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Status Quo

Band from London

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In the Army Now

Status Quo

Status Quo Biography

Status Quo are an English rock band that formed in 1962. The group originated as The Scorpions and was founded by Francis Rossi and Alan Lancaster while they were still schoolboys. After a number of lineup changes, which included the introduction of Rick Parfitt in 1967, the band became The Status Quo in 1967 and Status Quo in 1969.History 1962–1968: Formative years "The Status Quo", from a promotional poster for the single "Black Veils of Melancholy" - clockwise from top: Rossi, Coghlan, Parfitt, Lynes, Lancaster Status Quo was formed in 1962 under the name The Scorpions by Francis Rossi and Alan Lancaster at Sedgehill Comprehensive School, Catford, London, along with classmates Jess ...
Status Quo are an English rock band that formed in 1962. The group originated as The Scorpions and was founded by Francis Rossi and Alan Lancaster while they were still schoolboys. After a number of lineup changes, which included the introduction of Rick Parfitt in 1967, the band became The Status Quo in 1967 and Status Quo in 1969.


1962–1968: Formative years

"The Status Quo", from a promotional poster for the single "Black Veils of Melancholy" - clockwise from top: Rossi, Coghlan, Parfitt, Lynes, Lancaster

Status Quo was formed in 1962 under the name The Scorpions by Francis Rossi and Alan Lancaster at Sedgehill Comprehensive School, Catford, London, along with classmates Jess Jaworski (keyboards) and Alan Key (drums). Rossi and Lancaster played their first gig at the Samuel Jones Sports Club in Dulwich, London. In 1963, Key was replaced by John Coghlan and the band changed their name to The Spectres. After changing their name, Lancaster's father arranged for the group to perform weekly at a venue called the Samuel Jones Sports Club, where they were noticed by Pat Barlow, a gasfitter and budding pop music manager. Barlow became the group's manager and secured them spots at venues around London, such as El Partido in Lewisham and Café des Artistes in Chelsea. In 1965, when Rossi, Lancaster and Jaworski left school, Jaworski opted to leave the band and was replaced by Roy Lynes.

They began writing their own material, and later that year met Rick Parfitt who was playing with a cabaret band called The Highlights. By the end of 1965, Rossi and Parfitt – who had become close friends after meeting at Butlins – made a commitment to continue working together. On 18 July 1966, the Spectres signed a five-year deal with Piccadilly Records, releasing two singles that year, "Hurdy Gurdy Man" (written by Alan Lancaster) and "I (Who Have Nothing)", and one the next year called "(We Ain't Got) Nothin' Yet" (a song originally recorded by New York psychedelic band the Blues Magoos). All three singles failed to make an impact on the charts.

By 1967, the group had discovered psychedelia and named themselves Traffic, but were soon forced to change it to Traffic Jam to avoid confusion with Steve Winwood's Traffic, following an argument over who had registered the name first. The band secured an appearance on BBC Radio's Saturday Club, but in June their next single, "Almost But Not Quite There", underperformed. The following month saw Parfitt, at the request of manager Pat Barlow, joining the band as rhythm guitarist and vocalist. Shortly after Parfitt's recruitment, in August 1967, the band officially became The Status Quo.

1968–1970: "Pictures of Matchstick Men" and psychedelic years

In January 1968, the group released the psychedelic-flavoured "Pictures of Matchstick Men". The song hit the UK Singles Chart, reaching number seven; "Matchstick Men" became the group's only Top 40 hit in the United States, peaking at number twelve on the Billboard Hot 100. Although Status Quo's albums have been released in the United States throughout their career, they never achieved the same level of success there as they have in Britain. Though the follow-up was the unsuccessful single "Black Veils of Melancholy", they had a hit again the same year with a pop song penned by Marty Wilde and Ronnie Scott, "Ice in the Sun", which climbed to number eight. After the breakthrough, the band management hired Bob Young as a roadie and tour manager. Over the years Young became one of the most important songwriting partners for Status Quo, in addition to playing harmonica with them on stage and on record.

