Status Quo (band)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Status Quo
Status Quo performing in 2017 From left: Leon Cave (on drums), Richie Malone, Francis Rossi, John Edwards, Andy Bown
Status Quo performing in 2017
From left: Leon Cave (on drums), Richie Malone, Francis Rossi, John Edwards, Andy Bown
Background information
Also known asThe Paladins (1962–1963)
The Spectres (1963–1967)
Traffic Jam (1967)
The Status Quo (1967–1969)
OriginLondon, England
DiscographyStatus Quo discography
Years active1962–1984
Past membersSee: Personnel

Status Quo are a British rock band. The group originated in London and was founded in 1962 by Francis Rossi and Alan Lancaster while they were still schoolboys.[1][2] After a number of name and lineup changes, which included the introduction of John Coghlan in 1963 and Rick Parfitt in 1967, the band became The Status Quo in 1967 and Status Quo in 1969. As of 2022, the group have been active for 60 consecutive years (despite announcing a breakup in 1984, they played Live Aid the following year and resumed normal activities in 1986).[3]

They have had over 60 chart hits in the UK – more than any other band[4] – including "Pictures of Matchstick Men", "Down Down", "Rockin' All Over the World", "Whatever You Want", "In the Army Now", and "What You're Proposing". Twenty-two of these reached the Top 10 in the UK Singles Chart, and fifty-seven reached the Top 40.[5] They have released over 100 singles and 33 albums, most of which were bestsellers. Since reaching number 5 on the UK albums chart in 1972 with Piledriver, Status Quo have achieved a career total of 25 UK top ten albums, extending all the way up to their most recent release, Backbone, in 2019. In 2012, they were announced as the tenth best-selling group of all time on the UK Singles Chart with 7.2 million singles sales in their homeland alone.[6] As of 2015, they were one of only 50 artists to have achieved more than 500 total weeks on the UK Albums Chart.[7] With their various records for both single and album releases, Status Quo are one of the most successful and bestselling bands of all time, especially in their home country.

In July 1985 the band opened Live Aid at Wembley Stadium with "Rockin' All Over the World".[8] In 1991, Status Quo received a Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music.[9] In 2014, preparing to headline that year's Download Festival, Status Quo won the Service to Rock award at the Kerrang! Awards.[10] Status Quo appeared on the BBC's Top of the Pops more than any other band.[11] Their success and longevity as well, in part, as their connections to the British Royal Family, including philanthropic work with the Prince's Trust, have seen them frequently described as a "national institution" by the media.[12][13][14] The band have sold approximately 108-118 million records worldwide.[15]


1962–1967: Formative years[edit]

Status Quo were formed in 1962 under the name The Paladins[16] by Francis Rossi (vocals, guitar) and Alan Lancaster (bass) at Sedgehill Comprehensive School, Catford, London, along with classmates Jess Jaworski (keyboards) and Alan Key (drums).[1] Rossi and Lancaster played their first gig at the Samuel Jones Sports Club in Dulwich, London. In 1963, Key was replaced by John Coghlan and the band changed their name to The Spectres.[2] After changing their name, Lancaster's father arranged for the group to perform weekly at a venue called the Samuel Jones Sports Club, where they were noticed by Pat Barlow, a gasfitter and budding pop music manager. Barlow became the group's manager and secured them spots at venues around London, such as El Partido in Lewisham and Café des Artistes in Chelsea.[17] In 1965, when Rossi, Lancaster and Jaworski left school, Jaworski opted to leave the band and was replaced by Roy Lynes.[18]

They began writing their own material, and later that year met Rick Parfitt who was playing with a cabaret band called The Highlights. By the end of 1965, Rossi and Parfitt – who had become close friends after meeting at Butlins – made a commitment to continue working together. On 18 July 1966, the Spectres signed a five-year deal with Piccadilly Records, releasing two singles that year, "I (Who Have Nothing)" (first recorded by Joe Sentieri and most famously covered by Tom Jones) and "Hurdy Gurdy Man" (an original song by Alan Lancaster), and one the next year called "(We Ain't Got) Nothin' Yet" (originally recorded by New York psychedelic band the Blues Magoos).[2] All three singles failed to make an impact on the charts.[19]

In 1967, the group's sound began moving towards psychedelia and they renamed themselves Traffic, but were soon forced to change it to Traffic Jam to avoid confusion with Steve Winwood's Traffic, following an argument over who had registered the name first.[19] The band secured an appearance on BBC Radio's Saturday Club, but in June their next single, "Almost But Not Quite There" (an original song by Francis Rossi), underperformed. The following month saw Parfitt, at the request of manager Pat Barlow, joining the band as rhythm guitarist and vocalist. Shortly after Parfitt's recruitment, in August 1967, the band officially became The Status Quo.[20]

1968–1971: Breakthrough and development of classic style[edit]

The Status Quo in 1968, from a promotional poster for the single "Black Veils of Melancholy" – clockwise from top: Francis Rossi, John Coghlan, Rick Parfitt, Roy Lynes, Alan Lancaster

In January 1968, the group released the psychedelic-flavoured "Pictures of Matchstick Men".[19] The song hit the UK Singles Chart, reaching number seven; "Matchstick Men" became the group's only Top 40 hit in the United States, peaking at number twelve on the Billboard Hot 100.[2] Although Status Quo's albums have been released in the United States throughout their career, they never achieved the same level of success there as they have in Britain.[2] Though the follow-up was the unsuccessful single "Black Veils of Melancholy", they had a hit again the same year with a pop song penned by Marty Wilde and Ronnie Scott, "Ice in the Sun", which climbed to number eight.[19] All three singles were included on the band's first album Picturesque Matchstickable Messages from the Status Quo, released in September 1968. After the breakthrough, the band management hired Bob Young as a roadie and tour manager. Over the years Young became one of the most important songwriting partners for Status Quo, in addition to occasionally playing harmonica with them on stage and on record.

