Status Quo

Under the Influence

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Who would've thought that 35 years into their career, Status Quo would release their finest album long after the general public lost interest? Leaving Polygram, their major-label home for nearly all of their career, Quo (guitarists Francis Rossi and Rick Parfitt, bassist John "Rhino" Edwards, keyboardist Andy Bown, and drummer Jeff Rich) signed with Eagle Records in the U.K. and proceeded to record a new platter. What came out was an amazing collection of pop songs by one of England's top rock & roll bands. Though they've left their trademark boogie behind, Quo proved on this album that they could still rock out and write great songs. Rossi's vocals are still smooth and his and Parfitt's riffs are rich and plentiful, while Bown, Edwards, and Rich prove that they are more than hired sidemen. "Twenty Wild Horses" starts the album with a successful blend of rock smarts and folk riffs. "Under the Influence" and "Round and Round" are splendid blasts of melodic rock with a bit of boogie creeping back into the mix. "Shine On" is Parfitt's tale of his recent bypass surgery with a bluesy/folk backdrop. "Little White Lies" is Quo's most overtly pop track on the album and would've been a huge hit had it been on a major label. And so it goes on. There are plenty more gems to be found on this album, and the message will remain the same: This is the finest Quo album of their career and if you're interested in starting a Quo collection, you should start here!

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