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Sunday, May 26, 2024

Status Quo - On the Level

Still have my late friend Jimi's records in my front room so I will be sure to listen to them. That is what one does with records. As I like writing about music I think I may just turn to them from time to time to share my thoughts about them and get all nostalgic and shit. Few, if any, of them were released after the '80s. That's my one and final warning.

First up is Status Quo's 'On the Level'. Like many records in Jimi's collection I too have a copy of this one and have long cherished it. It was the lone Status Quo record Jimi owned so I think it is fair comment to conclude it was his favourite record by a band that has sold in the neighbourhood of 120 million records and counting.

First song is 'Little Lady'. Three minutes of the full tilt boogie it is. Status Quo's bread and butter. As Status Quo sold most of their records in Britain I have to compare them to an American or Canadian band to give people on this side of the Atlantic an idea of what they sound like. I usually compare them with the rough edged boogie pop of ZZ Top.

Next is 'Most of the Time'. An introspective number it is, something the Quo were masters at. The sort of song that might just make your girl snuggle you a little closer on the couch or the car back seat you are sharing..

Back to the full tilt boogie for song three, 'I Saw the Light'. These fuckers could sure bring the long haired motherfucking boogie.

Song four, 'Over and Done', finds the band really hitting its groove. Nothing like a good break up song is there? Hooky as Bobby Hull's hockey stick this one is.

'Nightride' ends side one for those of us privileged to own a turntable. They gear down the boogie on this one but it still kicks you in the head pretty fucking hard. 

Fuck were these guys good.

Second side leads off with 'Down Down'. This was legendary British dj John Peel's second favourite song if memory serves. From the opening guitar chords on this is without a doubt one of the best, most energetic, songs ever written. Headbanging material this one. 5 minutes and 24 seconds of pure fucking joy. I always turn the amplifier up to 11 for this one.

'Broken Man' follows. Sweet number this. All melodic guitars, miss my girlfriend so fucking much sort of song. Lovely concise guitar solo, something of a Quo trademark. Really got my left toe tapping just like it has done for 50 years. Toe tapping is important.

Back to the boogie with 'What To Do'. I wonder how many times I turned this one up at parties. I never know what to fucking do either I guess.

Aside from not knowing what to fucking do I don't know where the fuck I am half the time either. Band slows it right down for 'Where I Am'. Boys could handle a gentle song with the best of them and it sets their listeners up for the album's closing number 'Bye Bye Johnny' which had the same impact on me as a young man as Slade's version on 'Born to be Wild' on their epic early '70s live album.

Final grooves are filled with a football terrace chant which reminds me of the best days of my life on the terraces of Upton Park. 

Status Quo. My favourite band until I heard the Sex Pistols. I loved them. Jimi loved them. If you do not have the records they made between '70 and '78 I suggest you fix that.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U77Yfm2ZCx4&list=PLA7JjreSl-31zcAezaEBEM575ZDwJxxjM





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