After their second album, 1969's Spare Parts, failed commercially, the band's musical direction moved away from psychedelia towards a more hard rock/boogie rock sound. The change in sound also brought a change in image, away from Carnaby Street fashions to faded denims and T-shirts, an image which was to become their trademark throughout the 1970s.[19] The new direction was first displayed on the band's third album, 1970's Ma Kelly's Greasy Spoon and its preceding single "Down the Dustpipe". Lynes left the band in 1970 with the remaining members continuing as a four-piece, although they were often joined in the studio by guest keyboard players including Jimmy Horowitz, Tom Parker and Andy Bown, the latter an ex-member of The Herd and Judas Jump and part of the Peter Frampton Band.[21] In 1976, Bown also began playing live with the band and was eventually made an official member of Status Quo in 1981. The band's first recording without Lynes was the late 1970 single "In My Chair", followed by their fourth album Dog of Two Head in 1971.

1972–1981: Signing to Vertigo and major success[edit]

The "Frantic Four" lineup; left-to-right: Francis Rossi, Rick Parfitt and Alan Lancaster (obscured: John Coghlan) performing at the Hammersmith Odeon in London, 1978

In 1972 the band left Pye Records and signed with the heavy rock and progressive label Vertigo Records.[2] Their first album for Vertigo, Piledriver, was released in 1972, going Top 5 in the UK. Piledriver heralded an even heavier, self-produced sound.[19] This album was essentially the stylistic template for their next four albums, Hello! (1973), Quo (1974), On the Level (1975) and Blue for You (1976).[2] Hello! was the band's first UK No. 1 album, while Quo reached No. 2 and On the Level and Blue for You both also reached No. 1. In 1976, they signed a pioneering sponsorship deal with Levi's.[19] The following year the group released a double Live! album, which reached No. 3 in the UK.

Quo's hit singles from this era, with peak UK chart position and year, include: "Paper Plane" (No. 8 in 1972), "Caroline" (No. 5 in 1973), "Break The Rules" (No. 8 in 1974), "Down Down" (No. 1 in 1975), "Roll Over Lay Down" (No. 10 in 1975), "Rain" (No. 7 in 1976), "Mystery Song" (No. 11 in 1976), "Wild Side of Life" (No. 9 in 1976), "Rockin' All Over the World" (No. 3 in 1977), "Again and Again" (No. 13 in 1978), "Whatever You Want" (No. 4 in 1979), "Living on an Island" (No. 16 in 1979), "What You're Proposing" (No. 2 in 1980), the double A-side "Lies" and "Don't Drive My Car" (No. 11 in 1980), "Somethin' 'Bout You Baby I Like" (No. 9 in 1981) and " Rock 'n' Roll" (No. 8 in 1981).[22] "Down Down" topped the UK Singles Chart in January 1975, becoming their only UK No. 1 single to date.[23]

From 1977 onwards, the band's sound became more polished as they began to employ outside producers. Roger Glover of Deep Purple and Rainbow was the first outside producer to work with Quo since Pye's John Schroeder in the early 1970s, and produced the non-album single "Wild Side of Life" and its B-side "All Through The Night" in 1976. The next three studio albums, Rockin' All Over the World (1977), If You Can't Stand the Heat... (1978) and Whatever You Want (1979), were produced by Pip Williams, while the band's first two albums of the 1980s, Just Supposin' (1980) and Never Too Late (1981), were produced by John Eden. All five of these albums went Top 5 in the UK. The title track of Rockin' All Over the World, a minor hit for its writer John Fogerty (formerly of Creedence Clearwater Revival), became one of Status Quo's most enduring anthems.[19] In 1980 the band released a No. 3 charting greatest hits album 12 Gold Bars.

1981–1990: Lineup changes, Live Aid and In The Army Now[edit]

Tensions within the band saw Coghlan leaving late in 1981.[2] His replacement was Pete Kircher from the 1960s pop band Honeybus.[2] Andy Bown also became an official member of the band at this time. This line-up recorded three albums, 1+9+8+2, Live at the N.E.C. and Back to Back in 1982 and 1983. Although contracted to record more albums, this line-up played its last full-length gig on 21 July 1984 at the Milton Keynes Bowl. "Everybody was coked-up and hating each other", Rossi recalled, "and I'd started drinking tequila on that tour. I don't remember that show at all – the encores or anything; just falling flat on my back at one point."[24] "Deciding to retire from the road – all that was about was getting Francis a solo career," declared Lancaster. "Nobody on the outside knew it, but he didn't want to work with me or Rick anymore."[25] In 1984, the band released a cover of "The Wanderer" by Dion as a single from 12 Gold Bars Vol. 2, which reached No. 7 while the album reached No. 12.[26]

Status Quo's final appearance with the Kircher line-up opened the Live Aid charity event at Wembley Stadium in July 1985.[8] That year, Rossi recorded and released two solo singles with long-time writing partner Bernie Frost. Parfitt recorded a solo album, Recorded Delivery, with bass player John "Rhino" Edwards and drummer Jeff Rich. The album remains unreleased, although some tracks were reworked and released sporadically as Quo B-sides until 1987.

