Everybody has to sometimes break the rules....
Released May 1974
After the all-out attack of "Hello!" from 1973, this album the next year is pretty much more of the same. Eight rocking tracks, the last one eight minutes long. That was the blueprint and it was followed here. Another interesting thing Quo often did was introduce songs with various un-Quo like bits of music that, after a short while, launched powerfully into typical Quo riffery. Check out the first two cuts, especially, for examples.
2. Just Take Me
3. Break The Rules
4. Drifting Away
5. Don't Think It Matters
6. Fine Fine Fine
7. Lonely Man
8. Slow Train
9. Lonely Night (bonus track)
"Backwater" begins with a solid, slow rock riff, before veering off into a quieter phase and then, guess what - Quo's trademark riff arrives and Francis Rossi's distinctive voice heralds another heads-down, no-nonsense boogie. It has an almost Slade-esque glam rock stomp to it. It merges straight into the quirky drum rhythm of "Just Take Me" which soon settles into an almost funky (and even punky) guitar riff. There is considerable rhythm and groove to this track, something Quo were not known for. What they were known for was bar-room blues rock, and the album's hit single, "Break The Rules" gave us that. Solid Quo blues all the way. It includes some boogie-woogie piano, which was slightly unusual.
"Drifting Away" is straight into a muscular, fast-paced Quo backing. It is a wonderful rocker. It has a thumping bass sound too. "Don't Think It Matters" is a chugging, somewhat predictable number, but eminently strong all the same. "Fine Fine Fine" is more upbeat and lively, catchy even. On most of their albums, Quo would include a somewhat dreamy, Led Zeppelin III-esque slower number. On this one, it is "Lonely Man", although even on this one, some heavy duty guitar and drums come in half way through. It is a pretty impressive track.
"Slow Train" is the album's big closer. Its first passages are serious Quo riffing. It features some excellent soling in the middle - more than just a few chords. In mutates into an Irish jig and then a drum solo before the Quo we know and love come storming back. "Lonely Night", the latest release's bonus track, is another typical Quo rocker. Look, this album barely deviates from the Quo formula. No reason that it should, really, this was Status Quo at their rocking seventies peak. More power to them.