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Status Quo

Biography

Quick, name the band: It's placed 30 albums in the British Top 20 (including four No. 1's) since 1972, but only hit the U.S. album chart once, with a record that peaked at No. 148 in 1976. It's also scored over 60 hit singles in England -- reportedly more than any other rock band -- yet it hasn't reached the U.S. singles chart for over four decades, despite continuing to make records. The only possible answer is Status Quo, known in the U.S. almost exclusively for the single "Pictures of Matchstick Men," which went to No. 12 in 1968. That classic's been covered by everyone from Camper Van Beethoven to Ozzy Osbourne, and its riff has been swiped by thousands. But by the early '70s, Status Quo had given up twee psych-pop for a pile-driving biker-boogie trudge that would serve them well for the next several generations and for scores of largely interchangeable but reliably songful albums beloved by Brits and ignored by Americans. If you need a U.S. parallel, think ZZ Top. But even ZZ didn't have a chart-topping single in their homeland -- and certainly not one where they collaborated with a soccer team, as the Quo did with Manchester United in 1994's "Come on You Reds."
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