In mid-1985, Rossi, Parfitt and Bown, with Edwards and Rich, started work on a new Quo album. Lancaster – by this time more or less settled in Australia – took out a legal injunction to stop the band using the Status Quo name,[27] citing increasing musical differences, notably during sessions for Back to Back. The specific dispute concerned two tracks that became hits for the group around that time. Lancaster had co-written "Ol' Rag Blues", but was angered when the producers chose to release a version with Rossi singing the lead vocal instead of one sung by himself. The injunction also prevented the release of a single, "Naughty Girl", for which a catalogue number was issued by Vertigo.

An out-of-court settlement was made in January 1986, giving Rossi and Parfitt the rights to the band's name,[28] enabling the new Status Quo line-up to continue recording In The Army Now,[29] for which "Naughty Girl" was reworked as "Dreamin'". Lancaster remained in Australia, and in 1986 joined an Australian supergroup, The Party Boys, featuring Angry Anderson of Rose Tattoo, John Brewster of the Angels and Kevin Borich, but achieved little success outside Australia. Lancaster left Status Quo formally in 1987.

In 1986, Quo supported Queen on the latter's Magic Tour. The commercially successful In the Army Now album was released later that year, peaking at No. 7 on the UK Albums Chart.[26] Its title track became one of the band's biggest UK singles, reaching No. 2.[19] The following album, Ain't Complaining, in 1988, was less successful but produced the No. 5 hit "Burning Bridges".[26] Rerecorded (with new lyrics) in April 1994 with Manchester United F.C. as "Come On You Reds", the single would have given the band their second UK No. 1, but it was credited as 'by Manchester United'. The following album, 1989's Perfect Remedy, became their first since 1971's Dog of Two Head not to go Top 20 in the UK. In 1990 the band scored their last UK Top 10 single with "The Anniversary Waltz Part One", a medley of rock and roll classics to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Rossi and Parfitt's first meeting. The track was recorded for a new greatest hits album Rocking All Over the Years, which reached No. 1 in the UK, while a follow-up medley "The Anniversary Waltz Part Two" appeared as a single at the end of the year.[26]

1991–2009: Rock 'Til You Drop, "Fun, Fun, Fun" and touring[edit]

The early-to-mid-1990s saw falling album sales for the band. To promote the release of the Rock 'til You Drop album (1991), Quo performed four arena gigs in Sheffield, Glasgow, Birmingham and London in the space of 12 hours, earning them a place in the Guinness Book of World Records.[30] 1992 brought the band's third live album, Live Alive Quo. The next studio album, 1994's Thirsty Work, included a cover of the Jennifer Warnes song "I'm Restless" revealing an alternative and lighter sound to the band.[19] Don't Stop (1996), and Famous in the Last Century (2000) consisted almost entirely of cover versions, (with the only exception being the title track to the latter). The former brought some chart success for Quo with covers of Fleetwood Mac's "Don't Stop" and The Beach Boys' "Fun, Fun, Fun". The band became involved in an acrimonious dispute with Radio 1 after the station refused to include the "Fun Fun Fun" single on the radio station's playlist.[19] In 1993, Francis Rossi and Rick Parfitt attracted a crowd of over 25,000 when they performed the annual Blackpool Illuminations lights switch-on.

Parfitt underwent quadruple by-pass surgery in 1997, but was able to make a full recovery and returned with a performance at the Norwich City Football Club ground Carrow Road three months later. Status Quo also returned to Australia in 1997, completing their first tour there since 1978. A greatest hits album, Whatever You Want – The Very Best of Status Quo was also released, achieving silver sales in the UK that year. In 1999, Quo toured Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland. Dubbed the 'Last Night of the Proms', the band were backed by a full orchestra during the concerts. That same year also saw the release of the album Under the Influence.

Rich left in 2000 and was replaced by Matt Letley. Andrew Bown also took a year off at the same time following the death of his wife, and was temporarily replaced on stage by Paul Hirsh, formerly of Voyager. In November 2000, the band played a gig at Grandchester in the outback in Australia, performing on a carriage of Australia's Orient Express, the Great South Pacific Express.

Performing at Arrow Rock Festival in Lichtenvoorde, the Netherlands in 2006; left-to-right: Parfitt, Rossi, Matt Letley (obscured by drums), John "Rhino" Edwards

Between 2002 and 2005, Quo released the albums Heavy Traffic, Riffs and The Party Ain't Over Yet. Another greatest hits album, XS All Areas – The Greatest Hits, appeared in 2004 with two new songs, "You'll Come 'Round" and "Thinking of You". In 2005 Rossi and Parfitt made cameo appearances in the long-running ITV soap opera Coronation Street in a storyline which involved them being sued by the notorious layabout Les Battersby, and performing live at his wedding as compensation.

