were has-been one hit wonders -commercial success largely eluded them on our side of the pond- Status Quo's true genius came only after they switched from then-trendy psychedelic style to a more earthy, blues-based boogie rock in the vain of Canned Heat and early Humble Pie as the 1970s rock era dawned.

This new formula brought an avalanche of hits in the UK such as "Paper Plane" (1972), "Caroline" (1973), "Down Down" (1975), "Rain" (1976), "Rockin' All Over the World" (cover of John Fogherty/1977) and "Whatever You Want" (1979)-- a personal favorite of mine  would be 1970's Down the Dustpipe.

And as you might suppose, this group is brilliant live: I myself had the privilege of seeing Status Quo play live this year, and the two star guitarists -Mike Rossi and Rick Parfitt, now in their early 60s- are really are something else. They sound great, are gifted entertainers- and a love for what they do really comes across in every minute of the show.

In fact, Status Quo not only tours with both original frontmen plus the bass player, the band continues to release new material
-which really isn't bad at all- and has sold over 120M (!) records- their 60 UK chart hits unparalleled by any other group in history in music history (yep, more than the Beatles)...

Status Quo: Spinning Wheel Blues - 1970

StatusQuo.co.uk   Wikipedia   YouTube

Previous RR Rock n Roll Oldies features -here-

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Excellent band, I've always loved them

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