1974 and even more 1975 I remember as years full of soft soul hits, novelty songs, fakish bands like The Rubettes and other stuff that I just did not like. The top 40 was not really my domain any more. The years before I truly discovered the power of albums, they were simply too expansive, financially beyond my reach for years to come. That discovery started late in 1975 and early 1976. In that wasteland of soul music a song was dropped that opened my ears to another sort rock, something I had not heard before. 'Down Down' and not much later the live version of 'Roll Over Lay Down' was released, both top 10 hits over here. They tuned my ears. Finally something was happening and the four men of Status Quo were responsible.
This was not the first time I had heard the band. In 1968 they scored a psychedelic hitsingle with 'Pictures Of Matchstick Men', the song with that mysterious riff and all the fading in and out of the sound. I remember liking hearing the song being played on the radio. The two minor hits that followed totally passed me by, as did the small hit the band had in 1973 that in hindsight announced what was to follow two years later. For me the switch was enormous from a memory to what was going on seven years later.
'Down Down' was the beginning of a long line of hit singles well into the 1980s, but that did not really have me interested any more. I have no Quo album in my collection, at least that I bought myself, but have several of the singles from 1975 up to 1979. That was enough for me and it's years since I played them. I never became a fan in the true sense. For that the band's music was too one dimensional for me. I moved on, but each time 'Down Down' is on the radio it can trigger the excitement I felt in the spring of 1975.
Apparently the band was still playing in 2016, although for decades Parfitt and Francis Rossi were the only original members, since 1964 when Parfitt joined the other three original members, then called The Specters. That will now have ended with an accident in a house in the south of Spain. Stairs are dangerous things, no matter how handy an invention they are. One of my dad's motto's was: one hand for your self and one for the ship/stairs. Something worth to incorporate.
Although Status Quo is a band from a long, long time ago, the memory of that first rock single will never fade and will be with me for may a year.