In December 2005, it was announced that Parfitt had been taken ill and was undergoing tests for throat cancer. All subsequent dates of the UK tour were cancelled as a result. However, the growths in Parfitt's throat were later found to be benign and were successfully removed. In May 2006, a fully recovered Parfitt and the band returned to the NEC Birmingham to play the show that they had postponed in December. This was their 40th show at the venue, and was filmed for a DVD, entitled Just Doin' It.

Handprints of Rossi and Parfitt of Status Quo at the Wembley Square of Fame in London

On 1 July 2007, they performed in front of 63,000 people at the newly built Wembley Stadium as part of the Concert for Diana. They also appeared on the TV programme Tiswas Reunited, in which the band got the usual greeting of custard pies and buckets of water whilst playing the song, "Gerdundula". On 15 September 2007, Rossi and Parfitt appeared on ITV programme Who Wants To Be A Millionaire and won £50,000 for their 2 charities Ebbisham Association and Nordoff Robbins.

Their twenty-eighth studio album, In Search of the Fourth Chord, was released on the band's own Fourth Chord label in September 2007 in the UK, and on Edel Records in the rest of Europe. The title is a self-satirical response[31] to the frequent criticism that they are a three-chord band.[32] Produced by veteran producer Pip Williams, who had worked with Quo in the studio since 1977, the album was only moderately successful.

In 2008, they teamed up with German techno group Scooter to record a jumpstyle version of their 1979 single "Whatever You Want" entitled "Jump That Rock (Whatever You Want)".[33] In December 2008, they released their 75th single and first Christmas single, entitled "It's Christmas Time", which peaked at No. 40 in the UK Singles Chart.[34] The track was from the new Pictures – 40 Years of Hits greatest hits album. The following year a live album and DVD, Pictures – Live at Montreux, was released.

2010–2013: Hello Quo, "Frantic Four" reunion tours and Bula Quo![edit]

Rossi and Parfitt were each awarded the OBE in the 2010 New Year Honours for services to music and their long-standing charity work,[35] including for The Prince's Trust, British Heart Foundation and Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy. Classic Rock magazine reported on 17 March 2010 that the band had patched up their relationship with Lancaster, and were discussing the possibility of a future collaboration.[36] The article stated "While the band are back on friendly terms with Alan, it's unlikely we'll see any future reunion, with Quo continuing as normal and Lancaster busy with charity events and overseeing the activities of his son's band The Presence".[36]

On 20 September 2010, Status Quo was honoured with a PRS for Music plaque commemorating their first gig at the Welcome Inn in Well Hall Road, Eltham, where the band first performed in 1967.[37] Later that month, on 26 September, a new version of "In the Army Now" was released through Universal / UMC, with all profits from this updated and lyrically reworked version donated equally to the British Forces Foundation and Help for Heroes charities.[38][39] Live at the BBC, a box set of sessions, live concerts and TV appearances at the BBC was released on 24 October 2010.[40] The set was released in various formats: a full 7CD and 1DVD version covering almost all appearances, while the 2CD and 4CD versions present some highlights; the DVD was also released individually.[40]

Their twenty-ninth studio album, Quid Pro Quo, was released in a deluxe format exclusively at Tesco on 30 May 2011. The regular edition was released elsewhere on 6 June.[41] The album peaked at No. 10 on the UK chart.[26] December 2011 saw Status Quo undertake their first all-arenas UK winter tour. Quo also performed for the first time at The O2 in London. The tour was dubbed Quofest and featured Roy Wood and Kim Wilde as support for all shows, and joining the band during the encore.

The band's first cinematic documentary, Hello Quo!, was filmed in 2011 with director Alan G. Parker;[42] it screened in cinemas on 22 October 2012, and was released on Blu-ray and DVD the following week.[43] The movie included contributions from Brian May, Jeff Lynne, Cliff Richard, Joe Elliott, Paul Weller, Joe Brown, Jim Lea, Andy Scott and Steve Diggle.

Parfitt and Rossi at the UK film premiere of Bula Quo! in July 2013.

In April 2012, Status Quo announced they were shooting their first feature film, over several weeks in Fiji. A 90-minute action comedy, entitled Bula Quo!, taking its name from the islanders' traditional Fijian greeting, and also referencing the title of the band's best-selling album, Hello! featuring the band as themselves, and also starring Jon Lovitz, Craig Fairbrass and Laura Aikman.[44] The film was directed by Stuart St. Paul, produced by Tim Major and was released in cinemas on 5 July 2013. The film was accompanied by a soundtrack album of the same name, the band's 30th studio album, released on 10 June. It featured nine new songs and ten re-records and live tracks. Bula Quo! debuted in the UK chart at number 10.[45]

On 9 July 2012, the band released the single "The Winner" for the 2012 Summer Olympics. In July 2012 Coles, an Australian national supermarket chain, signed Status Quo to record a version of "Down Down" using Coles' tag line 'Down, down, prices are down'.[46] In September 2012, the band performed at Hyde Park for BBC Radio 2 Live in Hyde Park. In November 2012, Coles continued their association with Status Quo, producing a series of television adverts with the band appearing and performing "It's Christmas Time". In 2013, new adverts were released by Coles with Quo using "Whatever You Want" as the new jingle.

