Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Hello! Guilty Pleasure
Christopher Browning | Atlanta, GA | 06/28/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Many pleasures in life are privately enjoyed, yet publicly decried. Reading intentionally disposable magazines, watching mindless television, surfing the Internet--all relaxation in the form of guilty pleasures. In the realm of popular music, Status Quo is a guilty pleasure. Status Quo's fans concede that the group is an oddity, something that cannot be explained, but which nonetheless enjoys unparalleled success in Britain and embarks routinely on world tours (which, sadly, do not often include North America). The Hello! recording, in particular, has immediate historical relevance for North Americans, though. The Hello! album cover was the model for the Spinal Tap recording that would emulate it, just as Status Quo itself was the primary model for Spinal Tap, the band. Hello! is also the recording that cemented Status Quo's music in the rock annals. The songs exhibit the songwriting that launched the band's superstardom in most of the world. "Roll Over Lay Down" is a tongue-in-cheek lyrical paean to bed space, which, like all true art, remains open to interpretation, and, like all great guitar-rock, literally "takes off" in the middle. "Claudie" and "Reason for Living" display the Fender Telecaster-driven countryesque underbelly that, while certainly not in vogue with most heavy-rock fans in the early '70s, was nevertheless part of Status Quo's enigmatic musical recipe. "Blue Eyed Lady" embodies the '70s social scene, as it evidences the Gibson SG "growl" that was working its way into the mix. "Caroline" is perhaps the ultimate Status Quo song, a seemingly simple, deceptively easy, catchy rock'n'roll song, ala Chuck Berry. "Softer Ride" sublimely peels the onion of the Quo groove, while it captures the rebel philosophy, circa '73 (albeit ironic at this point for such a long-lived working band). "And It's Better Now" breathes the collective sigh of artistic success, with shades of the skiffle music that also informs the band's musical background. And lastly, "Forty-Five Hundred Times"--a quintessential Quo tour-de-force, starting in the jangly pathos of the Everly Brothers-like past before proceeding into the propulsive, stormy stamping ground that would itself later precipitate metal-rock music--rounds out the set. Hello! is the recording that Status Quo band members recommend as a starting place for those unfamiliar with their music. It would be accurate to say that those with an interest in popular music cannot truly appreciate its evolution without an understanding of the role Status Quo has played (and still plays) in that music. But, as Ray Liotta's character in the movie Corrina, Corrina quotes, "Writing about music is like dancing about architecture." And nothing could be truer when it comes to Status Quo. What makes their music outstanding is the phenomenological interaction of guitarist-songwriters Francis Rossi and Rick Parfitt. Not unlike Beatles Lennon and McCartney, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. If you want to hear something that was (and still is) not quite like anything you've ever heard, click Hello!, and give the Matchstick Men a listen (don't forget to Turn It Up...)."
The Three Stages of Status Quo
D. Christen | Rushville, IN United States | 11/07/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you grew up in the USA, you probably did not hear too much of Status Quo after their early hit in the sixties 'Pictures of Matchstick Men'. Generally, you can group their albums into three stages : Their 'Early years' which ended with their 'Dog of two heads' album - their 'Great year' which started with 'Piledriver' and ended with 'Back to Back' and then there are the 'It's all downhill from here' years which started with the 'In the Army Now' album and just won't end ! If you only want three Status Quo albums, buy their 1976 'Live' double CD, the 1979 'Whatever you Want' album (if you are lucky, you might find the 'Whatever you Want / Just Supposin' ' CD which unfortunately does not include the fantastic 'High Flyer' that was released on vinyl only) and buy this album - 1973's 'Hello !'. During this time period, Quo were on top of the world, or at least on top of Europe. They finally found their niche with 'Piledriver' and with this album they mastered their science. 'Roll over lay down' gets things started and is followed by `Claudie', which is one of Francis Rossi's finest moments. 'Reason for Living' is a hopping little Quo piece and 'Blue Eyed Lady' must be the most underrated Quo track ever. It shows, that these guys could really play ! Side two of the original vinyl album starts with THE Quo classic: 'Caroline'. 'Softer Ride' keeps on rocking' and the most quiet part of this album is 'And it's better now'. And then comes the 9 minute boogie explosion of 'Forty-Five Hundred Times' - I guarantee, these are some of the best 9 minutes you have heard from any rock group. If you still have some money left after buying the three albums mentioned above, get the 1974 release 'Quo' which is their hardest album ever (thanks to the major contribution of founding member and bass player Alan Lancaster) - but 'Hello' presents Status Quo at their best !"
Nicole Emery | Brussels Belgium | 09/03/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"...do yourself a favour and buy one the 70's Quo albums!
Hello, Piledrive, On the level ,Quo, live ,blue for you...all five stars.
It's a hundred percent BOOGIE, not too bright but so well done!
The rythm section is just a rollin' machine, a solid foundation to guitar harmonies and blasting solos.
Hello is one their finest work, not a single bad or even so-so song.
So buy it, turn the volume up to 11 on a 10 scale and let's BOOGIE!!"