1970–1981: Piledriver and Rockin' All Over The World

The "Frantic Four" lineup; left-to-right: Francis Rossi, Rick Parfitt and Alan Lancaster (obscured: John Coghlan) performing at the Hammersmith Odeon in London, 1978

After their second album, Spare Parts, failed commercially, the band abandoned psychedelia and Carnaby Street fashions in favour of a hard rock/boogie sound, and faded denims and T-shirts, an image which was to become their trademark throughout the 1970s. Lynes left the band in 1970 and was replaced in the studio by guests including keyboard player Jimmy Horowitz and Tom Parker. By 1976, Andy Bown – an ex-member of The Herd, Judas Jump and the Peter Frampton Band – was brought in to cover keyboards, although as he was contracted as a solo artist with EMI he was not credited as an official member of Status Quo until 1982.

After two relatively poor-selling albums, Ma Kelly's Greasy Spoon and Dog of Two Head in 1970 and 1971, their major breakthrough came when they signed with the heavy rock and progressive label Vertigo. Their first album for Vertigo, Piledriver, was released in 1972 and heralded an even heavier, self-produced sound. This album was essentially the stylistic template for each album they released up to and including Blue for You in 1976. Quo's more popular songs from this era include "Paper Plane" (No. 8 in the UK chart) (1972), "Caroline" (No. 5 in the UK chart) (1973), "Break The Rules", (No. 8 in the UK Chart) (1974), "Down Down" (No. 1 in the UK chart) (1975), "Roll Over Lay Down" (No. 10 in the UK chart) (1975), "Rain" (No. 7 in the UK chart) (1976), "Mystery Song" (No. 11 in the UK Chart) (1976), "Wild Side of Life" (No. 9 in the UK chart) (1976), "Rockin' All Over the World" (No. 3 in the UK chart) (1977) and "Whatever You Want" (No. 4 in the UK Chart) (1979). "Down Down" topped the UK Singles Chart in January 1975, becoming their only UK No. 1 single to date. In 1976, they signed a pioneering sponsorship deal with Levi's. Quo have now[when?] sold approximately 118 million records worldwide.

From 1977 onwards, the band's sound became more polished as they began to employ outside producers. These included Pip Williams, Roger Glover, and John Eden. Glover was the first outside producer to work with Quo since Pye's John Schroeder in the early 1970s, and produced "Wild Side of Life" and its B-side "All Through The Night" in 1976.

1977's Rockin' All Over the World's title track, a minor hit for its writer John Fogerty (formerly of Creedence Clearwater Revival), became one of Status Quo's most enduring anthems. Sales remained high in the UK throughout the 1980s.

1981–1991: Lineup changes, Live Aid and In The Army Now

Tensions within the band saw Coghlan leaving late in 1981. His replacement early the following year was Pete Kircher from the 1960s pop band Honeybus. Andy Bown joined the band in an official capacity at this time. Although contracted to record more albums, this line-up played its last full-length gig on 21 July 1984 at the Milton Keynes Bowl. "Everybody was coked-up and hating each other", Rossi recalled, "and I'd started drinking tequila on that tour. I don't remember that show at all – the encores or anything; just falling flat on my back at one point." "Deciding to retire from the road – all that was about was getting Francis a solo career," declared Lancaster. "Nobody on the outside knew it, but he didn't want to work with me or Rick anymore."

Status Quo's final appearance with the Kircher line-up opened the Live Aid charity event at Wembley Stadium in July 1985. That year, Rossi recorded and released two solo singles with long-time writing partner Bernie Frost. Parfitt recorded a solo album, Recorded Delivery, with bass player John "Rhino" Edwards and drummer Jeff Rich. The album remains unreleased, although some tracks were reworked and released sporadically as Quo B-sides until 1987.

In mid-1985, Rossi, Parfitt and Bown, with Edwards and Rich, started work on a new Quo album. Lancaster – by this time more or less settled in Australia – took out a legal injunction to stop the band using the Status Quo name on records, citing increasing musical differences, notably during sessions for 1983's Back to Back. The specific dispute concerned two tracks that became hits for the group around that time. Lancaster had co-written "Ol' Rag Blues", but was angered when the producers chose to release a version with Rossi singing the lead vocal instead of one sung by himself. The injunction also prevented the release of a single, "Naughty Girl", for which a catalogue number was issued by Vertigo.

An out-of-court settlement was made in January 1986, enabling the new Status Quo line-up to continue recording In The Army Now, for which "Naughty Girl" was reworked as "Dreamin'". Lancaster remained in Australia, and in 1986 joined an Australian supergroup, The Party Boys, featuring Angry Anderson of Rose Tattoo, John Brewster of The Angels and Kevin Borich, but achieved little success outside Australia. Lancaster left Status Quo formally in 1987.

