The reviewer of this album complained that Quo didn`t re-think their formula. If he had only known how much more of the boogie-rock formula they would follow in the coming years, and with great success, I guess he would have been shocked!
S. Quo maintain the status q.
By Tony Stewart
STATUS QUO: Blue For You (Vertigo)
At this stage in their career, Status Quo should have recorded a live album.
Instead, they`ve returned to the studio environment to make “Blue For You”, which undoubtedly falls into place as a continuation of the formula they initiated five albums ago with “Dog Of Two Heads”.
Of course, the band`s argument will be Why change direction when the sales of the last album were phenomenal? And why tamper with a well-drilled approach when the concert halls are packed fit to bust?
Not for the reviewer`s benefit, certainly. And apparently not for their own, because they seem quite content to tread a well-worn path, which is at the moment as safe as the proverbial houses.
But how long could Duane Eddy have continued playing “Shazam” or the Kinks “You Really Got Me”? Eventually, the formula becomes too predictable, musicians` aspirations too great to be confined within such strict limitations, and punters and players alike get so brassed off that the bubble bursts.
Now, if Quo had given the studio a miss this time around and put out a live album which is a genuine representation of their act rather than a mere extension as their studio sets invariably are, it would have allowed them the time to assess the real structural strength of their formula.
This may relieve the pressure and offer them the opportunity to work on the concept, and perhaps carry out a few crucial modifications. Or can they really continue until pigs learn to fly?
If this album is any guide, then apparently not. Only one out of the four tracks on side two seems to have any impact, and that (“Mystery Song”) is, ironically enough, a digression towards a lighter approach with considerably more care taken over the arrangement.
But when a band reaches their sixth album, you really expect something more substantial than lyrics like, “Sitting in a cornfield / Looking at a cob / Thinking of a long line / Waiting for a job”.
Quo, though, can still pack excitement into the grooves, as the first side illustrates. Of course it`s down to personal choice whether or not you dig it, but the constant boogie rhythm of Rick Parfitt`s guitar, with Mike Rossi adding the limited lead lines, and Alan Lancaster on bass and drummer John Coughlan hammering out the tempo still sounds remarkably fresh; and surprisingly so, considering that they`ve used this technique on practically every track they`ve recorded during the `70`s.
The only evident change between this set and any one of their previous five is a change in lyrics and melody lines, and a poppy top which harks back to their “Dustpipe” days with cuts like “Ring Of A Change”.
Really, if you consider “Blue For You” as a separate entity then its quality is dubious. It does, however, prove they can spint out the secret of their success onto yet another set.
I have personally transcribed this from the original paper. Any errors in the text from the original magazine may not have been corrected for the sake of accuracy. If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With credits to the original writer of the article from all of us music fans!
This number of New Musical Express also contains articles/interviews with these people: Laura Nyro, The Eagles, King Crimson, Phil Spector, Dick Morrisey and Terry Smith, Zal Cleminson, The Who/Steve Gibbons Band, Bobby Womack, The Tubes.
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