Recording information: Phonogram Studios, London (12/1975/01/1976).
Arranger: Status Quo .
Released in March 1976, Status Quo's ninth album was, depending upon how one viewed the last six years of relentless boogie, either the last of the band's "classic" LPs or the first step toward absolute household name-dom that the group has enjoyed ever since. In fact, of course, it was both. At its best -- the punchy (and almost presciently punkish) "Is There a Better Way," the sleazy barroom vibe of the title track, and the six-minute closer, "Mystery Song" -- Blue for You married vintage Quo with a progressive eye that boded well for at least another few albums' worth of quality quo-tations. Elsewhere, however, "Rolling Home," "That's a Fact," and "Rain" suggested a paint-by-numbers approach that hadn't simply isolated all the ingredients that brought the band its mass appeal, it then boiled them down to the lowest common denominator as well. The arrival, a little more than a year later, of "Rockin' All Over the World" would unequivocally prove which option they preferred. But Blue for You proves that at least they had a choice. ~ Dave Thompson