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For those who have argued over the years that Status Quo use only three guitar chords, I've always attested that's complete bollocks. They use a different three chords in each song, right? Okay, generally transpositions of the same three chords and just changing the key but definitely more than three chords! Joking aside, it seems that Francis Rossi and Rick Parfitt finally succumbed to the joke themselves when they took ownership of the one-time mockery by naming previous studio album 'In Search of the Fourth Chord', released on Fourth Chord Records no less! And here we have their twenty-ninth studio album, 'Quid Pro Quo', also released on said label. Apart from the live, raw feel to the production (which I'm presuming would have been the boys' intention) what genuinely surprises me about this release is what a rocking little beast of an album it actually is, and the energy in the songs, for Parfitt and Rossi are now in their early sixties. They've evidently lost none of their zest or passion for writing up-tempo, catchy rock numbers. Well, that's true when the album's at its best for the quality of tunes does vary somewhat. Opener 'Two Way Traffic' and second track, the cheesily titled 'Rock 'n' Roll 'n' You', 'Better Than That', 'My Old Ways', 'The Winner' and 'Frozen Hero' are as good as anything they've written before but other tracks such as 'It's All About You' and the Parfitt composition 'Reality Cheque' are somewhat subpar by their own standards. Generally though, there are no frills or major surprises to be found on 'Quid Pro Quo', rather it's just what you'd expect from the rock veterans. And they've taken the innovative step of eschewing record stores by making the album exclusively available through Tescos. A shrewd move? Time will tell, I guess, and proof will be in sales. It's not been made available for review here but the press sheet states that 'Quid Pro Quo' is double CD package which also includes 'Official Bootleg - Greatest Hits Live', so those who want to revel in Quo of yore can do so with this second disc. I predict that the band will win over few new fans with this release but, at the same time, there's enough quality music on offer to please their long-established fan base.
Fourth Chord Records
Review by Mark Holmes
30th May 2011
1) Two Way Traffic; 2) Rock 'n' Roll 'n' You; 3) Dust To Gold; 4) Let's Rock; 5) Can't See For Looking; 6) Better Than That; 7) Movin' On; 8) Leave a Little Light On; 9) Any Way You Like It; 10) Frozen Hero; 11) Reality Cheque; 12) The Winner; 13) It's All About You; 14) My Old Ways; 15) In The Army Now (2010)
"...a rocking little beast of an album..."