All hail the bargain-basement Hallmark label, purveyors of some of the greatest compilations in the early-'70s British rock realm, and pursuing that briefly towards the end of the decade with a great selection of old Status Quo hits. There are absolutely no surprises here. Ruthlessly mining the band's 1968-71 catalog, the Pye label had already released more Quo collections than the band itself had released LPs, and this one just adds its weight to the pile. But, just as Hallmark's late-'60s Kinks
collections have since been revealed as an entire generation's first taste of that band's most glorious catalog, so Pictures of Matchstick Men
(titled, of course, for the group's first hit) filled the same need among a later brood -- and the fact that it came along just as Quo themselves began lapsing into parody gave its release further flavor. At last, a "new" Status Quo record that doesn't sound like the last seventeen!