"ROCKIN' ALL OVER THE YEARS" - Status Quo in the year 1972

 german cover of the Status Quo single 'Paper Plane'  Poster of the Lincoln Festivals 1972  japanese cover of the Status Quo single 'Paper Plane'

concerts, publications, charts, miscellaneous

The year 1972 - it was the year of the breakthrough for Status Quo. They were the winners on 2 great festivals (Lincoln and Reading). The first months of the new year saw Status Quo on the road - they developed their live performances. The sound got louder and the famous heads-down was born. The shows sometimes lasted for 2 hours and the songs "Big Fat Mama" and "Roadhouse Blues" went into the setlist. There was a change of the record company. The new record label was Vertigo which belongs to the big PHONOGRAM record company. In autumn the band was concentrating on producing a new album "Piledriver", which was the best Status Quo album at the time and it achieved chart success and climbed up to No.5 in early 1973. Also a new single "Paper Plane" was released which was a chart success too. The new Quo-Sound pleased many rock fans and the number of the Quo fans increased. Even the critics regarded Status Quo now as a good rock band and they received good reviews with their new album. All 91 known shows of 1972: ...more
Pictures: Single-Cover "Paper Plane" (Germany) - Poster of the Lincoln Festival 1972 (by kind permission Lincoln-Website) - "Paper Plane" (Japan) (by kind permission G.Röder)


  • 03.02.1972: kick-off of a 13 dates-tour to promote the "Dog of two head" album with Paul Brett's Band SAGE, who was also signed to PYE records.
  • May 1972: Manager Colin Johnson's agency "Acron Artists" became part of Gaff Masters Management.
  • 10.05.1972: kick-off of the SLADE-Tour around England with Status Quo as special guests. The tour included 12 shows and ended in Manchester, May 30.
  • 29.05.1972: excellent performance at the Great Western Lincoln Festival in Bardley near Lincoln. The 3 days-event saw typical english weather with pouring rain and storms. The venue was more a mud place and the audience was looking for shelter under big umbrellas and plastic tents. Much to manager Colin Johnson efforts the band could perform on the main stage. They were due to perform in a stage tent which was blown down by a storm the night before. But when Status Quo appeared on stage on this rainy day everybody was up on their feet with a stunning show of the band. A performance which gave the band a good promotion and good reviews in the music papers. The festival was attended by 50.000 people. On my researches I found a very good website about this festival, even with reviews from fans.: -> click here
  • July 1972: Change of the record company. The contract with PYE records has come to an end and they were signed to the Vertigo label a subsidiary of the Phonogram record company. Brian Shepherd, A & R manager of the Vertigo-Label soon recognised that Status Quo was the right band for his new record label. Afterwards Status Quo became the flag ship of the Vertigo label were Black Sabbath was signed too.
  • 08./09.07.1972: Status Quo played 2 shows at the german Dallenberg-Festival. Other bands were Atomic Rooster and Alexis Corner.
  • 13.08.1972: another milestone in live-history - Status Quo at the Reading Jazz and Blues Festival, which was established the year before. This time it was sunny weather when Status Quo entered the stage to set the festival alight with a stormy 2-hour-performance. The songs "Big Fat Mama" and "Roadhouse Blues" were included, the songs which were published much later that year on the new album. The audience was enthusiastical about Quo's show and even the representatives of the new record company were impressed by Status Quo's performance. Status Quo appeared another 3 times at the Reading Festival. (1973, 1978, 1987)
  • September 1972: the band went into the IBC-Studios, London, to record their first self-produced album. Francis Rossi said: "We've been concentrated to put the live-sound on this album." Apart from "Roadhouse Blues", a Doors song from the "Morrison Hotel" album, all songs were self-penned. A little note: the song "A Year" is the first song were song-writer Bernie Frost contributed. (many QUO songs are written by the songwriter team Rossi / Frost.)
  • 10.11.1972: 1. single-release "Paper Plane" (Rossi/Young) Lead-Vocals: Francis Rossi with the B-Side "Softer Ride" (Lancaster/Parfitt) Lead-Vocals: Francis Rossi. The lyrics of "Paper Plane" are based on a novel written by Bob Young and with "the 3 grand deutsche car" the Mercedes 600 is meant, which the band drove in the early 70's. This song was the break-through for Status Quo, he included everything which Status Quo stands for. A real "Heads-Down" song, the trademark of the band. Very impressive Status Quo showed who they are. The song was a sensation and achieved chart success.
  • 06.12.1972: BBC-Sessions with songs from the new album.
  • 12.12.1972: in Kid Jensen radio-show, a DJ of radio Luxemburg, a Status Quo Special was broadcasted with Francis Rossi and Colin Johnson talking about the upcoming new album. Kid Jensen itself was a big Quo-fan and he did a lot radio promotion for Status Quo. The year before Status Quo played a RTL show were Kid Jensen entered the stage at the final song "Bye Bye Johnny". The RTL radio was very popular in the seventies especially in Germany and other european countries because they played the music the youth generation wanted to hear.
  • 15.12.1972: release of the "Piledriver" album. The album is a milestone in Status Quo's career, one of the best QUO albums at all and they really put the live-sound on this album. It was the first Status Quo album which entered the UK-album-charts and it climbed to No.5 in early 1973. Will you believe: the record company paid 30.000 pounds for the album promotion - poster were seen all over Britain and Gorilla cut-outs were in the record shops. And on the cover the typical QUO pose: all heads-down legs apart for which the band became well-known..
  • 19.12.1972: first headline show in Germany - Cologne, Theater am Weisshaus.
  • Andy Bown with his first solo-album: "Gone to my head" (Mercury 63 10 002)

    UK discography 1972:

  • Single: Paper Plane (Rossi/Young) / Softer Ride (Lancaster / Parfitt) Kat.Nr.: Vertigo 6059 071
  • LP: Piledriver (Vertigo 6360 082) (Cassette: Vertigo 7138 042) (8-track: Vertigo 7739009)

    1. some good albums of the year: Made in Japan (Deep Purple) - a fantastic live-album of the hardrock band. Exile on Main Street (Rolling Stones) - Close to the Edge (YES) - Foxtrot (Genesis) - The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust (David Bowie)
    2. Hits of the year in UK:
    Singles: 1. I'd like to teach the world to sing (New Seekers) 2. Amazing grace (Royal Scots Dragoon Guards) 3. Puppy Love (Donny Osmond)
    Albums: 1. Bridge over troubled water (Simon & Garfunkel) 2. Electric Warrior (T.REX) 3. Teaser and the firecat (Cat Stevens)
    3. Football: Derby County became english champions and again Celtic Glasgow won the scottish trophy.
    4. some cinema films of 1972: "Godfather" - "Deliverance" (Burt Reynolds) - "Cabaret" (Liza Minelli) - "What's up Doc" (Barbra Streisand)