Status Quo

Status Quo was an English hard-rock/boogie band from London that initially cut three beat singles as The Spectres circa 1966/67, followed by a fourth as The Traffic Jam in 1967. After settling on the name Status Quo, the band released four albums on Pye between 1968 and 1971, followed by 16 further studio albums on Vertigo during the subsequent 20-year period.

The band’s first album, Picturesque Matchstickable Messages From The Status Quo, yielded several hits in the pop-psych vein, including Quo’s only Billboard Top 40 entry “Pictures of Matchstick Men.” Starting with the 1972 release Piledriver, the band scored a string of U.K. hits and ultimately became one of rock’s biggest all-time acts outside the U.S.

Members: Francis Rossi (guitar, vocals), Rick Parfitt (guitar, vocals, 1967-2016), Alan Lancaster (bass, guitar, 1967-85), John Coghlan (drums, 1967-82), Roy Lynes (keyboards, 1967-70), Pete Kircher (drums, 1982-85), Andy Bown (keyboards, piano, guitar, 1982-present), Jeff Rich (drums, 1986-2000), John “Rhino” Edwards (bass, guitar, 1986-present)


Status Quo evolved from a musical partnership established in 1962 by 13-year-olds Francis Rossi (guitar/vocals) and Alan Lancaster (bass), then students at Sedgehill Comprehensive School in Catford. They rehearsed as The Paladins and The Scorpions with schoolmates Jess Jaworski (keyboards) and Alan Key (drums). The following year, Keys cleared way for drummer John Coghlan (b. 1946) and the band renamed itself The Spectres.

The Spectres

After getting a residency at the Samuel Jones Sports Club, The Spectres were taken under the managerial wing of gasfitter Pat Barlow, who secured them gigs on the London club circuit. In 1965, Jaworski quit and the band hired keyboardist Roy Lyne (b. 1943). Around this time, Rossi befriended guitarist/singer Rick Parfitt (1948–2016) of local cabaret act The Highlights.

In July 1966, The Specters were signed to Picadilly Records, which issued their first two singles that year: “I (Who Have Nothing)” b/w “Neighbour-Neighbour” (both covers) and the Lancaster originals “Hurdy Gurdy Man” (not the Donovan song)  b/w “Laticia.” The third and final Specters single was the 1967 Blues Magoos cover “(We Ain’t Got) Nothin’ Yet” b/w the group original “I Want It.”

The Traffic Jam

When psychedelia took hold, they renamed themselves Traffic but soon learned the name had been claimed for Steve Winwood‘s new band. They expanded the name to The Traffic Jam and issued a fourth single, “Almost But Not Quite There” b/w “Wait Just a Minute.” Immediately after its release, Parfitt joined as rhythm guitarist and co-vocalist. In August 1967, the now-five-piece band renamed itself The Status Quo.

Picturesque Matchstickable Messages From The Status Quo

Status Quo released their debut album, Picturesque Matchstickable Messages From The Status Quo, on September 27, 1968, on Pye.

Spare Parts

Status Quo released their second album, Spare Parts, on September 26, 1969, on Pye.

Ma Kelly’s Greasy Spoon

Status Quo released their third album, Ma Kelly’s Greasy Spoon, on August 28, 1970, on Pye.

Dog of Two Head

Status Quo released their fourth album, Dog of Two Head, on November 5, 1971, on Pye.


Status Quo released their fifth album, Piledriver, on December 15, 1972, on Vertigo.


Status Quo released their sixth album, Hello!, on September 28, 1973, on Vertigo.


Status Quo released their seventh album, Quo, on May 3, 1974, on Vertigo.

On the Level

Status Quo released their eighth album, On the Level, on February 21, 1975, on Vertigo.

Blue for You

Status Quo released their ninth album, Blue for You, on March 12, 1976, on Vertigo.


On March 4 1977, Status Quo released the double-album Live!, culled from their October 27–29, 1976, shows at Glasgow’s Apollo Theatre.

Rockin’ All Over the World

Status Quo released their tenth album, Rockin’ All Over the World, on November 11, 1977, on Vertigo.

If You Can’t Stand the Heat

Status Quo released their eleventh studio album, If You Can’t Stand the Heat, on October 27, 1978, on Vertigo.

Whatever You Want

Status Quo released their twelfth studio album, Whatever You Want, on October 12, 1979, on Vertigo.

Just Supposin’

Status Quo released their thirteenth album, Just Supposin’, on October 17, 1980, on Vertigo.

Never Too Late

Status Quo released their fourteenth album, Never Too Late, on March 13, 1981, on Vertigo.


Status Quo released their fifteenth album, 1+9+8+2, on April 16, 1982, on Vertigo.

Back to Back

Status Quo released their sixteenth album, Back to Back, on November 25, 1983, on Vertigo.

In the Army Now

Status Quo released their seventeenth album, In the Army Now, on August 29, 1986, on Vertigo.

Ain’t Complaining

Status Quo released their eighteenth album, , on June 6, 1988, on Vertigo.


  • Picturesque Matchstickable Messages From The Status Quo (1968)
  • Spare Parts (1969)
  • Ma Kelly’s Greasy Spoon (1970)
  • Dog of Two Head (1971)
  • Piledriver (1972)
  • Hello! (1973)
  • Quo (1974)
  • On the Level (1975)
  • Blue for You (1976)
  • Rockin’ All Over the World (1977)
  • Live! (2LP, 1977)
  • If You Can’t Stand the Heat (1978)
  • Whatever You Want (1979)
  • Just Supposin’ (1980)
  • Never Too Late (1981)
  • 1+9+8+2 (1982)
  • Back to Back (1983)
  • In the Army Now (1986)
  • Ain’t Complaining (1988)
  • Rock ‘Til You Drop (1991)


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