Album review: STATUS QUO – Deluxe Editions – On The Level, If You Can’t Stand The Heat, Whatever You Want

Status Quo - Whatever You Want

UCM [Release date 25.03.16]

These three albums are the next to be given the ‘deluxe edition’ treatment following on from the last batch featuring the albums Hello!, Quo and Rockin’ All Over The World. The premise is the same with each package featuring a remixed version of the original album and a second disc containing live tracks, demos and studio out-takes, a must for any Quo completest.

First up is On The Level, one of Quo’s finest hours, featuring the fan favourites ‘Down, Down’ and ‘Bye Bye Johnny’. Originally recorded in 1975 many of the album’s tracks became mainstays of the live set for many years. It is appropriate then that the bonus CD with this one features a live concert recorded in Mainz in ’75. Any live CD which contains ‘Gerdundula’ is alright by me!  ****

1978’s If You Can’t Stand The Heat kicks off with another live classic ‘Again and Again’. The interesting thing with these three re-releases is that you can really hear the transition between the harder edged early Quo sound and the more radio friendly Quo of the early 80’s. This album bridges that gap although it still rocks on tracks like ‘Long Legged Linda’ and ‘Accident Prone. The extra disc with this one contains early demo and writing versions of many of the tracks which are interesting to hear.  ****

Whatever You Want released in 1979 saw the band move further down the accessible route and add the odd synth flourish. The title track became one of the band’s biggest songs (and has featured on many an advert over the years, a nice little earner!) whilst the laid back ‘Living On An Island’ found the band in full on ‘lounge’ mode.

The second disc with this release may hint at where the band were looking at that point as it contains the American remix version of the album which was entitled ‘Now Hear This’ on the far side of the pond. Quo go AOR? Possibly not…  ****

Again these deluxe editions deliver an expanded Quo experience for all, whether you are a collector or someone who just wants to have the original albums in their collection. They are also a good example of how the Quo sound has developed over the years which disproves the old adage that they have been playing the same song for the last 40 odd years! 

Review by David Wilson

Review (Hello, Quo, Rockin’ All Over The World – deluxe editions)


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