Status Quo - 'Live At The BBC '66 - '05' (Mercury Records) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Dom Daley   
Thursday, 25 November 2010 05:30

quoboxI'll tell you something right from the off - I've never, ever bought a Status Quo record. Never bought a Quo single. I have managed to see them live a couple of times as a support band and admit they always put on an entertaining show and, seeing as they're in the entertainment business, I can see why people go back for more year after year, gig after gig. 

When I was asked to review about 7,990 classic Quo songs I took one deep breath and decided to take one for the team and see what all the fuss was about. As the box arrived on the mat I opened it to find a mightily impressive eight disc plush boxed set that includes seven Live At The Beeb audio discs and one DVD  that includes a host of TOTP performances and some. It also has a very tasty 60 page booklet with extensive sleeve notes and unseen pictures (even if they are of men with double denim and big sideys and tashes) - a must have for any Quo fan.


Now I'll openly admit to the odd chuckle at the Quo throughout the years, but I was aware of the reputation they had as a pretty decent live band especially back in the day, or in the 70's to be more precise, with the 100% rock 'n' roll / snort 'n' drink lifestyle. To delve into this set you quickly become aware that over the years the band have made some seriously decent records and have been to every venue on God's green earth and rocked the bloody lot which is an achievement that isn't to be, well, sniffed at. 


As a self confessed Quo virgin I can look at the music with an open mind (except for songs like 'In The Army Now' and some of the more recent offerings like 'The Wanderer' and 'Marguerite Time' that quite frankly let the side down).  It's the old school Quo that interests me, you know the old denim 'n' daps, the headbanging in unison as Rossi and Parfitt trade 12 bar riffs. There is obviously a lot of duplication throughout the set but when you have 112 audio tracks even the Quo can be forgiven for some songs cropping up on almost every disc. Having seven discs of work on the Beeb is massive testament to the popularity of the band and why they have become a British institution. 


Songs like 'Paper Plane', 'Whatever You Want', 'Caroline' and the cover of the John Fogherty classic 'Rockin' All Over The World' are some decent examples of why they're so popular. For me the early 70's stuff is by far the best and a band right on top of their game. I'm sure had they not opened Live Aid it wouldn't have been the roaring success it was. The Quo, with their headbanging in unison and the 12 bar chug, was exactly what was needed to get that  party started and off to a roaring start and I don't think it was coincidence that they were asked to kick it off. Anyway I digress, these here discs are full of that feel good factor that they seem to be able to give off through the music. The stuff culled from the 70's is a right old boogie-athon and one that has, in both small and big chunks, inspired many bands to pick up guitars since. Overall this set including the DVD is huge, it's clearly lovingly put together and an impressive body of work.


The Quo have a formula and have stuck to it through thick and thin and I salute them for it. Of the different formats of this Status Quo Live At The BBC release this is by far and away the only one to go for - okay, the shorter versions available don't have the same songs over and over but you will miss out on the DVD and some of the better early material, as well as the well written 60 pages that come with it.


As a final note I'd also like to state that the Quo had some of the best double denim wardrobe malfunctions and some of the best facial hair ever seen on a stage anywhere and there are plenty of pictures to back this up. Nice one chaps!