In 1986, Quo supported Queen on the latter's Magic Tour. The commercially successful In the Army Now album was released later that year. Its title track became one of the band's biggest UK singles, reaching number 2. The following album, Ain't Complaining, in 1988, was less successful but produced the number 5 hit "Burning Bridges". Rerecorded (with new lyrics) in April 1994 with Manchester United F.C. as "Come On You Reds", the single would have given the band their second UK Number 1, but it was credited as 'by Manchester United'.

1991–2010: Rock 'Til You Drop, "Fun, Fun, Fun" and touring

The early-to-mid-1990s saw falling album sales for the band. To promote the release of the Rock 'Til You Drop album (1991), Quo performed four arena gigs in Sheffield, Glasgow, Birmingham and London in the space of 12 hours, earning them a place in the Guinness Book of Records. The 1994 Quo album Thirsty Work included a cover of the Jennifer Warnes song "I'm Restless" revealing an alternative and lighter sound to the band. Don't Stop (1996), and Famous in the Last Century (2000) consisted almost entirely of cover versions, (with the only exception being the title track to the latter). The former brought some chart success for Quo with covers of Fleetwood Mac's "Don't Stop" and The Beach Boys' "Fun, Fun, Fun". The band became involved in an acrimonious dispute with Radio 1 after the station refused to include the "Fun Fun Fun" single on the radio station's playlist.

In 1993, Francis Rossi and Rick Parfitt attracted a crowd of over 25,000 when they performed the annual Blackpool Illuminations lights switch-on.

Parfitt underwent quadruple by-pass surgery in 1997, but was able to make a full recovery and returned with a performance at the Norwich City Football Club ground three months later. Status Quo also returned to Australia in 1997, completing their first tour there since 1978. A greatest hits compilation, Whatever You Want – The Very Best of Status Quo was also released, achieving silver sales in the UK that year. In 1999, Quo toured Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland. Dubbed the 'Last Night of the Proms', the band were backed by a full orchestra during the concerts.

Rich left in 2000 and was replaced by Matt Letley. Andrew Bown also took a year off at the same time following the death of his wife, and was temporarily replaced on stage by Paul Hirsh, formerly of Voyager.

In November 2000, the band played a gig at Grandchester in the outback in Australia, performing on a carriage of Australia's Orient Express, the Great South Pacific Express.

Performing at Arrow Rock Festival in Lichtenvoorde, the Netherlands in 2006; left-to-right: Rick Parfitt, Francis Rossi, Matt Letley (obscured by drums), John "Rhino" Edwards (out-of-shot: Andy Bown)

In 2005 Rossi and Parfitt made cameo appearances in the long-running ITV soap opera Coronation Street in a storyline which involved them being sued by the notorious layabout Les Battersby, and performing live at his wedding as compensation.

In December 2005, it was announced that Parfitt had been taken ill and was undergoing tests for throat cancer. All subsequent dates of the UK tour were cancelled as a result. However, the growths in Parfitt's throat were later found to be benign and were successfully removed. In May 2006, a fully recovered Parfitt and the band returned to the NEC Birmingham to play the show that they had postponed in December. This was their 40th show at the venue, and was recorded for a DVD, entitled "Just Doin' It".

On 1 July 2007, they performed in front of 63,000 people at the newly built Wembley Stadium as part of the Concert for Diana. They also appeared on the TV programme Tiswas Reunited, in which the band got the usual greeting of custard pies and buckets of water whilst playing the song, "Gerdundula".

On 15 September 2007, Rossi and Parfitt appeared on ITV programme Who Wants To Be A Millionaire and won £50,000 for their 2 charities Ebbisham Association and Nordoff Robbins.

Their twenty-eighth studio album, In Search of the Fourth Chord, was released on the band's own Fourth Chord label in September 2007 in the UK, and on Edel Records in the rest of Europe. Produced by veteran producer Pip Williams, who had worked with Quo in the studio since 1977, the album was only moderately successful.

In 2008, they teamed up with German techno group Scooter to record a jumpstyle version of their 1979 single "Whatever You Want" entitled "Jump That Rock (Whatever You Want)". In December 2008, they released their 75th single and first Christmas single, entitled "It's Christmas Time", which peaked at No. 40 in the UK Singles Chart.

