CD Review: Status Quo - Bula Quo!

British veterans star in their first movie and provide the soundtrack in the process.
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While they may not be household names in America, British rockers, Status Quo, have carved out a successful career in Europe that has lasted more than 40 years. They have performed at prestigious gigs such as Live Aid and were on the bill for Queen's legendary Wembley Stadium shows in 1986, but there's one thing the band hasn't done until now -- record a movie soundtrack. Bula Quo! is the soundtrack to the film of the same name, which features the band as themselves (also a first). The soundtrack is a 2-CD collection featuring new original material, reworked tracks and live cuts.

A driving drum intro starts out album opener "Looking Out For Caroline," a hard-charging rocker with a crunchy guitar riff and slide guitar accents. Like many of the tracks, it has a big, sing-along chorus. Another rocker, "GoGoGo," has a James Bond vibe during its choruses and a staccato guitar intro. An edgy number, it's one of the stronger tracks on the album.

"Running Inside My Head" has the band venturing into power pop territory. It's trippy vocals in the song's beginning give way to more straightforward fare as the song kicks in. "All That Money" is a powerful song, featuring a strong vocal and a dramatic chorus. Singer/lead guitarist Francis Rossi and singer/rhythm guitarist Rick Parfitt have aged well, both in their playing and singing throughout the album.

On "Mystery Island," the band takes a breather from the hard rock and offers up a track with an island feel, most likely to coincide with the movie. Regardless, it breaks up the album nicely. Less successful is "Fiji Time," a song that attempts to take "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da" to the tropics.

Disc two features two songs from the band's 2011 studio release, Quid Pro Quo as well as a number of live cuts, most notably "Pictures of Matchstick Men," the band's sole U.S. hit. The disc also includes a reworking of "Living On An Island (Fiji Style)," originally from the band's 1979 album, Whatever You Want.

Bula Quo! is the first movie soundtrack and first movie that Status Quo has starred in. Its hard-rocking songs offer a fun backdrop for the movie and prove that Status Quo rocks as hard as ever.