In December that year, Quo toured under the Quofest banner for a second year, this time supported by Bonnie Tyler and Eddie and the Hot Rods. In December 2012, Letley announced his decision to leave the band after 12 years, and subsequently departed following completion of their 2012 winter tour.[47] However, Letley toured with Quo their Australia and Mexico tour in March and April 2013, due to limited time to find a new drummer after the Frantic Four Tour.

The 1970–81 line-up (Rossi, Parfitt, Lancaster and Coghlan) reunited as "The Frantic Four" in March 2013 for a series of dates in Manchester, Wolverhampton, Glasgow and London. Three live albums were issued from the tour, covering the O2 Academy in Glasgow (9 and 10 March 2013), the Hammersmith Apollo (15 and 16 March 2013) and the last date of the tour at Wembley Arena (17 March 2013), with the Wembley show also being filmed for a DVD.[48]

In May 2013, Leon Cave became Quo's new drummer.[44] In the latter months of 2013, Status Quo embarked on their Bula Quo tour, supported by Uriah Heep on German dates, and by 10cc in the UK.[citation needed] This was followed by nine concert dates in the UK during 2014.[49] On 25 November 2013, it was announced that Status Quo would headline the second stage at the Download Festival in June 2014.

2014–present: Aquostic, Parfitt's death and Backbone[edit]

In January 2014, Wychwood Brewery announced they would be releasing a Status Quo brand of beer, named after their 1972 album Piledriver, exclusively in JD Wetherspoon pubs across the UK in February, before going on general sale in April. March 2014 saw the second 'Frantic Four' reunion tour featuring Rossi and Parfitt with original members Lancaster and Coghlan with their last gig being at The O2 in Dublin, which was recorded and filmed for album and DVD release, both titled The Frantic Four's Final Fling. Rossi indicated that this would be the last reunion tour of the 'Frantic Four' line-up.[50] On 8 March 2014, Rossi and Parfitt appeared on ITV show Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway performing "Rockin' All Over the World" with McBusted.[51]

Parfitt and Rossi performing at Festival Pause Guitare, 2015

In August 2014, it was reported that founding keyboardist Jess Jaworski had died.[52] In October 2014, Parfitt and Rossi appeared on BBC's The One Show, performing an acoustic version of "Pictures of Matchstick Men".[53] In May 2015, the twosome appeared on BBC's Later... with Jools Holland, to talk about their Aquostic – Stripped Bare album. On 9 May 2015, they performed "In the Army Now" at the VE Day 70: A Party to Remember.[54]

On 22 October 2014, the band launched the Aquostic album with a 90-minute performance at London's Roundhouse, with the concert recorded and broadcast live by BBC Radio 2 as part of their In Concert series.[55][56] Footage from the concert was later used, interspersed with interviews with Rossi and Parfitt, in BBC Four's Status Quo: Live and Acoustic, in January 2017.[57] A live album and DVD of the concert, both titled Aquostic – Live at the Roundhouse, were issued in 2015. On 5 June 2015, Status Quo were the headline act at Palmerston Park in Dumfries, at the stadium of Queen of the South and were supported by Reef and Big Country, in the first ever live concert at the venue.[58]

Handprints in the Munich Walk of Stars in Germany (pictured in 2015)

On 1 February 2016, it was announced that Status Quo, in addition to the spring and summer dates already scheduled, would tour Europe starting in October. The final dates would take place in the UK towards the end of the year, after which the group would retire from playing 'electric' tours.[59] The 'Last of The Electrics' tour was subsequently extended into 2017, with additional concerts outside the UK. The band performed in Aquostic line-up at BBC Radio 2's Live in Hyde Park, in September 2016.[60] Their next album Aquostic II – That's a Fact! was released on 21 October that year.[61]

On 28 October 2016, Parfitt permanently retired from live performances after suffering a heart attack earlier the same year.[62][63] On 24 December, he died in hospital in Marbella, Spain as a result of severe infection, after suffering an injury to his shoulder.[64][65][66] Parfitt's funeral was held at Woking Crematorium on 19 January 2017. Irish guitarist Richie Malone, who had substituted for Parfitt during some 2016 live shows, took his place in the group on rhythm guitar, playing on both recorded material and at live shows.[67] The band had to postpone a concert in June 2017 after frontman Rossi became ill.[68]

2017 and 2018 saw the releases of three new live albums, The Last Night of the Electrics, Down Down and Dirty at Wacken and Down Down and Dignified at the Royal Albert Hall, with the former two also having companion DVD releases. In June 2019, Status Quo were the special guests for Lynyrd Skynyrd, on their UK farewell tour.[69]

