Status Quo are a boogie institution releasing a load of music over the years, here we return to 1969 and the second effort ‘Spare Parts’.
Written by: Eric
ARTIST: Status Quo
ALBUM: Spare Parts
SERIAL: NSPL 18301
CD REISSUE: 2009, Sanctuary, 1799868, Deluxe Edition w/ Bonus CD
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: England
LINEUP: Rick Parfitt – guitars, keyboards * Francis Rossi – guitar, vocals * Alan Lancaster – bass, guitar, vocals * John Coghlan – drums * Roy Lynes – keyboards
TRACK LISTING: 01 Face Without A Soul * 02 You’re Just What I Was Looking For Today * 03 Are You Growing Tired Of My Love * 04 Antique Angelique * 05 So Ends Another Life * 06 Poor Old Man * 07 Mr Mind Detector * 08 The Clown * 09 Velvet Curtains * 10 Little Miss Nothing * 11 When I Awake * 12 Nothing At All
WEBLINKS: Site Link
‘Pictures of Matchstick Men’ was a pretty cool single in my book and the Status Quo debut album released in 1968. While totally derivative of the Swinging London sound, it’s still a fun listen as is the follow-up ‘Spare Parts’ which we’re reviewing here as well as ‘Ma Kelly’s Greasy Spoon’ where Quo finally found their boogie feet.
After that and outside the still cool ‘Rockin’ All Over The World’ single from 1977, I’m left with very little taste for the boogie merchants workman style of rock ‘n’ roll. Maybe it’s an American thing. The band while touring the States in the early 70’s, never had a big following and eventually they just gave up sensing a serious lack of interest from both audiences and record labels.
With that said, the first two Status Quo long players understandably get the snub from many fans as they are a million miles away from the hard rockin’ blues of ‘Piledriver’ and Live!’. But both are worth a listen, especially ‘Spare Parts’ as this was a band in transition and the last album to feature keyboard player Roy Lynes.
A big improvement over the first record, the band’s label – Pye put a good deal of pressure on the band and wanted hits, but none were to come from ‘Spare Parts’ although the Bee Gees influenced ‘Are You Growing Tired Of My Love’ briefly grazed the UK top 50. A fair portion of the album was written by the band and there’s some solid pop psych to be found including the brilliant ‘Face Without A Soul’ and the deliciously whimsical ‘Antique Angelique’.
Both are proof that Status Quo early on had a lot going for them in the songwriting department and their choice of covers was none too shabby either. The Goffin/King classic ‘You’re Just What I Was Looking For Today’ gets a suitably psychedelic treatment with plenty of phasing and floating vocals. While horns and strings are predominant throughout the album, overall the mood of the record is upbeat and charming and it’s certainly better than many of the supposed ‘classic’ albums released the same year. Why it was largely ignored remains a mystery.
Recently reissued as a superb two-disc set including both stereo and mono versions of the LP as well as an unissued demo of ‘Nothing At All’ and the hard to find single ‘The Price Of Love’ which was released the same year as ‘Spare Parts’ but failed to chart. The harmonica driven Everly Brothers penned cut shows a more hard rocking side of the band and in hindsight, a good indicator of things to come.
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