2014–present: Aquostic, Parfitt's death and Backbone

In January 2014, Wychwood Brewery announced they would be releasing a Status Quo brand of beer, named after their 1972 album Piledriver, exclusively in JD Wetherspoon pubs across the UK in February, before going on general sale in April. March 2014 saw the second 'Frantic Four' reunion tour featuring Rossi and Parfitt with original members Alan Lancaster and John Coghlan with their last gig being at The O2 in Dublin. Rossi indicated that this would be the last reunion tour of the 'Frantic Four' line-up. On 8 March 2014, Rossi and Parfitt appeared on ITV show Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway performing "Rockin' All Over the World" with McBusted.

In August 2014, it was reported that founding keyboardist Jess Jaworski had died. In October 2014, Parfitt and Rossi appeared on BBC's The One Show, performing an acoustic version of "Pictures of Matchstick Men". In May 2015, the twosome appeared on BBC's Later... with Jools Holland, to talk about their Aquostic (Stripped Bare) album. On 9 May 2015, they performed "In the Army Now" at the VE Day 70: A Party to Remember.

Performing at Partille Arena, Sweden, on 22 April 2017; left-to-right: Leon Cave (drums), Richie Malone, Francis Rossi, John "Rhino" Edwards and Andy Bown (keyboard)

On 22 October 2014 the band launched the Aquostic album with a 90-minute performance at London's Roundhouse, with the concert recorded and broadcast live by BBC Radio 2 as part of their In Concert series. Footage from the concert was later used, interspersed with interviews with Rossi and Parfitt, in BBC Four's Status Quo: Live and Acoustic, in January 2017.

On 5 June 2015 Status Quo were the headline act at Palmerston Park in Dumfries, at the stadium of Queen of the South and were supported by Reef and Big Country, in the first ever live concert at the venue.

On 1 February 2016, it was announced that Status Quo, in addition to the spring and summer dates already scheduled, would tour Europe starting in October. The final dates would take place in the UK towards the end of the year, after which the group would retire from playing 'electric' tours. The 'Last of The Electrics' tour was subsequently extended into 2017, with additional concerts outside the UK.

In September 2016 the band performed, in Aquostic line-up, at BBC Radio 2's Live in Hyde Park from Hyde Park, London.

The band's next album Aquostic II – That's a Fact! was released on 21 October 2016.

On 28 October 2016, Parfitt permanently retired from live performances after suffering a heart attack earlier the same year. On 24 December, he died in hospital in Marbella, Spain as a result of severe infection, after suffering an injury to his shoulder. Parfitt's funeral was held at Woking Crematorium on 19 January 2017. Irish guitarist Richie Malone, who had substituted for Parfitt during some 2016 live shows, took his place in the group on rhythm guitar, playing on both recorded material and at live shows. The band had to postpone a concert in June 2017 after frontman Rossi became ill.

In June 2019, Status Quo were the special guests for Lynyrd Skynyrd, on their UK farewell tour.

On 14 June 2019, the band announced that they were working on Backbone, their 33rd studio album - the first Status Quo studio album not to feature Parfitt. On 25 August 2019, the band appeared on ITV show The Sara Cox Show where Rossi spoke about the new album Backbone and also his autobiography I Talk Too Much, after which they performed an upcoming track called "Liberty Lane" as well as "Rockin All Over The World". The album was released on 6 September 2019 and it reached number 6 in the UK Albums Chart. On 15 September 2019, the band performed, at BBC Radio 2's Live in Hyde Park from Hyde Park, London for the second time. They were third from top of the bill, playing in the early evening and followed by Westlife and then The Pet Shop Boys. On Christmas Day 2019, the band appeared on Channel 4's The Great British Bake Off, performing "Rockin All Over The World". On 11 August 2020, Status Quo cancelled their forty-date Backbone UK and European tour due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to various commitments for the following year, the band are unable to reschedule these shows for 2021. On 20 August 2020, Rossi appeared on ITV daytime show This Morning and spoke about what he was doing during lockdown and the pandemic, and announced a new tour called Out Out Quoing to be scheduled for 2022.

On September 26, 2021, co-founder Alan Lancaster died at the age of 72, following a long battle with Multiple Sclerosis.


