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Status Quo: Never Too Late (Deluxe Edition)
It's hard to know exactly where to point your Quo cash at right now. Should you buy the vinyl album boxsets? Or maybe the same format, but this time the 7" singles box releases which come split in to five different, if rather beautiful, sets? Of course, there's also these expanded, remastered, deluxe CD reissues. Never Too Late the final release of the third phase, which would appear to gather together all the bonus tracks from 2005 version and add a full live show from 1981.
If the latter is your option, then what do you get? Well, for starters a neatly remastered version of drummer John Coghlan's last outing with the band, this underrated album still possessing some fine, well known songs and a few excellent deeper cuts. If you've never encountered the catchy "Take Me Away", punchy "Don't Stop Me Now" or jaunty "Falling In Falling Out", then you've long missed out, while "Mountain Lady" may outshine them all. Add in the more commercial title track and hit single "Something 'Bout You Baby I Like" and Never Too Late is an album that deserves much more love than it usually gets.
Disc two in this three disc set provides the single cut of the Just Supposin' album track "Rock n' Roll" (although it was, oddly, released during NTL's promo cycle) and a previously available acoustic instrumental demo for "Something 'Bout You...", which proves mildly interesting. The final four studio cuts are taken from an Austrian promo flexi-single (remember them?), where cut down versions of "Something...", "Don't Stop Me Now" and, for some reason, "What You're Proposing", sit next to a 3 minute 41 second overview of the whole Never Too Late album; all four tracks featuring a remarkably unenthusiastic German voice over. They're good fun, but surely even for completists, a once only experience.
From there the rest of disc two and all of disc three are a twenty track, never officially released before live show from St. Austell, England in 1981; a pre-encore voice over alluding to this being from a radio broadcast. However, in truth we're talking ropey, in crowd, bootleg quality where it's easy to hear people clap and sing over the songs and chat between them – a less initiated audience member exclaiming 'I like that one' after Just Supposin' album cut "Over The Edge" has been given the works. In fairness, the band are in fine fettle – although guitarist Rick Parfitt occasionally misses a cue – but the manner in which Francis Rossi's vocals slip into inaudibility is hugely frustrating, especially when combined to Alan Lancaster's booming bass and Coghlan's thunking kick drum. In a way it's to be admired that no one decided to tart this live show up somewhat, and yet there's no denying that it's hardly an engaging listen.
All that said, Never Too Late is mid period Quo on top form, factor in a good remaster and a host of bonus content and there's a lot to like here. Be warned though, if your purchase is based purely on the extra tracks, then you might be a little disappointed.
1. Never Too Late
2. Something 'Bout You Baby I Like
3. Take Me Away
4. Falling In Falling Out
6. Long Ago
7. Mountain Lady
8. Don't Stop Me Now
9. Enough Is Enough
1. Rock 'N' Roll - Single Version
2. Don't Stop Me Now - Austrian Flexi Disc
3. What You're Proposing - Austrian Flexi Disc
4. LP Overview - Austrian Flexi Disc
5. Something 'Bout You Baby I Like - Austrian Flexi Disc
6. Something 'Bout You Baby I Like - demo acoustic instrumental
7. Caroline - St Austell 1981
8. Roll Over Lay Down - St Austell 1981
9. Backwater - St Austell 1981
10. Little Lady - St Austell 1981
11. Don't Drive My Car - St Austell 1981
12. Whatever You Want - St Austell 1981
13. Hold You Back - St Austell 1981
14. Something 'Bout You Baby I Like - St Austell 1981
15. Rockin All Over the World - St Austell 1981
16. Over the Edge - St Austell 1981
1. Rock N Roll - St Austell 1981
2. Dirty Water - St Austell 1981
3. 4500 Times - St Austell 1981
4. Big Fat Mama - St Austell 1981
5. Don't Waste My Time - St Austell 1981
6. Roadhouse Blues - St Austell 1981
7. Rain - St Austell 1981
8. Down Down - St Austell 1981
9. Drum Solo - St Austell 1981
10. Bye Bye Johnny - St Austell 1981
Added: June 10th 2017
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Never Too Late @ Status Quo online
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