Sunday, 16 November 2014

Status Quo
Second Single from Hit Album!
Status Quo will release the second single, ‘Pictures Of Matchstick Men’, from their game-changing hit album ‘Aquostic (Stripped Bare)’ on 15 December 2014 through Rhino / Warners. The album soared to number 5 in the charts, giving the band their highest placing for 18 years. This track, which opens the album, was the band’s breakthrough hit in 1968 and is delivered here as never before.  There will also be an exclusive B side remix, entitled ‘Pictures of Matchstick Men (London Mix)’. The single exemplifies the new approach with the opening notes of this classic Quo calling card immediately recognisable, and yet demonstrably re-engineered.

‘Aquostic (Stripped Bare)’ has been received incredibly well.  The band were invited to perform an exclusive broadcast set for BBC Radio 2, who also play-listed the entire album.  The band's triumphant live debut of Aquostic at The Roundhouse was the BBC's highest-rated programme on the red button with over a million views in just five days.  They then transferred the show from that intimate venue to the Schleyerhalle arena in Stuttgart – playing in front of eight thousand with no loss of impact!  The critics raved about the new approach too.  Classic Rock said that the album “Not only survives the songs’ sparse makeover, but actually dares to improve many of them,” with The Times adding that, “It’s time to… reclaim them as one of Britain’s great bands.” The Sun said simply that the album, “Helps confirm their national treasure status,” whilst Sunday Express commented, “If you haven't bought a new Quo album in a whilethis is the one to get”.

After 50 years at the top of their game as one of the world’s premiere hard rock acts, Quo have leapt out of their comfort zone, the ‘Aquostic (Stripped Bare)’ album is fully acoustic and boasts 22 completely reworked Quo hits and fan favourites. The band are helped out along the way by female backing vocalists, additional musicians on some tracks and even a string section. Tracks are taken from across the band’s incredible output throughout the decades; some permanent features of the electric setlist, others being ushered into the limelight for the first time – having been scrubbed and polished and reappraised through the prism of a new approach.   The arresting cover image was shot by none other than the superstar Bryan Adams.  

There’s a new swing and verve to some of these recordings.  Quo are a band that practice their art more than most and it’s the virtuosity that is apparent here.  ‘Aquostic (Stripped Bare)’ reflects the hours spent backstage or on the bus running through progressions and figures on battered acoustics whilst the Telecasters await onstage.  Three chords?  Whatever…  Do keep up!

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