Status Quo is one of Britain's longest-lived bands, staying together for over 30 years. During much of that time, the band was only successful in the UK, where they racked up a string of Top Ten singles that ran into the '90s. In America, the group was ignored after they abandoned psychedelia for heavy boogie rock in the early '70s. Before that, the Quo managed to reach number 12 in the US with the psychedelic classic "Pictures of Matchstick Men" (a Top Ten hit in the UK). Following that single, the band suffered a lean period for the next few years, before deciding to refashion themselves as a hard-rock boogie band in 1970 with their Ma Kelly's Greasy Spoon album. Over the next 25 years, the Quo have basically recycled the same simple boogie on each successive album and single, yet their popularity has never waned in Britain. If anything, their very predictability has ensured the group a large following.
The origins of Status Quo lie in a London-based beat group called the Spectres. Francis Rossi (vocals, guitar) and Alan Lancaster (bass) were the core members of the Spectres from their inception; within a few years, the band had addied drummer John Coughlan and organist Roy Lynes. The Spectres released three unsuccessful singles before changing their style to psychedelia and adopting the name Traffic Jam and releasing the unsuccessful single, "Almost But Not Quite There." After it flopped, the group added Rick Harrison (guitar, vocals), formerly of the cabaret band, the Highlights. When Harrison joined the band in August 1967, the group again changed their name, this time to Status Quo.