Album review: STATUS QUO – Aquostic (Stripped Bare)

Status Quo - Aquostic

Rhino/Warners [Release date 20.10.14]

It may have taken 50 years, but Aquostic finally showcases the Quo “unplugged” with rearrangements of many standards and some surprises too.

Maybe this album will ultimately take Rick and Francis back to the small clubs where they started.  There is an element of re-tracing steps here but what ‘Aquostic’ does is confirm that you can’t beat a damn good song with a catchy melody.

‘Pictures Of Matchstick Men’ sounds more convincing than the original whilst capturing its basic psychedelic sixties charm and it is given special treatment with a fine string arrangement.  The same applies to an excellent rendition of ‘Mystery Song’.

It’s the strings that make these songs really shine and along with the more familiar – ‘Down The Dustpipe’, ‘Caroline’,  ‘Down Down’, ‘Whatever You Want’ amongst them – the band have also included some less visited material that was thought appropriate for this reinvention.

So ‘And It’s Better Now’ gets a new lease of life (and is the first single) along with songs like ‘All The Reasons’ (Piledriver) and ‘Reason For Living’ (Hello).

Throughout, there is a Stealer’s Wheel or Medicine Head vibe which is frankly a million miles from Quo’s usual three chord thrust, and the release is firmly juxtaposed with the glut of recent live material.  In that sense, Quo have been the gift that keeps on giving for fans in recent years.

It’s hard to fathom Quo’s infamous spat with the BBC about airplay in the late-1990s (although relating specifically to Radio 1).  But Quo get the last laugh, because ‘Aquostic’ emphasises that good tunes always win out in the end, and that Quo will still be played long after more ephemeral fodder has had its barely-fifteen-minutes of fame.  ****

Review by David Randall

David Randall presents ‘Assume The Position’ on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio every Sunday at 22:00 GMT.



 

The latest Facebook Live session from Canadian singer-songwriter Josh Taerk was streamed on Sunday 22 November.

More about Josh: http://getreadytorock.me.uk/blog/?s=%22Josh+Taerk%22


David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 15 November 2020.

UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 17 November 2020


Listen in to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio…
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Featured Albums w/c 23 November (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 JEFF SCOTT SOTO Wide Awake (In My Dreamland) (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 LAZARUS DREAM Alive (Pride & Joy Music)
14:00-16:00 RONAN FURLONG The King Of Leaves (Thoroughbred Music)

Power Plays w/c 23 November (Mon-Fri)

L.A. GUNS All That You Are (Golden Robot Records)
THE DUST CODA Limbo Man (Earache)
EBBA BERGKVIST & THE FLAT TIRE BAND 68 Twin (indie)
IRON SAVIOR Souleater (AFM Records)
IVY GOLD This Is My Time (indie)



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2 Responses to Album review: STATUS QUO – Aquostic (Stripped Bare)

  1. Greenockian says:

    It’s a fun album and I haven’t stopped listening to it all day. But what version of “Mystery Song” did you hear – it’s not on my copy?

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