CD Review: Status Quo - The Frantic Four's Final Fling

The final show from the final tour of Status Quo's classic lineup.
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For Status Quo fans, the unthinkable happened in 2013. The classic lineup -- consisting of Francis Rossi, Rick Parfitt, Alan Lancaster and John Coghlan -- reunited for a nine-date UK tour. After all, this lineup hadn't played together since 1981 and had been mired by lawsuits and inter-band tensions for years. The response to the tour was tremendous and the band went on the road again in 2014 as a final farewell to the Frantic Four. On April 12, 2014, the classic lineup played its final show at the Dublin O2 Arena and the band has released a live album, Status Quo -- The Frantic Four's Final Fling, to commemorate the event.

The show opens with a gritty rendition of "Junior's Wailing." Lancaster gives a bluesy vocal while Rossi shows off some nimble lead guitar work on this potent opener. A driving "Backwater" follows and one can sense the crowd's anticipation as they sing along to the guitar riff before Lancaster even begins his vocal. The two songs make a fierce opening pair and the band's chemistry is evident from the get-go as the band segues nicely into a strong "Just Take Me," that showcases some fine tribal drumming from Coughlan.

Rossi handles lead vocals on the heavy blues of "In My Chair." Rossi's voice and guitar work sound remarkably similar to his performances from the early 1970s, a testament to his live prowess. He delivers strong vocals and playing here and throughout the show. A scorching rendition of the aptly titled, "Gotta Go Home," on disc 2 reminds fans that musical chemistry can sometimes overcome bad blood and that, sometimes, one can go home again. The show ends with a blistering cover of Chuck Berry's "Bye Bye Johnny," thus bringing the show, and the classic lineup of the band, to a raucous close.

For Quo fans, these shows were a dream come true. For those who couldn't be there in person, the live CD is an excellent document of a band that still has all its chemistry even after decades apart. As Rossi has ruled out the possibility of new material from this lineup, this may truly be The Frantic Four's Final Fling.