Status Quo – Piledriver (Deluxe Edition)

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Review by Dean Pedley

Coming along to whet the appetite for round two of the Frantic Four reunion shows we have this deluxe version of Quo’s 1972 classic, Piledriver. Expanded to a double-disc edition and featuring a bonus collection of live performances and radio sessions, long-time Quo-fan Dave Ling has written extensive sleeve notes for the booklet which also features rare photos by the band’s former tour manager, songwriter and occasional harmonica player Bob Young. All of this equates to twenty three tracks of vintage Quo albeit with several duplications of the same track which means you get four (yes, four) versions of ‘Paper Plane’, the albums only single which hit # 8 and was the first in a run of 33 consecutive UK Top 40 hits.

Status Quo – PiledriverThe band’s first album for Vertigo, this was when Quo finally shrugged off their 60’s psychedelic flower power past and launched the no-nonsense heads-down hard-rocking eight-legged boogie machine that we all came to love. The signs had been there with the well-received Ma Kelly’s Greasy Spoon (1970) and Dog of Two Head (1971) but Piledriver was the real deal. The original vinyl edition had just eight tracks including Quo benchmarks ‘Big Fat Mama’, ‘Don’t Waste My Time’ and the aforementioned ‘Paper Plane’ that sat alongside the fuzzy blues of ‘Oh Baby’, Zeppelin-esque ballad ‘A Year’ and country twang of ‘Unspoken Words’. The Alan Lancaster lead vocal led cover of The Doors ‘Roadhouse Blues’ was a staple of any Quo gig in the 70’s and remains a glorious highlight. Disc Two pulls together assorted Peel Sessions and a BBC In Concert set, the real gem being B-side ‘Softer Ride’ that should have made the album itself. ‘Roadhouse Blues’ stretched to fifteen minutes and offers further evidence that when Quo rocked, they truly rocked hard.

There is a healthy demand for all things nostalgic these days and if any Quo album deserves the deluxe treatment then Piledriver has proven itself to be a worthy candidate. Buy this sparkly new version of the album by all means, but make doubly sure you don’t miss the gigs.

9 out of 10

Disc 1:

  1. Don’t Waste My Time
  2. Oh Baby
  3. A Year
  4. Unspoken Words
  5. Big Fat Mama
  6. Paper Plane
  7. All the Reasons
  8. Roadhouse Blues
Disc 2:

  1. Don’t Waste My Time (Peel Session 1972)
  2. Oh Baby (Peel Session 1972)
  3. Unspoken Words (Peel Session 1972)
  4. Paper Plane (Peel Session 1972)
  5. Softer Ride (Peel Session 1972)
  6. Paper Plane (Peel Session 1973)
  7. Don’t Waste My Time (Peel Session 1973)
  8. Junior’s Wailing (BBC In Concert 1973)
  9. Someone’s Learning (BBC In Concert 1973)
  10. In My Chair (BBC In Concert 1973)
  11. Railroad (BBC In Concert 1973)
  12. Don’t Waste My Time (BBC In Concert 1973)
  13. Paper Plane (BBC In Concert 1973)
  14. Roadhouse Blues (BBC In Concert 1973)
  15. Bye Bye Johnny (BBC In Concert 1973)