26 September 2023


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Reviewed by Ian Phillips.

By Status Quo, earMUSIC/Edel 2019.

Backbone is the 33rd studio album released by Status Quo or for those of us old enough to understand these things, it is their 33rd 33 and a third RPM.

This is the first Quo album not to feature the late great Rick Parfitt and many people doubted that it could be made without him.

However, Francis Rossi and the new line-up have been through a lot since Rick’s death and in doing so they have chalked up over 130 shows as a unit and travelled tens of thousands of miles.

This is a group of musicians that is strong and tighter than ever.

The album was recorded in Francis Rossi’s studio in late 2018 and into the earlier months of this year.

What started as free-flowing jam sessions to keep the juices flowing, improvise and have fun, slowly morphed into something more important as the hours rolled on and the songs stacked up.

There had been some resistance, even within the group, to doing a new album because they knew that if they did so it had to be seriously good.

They had invested too much of themselves over a very long time to let their standards slip and for the sake of their reputation, and for their fans, they were determined not to put in a half-hearted effort.

Francis Rossi is the major songwriter on Backbone however all band members have contributed to the writing in some way.

The classic Quo boogie is predominant throughout and this album sits comfortably in the band’s extensive repertoire.

Francis Rossi notes that “losing Rick (Parfitt) was hard to bear but through (new man) Richie Malone, who was inspired to pick up a guitar by Rick, we can not only keep going but actually pick up the pace.”

I think Quo fans are going to embrace this album – I have!

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