Friday, January 13, 2012

Status Quo - The Technicolor Dreams (1966-69)


This double-CD set delivers a lot more than its title promises, containing not only all of Status Quo's 1960s vintage recordings -- all of the singles and B-sides, the mono album Picturesque Matchstickable Messages From... and the stereo mix of their second album, Spare Parts, plus odd singles and rarities (including a stereo mix of "Pictures of Matchstick Men,") but every side left behind by the pre-Status Quo Spectres and their reincarnation as Traffic Jam. Those sides make for a killer opening to disc one here, encompassing "Hurdy Gurdy Man" (not the Donovan song), "Laticia," "(We Ain't Got) Nothin' Yet," their pre-psychedelic debut, "I (Who Have Nothing)," and their organ-driven rendition of "Walking With My Angel." All of their work serves as a more than suitable prelude to the more familiar Status Quo material, which pretty much encompasses their entire psychedelic output, and fans of freakbeat/psychedelic sounds will find lots to love on this set -- these guys should have been near-gods on the music scene of the period, instead of being limited to the one-off monster hit, based on the evidence at hand, with pop instincts to match the spaciness of some of their musical visions -- even their version of "Green Tambourine" has a sharp edge, particularly in the drumming and bass work, that's worth hearing more than once, and the stereo remix of "Pictures of Matchstick Men" has more credibility and raw power than such reconsiderations usually display. In short, there's a lot on both of these discs to keep even the non-fan busy for a day or more, especially as the sound is superb, absolutely killer on single and album tracks alike. And the annotation (supported with lots of color art) by David Wells is entertaining as well as highly informative.


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