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Rock - Released August 8, 2013 | Castle Communications

Status Quo's debut album featured none of the band's better-known boogie rock of the mid-'70s. Picturesque... is a psychedelic effort that tries to imitate the sound bands like the Bee Gees or the Beatles were doing at the moment. With this record, Status Quo surprisingly had its first (and last) hit in America, the single "Pictures of Matchstick Men," which peaked at number 12 (it reached number seven on the British charts). Other highlights from the album are the second single, "Ice in the Sun," and the Bee Gees cover "Spicks and Specks." Even if this is not the most representative album from Status Quo, it is a good psychedelic pop exercise that sometimes includes very imaginative guitar phrases ("Ice in the Sun"), and some brilliantly unusual sounds (the epic "Paradise Flat"). ~ Robert Aniento
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Rock - Released February 17, 2017 | Eagle Rock Entertainment

Living up to the title of their signature hit, "Rockin' All Over the World," Britain's biggest boogie-woogie rock band Status Quo show that five decades into their career, they are still a live force to be reckoned with, as evident on this belated release of their triumphant set at the 2009 Montreux Jazz Festival. Originally released on DVD in 2007, this audio recording of their second appearance at the legendary Swiss event trims five numbers from the original set list, with "In My Chair," "Burning Bridges," and bizarrely, their second biggest U.K. single, "In the Army Now" omitted from its 17 tracks. But with 40 years of hits to choose from, there's still more than enough recognizable fare on offer, as the twin Telecasters of Francis Rossi and Rick Parfitt help to provide blistering and rousing renditions of material starting from their 1968 debut Picturesque Matchstickable Messages from the Status Quo ("Ice in the Sun"), right up to 2007's In Search of the Fourth Chord ("Beginning of the End"). While never really deviating from their no-frills dad rock formula, it's hard not to get caught up in their enthusiasm as they race through the likes of their cover of Dion's "The Wanderer," their debut single "Pictures of Matchstick Men," and their triple-whammy finale of chart-topper "Down Down," "Whatever You Want," and "Rockin' All Over the World." The largely reserved audience response may suggest otherwise, but Live at Montreux 2009 is an enjoyable souvenir of what's considered one of the rock veterans' best-ever live performances. ~ Jon O'Brien
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Rock - Released January 1, 2013 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

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Rock - Released January 1, 2005 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

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Rock - Released March 1, 2017 | Castle Communications

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Rock - Released January 8, 2016 | DN Rock Company

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Rock - Released September 6, 2019 | earMUSIC

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Rock - Released January 1, 2005 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

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Rock - Released March 1, 2017 | Sanctuary Records

Woe betide the psychedelic groover who picked up the third album by Status Quo, dreaming of further picturesque matchstick messages! A mere three hits in a long three years had completely exhausted the bandmembers' patience with the whimsy of yore, and their ears had long since turned in other directions. It was the age, after all, of Canned Heat's relentless boogie and Black Sabbath's blistered blues, and when the Quo's first new single of 1970, the lazy throb of "Down the Dustpipe," proved that the record-buying public wasn't averse to a bit more down-home rocking, their future course was set. Ma Kelly's Greasy Spoon allies one of the most evocative titles in rock album history to one of the most familiar sights in a rock band's iconography, the cheap roadside café -- crusty ketchup, leafy tea, an overflowing ashtray, and Ma Kelly herself, cigarette clenched between unsmiling lips and a face that has seen it all and didn't like any of it. Neither do the album's contents disturb her glowering visage. From the opening trundle of "Spinning Wheel Blues" and onto the closing, lurching medley of "Is It Really Me"/"Gotta Go Home," the most underrated disc in Status Quo's entire early catalog eschewed the slightest nod in the direction of the band's past -- even "Dustpipe" didn't make the cut. (It has since been incorporated among the four bonus tracks appending the album's 1998 remastering as have "In My Chair", "Gerdundula" and an alternate version of "Junior's Wailing") But six years on, when recording their live album, the Quo were still dipping back to "Junior's Wailing," the midpoint in the greasy spoon experience, and an expressively rocking archetype for all they would later accomplish. The dark shuffle of "Lazy Poker Blues," too, unleashed specters that the band would be referencing in future days, including the boogie piano that made 1974's "Break the Rules" seem such a blast from the past. Compared to the albums that would follow, Ma Kelly is revealed as little more than a tentative blueprint for the Quo's new direction. At the time, however, it was a spellbinding shock, perhaps the last one that the Quo ever delivered. You should remember that when you play it. ~ Dave Thompson
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Rock - Released August 8, 2013 | Castle Communications