Current members

  • Francis Rossi – lead guitar, vocals (1962–present)
  • Andy Bown – keyboards, rhythm guitar, harmonica, vocals (1976–present)
  • John "Rhino" Edwards – bass, rhythm guitar, vocals (1985–present)
  • Leon Cave – drums, percussion, backing vocals (2013–present)
  • Richie Malone – rhythm guitar, vocals (2016–present)

Former members

  • Rick Parfitt – rhythm guitar, vocals (1967–2016; died 2016)
  • Alan Lancaster – bass, vocals (1962–1985; reunion – 2013–2014; died 2021)
  • John Coghlan – drums, percussion (1963–1981; reunion – 2013–2014)
  • Pete Kircher – drums, percussion, vocals (1982–1985)
  • Jeff Rich – drums, percussion (1985–2000)
  • Matt Letley – drums, percussion, vocals (2000–2013)
  • Jess Jaworski – keyboards (1962–1965; died 2014)
  • Alan Key – drums, percussion (1962–1963)
  • Roy Lynes – keyboards, vocals (1965–1970)

Remakes and cover versions

  • In 1989, American alternative rock group Camper Van Beethoven scored a number one hit on Billboard magazine's Modern Rock Tracks chart with a cover version of "Pictures of Matchstick Men". The song is from their album Key Lime Pie. British alternative rock band Kasabian released their own cover version of the same song as a B-side from their 2006 single Shoot the Runner.
  • The 1996 re-issue of the album Too-Rye-Ay by Dexys Midnight Runners contained a cover version of "Marguerita Time".
  • Ozzy Osbourne, backed by Type O Negative, covered "Pictures of Matchstick Men" as part of the soundtrack to the Howard Stern biographical movie Private Parts in 1997.
  • Towards the end of his life, DJ John Peel was known for playing "Down Down" as part of his eclectic DJ sets.
  • Arjen Lucassen (from the Dutch project Ayreon) covered "Pictures Of Matchstick Men" and "Ice in the Sun" on his solo album Strange Hobby.
  • Bad Religion guitarist Brett Gurewitz recorded a cover version of "Pictures of Matchstick Men", on his 1985 solo album Seeing Eye Gods.
  • German Power metal band Helloween covered "Rain" for their single "Power". It can also be found on the bonus disc of the special edition of their 1996 album, The Time of the Oath.

Source : Wikipedia
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Status Quo Discography

  • 1968AlbumPicturesque Matchstickable Messages from the Status Quo
  • 1970AlbumDown the Dustpipe
  • 1970AlbumMa Kelly's Greasy Spoon
  • 1971AlbumDog of Two Head
  • 1978AlbumStatus Quo At Their Best
  • 1996EPDon't Stop: The 30th Anniversary Album (Bonus Tracks)
  • 2001AlbumThe Technicolor Dreams of the Status Quo
  • 2002AlbumHeavy Traffic
  • 2004AlbumThe Complete Pye Collection
  • 2005AlbumHello
  • 2005AlbumRockin' All Over the World
  • 2007AlbumIn Search of the Fourth Chord
  • 2008EPJump That Rock (Whatever You Want)
  • 2008AlbumSingles Collection 66-73
  • 2010AlbumIn the Army Now (2010)
  • 2011AlbumQuid Pro Quo + Greatest Hits Live
  • 2011AlbumUnder the Influence (Remastered)
  • 2013AlbumBack2SQ1: The Frantic Four Reunion 2013 (Live At Wembley)
  • 2013AlbumBack2sq1-The Frantic Four Reunion 2013 (Live at Wembley)
  • 2013AlbumBack2sq1: The Frantic Four Reunion 2013 (Live at Hammersmith)
  • 2013AlbumBula Quo!
  • 2013AlbumStatus Quo Live
  • 2014SingleAnd It's Better Now
  • 2014AlbumAquostic (Stripped Bare) [Deluxe Version]
  • 2014SinglePictures of Matchstick Men
  • 2014AlbumThe Frantic Four's Final Fling - Live at the Dublin O2 Arena
  • 2015AlbumAquostic! Live at the Roundhouse
  • 2016AlbumAquostic Ii-That's a Fact!
  • 2016AlbumQuotable Quo
  • 2016AlbumQuotations
  • 2016AlbumSecond Thoughts
  • 2017AlbumThe Last Night of the Electrics
  • 2018AlbumDown Down & Dignified at the Royal Albert Hall (Live)
  • 2018AlbumDown Down & Dirty at Wacken
  • 2019AlbumBackbone
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