On 14 June 2019, the band announced that they were working on Backbone, their 33rd studio album – the first Status Quo studio album not to feature Parfitt.[70] On 25 August 2019, the band appeared on ITV show The Sara Cox Show where Rossi spoke about the new album Backbone and also his autobiography I Talk Too Much, after which they performed an upcoming track called "Liberty Lane" as well as "Rockin' All Over the World".[71] The album was released on 6 September 2019 and it reached number 6 in the UK Albums Chart. On 15 September 2019, the band performed at BBC Radio 2's Live in Hyde Park from Hyde Park, London for the third time. They were third from top of the bill, playing in the early evening and followed by Westlife and then The Pet Shop Boys.[72] On Christmas Day 2019, the band appeared on Channel 4's The Great British Bake Off, performing "Rockin' All Over the World".[73] On 11 August 2020, Status Quo cancelled their forty-date Backbone UK and European tour because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Various commitments for the following year meant the band were unable to reschedule the shows in 2021.[74] On 20 August 2020, Rossi appeared on ITV daytime show This Morning and spoke about what he was doing during lockdown and the pandemic, and announced a new tour called Out Out Quoing to be scheduled for 2022.[74]

On 26 September 2021, co-founder Alan Lancaster died at the age of 72 following a battle with multiple sclerosis.[75] On 2 November 2023, Rossi appeared on More4 show Little Trains and Big Names with Pete Waterman talking about his childhood and the raise of Status Quo and Waterman helps Rossi to build his first model railway layout.


Status Quo have performed a career total of at least 3700 documented gigs as of September 2022.[76][77][78] After the addition of early undocumented gigs and various lost performances, the concert total is likely to be higher and is estimated by the band to be over 6000, with an audience in excess of 25 million people.[79] The band have performed over a hundred gigs in a single year several times, with the recorded peak of 144 (1971), averaging a live show every 2.5 days.[78] The band calculated that after 48 years of touring activity, they had "travelled some four million miles and spent 23 years away from home".[79] With the sole exceptions of 1980 and 1985, Status Quo embarked on multinational tours every year between 1968 and 2019 (predominantly in Europe, though they have visited every populated continent).[78] The band took a complete break from touring in 2020 and 2021, including cancelling the largely sold-out Backbone album tour, in part due to restrictions imposed by the global response to COVID-19. They are touring again as of 2022, with extra dates added to their 2022 Out Out Quoing tour.[80][81]


Current members

  • Francis Rossi – lead guitar, vocals (1962–present)
  • Andy Bown – keyboards, rhythm guitar, harmonica, vocals (1981–present; additional musician during 1976–1981)
  • John "Rhino" Edwards – bass, rhythm guitar, vocals (1985–present)
  • Leon Cave – drums, percussion, backing vocals (2013–present)
  • Richie Malone – rhythm guitar, vocals (2016–present)

Former members

  • Alan Lancaster – bass, vocals (1962–1985; reunion during 2013–2014; died 2021)
  • Alan Key – drums, percussion (1962–1963)
  • Jess Jaworski – keyboards (1962–1965; died 2014)
  • John Coghlan – drums, percussion (1963–1981; reunion during 2013–2014)
  • Roy Lynes – keyboards, vocals (1965–1970)
  • Rick Parfitt – rhythm guitar, vocals (1967–2016; died 2016)
  • Pete Kircher – drums, percussion, vocals (1981–1985)
  • Jeff Rich – drums, percussion (1985–2000)
  • Matt Letley – drums, percussion, vocals (2000–2013)


Remakes and cover versions[edit]


