Status Quo Songs Ranked

Status Quo is an English boogie rock band that formed in 1962. The group originated in The Spectres and was founded by Francis Rossi and Alan Lancaster, while they were still schoolboys. After a number of lineup changes, which included the introduction of Rick Parfitt in 1967, the band became The Status Quo in 1967 and Status Quo in 1969. Status Quo appeared on the BBC’s Top of the Pops more than any other band.[5] They have released over 100 singles and 33 albums, many of which were best-sellers. Since reaching number 5 on the UK albums chart in 1972 with Piledriver, Status Quo has gone on to achieve a career total of 25 UK top ten albums, extending all the way up to their most recent release, Backbone, in 2019. Here are all of the Status Quo songs ranked.

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20. Red Sky (In the Army Now, 1986)

“The day the boogie died. To be fair Quo had been on the danger list for a few years when this one hit the stacks. John Coghlan had long gone and the departure of bassist Alan Lancaster had deprived the band of the last of their real rock credibility.  Even the one half decent song, the ZZ Top sounding ‘Red Sky’ is a pale reflection of it’s classic predecessors.”

19. Slow Train (Quo, 1974)

“The start of Slow Train ain’t that great but it really gets moving after a minute or so. The jig is something incorporated into 4500 times for the live shows so not sure what it’s all about here but it’s all good fun.”

18. Whatever You Want (Rockin’ All Over the World, 1977)

“Ahh, now this is more like it, probably the archetypal Status Quo single. With an opening that sounds as if it was carved out of a Scandinavian fjord, it settles to their strongest, most aggressive riff in years. It moves relentlessly through the gears and while no-one will remember any of the lyric bar the title, that’s all the song needs.”

17. Burning Bridges (Ain’t Complaining, 1988)

“I note that Burning Bridges appeared on the 1992 live album. I can see why they would play it live but would seriously question whether they needed to add another jig to their repertoire. But with any luck the bridge they burnt was the same one they crossed just a bit earlier on coz I don’t really wanna go back there anyway.”

See more: Status Quo Albums Ranked

16. Break the Rules (Quo, 1974)

“A touch more blues than boogie about this one, which I attribute to the accompanying harmonica and honky-tonk piano. A good natured, mildly anti-authoritarian lyric completes the attraction.”

15. Forty-Five Hundred Times (Hello!, 1973)

“The album closer Forty-Five Hundred Times shows the potential of becoming their live masterpiece which can be heard on their 1977 Live! album. It sounds quite different in the studio but still it gives me the shivers because I know how it would develop on stage.”

14. Roll Over Lay Down (Hello!, 1973)

“Taken from their double live album of the time, recorded at my home venue, the late, great Glasgow Apollo of bouncing balcony fame, the innuendo-laden lyric to “Roll Over Lay Down” would have an obvious appeal to the band’s predominantly male audience. That and the obvious air guitar boogie it’s set to.”

13. Gerdundula (Ma Kelly’s Greasy Spoon, 1970)

“Takes me back to some long gone disco nights which i spend with this number a hundred years ago…great song! The version of “Gerdundula” here is a different, more acoustic one than that on “Dog Of Two Head” and definitely worth a listen.”

12. Wild Side of Life (Blue for You, 1976)

“The first clear sign that Quo might not go down the hard rock road forever and instead detour into family entertainment. Interestingly, Rod Stewart covered this song at almost the exact same time (on his “Footloose And Fancy Free” album) and was disparaging about Quo’s version. Although to these ears the song barely sounds worth the struggle, I’d have to say I slightly prefer Quo’s good, if not exactly hard rocking treatment.”

11. Pictures of Matchstick Men (Picturesque Matchstickable Messages From The Status Quo, 1968)

““Pictures of Matchstick Men” is immediately gripping, with its vaguely “eastern” guitar riff – repurposed as a violin on Camper Van Beethoven’s excellent 1989 cover of the song. Brought further into the psychedelic realm by its flange effects and surrealist lyrics, “Matchstick Men” finds a perfect sweet spot between “out there” and accessible.”

10. Paper Plane (Piledriver, 1972)

“The lyric is existentialist twaddle and I doubt very much it’s worth too much time and trouble to delve into the symbolism of the butterfly, long blue paper plane and 3-grand Deutsche car, but for heads down no nonsense mindless boogie, this is the stuff”

9. Rain (Blue for You, 1976)

“Quo surprised their bedimmed audience with this audacious cover of the Beatles psychedelic classic B-side but were surprised to find that when they attempted to reproduce the famous conclusion to the song by playing it  backwards, it came out sounding the exact same.”

8. Again and Again (If You Can’t Stand the Heat, 1978)

“The synths on the intro made me smile, obviously a ruse to sucker in disc-jockeys in the late 70’s (they’re never heard of again) before it relapses, as they always do, into a repetitive three-chord work-out from Quo. With a pretty dumb “rock star” lyric, I find myself thinking that the title here is up (or down) there with “Down, Down” as their most obvious song-title.”

7. Something Bout You Baby I Like (Rockin’ All Over the World, 1977)

“One of the best psychedelic songs of all time, and a possible overlooked one as well, given the era it was released.  The opening guitar riff is bound to give you chills.  Good chills, mind you.”

See more: Frank Zappa Albums Ranked

6. What You’re Proposing (Just Supposin’, 1980)

“Fast and furious is how I’d describe this Quo single. Like so many of their hits, the chorus really is the song and you can’t wait for them to return to it as the verses run out of steam quickly. Which they do, as they usually did, very regularly.”

5. In the Army Now (In the Army Now, 1986)

“For some strange reason this isn’t a popular song among the more “hardcore” Quo fans, but for me it ranks up there with Caroline and Down, Down as one of their best ever singles.”

4. Caroline (Hello!, 1973)

“Well I’m sorry but this is another irresistible rocking boogie from the Quo which I find impossible not to like what with that convoluted guitar intro, the little speed-up section and the downhill chorus. The audience participation prospects for the song were immediately obvious and not lost on the band.”

3. Down Down (On the Level, 1975)

“Status Quo’s first and only UK number one (they had lots of runners up, subsequently), deserved the accolade as much as any of their other hits. It has all the Quo hallmarks, from the extemporising extended guitar intro descending into the inevitable boogie and the breakdown leading, naturally straight back to the start.”

2. Rockin’ All Over the World (Rockin’ All Over the World, 1977)

“Like this song, but I still think that the original John Fogerty version is better. This is the band and song which kick-started Live Aid ’85. Great song. Ultimate party song with a real feel-good factor.”

1. Jump that Rock (Jumping All Over the World, 2007)

“An excellent Psychedelic Pop-rock album with some really attractive heavy guitar riffs by Francis Rossi and Rick Parfitt.Side b is a level higher than side a with some tracks turning to be masterpieces!”