Status Quo

Whatever You Want

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After seven years at the top of the British charts, even Status Quo fans were beginning to wonder whether the band wasn't simply rewriting the same riff over and over again, then putting it out with a new catch phrase for a title. From "Down Down" to "Rocking All Over the World," Status Quo had enacted some of the most excitingly primal rock behemoths of the decade. But they'd also composed some of the most enduring clich├ęs as well. However, nothing -- repeat nothing -- could have prepared the world for Whatever You Want, a record which, almost three decades later, still sounds like the most ruthless piss-take you've ever heard. And, of course, it became one of their biggest hits ever. Mercifully, the remainder of the album titled by this unfortunate monstrosity shows that there was more than one idea rattling around the band's heads at this point: "Living on an Island," with its acoustic wash and mournful melody, was one of the most unexpected songs they'd made in years, while the likes of "Shady Lady," "High Flyer," and the wonderful "Who Asked You" all had a bellicose punch that defied anyone to accuse the band of stagnation. The fact was, however, that "Whatever You Want" itself so scarred the record that it was hard not to hear the entire thing from beneath that baleful shadow. And, when the 1980s proved that Quo really had given up trying (at least for a few years) -- well, now you know why a lot of fans gave up around then.

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