Everybody knows Status Quo, they’ve been around so long they’re part of the scenery people take for granted. Everyone and their maiden auntie knows them and certainly knows at least one or more of their hits. It’d be fair to say they’re national treasures – to the extent of when Mike Rossi chopped off his ponytail, it made national news. They’ve sustained an incredible five-decade career, retaining a fanatical fanbase along the way. For all the flak they once took about knowing only three chords, the Quo are truly a seminal British rock act and, at their peak, it would’ve been a very brave or foolhardy band who chose to follow them onstage. Their incredible career since 1967 has meant their place in rock history is assured.
Sadly the all-conquering ‘frantic four’ (Rossi, Parfitt, Lancaster and Coughlan) is no more, with only Rossi and Coughlan still around, and Coughlan now fronting his own version of the Quo. So only Rossi’s left to fly the flag, and he’s been there right from the very beginning in the mid-sixties, back to when they were called The Spectres. As long as Rossi’s around there’ll be a Quo.
Quo’ing in, best of the Noughties is an era-spanning compilation which includes songs from right across their career. It’s released as a double CD, or as a three CD set which includes a bonus disc of unreleased ‘live’ material, featuring Quo classics like ‘Don’t Waste My Time’, ‘Roll Over Lay Down’ and ‘Down Down,’ plus a creditable version of Dion’s ‘The Wanderer’. Disc 1 focuses on the noughties and includes several key tracks from albums like Party Ain’t Over Yet (2005), In Search Of The Fourth Chord (2007) and Backbone (2019), in what was an important era for Quo, including a version of Buddy Holly’s ‘Raining In My Heart’, featuring Brian May, and even their nadir, ‘In The Army Now’ is included. The second disc is more varied, giving us versions of 1967’s ‘Pictures of Matchstick Men’ as well as 2022 studio versions of Quo classics like ‘Caroline’, ‘Paper Plane’ and ‘Rocking All Over The World’. They perform a decent version of Johnny Kidd’s ‘I’ll Never Get Over You’, though even with help from the Beach Boys, recording their classic hit ‘Fun Fun Fun’ is a grievous error. There’s an argument which says, because of their exalted status, they’ve earned the right to do what they want, but a little better judgement wouldn’t’ve gone amiss.
Quo’s music has changed very little down the years, it’s still three-chord rifferama played at a slightly slower speed, and they’re now a five-piece with the occasional usage of keys onstage. This compilation will probably not surprise anyone, everything is exactly as you’d want the Quo to sound like and, while their 2022 recordings of their classic tunes contain nothing of the punch and the swagger from the Frantic Four era, nonetheless, this is a worthwhile release with many points in its favour, though I suspect it’s a release purely for Quo fans only.