'The Vinyl Singles Collection 2000-2010' is the fifth and final box set of Status Quo singles to be released, covering the last full decade in the band's history (albeit they've continued into the 2010s). It was, of course, the final full decade to feature Rick Parfitt in the band, alongside his longstanding musical comrade, Francis Rossi, as the former sadly passed away on Christmas Eve, 2016, at just 68 years old. So, this collection, inherently, feels like some kind of celebration of the end of an era. And, I'd go as far to say, the end of an era in more ways than one. By the turn of the century, the whole music industry had seen some drastic, arguably irreversible shifts, in how people digested their music. Anyone remember the 2000 Metallica, et al. v. Napster, Inc. case? Say no more. And certain older bands had fallen out of favour and fashion with the mainstream media; which is indubitably reflected by Quo's chart record during the decade in question. Despite scoring a UK number 11 with their cover of the very aptly titled 'The Party Ain't Over Yet' and a couple of other top twenty hits, their 2000-2010 singles failed to climb from the lower reaches of the Top 40... BUT, Iím guessing that was with minimal mainstream airplay when compared to earlier decades in their career. And there's far more to bands like Quo, and measures of their continued strengths and successes extend beyond a mere Top 40 singles chart. The evidence is within this box set. Quality music, through and through, performed with as much passion and zest as it ever was.
Again, as I noted in my review of the fourth set in this series, I'm reviewing from CDs rather than vinyl, so I'm sure the 7" editions included with the final released version of this box will sound amazing in their analogue delights, but, at that, I can only speculate. And, also as with the previous set, press blurb states that some of these singles are appearing on 7" for the very first time, so not everything here was originally released in said format. Either way, I can't comment on how this will sound, as audiophiles will attest to big differences in analogue vs digital.
So, what precisely is on offer? Sixteen 7" singles, mastered from the original tapes, and housed in replications of their original sleeves (allegedly... although I can't see how this can be entirely true if some are debuting on 7" vinyl within this set). Contained within a "rigid lift-off lid box", there's also said to be a booklet "with quotes and chart history of each single along with a selection of rare foreign covers and memorabilia." Sounds like must-purchase stuff for the Quo afficionado, to me!
Music-wise, there are a number of covers appearing as A-sides again, as per the previous set (such as 'Mony Mony'; 'Old Time Rock and Roll'; 'The Party Ain't Over'); a Christmas song ('It's Christmas Time'); and re-released tracks (another cover, 'In the Army Now'). Plenty of live b-sides feature, with the likes of 'Caroline'; 'Gerdundula' (twice!), et al, as well as songs like the more poignant, down-tempo, Rossi/Young composition, 'You Let Me Down'. All in all, quite a mixed bag... or should that be mixed box?! On the whole, the majority of tracks here don't hit the heights of classic Quo, and I'm sure their own hardcore fans will never cite 2000-2010 as a period in the band's history loaded with classic tracks. The final song in this set, a storming live rendition of 'Caroline' from a 2009 show in Ipswich, hits home this observation. However, it's all very entertaining, which is the precise essence of what Quo have always been about. And diehard Quo enthusiasts will undoubtedly want to own this box set for the post-noughties delights that reside within.
Vinyl Box Set
THE VINYL SINGLES COLLECTION 2000-2010
Review by Mark Holmes
26th April 2019
1) Mony Mony; 2) Gerdundula; 3) Old Time Rock and Roll; 4) Forty-Five Hundred Times; 5) Jam Side Down; 6) The Madness; 7) All Stand Up; 8) You Let Me Down; 9) You'll Come 'Round; 10) Lucinda; 11) Thinking of You; 12) Somethimg 'Bout You Baby I Like / Break the Rules; 13) The Party Ain't Over Yet; 14) Gerdundula; 15) All That Counts is Love; 16) I Ain't Ready; 17) It's Christmas Time; 18) Beginning of the End; 19) In the Army Now; 20) Caroline
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
"...it's all very entertaining, which is the precise essence of what Quo have always been about."