By Steve Newton
One of my favourite things to do as a music-crazed teen in the ’70s was to go to record stores and buy albums based solely on how rockin’ they looked.
I can still remember checking out the record bins and laying my eyes on a 1972 album by a group that I’d never heard before called Status Quo. The album was called Piledriver. Did it ever look rockin’:
I snapped that sucker up and took it home and spent many an hour transfixed by its straightforward guitar-boogie. I was especially fond of a song called “Big Fat Mama”, which was fast and then slow and then fast again and went on for like six minutes or so.
Thoroughly impressed, the following year I picked up the band’s Hello! album, which was just as good if not better. All the songs were basically the same, but that didn’t bother me none. I was also a fan of AC/DC.
Still, after the band’s next album, 1974’s Quo, I kinda stopped loving it. Maybe my straightforward guitar-boogie phase had run its course.
But if you’re one of those hardcore Quo fans who never tired of that sound–there’s quite a few still living in Britain, I believe–you may be happy to hear that Universal Music will release a four-CD boxed set titled Status Quo Live! in September.
Those hardcore Quo fans might own half of the 35-track set already, though, since it’s first two discs comprise the same Live! album previously issued way back in ’77. The other two discs are Tokyo Quo, a Japan-only release that was released on vinyl in the UK for Record Store Day this year, and Australia ’74, which features 13 previously unreleased live performances recorded in Sydney.
The good news is that the package–which includes a 36-page booklet with extensive notes and rare photos–boasts no less than three different live versions of “Big Fat Mama”.
That’s a whole lotta mama!
Disc 1 – ‘Live!’
Junior’s Wailing / Backwater – Just Take Me / Is There A Better Way / In My Chair / Little Lady – Most Of The Time / Rain / Forty Five Hundred Times
Disc 2 – ‘Live!’
Roll Over Lay Down / Big Fat Mama / Don’t Waste My Time / Roadhouse Blues / Caroline / Bye Bye Johnny
Disc 3 – ‘Tokyo Quo’
Is There A Better Way / Little Lady / Most Of The Time / Rain / Caroline / Roll Over Lay Down / Big Fat Mama / Don’t Waste My Time / Bye Bye Johnny
Disc 4 – ‘Live Sydney’
Junior’s Wailing / Backwater / Just Take Me / Claudie / Railroad / Roll Over Lay Down / Big Fat Mama / Don’t Waste My Time / Roadhouse Blues Part One / Roadhouse Blues Part Two / Caroline / Drum Solo / Bye Bye Johnny