The album Mr. Makowski was lucky enough to hear a little of in its initial stages was later to be named “Quo”. It was released in early May the same year. Contrary to their previous album “Hello!” who went to the top spot in the charts, this one “only” achieved a number 2 spot.
Have a nice read.
Quo: and now for something completely different
Pete Makowski listens to the album and gets a surprise
KA-CHUNK, ka-chunk, ka-chunk, ka-chunk, Quo are back! And for people who think that the band have run dry out of riffs, be warned, they`re going to be around for a lot longer than you think.
Francis Rossi and John Coghlan were in good spirits considering the unearthly hour of morning the interview was set, at IBC`s studios. But like their music the band`s schedule is so tight that this was the only opportunity available to speak to them.
Right now they`re laying down as many tracks as possible before commencing a series of long and arduous tours all over the world, including Scandinavia, Australia, Japan and America.
Something which proved to be a hindrance to the progression of their new LP was the people in the neighbouring buildings were complaining about the noise from the studio, restricting their recording sessions no later than early evening.
Francis and John sat behind a complex piece of recording equipment festooned with knobs and slide switches. “I know what that one`s for, said John pointing at the headphone socket.
The last time I spoke to the band, they had just completed their first American tour which they described as a nerve-racking ordeal but fruitful at the same time.
“I was like a spoilt brat last time, I wanted to come home all the time,” explained Francis, and John agreed. “Some of the gigs were so small, like the Whisky”, Francis continued, “there`d be a couple of tables and chairs and a bit of dance floor and I thought `fuck me, so this is the Whisky, this is what everyone`s talking about.”
“You got no room, you can`t fart in there, let alone play your tunes,” John put it down to the difficulty of adapting their act to club level and they had the audience when they played the Santa Monica Civic, a larger venue.
“We ripped the place apart, and we got good reports although we weren`t totally satisfied with the show ourselves.
“This time we`ll be totally prepared.”
They both think they`ll be prepared this time and Francis put it down to the state of mind you`re in when you go there. “Last time we didn`t know what to expect, we built ourselves to such a peak and then we realised it was back to the clubs again.
“There was friction in the band, I suppose because we`ve been playing clubs most of our life we didn`t want to go through it all again.
“We were dreading the prospect of going back again,” interrupted John, “but now we`re quite looking forward to it.”
Although they can be described as mammoth in this country the group still worry about the sustain of their success and want to add more followers to the surging ranks of Quolites.
“We love doing Britain,” said John, “and it`s no secret that the kids hold the same kind of affection for the band”. When I saw Quo, at their first Rainbow gig, the reaction was frightening, there wasn`t one still limb in the whole building.
One of the band`s basic traits is their solid touring and I asked Francis if the band were at their most creative under this type of pressure? “Yeah, but John doesn`t like it, do ya?”. “No,” he affirmed, “I don`t mind if we`ve got some ideas and were under pressure, but it`s chaotic and there are no ideas.”
John doesn`t think that they`ll finish their new album before they go on a Scandinavian tour next week and thinks they`ll probably record some tracks on their States tour the following week, which should prove to be an interesting experiment.
They both believe that this album is a definite progression to “Hello”, “It`s keyed more to stereo than our previous records,” John continued, “they were more mono before but this one got things like guitars answering each other and things like that.”
At this point Ritchie Parfitt and Alan Lancaster entered and they decided to go down to the studio. The amps were on and as soon as the band were assembled they breezed into a jam. There were screens around Alan, and amps were resting on seats. So were the boys. It was a very relaxing picture Rossi smoking a Players No. 6 and playing, a complete contrast to what they`d be laying down later on in the day.
As soon as the roadies arrived with food, the music stopped and they returned to the booth. It was decided that I should hear some rough mixes of three tracks they`d already completed.
They stunned me when I heard them. I never knew Status were technically capable of such quality. I`ve always liked them for their simply raunchy sound but this was amazing!
The album will probably be quite a revelation to people who don`t like Quo and be accepted by their fans who must regard it as a progression. Ritchie thinks that this album will bring out the individual personalities of the group.
Although the mix was rough the production was crisp, and each instrument well balanced. The guitars are sharper and more cutting, the bass, meatier and the thick slabs of Alan Lancaster`s drumming proves he is the vehicle which carries Quo`s music.
One thing that may surprise a lot of people is that some of the stuff was very – wait for it… funky, also brought about by the presence of Alan`s drumming. The numbers are very well arranged, not overdone to the point of sterility and left a lot of space for the boys to rock.
They also played a quiet track, very melodic and imaginative and have obviously set out to make a winner and as far as I`m concerned with what I`ve heard they`ve succeeded.
As Francis said earlier on, “We`re tired of people criticising us because of our sound, so we wanted to do something different.” They have no single planned which doesn`t really concern them, but there`s no doubt they`ll be gigging all year round and they hope to break in a few new countries.
So ladies and gentlemen, now for something completely different.
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 Sounds also contains articles/interviews with these people: Bob Dylan, Marc Bolan, Ralph McTell, Incredible String Band, Kiki Dee, Carl Palmer, Jethro Tull, Pointer Sisters.
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