Status Quo - Biography
are an English rock band with strong boogie line. The group
was founded by bassist Alan Lancaster and guitarist Francis
Rossi in 1962.
as a rock and roll freakbeat band called The Spectres. By
1967, with very little commercial success, they discovered
psychedelia and changed their name to Traffic (later Traffic
Jam, to avoid confusion with Steve Winwood's Traffic.) At
this time the line-up also included organist Roy Lynes and
drummer John Coghlan. Late in 1967 they recruited second
guitarist Rick Parfitt and became The Status Quo, scoring
Top 10 singles with "Pictures Of Matchstick Men" and "Ice in
The Sun". "Pictures of Matchstick Men" remains the only Top
40 hit single the group has ever charted in the United
States. Though the group's albums have been released in the
United States throughout their career, they have never
achieved the same level of success and fame there, that they
have enjoyed in their home country.
their second album Spare Parts they decided to change
into a heavy boogie rock band. During the seventies they
became one of the UK's leading rock bands, gaining a
faithful following due to their excellent live gigs. They
showed a great amount of energy during this decade and in
the early 1980s. They and are best known for songs from this
era such as "Paper Plane"
(1972), "Caroline" (1973), "Down
Down" (1975), John Fogerty's "Rockin' All Over The
World" (1977) and "Whatever You Want" (1979). "Down Down"
topped the UK singles chart in January 1975 (their only
British number one single to date).
left in 1971, to be replaced initially by guest keyboard
players on album, including Jimmy Horowitz and John Parker,
and later on a more permanent basis on record and stage by
ex-The Herd and Judas Jump
member Andy Bown, though as he was contracted as a solo
artist with EMI, he was not credited as a full-time member
until 1982. Coghlan left in late 1981, to be replaced by
Pete Kircher from 1960s band Honeybus. This short-lived
line-up played its last gig in 1984 at the Milton Keynes
Bowl, and reformed briefly to open the Live Aid charity
event at Wembley in July 1985.
year Rossi recorded and released two solo singles with
longtime writing partner Bernie
Frost. Parfitt was also working on a solo album which
is still unreleased, although some tracks have been
re-recorded by Status Quo and released as 'B' sides. Bass
player John Edwards and drummer
Jeff Rich, both ex-Judie Tzuke Band and Climax Blues
Band, assisted Parfitt in the studio.
summer of 1985 Rossi, Parfitt and Bown, along with Edwards
and Rich started work on a new album. Lancaster, who was
living in Australia at the time, took out a legal injunction
to stop the band using the Status Quo name on any records.
The injunction was lifted after a court hearing in January
1986. Lancaster had had increasing musical differences with
the group, notably during the sessions for the 1983 album
Back to Back over two tracks which became hit singles
for the group around that time. He had written "Ol'
Rag Blues", but was angered when the producers chose
to release a version with Rossi singing lead vocal in
preference to the one sung by himself, and he objected to "Marguerita
Time", which he thought unduly corny and too
pop-oriented for them. He remained in Australia, forming a
band called Party Boys,
who had no success in Britain.
commercially successful In The Army Now album was
released in 1986. Rich left in 2000 and was replaced by
Matthew Letley. Andrew Bown
also took a year off at the same time for family reasons,
and was temporarily replaced on stage by
Paul Hirsh, formerly of
Although Quo still release new material every few years,
recent years have seen them release a series of greatest
hits compilations and covers albums. One of the band's most
recent original albums, Heavy Traffic, shows a return
to classic form not seen since the late 1970s.
Quo have often been characterized, perhaps unfairly, as
producing very simple songs, always in the same format: 4/4
rhythm, three chord structure. However, the recordings from
their first decade demonstrate a diversity in musical style
and complexity to rival most of the late 60s UK bands, and
several of their singles and album tracks from later show
considerable subtlety, not least the mainly acoustic 1979
single "Living On An Island",
and the 1980 album track, later a single, "Rock
'n' Roll", which is ironically one of the least rock
'n' roll-like songs they have ever recorded.
have a loyal group of fans in the United Kingdom, where they
have enjoyed more hits than any other group in rock and roll
history (over 60 as of mid-2005), as well as a big following
in Europe, notably in The Netherlands.
September 2005 a contestant on the long-running BBC
television quiz programme Mastermind chose Status Quo
as his specialist subject. That same year they took part in
the long running ITV soap opera Coronation Street in
a storyline which involved them being sued by the layabout
December 2005 it was announced that Parfitt was undergoing
tests for throat cancer. All subsequent dates of the
tour were cancelled as a result. However on 20th December it
was further announced that the growths found in Parfitt's
throat were benign and had been removed.
Status Quo members
Francis Rossi - lead guitar, vocals
Rick Parfitt - guitar, vocals (1967–present)
Andy Bown - keyboard (1982–present)
Matt Letley - drums (2000–present)
John 'Rhino' Edwards - bass (1986–present)
- keyboard (1967–1971)
John Coghlan - drums (1967–1980)
Alan Lancaster - vocals, bass (1967–1984)
Pete Kircher - drums (1981–1986)
- drums (1986–2000)
Quo Official Website
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