It’s 20 years since A Bit Of What You Fancy launched the Quireboys as serious contenders in the rock world and two decades down the line they’re still going strong.
To celebrate next month’s headline tour of the UK, the band’s hotly anticipated show at Hard Rock Hell and the release of their new acoustic record we review the reissue of ABOWYF – and launch a competition to win one of five copies featuring exclusive sleevenotes by rushonrock‘s very own editor Simon Rushworth.
Quireboys – A Bit Of What You Fancy 20th Anniversary Reissue (EMI)
Like a good wine this raucous rock and roll record has improved with time and looking back it’s difficult to understand why Spike and the boys never made it big in America at the same time as they celebrated chart success in the UK. This Jim Cregan/George Tutko produced slice of Small Faces/Rolling Stones-style splendour should have been the perfect fit for the US market and in all honesty the likes of Cinderella and Ratt couldn’t touch the Quireboys in this form.
Of course it was, until recently, the form of their lives. And perhaps a failure to recreate this record’s raw and appealing magic over the years, coupled with the well documented saga which blighted the recording of the band’s follow-up album, cost the Quireboys their one crack at a commercial breakthrough Stateside. It took Spike and Guy Griffin the best part of 20 years to produce a worthy follow-up in the shape of 2008’s immense Homewreckers & Heartbreakers but it’s proved to be the perfect complementary record to their dazzling debut.
All 12 original tracks are given a 2009 remaster and the hits sound as appealing as ever. Yet it’s often overlooked gems like Sweet Mary Ann and Roses & Rings (thankfully staples of the band’s live set) which come across as the most accomplished work on this carefully remodelled record. 7 O’Clock, Sex Party and Hey You could well belong to a bygone era but both of the aforementioned tunes possess an enduring quality so evident on H&H.
In addition to the original track listing are eight demos demonstrating just how far Spike, Guy Bailey, Griffin and the gang progressed in a short space of time. Given the luxury of an LA production job these three chord wonders were transformed into seriously catchy commercial hits and comparing the early versions with the finished tracks is a true pleasure for any Quireboys fan new or old.
With a new take on the past from Spike and Griffin in the notes compiled by boyhood fan, longtime band collaborator and resident rushonrock editor Simon Rushworth, this reissue is more than a crude way of cashing in on the Quireboys’ increasingly powerful rebirth. It is, in fact, the perfect way to warm up for the band’s run of December dates and the perfect reminder of why Brit Rock was such a vibrant movement back in the late 80s/early 90s.
rushonrock rated: 8/10 The Boys Are Back In Toon
To win one of five copies of the reissued and remastered 2009 edition of the Quireboys’ A Bit Of What You Fancy please answer the following question and go to the Contact Us page link above. Provide your name, address and contact number and we’ll announce the lucky winners prior to the band’s Hard Rock Hell appearance at Prestatyn on Saturday December 5.
The Quireboys sang a signature song about which famous Newcastle rock club:
A Mayfair; B Mayflower; C Mayday.