One of Britain's most consistently popular rock groups, Status Quo was formed in 1962 by school friends Francis Rossi (lead guitar, vocals) and Alan Lancaster (bass guitar, vocals). The classic Quo line-up, which lasted until 1985, was completed with the addition of John Coghlan (drums, percussion) and Rick Parfitt (rhythm guitar, vocals).
After brief flirtations with Progressive Rock
and Psychedelic Rock
yielded little success, Quo hit on the formula that's sustained them for the past forty years with the 1970 album Ma Kelly's Greasy Spoon
, the first to feature their straightforward, no frills
boogie rock style powered by Rossi and Parfitt's dual Telecasters.
Notably, they were the band that opened Live Aid at Wembley Stadium with their Signature Song
, "Rockin' All Over the World". When they were unavailable to play Live 8 twenty years later, Coldplay
paid tribute with a performance of the song when they opened that show.Studio Discography
Francis Rossi's Solo Discography
- Picturesque Matchstickable Messages From The Status Quo (1968)
- Spare Parts (1969)
- Ma Kelly's Greasy Spoon (1970)
- Dog Of Two Head (1971)
- Piledriver (1972)
- Hello! (1973)
- Quo (1974)
- On The Level (1975)
- Blue For You (1976)
- Rockin' All Over The World (1977)
- If You Can't Stand The Heat... (1978)
- Whatever You Want (1979)
- Just Supposin' (1980)
- Never Too Late (1981)
- 1+9+8+2 (1982)
- Back To Back (1983)
- In The Army Now (1986)
- Ain't Complaining (1988)
- Perfect Remedy (1989)
- Rock 'Til You Drop (1991)
- Thirsty Work (1994)
- Don't Stop (1996)
- Under The Influence (1999)
- Famous In The Last Century (2000)
- Heavy Traffic (2002)
- Riffs (2003)
- The Party Ain't Over Yet (2005)
- In Search Of The Fourth Chord (2007)
- Quid Pro Quo (2011)
- Bula Quo! (2013)
- King Of The Doghouse (1996)
- One Step At A Time (2010)
- Career Resurrection: Punk Rock and tensions within the band prompted the departure of Lancaster and Coghlan, and accusations that they'd grown stale years ago almost finished them off, but the advent of the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal helped to rejuvenate their fortunes and returned them to the charts.
- Epic Rocking: Each album from 1970 to 1976 (with the exception of On The Level) includes at least one, usually as the album closer.
- Ma Kelly's Greasy Spoon has "Is It Really Me?/Gotta Go Home" (9:30).
- Dog Of Two Head has "Someone's Learning" (7:08).
- Piledriver ends with an epic cover of "Roadhouse Blues" (7:31).
- Hello ends with "Forty-Five Hundred Times" (9:58). Live versions of this song go on for even longer, sometimes lasting for around twenty minutes.
- Quo ends with "Slow Train" (7:56).
- Blue For You includes the full version of "Mystery Song" (6.33).
- Fan Nickname: If you just say "Quo" people will know who you mean. The classic Rossi/Parfitt/Lancaster/Coghlan line-up also got "The Frantic Four".
- Grief Song: "A Year".
- I Am the Band: Status Quo is Francis Rossi and Rick Parfitt.
- Live Album: Quite a few. The most notable is Live!, which was released in 1977 and is considered one of the best live albums ever made. There's also Tokyo Quo (which was also released in 1977 and, until recently, only available in Japan) and Live Alive Quo (1992). For the Frantic Four Reunion in 2013, three live albums were produced, each one featuring recordings from a different show.
- Long Runner Line Up: They've had three of the second type described on the trope page. The first was Rossi, Parfitt, Lancaster and Coghlan, with keyboardist Andy Bown becoming increasingly integrated into the group, but remaining credited as a guest musician for a while for contractual reasons. The second was Rossi, Parfitt and Bown with new bassist and drummer Rhino Edwards and Jeff Rich. This one lasted for fourteen years until Rich left and was replaced by Matt Letley, who was with them until 2013. Leon Cave then took his place as drummer.
- New Sound Album: Ma Kelly's Greasy Spoon showed a move away from psychedelic pop and frilly shirts towards a no-nonsense hard rock sound. Rockin' All Over The World was the album on which the band began experimenting with synthesisers, and In The Army Now took this a step further with an unprecedented synth-rock sound. Much later, Under The Influence saw them move back to hard rock, resulting in the sound of today's Quo.
- The Power of Rock: They have a song by that very name.
- Sanity Slippage Song: "Twenty Wild Horses".
- Siamese Twin Songs: "Backwater" and "Just Take Me" from Quo are this, as are "Come Rock With Me" and "Rockin' On" from Whatever You Want.
- Status Quo Is God: Potential bad puns aside, they've essentially been playing the same style for more than forty years, and any deviations from it don't last very long.
- Take That: Word of God has confirmed that "Down Down" is one of these against the band's critics and detractors. Many people didn't realise this and thought that the lyrics were full of sexual innuendo ("Get down, deeper and down").
- Three Chords and the Truth: Famous for it, so much so that one of their more recent albums was given the name In Search Of The Fourth Chord.
- Vocal Tag Team: Francis Rossi and Rick Parfitt. Originally, Alan Lancaster sang lead a few times as well.