Album review: STATUS QUO – Don’t Stop, Under The Influence, The Party Ain’t Over Yet…

Status Quo - The Party Ain't Over Yet...

Edsel [Release date 20.01.17]

These three Quo re-issues are given more poignancy now by the passing of Rick Parfitt whose ill health is bookended by the original albums.  A year after the covers album he had quadruple by-pass heart surgery whilst in 2006 he was treated for throat cancer.

1996′s Don’t Stop was unusual in that it is an album of covers including a collaboration with The Beach Boys (‘Fun Fun Fun’) and Brian May (‘Raining In My Heart’) There’s even a version of Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Don’t Stop’.

At the time, Quo were having a spat with BBC Radio 1 complaining that they were not playlisted, a case they subsequently lost.  1996 was also the band’s 30th anniversary: Rossi and Parfitt had met in 1966 at the Butlins holiday camp in Minehead.  This reissue – also available in 2005 – has four bonus tracks in the shape of ‘B-sides’ of singles from the album.  ***1/2

The band’s next album, 1999′s Under The Influence, demonstrates that the band  were no longer defined by their hit singles.  It’s a solid offering, and continues to recycle their no-nonsense heads-down boogie producing such gems as ‘Round And Round’ and ‘Keep ‘Em Coming’  When the band change the pace – as on ‘Shine On’ – they really are quite impressive.  This is a reissue of the 2011 version with four bonuses including a re-recording of ‘Pictures Of Matchstick Men’.  ****

Fast forward to 2005 and the album title The Party Ain’t Over Yet… might suggest a watershed moment for the band a decade or so ago when their 40th anniversary beckoned.  The blueprint is intact but the songs are frankly a bit average.   Although Bob Young had already resumed his role as chief writing collaborator, Rick Parfitt’s ‘This Is Me’ gains greater significance and is a poignant way to close this set.

At the time there was a bonus disc released in Australia which is included here (and with a 10 minute live medley recorded in Liverpool).  ***

With the caveat that these albums have been available previously, Edsel do their usual excellent re-packaging job although there are no new liner notes.  There’s another chance for new devotees to discover a later version of the band who – in the face of changing musical taste – maintained both their fanbase, and their consistency.

Review by David Randall

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

In his show broadcast on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio on 24 May David Randall played a further selection of artists and albums included in the new Features series, “2020 Vision”.

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Featured Albums w/c 25 May (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 FM Synchronized (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 THE ROCKET DOLLS The Art Of Disconnect (indie)
14:00-16:00 BEN KUNDER Searching For The Stranger (indie)

Power Plays w/c 11 May (Mon-Fri)

THE MERCY KILLS Alone (Golden Robot Records)
DEAD REYNOLDS By Your Side (indie)
THE JAILBIRDS Watery Grave (Golden Robot Records)
ALI MASS & MICKY MOODY These Times (Last Man Music)
MASSIVE WAGONS Bangin In Your Stereo (Earache)
UDO We Are One (AFM Records)

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