Jamie Dyer writes about Over and Out, the debut solo album by Status Quo’s Rick Parfitt; First posthumously released in 2018.
When Rick Parfitt passed away on Christmas Eve 2016, it came as an enormous blow to the rock world. After ‘Rocking All Over the World’ for the last 50 years as a member of British band Status Quo, he had more than earned his status as a rock legend. Suffering a heart attack in mid-2016, he had to retire from touring with the band to focus on recuperation from the life-threatening ordeal. Little did we know, Rick was working on a solo album with producer Jo Webb.
By the time of his passing, he had already recorded guitar and vocals for the tracks. Jo Webb, along with Rick’s son Rick Parfitt Jr, worked together to make sure the album was completed. Enlisting the help of an extensive list of previous collaborators including members of the RPJ Band, Queen’s Brian May, Muse’s Chris Wolstenholme, Alan Lancaster, John ‘Rhino’ Edwards, Bob Young, Wayne Morris and many others; the album was finally finished and ready for the world to hear! So what’s the verdict on Rick Parfitt’s posthumous debut solo album Over and Out?
t could be easy to brand Parfitt as a one-trick pony because of his public image within Status Quo, but this perception could not be further from the truth. He has always had a knack for writing a mixture of truth and honestly with memorable hooks; no matter how cheesy or cliché they may sometimes initially appear. There is a mix of genres contained within the album, with a bit of Parfitt magic sprinkled upon them. Spanning Rock n Roll, Rockabilly, Blues, Country, Ballads, and Pop; Each facet of Rick’s music covered. Out of the ten tracks on the album, Parfitt has a credit on eight of them; the other two belonging to established songwriter John David.
Fans may have expected Rick’s album to be a carbon copy of the Status Quo of old, due to his recent stance on the matter. The good news is that there are tracks that have that vintage Quo flavor, but it does not dominate the record. Tracks such as Twinkletoes, Lonesome Road, Fight For Every Heartbeat and Everybody Knows How To Fly could easily fit into many Quo albums. For this reviewer, it’s the personal tracks that really make this album shine. Emotionally charged compositions such as When I Was Fallin’ In Love, Without You, and the title track show glimpses of Rick’s softer side; an under-appreciated strength of his. The only song that seems a bit out of place is Halloween, which is a direct cut from Rick’s abandoned 1985 solo album Recorded Delivery. It was included subsequently as a B-side on an 80s Quo single and sounds a bit out of place against modern efforts. However, its inclusion is probably down to lack of material and sentimental reasons; It is one song that Rick wanted to record again but didn’t get the chance to. The positive thing about this choice is that it ends the album on an unmistakable young-sounding Parfitt.
As for the production, it’s hard to fault the work that has gone into it. Some would say it was thin and overproduced, but this reviewer disagrees wholeheartedly. To create this work out of vocals and guitar recorded without a band is nothing short of amazing. Some hardened fans, who are used to hearing raw Parfitt, may have noticed a few production tweaks on the record. Recorded when Rick’s voice was probably fragile. Signs of autotune are noticeable on some tracks. Rather than hinder the experience, it enhances it by adding a modern shine; the track Long Distance Love is a prime example.
Fans who want a less-produced experience can find a vinyl copy of The Band Mixes, featuring a slightly more raw take on the album.
As for the instrumentation, it is near flawless; not surprising considering the mass amount of music talent involved. On the more rocky tracks, Rick’s guitar is the first thing that strikes you. Despite his health, he still had the power to work that unmistakable rhythm; Lonesome Road sounds like a man leaving Quo fans with one last blast of the things that made him famous. Rick may be gone, but he’s alive and well on this record, magical.
Over And Out is an eclectic collection of light and shade, showcasing the many facets of Parfitt’s musical repertoire. It may be expected to be a Quo album, but it isn’t. This is Rick Parfitt doing musically what he did best. It was never going to be Piledriver, but give it time. Some would say it was an insult to his legacy, but I disagree. It serves to remind us of the talent that was lost; giving Rick one last chance to rock.
- Lonesome Road
- Over And Out
- When I Was Fallin’ In Love
- Fight For Every Heartbeat
- Without You
- Long Distance Love
- Everybody Knows How To Fly
- Lock Myself Away