Who would have thought that these classmates would one day sell-out stadiums and break all records ? Yet this is the destiny that these kids from the suburbs of London have managed to accomplish with their boogie-rock that gives its true meaning to fun.
They are to rock what the sun is to springtime: a natural source of smiles that livens up the hearts caught in the British cold. Status Quo, with their pockets packed-full of punchy hit songs, has always known how to shine. On stage just like on old stereo tapes, they make people dance, they bring joy and they paint a picture with bright carefree colours. They've seen it all: the Olympia selling out at light speed, the full-house Wembley stadium and the songs breaking throught the European charts, one after the other.
Each single rhymes with success. Because Rick Parfiff, Alan Lancaster and Francis Rossi, the only survivors of the adventure, take the pot every time they offload their enthusiasm and good mood on the rock carpet. They prefer parties, beers and at full throttle beautiful adventures to melancholy and bitterness. They are the perfect antidote to blues and hassles, lifting up the spirits of a whole kingdom: the one of the bon vivants who enjoy life without letting themselves get worked up.
We know every word by heart. Even today, Status Quo still knows how to set things on fire, with their hits and their catchy positive attitude. Their straightforward songs have become nostalgic hymns to the now and then cheerfulness. That's what makes them so charming and explains, without a doubt, how these kids of the seventies have managed, year after year, to get more than sixty singles into the British charts.
Francis Rossi, Alan Key and Alan Lancaster, three school friends, decide to form Spectres. After a series of concerts in London's cafés, the trio presents their first 45 rpm record : it's a huge flop. Their psychedelic pop didn't appeal to the audience, with the exception of the remarkable single Pictures of Matchstick men. Over the months, after several name changes, the band decides to call themselves Status Quo.
Change of direction. Facing repeated failures, the group decides to move towards a more boogie-rock and catchy sound. This was a successful gamble: Status Quo quickly stands out. It's the beginning of a great adventure, hit songs coming one after the other, like the singles Hello, Quo, and On the level.
Every single is a hit. Within three years, the band has released three successful albums, including the excellent Whatever You Want (1979). Yet, internally tensions are rising, and John Coghan slams the door. Alan Lancaster will do the same four years later, the day after the opening concert of Live Aid.
In spite of everything, Status Quo does not die. In fact, Status Quo never dies, and after a few difficult years, the band proves that they still have what it takes to go the distance, with the track In the Army Now, a cover of Bolland & Bolland. The single is a monumental hit and can be heard everywhere on the European airwaves.
When we speak about Guinness and music, we usually think of that famous Irish stout that makes you a smile as soon as you taste a pint. But this time it's a different story : Status Quo enters the Guiness World Records Book. Their feat was to give four concerts in less than 12 hours, in four different cities and in front of more than 45,000 spectators. One can tell that Status Quo never stops !
It is devastating news: Rick Parfitt dies at the hospital of Marbella, southern Spain. Status Quo has lost one of its cornerstones. Francis Rossi is the last one left at the helm. But there's no way he is putting an end to the adventure. The concerts start again and two years later Status Quo presents the excellent Backbone album, which will be successfull across the Channel.
The old men are still in great shape, Rossi leads the band, never ceasing to wince, smile, mimic, chat, never missing the opportunity to remind us what a great guitarist he is! You can feel the live experience, everything is perfectly set up, the lights, the back and forth soli movements, the dance steps, the sequences. It's fun, it's musically exhilarating: it fills your heart with joy !
Status Quo is delivers hit after hit. It feels like they found a magic formula. Each single is a treasure that left its mark on an era, like a soundtrack to the beautiful memories of our youth. But the band refuses to rest on their laurels : they regularly release new albums, despite the tragic demise of Rick Parfiff. It's still as energetic as ever, and it's a real thrill.
Forty years of career, more than 130 million albums sold and half a million concerts given throughout the world: Status Quo still appeal to the public. Even today, the legend continues.