Reviews Zone

Bob Young: Back In Quo Country (HNE Recordings) Out Now


4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)


With Quo fans still mourning the death of Rick Parfitt, here’s a new release that Rick appears on; albeit as a backing vocalist with his partner in crime Francis Rossi. Bob Young has been part of the Quo legacy since the start; he joined them in 1968 as tour manager, harmonica player and co-writer on dozens of their songs across many albums.

He co-penned the hits “Down, Down,” “Caroline,” “Living On An Island,” and “Paper Plane.” He toured the globe with the band until 1981 until he quit the madness to settle down with his wife and three kids back at home.

Almost 50 years on, he continues writing with Francis Rossi and joined the band on tour in 2013 and 2014 on harmonica, as part of their Frantic Four re-union tours which re-united the original classic line-up for the first time in more than 30 years.

Soon after joining the band back in the 60s, Bob began a writing partnership with Quo bassist Alan Lancaster, guitarist Rick Parfitt and most prolifically with Francis Rossi. Spanning almost half a century the pair wrote many Quo hits together.

The band have made no secret of the fact they have a strong affinity for country music, and Rossi has always been fond of a lilting melody, a vital ingredient of country music. He shares this taste with Bob Young, who has devised this selection of well-known Quo songs which he has given  country treatment.

For some this will be an acquired taste. For a few Quo fans, they may feel it is sacrilege. For me; I think it is a bit of a treat and appreciate the left-field thinking that has gone into this project. For most of the songs, it works well, and is a subtle change to the originals. But it is definitely worth a listen and if you are a country fan or a Quo fan; or both, this is worthy of adding to your collection.

We get 10 cuts, plus eight bonus tracks. As well as classic Quo songs “Claudie,”, “Mean Girl,” and “Living On An Island,” on the original 10 track album which was released in 1985, the bonus cuts include the Charlie Daniels’ classic “The Devil Went Down To Georgia,” “Chicago Blue,” “Just Close Your Eyes,” and “I’ll Be Back,” produced by Deep Purple’s Roger Glover.

Guests here are ex Whitesnake man Micky Moody on guitar, country finger picker Albert Lee shines on the frantic version of “Mean Girl”, Billy Bremner from Rockpile (not the Leeds Utd hard man!), pedal steel master BJ Cole, Pete Wiltshire, Francis Rossi and Rick Parfitt.

Quo fans get a rare treat when the album closes with a six minute recording from a 1973 writing session for the band’s first number one single, “Down Down.” Recorded at the Travelodge Motel in Hollywood on the band’s first US tour.


By Simon Redley



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