Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Status Quo - Pictures Of Matchstick Men

Status Quo is one of Britain's longest-lived bands, staying together for over 30 years. During much of that time, the band was only successful in the U.K.

The origins of Status Quo lie in a London-based beat group called the Spectres. Francis Rossi (vocals, guitar) and Alan Lancaster (bass) were the core members of the Spectres from their inception; within a few years, the band had added drummer John Coughlan and organist Roy Lynes. The Spectres released three unsuccessful singles before changing their style to psychedelia and adopting the name Traffic Jam and releasing the unsuccessful single, "Almost But Not Quite There." After it flopped, the group added Rick Harrison (guitar, vocals), formerly of the cabaret band, the Highlights. When Harrison joined the band in August 1967, the group again changed their name, this time to Status Quo.

Status Quo are most know for their boogie surf rock with tunes like "Down Down" (1974), "Roll Over Lay Down" (1975), "Rain" (1976), "Wild Side of Life" (1976), "Rockin' All Over The World" (1977), "In The Army Now" (1986), "Come on You Reds" (1994). And latest new is that they are in the studio to begin recording their 29th album.

Todays tune "Pictures of Matchstick Men" was the first hit single by Status Quo, released in January of 1968, taken from "Picturesque Matchstickable Messages" is the 1968 debut album. It reached number seven in the British charts, number eight in Canada, and number twelve on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming their only hit single in the United States.[2] It was originally intended to be a B-side to 'Gentleman Joe's Sidewalk Cafe' but it was decided to swap the B-side and the A-side of the single.

The song is an example of bubblegum psychedelia. Their following release Black Veils of Melancholy was similar but flopped and so caused the group to change direction. The "matchstick men" of the song refer to the paintings of L.S. Lowry.

More info at Status Quo Official Website

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