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Parfitt, Rick: Over And Out/Over And Out (The Band's Mix)

It was Christmas Eve 2016 that the awful news broke that Rick Parfitt, guitarist, singer and song writer for British rock stalwarts Status Quo, had died. One of the regrets that many of Rick's fans professed at the time was that the co-lynchpin in Quo had never quite managed to get his long promised solo album out there. The 1985 Recorded Delivery sessions never going on to be released, although some of the tracks did see the light of day as full Quo cuts.

However, not long after he passed away it was announced that Over And Out, a solo album Rick had been working on after ill health had prevented him hitting the road with Quo, was near completion. With Quosters old and new - bassists Alan Lancaster and 'Rhino' Edwards and drummer John Coghlan - and Rick son, Rick jnr., all helping the creative process, we finally have not one, but two version of said album to savour.

Now the reason there are two versions is that with producer Ash Howes polishing up the results and giving the songs a big bold production, the band who'd worked on the material realised that they preferred the dirtier, rawer mixes they'd created. Friendly debate sprang up about which version Rick himself would have favoured, but in the end everyone agreed that he'd most likely have loved both, so both we have (available together and separately depending on which format takes your fancy). No matter which you choose the songs are well worth all the effort put in both before and after Rick's death.

"Twinkletoes" gets us underway, and if there was ever any doubt who the driving force was behind these songs, the classic Quo chug and sparkling voice of Rick Parfitt clears things up immediately. It's a great introduction and one which would have fitted neatly on a latter day classic Quo album such as In Search Of The Fourth Chord. With a stinging guitar solo courtesy of Queen's Brian May, no less, (something MUCH more apparent on the Band Mixes) and solid bass work from Chris Wolstenholme of Muse, to say Over And Out is off and running at full pelt, would be a mighty understatement. Unsurprisingly, given how much of Quo's output he wrote, a few other tracks fall into the same style, "Lonesome Road" a vintage mid-paced boiler that turns into a romp along riff that wouldn't have been out of place on the Quo album I kid you not! The more obvious vintage rock n' roll-lite of "Fight For Every Heartbeat" feels more like the commercial rock of the 1+9+8+2 era of Quo, while the harmonica wail of "Everybody Knows How To Fly" sounds like Bob Young just walked back in the room! More familiar to Quo fans will be the keyboard infused "Halloween", this Recorded Delivery track already repackaged by Quo for a b'side, but this slightly harder version betters the earlier recording by quite some way - Rick's vocals on real top form.

There are also some real welcome asides, the album's title track a slower lament that suits the guitarist's voice to a tee. "When I Was Falling In Love" adds a rock n' roll jangle that reminds of The Traveling Wilburys and ELO/Jeff Lynne, while "Without You" (also originally from Recorded Delivery) is a piano ballad where Rick recounts life without his then estranged son. Interestingly "Long Distance Love" sounds like a contemporary slice of rock n' country and in the right hands could be a hit across the world today, leaving "Lock Myself Away" to swing and sway in classic rockabilly fashion and reveal some more of this underrated guitarist's influences from way back when.

As you'll gather, I'm a partizan Quo fan but even with that in mind, I have to admit to having been pleasantly surprised by the class, quality and (relative) diversity of what's been delivered by Rick and friends on Over And Out. Personally I prefer the Band's Mixes version, but if I'd only heard what appears to be being treated as the standard edition, I'd have been just as impressed. And with that in mind, I can heartily recommend this to anyone who found the music of Status Quo as exciting as I did growing up in the late 70s and early 80s, although there are also interesting nods to other musical eras along the way.

So, it's Over And Out. Thanks for the music and memories Rick - and thanks for a cracking final album!

Track Listing

Added: March 10th 2018
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Over And Out @ Status Quo online
Hits: 2186
Language: english

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