10 April 2008
All you need to know about the greatest British rock n roll band
* STATUS QUO’S total world-wide record sales exceed 118 million units.
* QUO have recorded 64 British hit singles - more than any other band - 22 of which have hit the Top Ten. The first hit was ‘PICTURES OF MATCHSTICK MEN’ which reached Number 7 in January 1968.
* FRANCIS ROSSI and RICK PARFITT are the only original members in the current QUO line up. Keyboard player ANDREW BOWN joined in 1976, JOHN ‘RHINO’ EDWARDS (bass) joined in 1986 and MATT LETLEY (drums) arrived in May 2000.
* QUO have made 106 appearances on BBC TV’s ‘Top of the Pops’ - More than any other group.
* QUO have spent in excess of seven and a half years (415 weeks) in the British Singles Chart - The eleventh highest ever.
* QUO have had more hit albums (33) in the British Albums Chart than any other band apart from The Rolling Stones.
* QUO’S 1990 ‘ROCKIN’ ALL OVER THE YEARS’ album sold over 1.1 million units in Great Britain, attaining triple platinum sales status. The album spent over six months in the British Albums Chart, including ten weeks in the Top 10. World-wide sales exceed seven million.
* In 1981 QUO became one of the first recipients of the coveted SILVER CLEF AWARD, presented annually by the Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy Trust for outstanding services to British music.
* In 1982 QUO became the first contemporary band to play to Royalty when they performed a sell out charity show attended by HRH PRINCE CHARLES at the NEC in Birmingham. All proceeds were donated to the ‘Prince’s Trust’ - The first major fund raising event for the charity.
* In 1985 QUO opened LIVE AID with the song which was to become the event’s anthem ‘ROCKIN’ ALL OVER THE WORLD’.
* 1986 saw QUO playing three major shows in different countries within a twenty four hour period. Using a variety of private planes and boats, the band played in Britain (Knebworth), Switzerland and Denmark.
* In 1988 QUO played a record breaking series of fourteen sell out shows to over
300, 000 people at the giant Olympic Stadium in Moscow.
* QUO’S 25th anniversary celebrations in 1990 at Butlin’s in Minehead became the global media event of the year. Over 300 press, radio and TV representatives teamed up with holidaymakers to see QUO perform a special show in the Butlin’s ballroom!
* 1990 also saw QUO appearing at the massive Knebworth charity show. Broadcast to a world-wide TV audience of 200 million people, the event raised over £6 million for the Music Therapy Trust.
* September 21st 1991 saw QUO enter the Guinness Book of Records when they successfully completed their most ambitious project ever by playing four British shows in 11 hours and 11 minutes. The ‘ROCK ‘TIL YOU DROP’ event saw QUO play sell out shows at Sheffield Arena, Glasgow SE&CC, Birmingham NEC and Wembley Arena.
* ‘ROCK ‘TIL YOU DROP’ raised £2000,000 for children’s charities. The marathon event took a year to organise and involved four stages, 60 drums, 200 amplifiers, 62 guitars, 165 cymbals, 12 miles of cable, 50 cameras, 2000,000 watts of power, 25000 lights, 250 crew, 8 helicopters, 5 jets, 20 limousines and 16 police escorts.
* QUO\\\'S RICK PARFITT and FRANCIS ROSSI saw double during 1991 when they unveiled waxworks of themselves at Madame Tussauds Rock Circus wax museum. The waxworks are now included in the exhibition’s ‘Rock Legends Hall of Fame’.
* 1991 also saw QUO presented with the most prestigious award in British music when they were awarded the BRITS AWARD for ‘OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION TO THE BRITISH MUSIC INDUSTRY’. The band collected the award by ripping off their dinner jackets to reveal jeans and T-shirts hidden underneath. Britain’s biggest selling daily newspaper The Sun described the stunt as ‘the highlight of the entire show’.
* QUO made it a double celebration later in 1991 when HSH Prince Albert of Monaco presented the band with the ‘OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION TO THE ROCK INDUSTRY’ award at the World Music Awards in Monte Carlo.
* QUO followed the two awards by doing time for a day when Francis Rossi and Rick Parfitt opened a music workshop for inmates at London’s Pentonville Prison.
* The summer of 1991 saw QUO co headline Britain\\\'s biggest stadium tour of the year when the band played eight sell out shows with Rod Stewart. Over 260,000 people attended gigs at Celtic FC in Glasgow, Manchester United FC, Gateshead Stadium in Newcastle, Ipswich Town FC and Wembley Stadium.
* In August 1992 QUO headlined the Radio One 25th Anniversary Celebrations, playing to 125,000 people at the PARTY IN THE PARK at Sutton Park in Birmingham.
