Thursday, March 29, 2012
Status Quo - Quo Live
So it's Friday night and the party is just starting to get underway. You've already played both sides of Foghat - Live and you're wondering what live album to play next. It's too early to break out heavy hitters like If You Want Blood, No Sleep Til Hammersmith or Strangers In The Night. Then you see the perfect solution - Status Quo's double live beast from 1976, Quo Live.
Status Quo is a band who's been on my radar for many years but have barely heard anything by. They were never big in America and the only time I'd ever heard any of their music was from a lame albums from the 80's. On a recent Mighty High road gig in Rochester, NY our guitarists brother in law recommended that I check out any of Status Quo's albums form 1971 and up to the live one. As a live album fanatic, I picked it up the same day I also finally got a copy of Whitesnake's Live…In The Heart Of The City. Both of them have been in constant rotation ever since. All I need is a giant pile of vintage Sounds magazines and I'd be glad to stay home and live in a pre-Kerrang imaginary world.
I still haven't checked out any of Status Quo's 70's studio output yet, but Quo Live is definitely the missing link I've been looking for that bridges Foghat and AC/DC. Their catchphrase "Heads Down No Nonsense Boogie" was proven the second opening jam "Junior's Wailing" kicked into mid-tempo heavy rock gear. Quo's groove is based entirely on primo Chuck Berry boogaloo. Not as bluesy as Foghat and not as pummeling as AC/DC. "Is There a Better Way" points the way towards "Bad Boy Boogie" and before there was "Whole Lotta Rosie" there was "Big Fat Mama." Just about every song is a moderately fast paced Chuck Berry influenced boogie fest with only a few exceptions. "In My Chair" is a slower Jimmy Reed-type of blues song. Their cover of "Roadhouse Blues" goes on way too long and is the only dud on the record. "Forty-Five Hundred Times" is way longer, but way better.
Recorded live and loud at the infamous Glasgow Apollo in front of a very rowdy crowd over 2 nights in October 1976, it's interesting to compare this to what was considered a lot of punk rock, or roots of punk, in the UK. The British press probably loved calling Status Quo dinosaurs but they sound an awful lot like Eddie & The Hot Rods. Must have been the long hair and bell bottoms. Either way, this album rocks hard and belongs in the home of everyone who ever played air guitar with a tennis racket in the mirror.