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Status Quo - 'Live At The BBC' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/ee/97/dc/946_statusquoliveatthebbc_1296347618.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     January 30, 2011    
 
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Awesome!

Status Quo shouldn't need any introduction, so I'll jump right in by telling you that the band decided to put together a comprehensive selection of their work that has appeared on the BBC over the years and release it officially. And, as befitting a band with forty years under their belts and stacks of hit records, it's quite a big collection!

The deluxe version of 'Live At The BBC' comes in a fantastic eight disc box set. Take it out of it's main case and you are presented with a 60 page booklet containing sleeve-notes from Dave Ling, along with many rare and archive photographs (some of which can been seen in my interview with Alan Lancaster and John Coghlan elsewhere in this issue). Behind that are the eight discs - seven CD's and a DVD.

Disc one starts at the very beginning with the band as The Spectres, performing 'Gloria' and 'I (Who Have Nothing)' alongside other golden oldies like 'Bloodhound' all the way back in 1966. While interesting, I don't think the band are up to much on them - but they were only young lads back then! Things move on to the band as they become Traffic Jam and eventually morph into Status Quo. I wasn't that enthralled with the REALLY old stuff, but once we hit 'Pictures Of Matchstick Men and 'Ice In The Sun' things improve. The first disc ends with a Dave Lee Travis session featuring 'Junior's Wailing', 'Down The Dustpipe', and 'In My Chair' which I assume will begin to interest most fans a lot more.

Disc Two offers more radio sessions, including a rocking 'Mean Girl' from 'Sound Of The Seventies' in 1972, plus five songs from another broadcast of 'Sound Of The Seventies' featuring many favourites such as 'Don't Waste My Time', 'Softer Ride' and 'Paper Plane'. Those two also pop up on some John Peel sessions the year after, before we leap forward to 1989 which sees the band on Steve Wright's show playing what is basically an unplugged set. That's as entertaining as it is unlikely, before the disc is rounded off by a five track performance by the current line up on Ken Bruce's show, playing old favourites and material from 'The Party Ain't Over Yet'.

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The rest of the discs offer actual concerts that were broadcast. There's an energy packed show from 1972 at the Paris Theatre in London which hardcore fans will absolutely devour, along with the excellent show recorded at the Birmingham N.E.C. in front of Prince Charles which was originally released as 'Live At The N.E.C.'. However, this version brings you the full show with the missing tracks restored to their rightful place. A show from 1988 at Wembley Arena is also present, offering a chance to hear live performances of rarely heard tracks like 'Who Gets The Love' and 'Cream Of The Crop'.

Disc six is taken from the 'Party In the Park' at Birmingham in 1992 - you have already heard this show if you own the 'Live Alive Quo' album, but the reason it was put out as a live CD is because the band kicks ass on it - it's a superb gig. Disc seven may be better still, recorded at Brighton Centre on the 'Don't Stop' tour, the band blaze through old favourites, accompanied by some of the better covers from that album such as 'Get Back' and 'Proud Mary'. The shows have something for everyone - vintage material, classic era Quo gigs, shows from both side of the eighties, and one from the 90's.

Disc eight offers an hours worth of the N.E.C. show that was broadcast on TV, voiced over by the legendary Tommy Vance and is well worth watching. If that wasn't enough, it also contains 17 'Top Of the Pops' performances, from '...Matchstick Men' in 1968 all the way up to 'The Party Ain't Over Yet' in 2005, covering all points inbetween. On top of that, there are extra performances from every conceivable show such as The Old Grey Whistle Test, Little And Large, The Generation Game, Pebble Mill and Wogan.

Any Quo fan would surely be slavering at this - if the full eight disc set is too much for your wallet, there is a four disk version (basically what you see above whittled down into four CDs), a two CD version, or you can buy the DVD as a standalone product. However, if you're a serious Quo fan and you can spring for the full thing, it's worth it. Awesome!

James Gaden

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