* October 1992 saw QUO perform at the prestigious ‘Last Tattoo’ in Berlin in the presence of HM QUEEN ELIZABETH.
* More than 25,000 people watched FRANCIS ROSSI and RICK PARFITT switch on the annual Blackpool illuminations in September 1993. The crowd was the biggest since JAYNE MANSFIELD switched on the lights in 1959.
* FRANCIS ROSSI and RICK PARFITT have brought the unlikely combination of fine china and Rock music together by giving ROYAL DOULTON permission to create limited edition ‘Character Jugs’ of themselves. It is the first time that the world famous china company has produced Character Jugs of living music artists since jugs of THE BEATLES were produced twenty years ago.
* In March 1994 QUO played a special one off concert ‘BY APPOINTMENT’ at London’s Royal Albert Hall to raise funds for THE PRINCE’S TRUST and Capital Radio’s ‘HELP A LONDON CHILD’ appeal. Over £70,000 was raised from the concert which was attended by HRH THE PRINCE OF WALES.
* 1994 also saw QUO produce a single titled ‘COME ON YOU REDS’ for the MANCHESTER UNITED FOOTBALL SQUAD. The record - a new version of QUO’S 1988 Top five hit ‘BURNING BRIDGES’ spent two weeks at Number One and achieved Gold sales status.
* In 1994 STATUS QUO met up with legendary American band THE BEACH BOYS when the two groups co-headlined ‘THE FAREWELL PARTY’ in Berlin - A massive open air show, attended by some 300,000 people, hosted by the Allied Forces of Great Britain, The USA and France to celebrate the withdrawal of troops from Berlin.
* The meeting led to the bands joining forces to record a new version of THE BEACH BOYS’ Sixties classic ‘FUN FUN FUN’. QUO recorded their parts in Surrey, England before sending the tapes to America where THE BEACH BOYS recorded their vocals in various studios and hotel rooms while on tour. The recording also marked the first occasion that BRIAN WILSON had joined the rest of the band on record in over 25 years.
* In their 39 year history, it is estimated that QUO have played over 6000 live shows to a total audience in excess of 25 million people. In doing so, the band has travelled some four million miles and spent 23 years away from home.
* QUO’S frantic gig schedule came to a temporary halt on May 1st 1997 when RICK PARFITT was rushed into a hospital for an emergency quadruple heart by-pass operation. Parfitt’s life saving surgery came less than a week after QUO had returned from gruelling round the world tour which had seen the band play a major series of shows in Japan, Australia, The USA and The Middle East in under five weeks. The operation resulted in the cancellation of twenty European festival dates and, following a three month recuperation, the band returned to live work with a massive outdoor gig at Norwich FC on August 2nd.
* In March 1999 QUO released the ‘UNDER THE INFLUENCE’ album. After playing to some two million people during 1998, the band promoted the launch in typical Quo style by embarking on a series of 10 UK pub gigs which saw them performing to just a couple of hundred people each night. The pubs were nominated in a competition held in The Sun newspaper which attracted over 10,000 entries. The UK pub gigs were followed by similar promotional shows in Amsterdam and Germany.
* June 1999 saw QUO opening two massive gigs at the Olympic Stadiums in Seoul, South Korea and Munich, Germany within just two days as part of the MICHAEL JACKSON & FRIENDS charity shows in aid of the children of Kosovo.
* QUO launched their 2000 Australian tour with a trip on the Australian version of the Orient Express, the Great South Pacific Express. The magnificant train took 250 fans and media to one of Australia’s oldest railway stations, Grandchester, located deep in the outback where Quo played a gig on a flatbed railway carriage in a searing temperature of over 30 degrees centegrade.
* In April 2001 QUO became the first outsiders ever to enter a BIG BROTHER house when they played a gig for the housemates in the Norwegian version of the hit TV show.
* QUO’S first new album of original material for over three years ‘HEAVY TRAFFIC’ was released in September 2002. The album was launched with a special media gig on the flight deck of the world’s most famous aircraft carrier HMS ARK ROYAL. To coincide with the release, a major new 90 minute, ‘warts ‘n all’ TV documentary of Quo’s life on the road, produced and directed by award winning film maker Jane Treays, was premiered on C4 in the UK.
* QUO’S first single from the album ‘JAM SIDE DOWN’ entered the UK Top Twenty at Number 17, an achievement which resulted in Quo becoming the first band to record Top Twenty hits across five decades.
* During October 2003 CLASSIC ROCK magazine published a one off, 148 page special dedicated to QUO which includes tributes from the likes of Metallica’s Lars Ulrich, HRH The Prince of Wales and Bruce Jones (Coronation Street’s Les Battersby).
