Status Quo - Spare Parts

Status Quo – Spare Parts


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
YEAR: 1969
CD REISSUE: 2009, Sanctuary, 1799868, Deluxe Edition w/ Bonus CD

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


Status Quo Background

‘Pictures of Matchstick Men’ was a pretty cool single in my book as the Status Quo debut 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’. This US is where Status Quo finally found their boogie feet.

Apart from 1977’s ‘Rockin’ All Over The World’ single, I’m left with little taste for their workman style of rock ‘n’ roll. Maybe it’s an American thing.

The band toured the States in the early 70’s, but never had a big following. 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. 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 Status Quo were in transition. It was also the last album to feature keyboard player Roy Lynes.

The Songs

A big improvement over the first record, Status Quo’s label – Pye put a good deal of pressure on, wanting 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. This included the brilliant ‘Face Without A Soul’ and the deliciously whimsical ‘Antique Angelique’.

Both proved that Status Quo were good in the songwriting department, their choice of covers was none too shabby either. The Goffin/King classic ‘You’re Just What I Was Looking For Today’ gets the psychedelic treatment with phasing and floating vocals.

I found the mood of the record upbeat and charming. Horns and strings are predominant throughout, It’s certainly better than many of the supposed ‘classic’ Status Quo albums released the same year. Why it was largely ignored remains a mystery.

In Summary

The album was reissued as a superb two-disc set including both stereo and mono versions. It included an unissued demo of ‘Nothing At All’ and the hard to find single ‘The Price Of Love’.

The latter was released the same year as ‘Spare Parts’ but it failed to chart. The harmonica driven Everly Brothers penned cut shows a more hard rocking side of Status Quo. In hindsight, I thought it was a good indicator of things to come.

Status Quo on Video

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