The Top 50 Status Quo songs pt.4 (20-11)
Our countdown of the Top 50 Status Quo songs continues. Go below for the fourth part of our rundown: Nos. 20 to 11…
20) Railroad 1971
Another vintage song absorbed into the (temporary) farewell tour’s Mystery Song medley, Railroad was among the first tracks to bear the Francis Rossi and Bob Young hallmark. Its bouncy opening section and more ponderous blues-laden conclusion have been firm fan favourites since it appeared on 1971’s Dog Of Two Head album.
19) Lies 1980
Taken from 1980’s Just Supposin’ album for a double A-side with Don’t Drive My Car, it was Francis Rossi and Bernie Frost’s Lies that initially received the most favour. And why not, with a chorus that’s so darned catchy? Incredibly, Klaus Wunderlich had a stab at the song!
18) Pictures Of Matchstick Men 1967
The first ever single from The Status Quo (as they were known), Rossi’s Pictures Of Matchstick Men was originally a B-side, until the possibilities of its psychedelic sound (at that time the ‘happening’ thing) were realised. It reached No.7 in February of 1968. It also appeared on the band’s debut album, Picturesque Matchstickable Messages From The Status Quo.
17) What You’re Proposin’ 1980
The first track to be released as a single from the Just Supposin’ album in 1980 was a slab of pure, vintage Quo. Francis Rossi and Bernie Frost were the brains behind its truly unforgettable hook line. In testament to the song’s commercial qualities, Herr Wunderlich recorded a version of this one, too!
16) Backwater/Just Take Me 1974
The opening one-two punch of 1974’s Quo album, Backwater and Just Take Me were both written by Rick Parfitt and Alan Lancaster. Whoever made the decision to tie the pair together is not known, but they were certainly compatible. For proof check out the version on Live!
15) Living On An Island 1979
When Rick Parfitt and Bob Young’s moody ballad was released a single in 1979, few recognised the references to getting high, or acknowledged the song’s world-weariness. Fewer still understood why the band had chosen to abandon their hit-making formula. “And still we got fucking slagged,” complained an incredulous Rossi.
14) Slow Train 1974
Not an obvious Quo favourite, Slow Train is nevertheless deeply appreciated by connoisseurs of the band’s work. Indeed, Quo later bowed to demand and added a section of it to their Mystery Song medley. If you haven’t heard the original eight-minute version (on 1974’s Quo), do so right now. (The video above has the added bonus of plentiful photos of the Cheeky Girls.)
13) Rain 1976
Another product of the band’s drug phase, Rain was also written by Parfitt. Among their best hard rock anthems, it also appeared on Blue For You. By then Rossi’s gardener had introduced him to speed: “That’s why songs like Rain were so edgy and fast,” he said years later.
12) The Mystery Song 1976
Parfitt wrote The Mystery Song after Rossi had laced his tea with amphetamine sulphate during the sessions for the Blue For You album. “He was playing the riff when we left the studio, and he was still playing it when we came back the next day!” Rossi laughed.
11) Don’t Waste My Time 1972
The opening track of 1972’s Piledriver album, Don’t Waste My Time is hard to beat as a statement of intent. ‘You spend my money/You drink my best red wine,’ Rossi aims cockily in the direction of an anonymous wrongdoer, while the band set up a pumping, thudding, backbeat. This song is certainly not wasting anyone’s time.
Come back tomorrow (December 21) for part five: Nos. 10 to 2.
Tags: Status Quo