  1. ^ a b Young, Bob (2000). Status Quo: Just Doin' It! (1st ed.). London: Cassell Illustrated. p. 27. ISBN 1-84403-562-X.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Strong, Martin C. (2000). The Great Rock Discography (5th ed.). Edinburgh: Mojo Books. pp. 927–929. ISBN 1-84195-017-3.
  3. ^ "Status Quo legend John Coghlan to hang up his drumsticks after 60 years".
  4. ^ "Status Quo hold UK singles record". BBC News. 19 September 2005. Retrieved 14 February 2009.
  5. ^ "Whatever You Want". Official Charts. Retrieved 28 December 2021.
  6. ^ "The Official Top 20 biggest selling groups of all time revealed!". Official Charts.
  7. ^ "Status Quo land 500th week on Official Albums Chart". Official Charts.
  8. ^ a b "Aaaaaay-o! Aaaaaay-o! Why Live Aid was the greatest show of all". The Independent. Archived from the original on 24 May 2022. Retrieved 13 July 2020.
  9. ^ "1991 – Outstanding Contribution to Music Award – Status Quo" Archived 8 March 2014 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 30 October 2012
  10. ^ "The 2014 Quo Annual - June 2014".
  11. ^ "Status Quo: Top of Top of the Pops". BBC News. 21 June 2006. Retrieved 2 March 2020.
  12. ^ "Quiz: They'll be rocking all over Llangollen - but are you in the know about the Quo?". 26 June 2014.
  13. ^ "Status Quo turned Knockhill into a forest of air guitars after Dunkeld pit-stop". 23 August 2021.
  14. ^ "Status Quo rock the forest". 9 June 2008.
  15. ^ "Quo Facts". Retrieved 15 July 2011.
  16. ^ Celebrating Seven Decades of Quo (Exhibition caption). Barbican Library, London. 2023. The Scorpions have always been cited as the band's first name and this is ingrained into Quo history. However, this has now been exposed as an urban myth. [...] We called ourselves 'The Paladins' for a short while - before changing to The 'Spectres'. - Alan Lancaster
  17. ^ Rossi, Francis (14 March 2019). I Talk Too Much: My Autobiography. Constable. p. Loc. 544–553 of 4402 (in the Amazon Kindle version). ISBN 978-1472130204.
  18. ^ "QUOTICKER – Year review 1965". Retrieved 22 August 2018.
  19. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Roberts, David (1998). Guinness Rockopedia (1st ed.). London: Guinness Publishing Ltd. p. 417. ISBN 0-85112-072-5.
  20. ^ "QUOTICKER – year review 1967". Retrieved 22 August 2018.
  21. ^ "QUOTICKER – year review 1970". Retrieved 22 August 2018.
  22. ^ "Status Quo | Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved 21 July 2021.
  23. ^ Rice, Jo (1982). The Guinness Book of 500 Number One Hits (1st ed.). Enfield, Middlesex: Guinness Superlatives Ltd. p. 164. ISBN 0-85112-250-7.
  24. ^ Ling, Dave (January 2002). "Again again again…". Classic Rock #36. p. 69.
  25. ^ Ling, Dave (January 2002). "Again again again…". Classic Rock #36. p. 73.
  26. ^ a b c d e "STATUS QUO". Official Charts. Retrieved 28 March 2024.
  27. ^ McIver, Joel (27 September 2021). "Alan Lancaster obituary". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 7 April 2024.
  28. ^ "The enduring appeal of Status Quo". BBC. 9 December 2005. Retrieved 7 April 2024.
  29. ^ Ling, Dave (26 September 2022). "The life, music and troubled times of Status Quo's Alan Lancaster". loudersound. Retrieved 7 April 2024.
  30. ^ Davis, Sharon (2012). Every Chart Topper Tells a Story: The Seventies. Mainstream Publishing. p. 125. ISBN 9781780574103.
  31. ^ Schneidewind, Günter (2014). Der Große Schneidewind Rock- und Popgeschichten (in German). Tübingen. ISBN 978-3-86351-219-4. OCLC 1185385458.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  32. ^ Cope, Andrew L. (2019). Status Quo : mighty innovators of 70s rock. Abingdon, Oxon. ISBN 978-1-351-02590-4. OCLC 1060183276.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  33. ^ "Home". Scootertechno.Com. 22 October 2013. Retrieved 26 October 2013.
  34. ^ "The Official Site". Status Quo. Retrieved 26 October 2013.
  35. ^ "Status Quo stars and Formula One champion honoured". BBC. 31 December 2009. Retrieved 28 March 2024.
  36. ^ a b "Quo Kiss And Make Up With Former Bassist | News, Top Posts | Classic Rock". 17 March 2010. Retrieved 26 October 2013.
  37. ^ "Status Quo black plaque in London". 20 September 2010. Retrieved 21 May 2013.
  38. ^ "News & Events". Archived from the original on 23 July 2010.
  39. ^ " interview with the GOMORR". 25 October 2013. Retrieved 26 October 2013.
  40. ^ a b "Status Quo - Live at the BBC". StatusQuo. 22 September 2010. Archived from the original on 26 July 2011. Retrieved 29 March 2024.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  41. ^ Ishaq, Farah (6 June 2011). "Status Quo - Quid Pro Quo | album reviews". MusicOMH. Archived from the original on 8 June 2011. Retrieved 29 March 2024.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  42. ^ Bahal, Rahul (24 October 2012). "An interview with Alan G. Parker on his recent film Hello Quo". The Upcoming. Retrieved 28 March 2024.
  43. ^ Dessau, Bruce (22 October 2012). "Hello Quo". Retrieved 28 March 2024.
  44. ^ a b "Status Quo Add Drummer Leon Cave To Band Line-up". Retrieved 24 May 2013.
  45. ^ "Official Charts Company". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 4 May 2022.
  46. ^ "National News : Coles bags Status Quo for latest ad campaign". Retrieved 26 October 2013.
  47. ^ "Status Quo drummer Matt Letley quits after 12 years with the band". The Independent. 17 December 2012. Retrieved 7 April 2024.
  48. ^ "Interview with Francis Rossi". Wexford Echo. Retrieved 25 October 2012. [permanent dead link]
  49. ^ "Status Quo Tickets – Tour 2014". 25 October 2013. Retrieved 26 October 2013.
  50. ^ "Status Quo frontman: 'If I dropped dead tomorrow, what a fantastic f**king life I've had'". The Irish Times. Retrieved 10 April 2014.
  51. ^ "McBusted vs McDonnelly". 8 March 2014. Retrieved 12 July 2017.
  52. ^ "Status Quo "The Frantic Four" Reunion Tour". Archived from the original on 26 February 2022. Retrieved 22 August 2018.
  53. ^ "BBC One – The One Show, 20/10/2014". BBC. Retrieved 21 October 2014.
  54. ^ "VE Day 70, Horse Guards Parade, review: 'rousing ovations and spiffing period dress'". 10 May 2015. Archived from the original on 11 January 2022. Retrieved 8 September 2016.
  55. ^ "Status Quo Concert Setlist at Roundhouse, London on October 22, 2014 –". Retrieved 25 February 2015.
  56. ^ "Status Quo – Acoustic". Radio 2 In Concert. Retrieved 25 February 2015.
  57. ^ "Status Quo: Live and Acoustic – BBC Four". BBC. Retrieved 22 August 2018.
  58. ^ Dalziel, Magdalene (3 March 2015). "Big Country providing Quo support in Dumfries". Retrieved 22 August 2018.
  59. ^ "Last chance to see Status Quo in Somerset, after they announced they will quit at end of the year". Western Daily Press. 27 January 2016. Archived from the original on 1 February 2016. Retrieved 1 February 2016.
  60. ^ "Radio 2 Live in Hyde Park – Status Quo". BBC. 11 September 2016. Archived from the original on 14 September 2016. Retrieved 11 September 2016.
  61. ^ "Aquostic". Status Quo. Retrieved 29 November 2016.
  62. ^ "Rick Parfitt quits performing with Status Quo for good – BBC News". BBC News. 28 October 2016. Retrieved 29 November 2016.
  63. ^ "Status Quo – Further to various previous announcements and..." Facebook. 28 October 2016. Archived from the original on 26 February 2022. Retrieved 29 November 2016.
  64. ^ "Rick Parfitt, Status Quo guitarist, dies in Spain at 68". Global News. Retrieved 8 July 2017.
  65. ^ "R.I.P. Status Quo's Rick Parfitt, the Man Who Changed How I Hear Rock". Observer. 5 January 2017. Retrieved 8 July 2017.
  66. ^ "Status Quo's Rick Parfitt dies aged 68". BBC News. 1 January 1970. Retrieved 24 December 2016.
  67. ^ "Status Quo". February 2017. Retrieved 26 February 2017.
  68. ^ Simpson, George (24 June 2017). "Status Quo: Francis Rossi illness forces band to postpone concert". Retrieved 8 July 2017.
  69. ^ "Lynyrd Skynyrd announce farewell UK shows with special guests Status Quo". Retrieved 25 April 2019.
  70. ^ "Status Quo Facebook page, Backbone announcement". Facebook. Status Quo. Retrieved 17 June 2019.
  71. ^ "The Sara Cox Show, episode 38". ITV. 14 August 2019. Retrieved 7 October 2019.
  72. ^ "Radio 2 Live in Hyde Park – Status Quo". BBC Music Events.
  73. ^ Chilton, Louis (25 December 2019). "Who are the bakers on The Great Christmas Bake Off?". Radio Times. Retrieved 2 March 2020.
  74. ^ a b "Status Quo – The Official Site". Retrieved 21 July 2021.
  75. ^ Rose, Anna (26 September 2021). "Status Quo bassist Alan Lancaster has died, aged 72". NME.
  76. ^ "Album of the Week Club Review: Status Quo - Live!". 16 April 2018.
  77. ^ "Status Quo: Britain's most underrated rock band". 31 March 2014.
  78. ^ a b c "Status Quo Tour Statistics".
  79. ^ a b "Status Quo - the Official Site - Factsheet". Archived from the original on 1 April 2019.
  80. ^ "Following massive demand STATUS QUO announce Christmas 2022 run for the 'Out Out Quoing' tour". 16 November 2021.
  81. ^ "Status Quo | OVO Arena Wembley".
  82. ^ Mugan, Chris (7 December 2002). "John Peel's comments on playing 'Down Down', in The Guardian". London. Retrieved 24 May 2010.

