(2004) The Complete Pye Collection

Status Quo

... read moreThis three-CD, 63-track set is the last word on Status Quo's early years, gathering not only every track the band did for Pye in the late '60s and early '70s, but also adding seven songs by the Spectres and two by Traffic Jam (the group's pre-Status Quo incarnations). As Status Quo were a...

03:37′:23″ 63 Songs

Disk 1

1
Pictures Of Matchstick Men
Status Quo
3:16
2
Gentleman Joe's Sidewalk Cafe (Mono Version)
Status Quo
3:01
3
Black Veils Of Melancholy
Status Quo
3:14
4
To Be Free
Status Quo
2:36
5
Ice In The Sun
Status Quo
2:11
6
When My Mind Is Not Live (Stereo Version)
Status Quo
3:00
7
Elizabeth Dreams
Status Quo
3:48
8
Paradise Flat (Mono Version)
Status Quo
3:14
9
Technicolor Dreams
Status Quo
3:17
10
Spicks And Specks (Mono Version)
Status Quo
2:53
11
Sheila (Mono Version)
Status Quo
1:56
12
Sunny Cellophane Skies (Mono Version)
Status Quo
2:47
13
Green Tambourine (Mono Version)
Status Quo
2:18
14
Make Me Stay A Little Bit Longer (A-Side Version)
Status Quo
2:55
15
Auntie Nellie (B-Side Version)
Status Quo
3:31
16
I (Who Have Nothing) [Mono Version] (Mono Version)
Status Quo
3:02
17
Neighbour Neighbour (Mono Version)
Status Quo
2:43
18
Hurdy Gurdy Man (Mono Version)
Status Quo
3:16
19
Laticia
Status Quo
3:01
20
(We Ain't Got) Nothing Yet (Mono Version)
Status Quo
2:18
21
I Want It (Mono Version)
Status Quo
3:02
22
Spicks And Specks
Status Quo
2:39
23
Almost But Not Quite There
Status Quo
2:46
24
Wait A Minute (Mono Version)
Status Quo
2:14
25
Walking With My Angel
Status Quo
2:15
26
When He Passed By
Status Quo
2:51

Disk 2

1
Are You Growing Tired Of My Love
Status Quo
3:38
2
So Ends Another Life
Status Quo
3:12
3
Face Without A Soul
Status Quo
3:07
4
You're Just What I Was Looking For Today
Status Quo
3:49
5
Antique Angelique
Status Quo
3:23
6
Poor Old Man
Status Quo
3:37
7
Mr. Mind Detector
Status Quo
4:01
8
The Clown
Status Quo
3:24
9
Velvet Curtains
Status Quo
2:59
10
Little Miss Nothing
Status Quo
3:02
11
When I Awake
Status Quo
3:52
12
Nothing At All
Status Quo
3:54
13
Josie (Out-Take Version)
Status Quo
3:37
14
Do You Live In Fire
Status Quo
2:13
15
The Price Of Love
Status Quo
3:41
16
Down The Dustpipe
Status Quo
2:03
17
Spinning Wheel Blues
Status Quo
3:18
18
Daughter
Status Quo
3:01
19
Everything
Status Quo
2:36
20
Shy Fly
Status Quo
3:47
21
(April) Spring, Summer & Wednesdays
Status Quo
4:10
22
Gerdundula
Status Quo
3:22

Disk 3

1
Junior's Wailing
Status Quo
3:33
2
Lakky Lady
Status Quo
3:13
3
Need Your Love
Status Quo
4:47
4
Lazy Poker Blues
Status Quo
3:36
5
Is It Really Me / Gotta Go Home
Status Quo
9:30
6
In My Chair
Status Quo
3:17
7
Tune To The Music
Status Quo
3:07
8
Good Thinking
Status Quo
3:41
9
Umleitung
Status Quo
7:11
10
Something's Going On In My Head
Status Quo
4:45
11
Mean Girl
Status Quo
3:58
12
Gerdundula (Alternate Version)
Status Quo
3:49
13
Railroad
Status Quo
5:32
14
Someone's Learning
Status Quo
7:09
15
Nanana
Status Quo
2:25
Released 26 January 2004, 2004 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company

Review

This three-CD, 63-track set is the last word on Status Quo's early years, gathering not only every track the band did for Pye in the late '60s and early '70s, but also adding seven songs by the Spectres and two by Traffic Jam (the group's pre-Status Quo incarnations). As Status Quo were a psychedelic pop band in the late '60s before shifting to hard boogie rock at the turn of the decade, it might be a disappointment to much of their fan base, as prior to 1970 they sounded like an almost entirely different act. Conversely, though, to British Invasion and psychedelic fans who have little use for the band's long run as hard rock journeymen, this might be the most useful Status Quo collection of all. For it's psychedelic pop -- of a resolutely trendy brand that's actually more "pop" than "psychedelic" -- that dominates the first two discs, including of course their big hit "Pictures of Matchstick Men," as well as their follow-up U.K. Top Ten single, "Ice in the Sun." It's not until the half-dozen or so 1970 recordings that close disc two that the band starts embracing harder sounds, almost fully changing to a blues-rock-boogie direction for disc three. As for the lighter approach that makes up the bulk of this set, the material suffers from a problem common to many bands that had just one great song. Much of the late-'60s stuff here is derivative, with varying streaks of innocuous Bee Gees, Move, Kinks, Beatles, Badfinger, and bubblegum influences. The 1968 songs in particular lean too heavily on the shimmering wobbly guitar effects introduced by "Pictures of Matchstick Men." Most importantly, though, the songs aren't special, wafting by in an inoffensive period fashion, occasionally making a deeper impression on tracks like "Sunny Cellophane Skies" (which, again like many of their 1968 tunes, has helium-high harmony vocals and weedy organ), "When I Awake" (whose intro has some awesome fluttering wah-wah guitar), and "Josie" (which sounds a little like a kiddie Kinks-meets-Easybeats). The more aggressive early-'70s material isn't any more memorable or original, to be honest, though it does include a couple fair-sized British hits in "Down the Dustpipe" and "In My Chair." Devoted collectors might be most interested in the pre-Status Quo cuts by the Spectres and Traffic Jam, but these are even less imbued with distinctive personality than the rest of the material, sounding like the product of an also-ran club band from the waning days of the British Invasion. The Spectres' tracks are too heavy on unimaginative covers as well, though their peculiarly chintzy organ parts at least give it some sonic imprint; the two Traffic Jam songs are most notable for "Almost but Not Quite There," a coy teen sexual innuendo reminiscent of some of the Troggs' filler from the period. Finally, though Sanctuary is to be commended for gathering all the strands of the early Status Quo together in such a comprehensive fashion, it garners no gold stars for the packaging. Such a thorough set deserves more liner notes than the mere five paragraphs dispensed here, and even more troublingly, there's no information about when and where the tracks were originally released. Nothing's supplied at all but songwriting credits and years of original release, in fact, with nothing said about on what singles and albums these songs (a handful of which didn't surface until the 1980s and 1990s) were first issued. ~ Richie Unterberger