UMC/Mercury [Release date 30.11.18]
This is the foutth vinyl singles collection release from the Quo back catalogue each covering a different decade with all 7 inch singles lovingly recreated and packaged as a collector’s box set. When thinking of Status Quo’s output throughout their career perhaps the 90’s wouldn’t stand out as the most fruitful of eras, but listening through this set there is a lot to like and a few lost gems. The box set contains 16 singles in all complete with their original covers and a booklet containing information on each release complete with chart positions achieved.
The 90’s for Quo was the decade of the cover version with many appearing as singles along the way. ‘The Anniversary Waltz Part One’ for me typifies the band’s output during this period, enjoyable party music with little substance which can’t have taxed the band too much. Other cover versions featured include ‘All Around My Hat’ with Steeleye Span and ‘Fun, Fun,Fun’ featuring the Beach Boys, both of which are decent efforts and worth a listen, however it is easy to see why die hard ‘frantic four’ fans were aghast at these releases.
However, for every throwaway cover here there is a gem waiting to be rediscovered. This includes the odd choice cover version, especially their take on the Dave Edmunds’ classic ‘I Knew The Bride’ which is a cracker. Some of the original material is top notch as well such as ‘Rock ‘Til You Drop’, ‘Mortified’ and ‘Twenty Wild Horses’ all of which I hadn’t heard for many years.
There are also a couple of live tracks which appear as B sides, namely ‘Whatever You Want’ and one of my personal favourites ‘Dirty Water’ including the inevitable singalong sections. Another highlight is ‘The Roadhouse Melody (Anniversary Waltz part 25)’, a live favourite which sounds great here, especially the full length version.
This box set isn’t cheap and no doubt it will be the completist collector rather than the casual listener who finds it an essential purchase. However, if you can get your hands on a copy it is worth immersing yourself in 90’s Quo experience, you may be pleasantly surprised. ***1/2
Review by Dave Wilson
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