Further reading[edit]

  • John Shearlaw, Bob Young: Again & Again. Sidgwick & Jackson, October 1984, Paperback, ISBN 0-283-99101-1 (1st edition (1979) and 2nd edition (1982) as The Authorised Biography by John Shearlaw)
  • Tom Hibbert: Status Quo. Omnibus Press, 1982, ISBN 0-86001-957-8
  • Neil Jeffries: Rockin' All Over the World. Proteus Books, March 1985, Paperback, ISBN 0-86276-272-3
  • Bob Young: Quotographs – Celebrating 30 Years of Status Quo, IMP International Music Publications Limited, 1985, ISBN 1-85909-291-8
  • Francis Rossi, Rick Parfitt: Just For The Record. Bantam Press, September 1994, hardcover, ISBN 0-593-03546-1
  • Patti Parfitt: Laughing All over the World: My Life Married to Status Quo. Blake Publishing Ltd, October 1998, ISBN 1-85782-198-X
  • David J. Oxley: Rockers Rollin' – The Story of Status Quo. ST Publishing, Januar 2000, Paperback, ISBN 1-898927-80-4
  • David J. Oxley: Tuned To The Music of Status Quo. ST Publishing, 2001, Paperback, ISBN 1-898927-90-1
  • Francis Rossi, Rick Parfitt, Mick Wall: Status Quo. XS All Areas. Sidgwick & Jackson, September 2004, hardcover, ISBN 0-283-07375-6 (paperback edition: Macmillan Publishers Ltd, August 2005, ISBN 0-330-41962-5)
  • Francis Rossi, Rick Parfitt, Bob Young: Status Quo: The Official 40th Anniversary Edition. Cassell Illustrated, October 2006, hardcover, ISBN 978-1-84403-562-5.
  • Status Quo: La Route Sans Fin, foreword by Bob Young, ISBN 2-910196-42-9
  • Eduard Soronellas Vidal (2008 – Spanish). Status Quo: Sobran Acordes, foreword by John 'Rhino' Edwards. Barcelona: Lenoir Ediciones. ISBN 978-84-938163-9-1

External links[edit]