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Rock - Released August 8, 2013 | Castle Communications

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Pop - Released November 1, 2013 | Rare

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Rock - Released March 1, 2017 | Castle Communications

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Rock - Released December 15, 2008 | Castle Communications

This three-CD, 63-track set is the last word on Status Quo's early years, gathering not only every track the band did for Pye in the late '60s and early '70s, but also adding seven songs by the Spectres and two by Traffic Jam (the group's pre-Status Quo incarnations). As Status Quo were a psychedelic pop band in the late '60s before shifting to hard boogie rock at the turn of the decade, it might be a disappointment to much of their fan base, as prior to 1970 they sounded like an almost entirely different act. Conversely, though, to British Invasion and psychedelic fans who have little use for the band's long run as hard rock journeymen, this might be the most useful Status Quo collection of all. For it's psychedelic pop -- of a resolutely trendy brand that's actually more "pop" than "psychedelic" -- that dominates the first two discs, including of course their big hit "Pictures of Matchstick Men," as well as their follow-up U.K. Top Ten single, "Ice in the Sun." It's not until the half-dozen or so 1970 recordings that close disc two that the band starts embracing harder sounds, almost fully changing to a blues-rock-boogie direction for disc three. As for the lighter approach that makes up the bulk of this set, the material suffers from a problem common to many bands that had just one great song. Much of the late-'60s stuff here is derivative, with varying streaks of innocuous Bee Gees, Move, Kinks, Beatles, Badfinger, and bubblegum influences. The 1968 songs in particular lean too heavily on the shimmering wobbly guitar effects introduced by "Pictures of Matchstick Men." Most importantly, though, the songs aren't special, wafting by in an inoffensive period fashion, occasionally making a deeper impression on tracks like "Sunny Cellophane Skies" (which, again like many of their 1968 tunes, has helium-high harmony vocals and weedy organ), "When I Awake" (whose intro has some awesome fluttering wah-wah guitar), and "Josie" (which sounds a little like a kiddie Kinks-meets-Easybeats). The more aggressive early-'70s material isn't any more memorable or original, to be honest, though it does include a couple fair-sized British hits in "Down the Dustpipe" and "In My Chair." Devoted collectors might be most interested in the pre-Status Quo cuts by the Spectres and Traffic Jam, but these are even less imbued with distinctive personality than the rest of the material, sounding like the product of an also-ran club band from the waning days of the British Invasion. The Spectres' tracks are too heavy on unimaginative covers as well, though their peculiarly chintzy organ parts at least give it some sonic imprint; the two Traffic Jam songs are most notable for "Almost but Not Quite There," a coy teen sexual innuendo reminiscent of some of the Troggs' filler from the period. Finally, though Sanctuary is to be commended for gathering all the strands of the early Status Quo together in such a comprehensive fashion, it garners no gold stars for the packaging. Such a thorough set deserves more liner notes than the mere five paragraphs dispensed here, and even more troublingly, there's no information about when and where the tracks were originally released. Nothing's supplied at all but songwriting credits and years of original release, in fact, with nothing said about on what singles and albums these songs (a handful of which didn't surface until the 1980s and 1990s) were first issued. ~ Richie Unterberger
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Rock - Released September 26, 2016 | Rdeg

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Rock - Released December 12, 2014 | earMUSIC

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Rock - Released August 8, 2013 | Castle Communications

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Rock - Released July 12, 2019 | earMUSIC

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Backbone is the 33rd studio album from legendary British rock outfit Status Quo and is the first album of original material to be released since the passing of member Rick Parfitt in 2016. Recorded at Francis Rossi's own studios at the tail end of 2018 and the beginning of 2019, the album sees the group delivering a collection of classic Quo-sounding rock numbers, losing none of the spark that was brought by the original paring of Parfitt and Rossi. ~ Rich Wilson

Rock - Released October 10, 2014 | earMUSIC

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Rock - Released January 1, 2014 | Eagle Rock - Eagle Records