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Album Review Artist- Rick Parfitt Album- Over and Out Review- Simon Larkin

Album Review

Artist- Rick Parfitt

Album- Over and Out

Reviewr- Simon Larkin

I remember writing the review for Motorheads Live album ‘Clean the Clock’ that was released after Lemmy’s death and having many of the same emotions whilst listening to it. This one though is a much tougher listen, it’s almost as though Rick knew it was the end of the road. I am gonna be honest, big Scotsman or not, I managed to hold it together, feeling sad but holding it in, until ‘Without You’. At that point the damn bust and a wee tear or three were shed. I defy any true Parfitt fan to hold it together!

Self pity out the way, lets get to the music! ‘Over and Out’ is like a journey through all the Quo era’s as seen through Rick Parfitts eyes. His rythm guitar work, I have always thought, is second to none and to have it upfront and centre makes for a sound that is without doubt Rick Parfitt! The album openers ‘Twinkletoes’ and ‘Lonesome Road’ take me back to Blue for You with ‘Lonesome Road’ in particular giving a nod to various tracks on that album. That power house Quo-esqe rythm section is back and if I am not mistaken, I could swear it is Alan Lancaster on bass. I can’t be 100% sure as I can’t find credits for all the tracks but I do know that he along with many others, such as Brian May and Muse’s Chris Wolstenholme, got involved after Ricks death, as although all of Rick’s vocals and guitar parts had been completed, there was still work to do.

This were it starts to get a little tough, ‘Over and Out’ begins to show us the softer side to this album. Lyrically it sounds autobiographical which makes the message even sadder. Lines like

I’m trying to fly, I think it’s goodbye, And this is my over and out

really bring it home especially now with hindsight and understanding of just how unwell he must have been. Musically, although not a straight out rocker, it has power and that always present snare that smacks you in the face (as a snare drum should). ‘When I was falling in Love’ carries on the softer side of things and again seems to be Rick looking back over events in his life. Strings and big vocal harmonies take us on a sensory journey with the lyrics carrying you along. There are hints of Matchstick men in there if I am to persist with the Quo likenings but this is much more of a Rick Parfitt track all of his own making and very much from the heart.

‘Fight For Every Heartbeat’…………………….the title kinda says it all! Here we are back to the rythms and sound we know Mr Parfitt for, in my mind we are into Hello era but brought right up to date and with some very clever musical touches in the bridges that make this much more that a straight rock n roll track.

‘Without You’ is the point were I lost it, a very intimate ballad that I defy anyone not to be moved by. It shows the depth and breadth of Rick’s songwriting, deffinetly more than a three chord wonder. A superb guitar solo that adds to the emotion. I will leave it there but suffice to say, you gotta hear it.

We are rudley reminded that this is, at heart, a rock album with the pumping rythm’s of ‘Long Distance Love’ and if I am not mistaken a guitar solo from Mr Brian May, if it’s not him then wtf do I know! A rockin’ classic! The closing trio of tracks take us back to the boogie blues that we know Rick Parfitt for head boppin’, foot tappin’ , classics, that , as I keep saying, are what Quo should have always sounded like. The moody ‘Halloween’ takes this philosophy and lands right in the present with this up to date rock classic.

I know I have compared this album very much to Status Quo but I cannot see how to separate the two. For those of you that never knew, when you listen to this solo album you will realise just how intrinsic Rick Parfitt was to the sound and songwriting within Quo. That said this also shows the strength of his songwriting in it’s own right. There is not one bad or even average track on this album they are all of the best quality as you would expect . It is just a shame that he had to leave us so early and without the chance to hear even more of his fantastic music.

Thank you Rick Parfitt for all the music and memories, rest in peace.