Daily Dose: ‘In The Army Now’ by Status Quo

I know that it’s Christmas, but Rick Parfit died yesterday, and I’ve written about the songs of most everyone else who did, so it seems only fair. Besides, a lot of Christmas music is drab, stereotypical, and quite often racist, so no loss. And yes, I know that Status Quo did a Christmas song, but I thought that might seem a little forced.

Also, while being reminded of it isn’t fun, there is a war going on in Syria right now (and other places). At least one reflective moment for today, before I (hopefully) lighten the mood a bit later.

To be honest, I’ve never been the hugest Quo fan, or of boogie rock in general, but this is one of those instances where you can’t argue with the record (60 UK chart hits). It may seem like I picked this song to make a “gods army now” reference, but that seems trite, and also it’s much more likely that Parfit has joined the ever growing undead army of deceased ex-rockers that threatens to overwhelm us all. In actual fact, I picked it because I think it’s their best song, as well as being deceptively sombre (and being one of their few really famous tracks that isn’t full on boogie exuberance). Like a lot of the big Quo numbers, it’s a cover: first recorded in 1981 by the Dutch duo of brothers Rob and Ferdi Bolland. The Quo version is taken from the album of the same name, released on the 29th on August 1986, the first album to feature longtime bassist John “Rhino” Edwards. Oddly, they did a second version in 2010 with less of an anti-war bent (changed lyrics), presumably due to the proceeds being dedicated to military related charities. Maybe they changed their minds? As someone who generally is opposed to concept of people killing each other to appease their privileged overlords, I prefer the original. Anyhoo, Rick Parfit had a heck of a life, from a working class lad from Woking to opening for Live Aid. In the middle, there was a whole lot of success and stadium based stardom. He also co-wrote ‘Whatever you want’ and spent £1,000 a week on cocaine and another £500 on vodka. Pretty good going, Mr Parfit.

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