With due respect to Classic Rock’s Dave Ling and “fifth member” Bob Young (who wrote and supplied rarely seen photos for its 36-page booklet) you’ll buy this because, as well as the legendary Live!, it includes two extra live albums, previously officially unavailable in the UK.
Status Quo: Status Quo Live! Boxset
The seminal Frantic Four Live! album – with extra boogie bang for your buck.
These are Live Sydney (oft bootlegged) and Tokyo Quo (a Japan-only release in 1977 that briefly emerged here, on vinyl, for Record Store Day 2014). Live!, the remastered two-disc balcony-wobbling Glasgow Apollo album (recorded in October 1976) restores the original 93-and-a-half-minute running order of the vinyl so – presuming we can take it as read that it’s the cat’s cojones – we need only consider the other two here.
The Tokyo album is, all things considered, a disappointment. Recorded just three weeks after Live!, it’s only half as long and replicates nine of the original’s 15-strong setlist. Quo rock hard enough to win over their far more reserved Japanese audience, but it lacks the frenzy of the Apollo gigs. Much more interesting is the 62-minute Sydney disc – including Claudie and Railroad among earlier takes of the Live! classics.
Admittedly, although cleaned up, the mixing-desk tape (a C90 cassette, I’ll wager) sounds flat alongside Live! or Tokyo Quo – and a break in the audio sees Roadhouse Blues split in two (shame it didn’t instead coincide with the lettuce-limp Drum Solo). But no amount of tape hiss or crackling can ruin this. Rossi is in full-on Del-Boy mode with his patter and the band play like boogie hooligans running riot.