Monday, 29 July 2019

Status Quo - Live (1976)

Roll over lay down....


Recorded live at the Glasgow Apollo in 1976

Running time 92.14

As the seventies progressed, most rock bands/artists released a live double album - Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, The Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Thin Lizzy amongst others. Why, even the relatively unknown Peter Frampton scored a huge commercial success with Frampton Comes Alive. Status Quo had been big for several years by the release of this live album, with many chart hits and impressively-selling albums. This was Quo at their best, before they became "national treasures", for ever more providing singalongs for nostalgists. They main thing the album shows is just what a fine, credible rock band Quo were at this time. The concert is loud, abrasive and exciting from beginning to end. It is not simple a "greatest hits", it covers tracks from the early seventies when they were still unsure whether switching from hippy psychedelia to riffy, blues rock was a good idea or not, through their mid-seventies albums and also giving us some of their big hits.

The gig opens with Junior's Wailing from 1975's On The Level before progressing to Backwater and Just Take Me 1974's Quo. The rocking, punky Is There A Better Way comes from their latest album at the time, Blue For You. In My Chair is a rare single-only release dating from 1970. It was of their first ventures into a busier, heavier sound. Little Lady and Most Of The Time are from On The Level.

The wonderful, heads-down, copper-bottomed blues rock of Rain is from Blue For You while the extended jam of Forty-Five Hundred Times is from 1973's Hello, as is the single Roll Over Lay Down. Big Fat Mama, Don't Waste My Time and the mammoth Roadhouse Blues date from 1972's Piledriver.  Finally, you get the huge rocking, riffy hit Caroline and a cover of Chuck Berry's Bye Bye Johnny.

With regard to the two extended performances - Forty-Five Hundred Times and Roadhouse Blues, sixteen minutes and fourteen minutes respectively, they said that they simply played the song, then carried on improvising, unrehearsed until one of them nodded to stop. Innovative rock at its best. Jimi Hendrix would have been impressed.

The sound quality is good and the band's performance is raw and enthusiastic. The interplay between the two lead guitars, bass and drums is sensational. Just check out when Most Of The Time kicks into action. The whole album serves as a reminder that when Status Quo were like this, they were very good indeed. Funnily enough, in retrospect, Francis Rossi subsequently said he hated the band's performance. Rick Parfitt, on the other and, said much of it still "gave him goosebumps".


1. Junior's Wailing
2. Backwater/Just Take Me
3. Is There A Better Way
4. In My Chair
5. Little Lady/Most Of The Time
6. Rain
7. Forty-Five Hundred Times
8. Roll Over Lay Down
9. Big Fat Mama
10. Don't Waste My Time
11. Roadhouse Blues
12. Caroline
13. Bye Bye Johnny