* September 2004 saw the publication of XS ALL AREAS (Sidgwick &
Jackson), the riotous, uncensored joint autobiography of Francis Rossi and Rick Parfitt written with rock journalist Mick Wall.
* XS ALL AREAS was also the title of the CD and DVD release of Quo\\\'s Greatest
Hits (Universal - September 2004).
* 2005 was the band’s 40th year.
* In October and November 2005 two great British institutions joined forces when QUO appeared in a major storyline on the legendary UK TV show Coronation Street – itself 42 years old. The shows attracted over 12m viewers.
* QUO now hold the record for more hit singles than any other band, both international and British, in UK chart history, in November 2005 they were presented with certificates commemorating this milestone by the Guinness British Book of Hit Singles & Albums.
* 19 September 2005 saw the release of the latest QUO studio album. “The Party Ain’t Over Yet” was released by Sanctuary Records and contained two hit singles: the title track and “All That Counts Is Love”
* In November the band’s DVD “The Party Ain’t Over Yet” was issued through Warner Music Vision featuring behind the scenes secrets from the recording studio, Coronation Street and some ultra-rare and new footage from TV shows and live gigs.
* In November 2005 the band were voted Best Festival Feel Good Act by the UK Festival Awards 2005
* In December 2005 the band had to cancel the remaining nine dates of the UK tour when a potentially cancerous growth was discovered in Rick Parfitt’s throat. Happily the guitarist got the all clear.
* In May 2006 a fully recovered Parfitt and the band returned to the NEC to play the show that they had postponed in December. This was their 40th show at the venue, and was recorded for a DVD.
* In October “Status Quo, the Official 40th Anniversary Book” was published by Cassell and on 7 November 2006 the band’s latest DVD, the “Just Doin’ It” live recording was issued through Warner Music Vision.
* On the “Just Doin’ It” Winter 31-date UK tour in November and December, the band played their 40th Wembley show.
* On 1 July Status Quo joined the star-studded line-up at the new Wembley Stadium to perform at the globally-televised Concert For Diana.
* September 2007 saw the release of the band’s latest studio album, “In Search Of The Fourth Chord”, which became Quo’s 33rd hit album when it entered the UK album charts at number 15.
* 2008 marks the 40th anniversary of Status Quo’s first hit single ‘Pictures Of Matchstick Men’.
* 3 November saw the release across a range of formats of the ‘Pictures…40 Years of Hits’ retrospective album on UMTV. An enormous success, the album is certified Gold and becomes the band’s 37th chart album and also their 29th to reach the Top Twenty – which puts them ahead of The Beatles
* An album launch in aid of the Prince’s Trust youth organisation was held at the prestigious Bonham’s auctioneers. Going under the hammer were a huge range of celebrities’ Quo-inspired artworks and the band’s own effort. Artists included Brian Wilson, David Shepherd, Alice Cooper and Andrew Marr and all of the images featured in the ‘EarBook’ format of the album and over £100K was raised for the charity.
* ‘It’s Christmas Time’, the band’s 75th single and their first ever Christmas song was released on 8 November. An instant classic!
* In December the band were voted the hardest-working band of the year by the PRS, performing more arena dates than Take That! The Winter ‘Pictures: 40 Years Of Hits’ tour is a great success, though some of the 32 dates have to be rescheduled to 2009 due to Matt’s illness
* Summer 2009 sees the band out on the road around the UK and Europe – and on 28 June the band perform their first ever show at the renowned Glastonbury Festival turning in a performance that is the highlight of the whole weekend for many of the crowd. Quo drew what many veterans of the festival deemed to be the biggest crowd seen for the noon performance slot! Members of that day’s headline act Blur were seen excitedly making their way through the crowd to get a good view.
* 12 October sees the release of a storming live performance [and plenty of extras] by Quo, filmed at the world-famous Montreux Jazz Festival in July 2009. The performance is released on DVD, Blu-ray and DVD & CD Deluxe Edition by Eagle Rock Entertainment.
* The traditional UK Winter tour is confirmed for November and December 2009 and will round off a year that has featured shows in: Eire, Norway, Germany, Denmark, France, Sweden, Switzerland, Belgium, Spain, Gibraltar and the Czech Republic!
* Rick and Francis are recognised for their services to Music and Charity by the award of an OBE in the New Year Honours List
* In December the band were voted the hardest-working band of the year by the PRS, for the second year running!
* Francis Rossi announces that May 2010 will see the release of his solo album “One Step At A Time” and also a six date solo UK tour – his first ever