Pictures of Matchstick Men - Status Quo

Rola: Pictures of Matchstick Men
Traducción: Fotos de los hombres de las cajas de cerillos
Intérprete: Status Quo
Compositor: Francis Rossi
Disco: Picturesque Matchstickable
Productor: John Schroeder


"Pictures of Matchstick Men" is the first hit single by Status Quo, released in January 1968. It reached number seven in the British charts, number eight in Canada, and number twelve on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming their only hit single in the United States. It was originally intended to be a B-side to "Gentleman Joe's Sidewalk Café", but it was decided to swap the B-side and the A-side of the single.

There are two versions of this song, a stereo and mono version, both quite different from the other. The mono version (the original single) has the trademark psychedelic wah-wah guitar between lyric breaks, but for some reason, the stereo version omits it. The song opens with a single guitar repeatedly playing a simple four note riff before the rhythm guitar comes in with chords and the drums and lyrics begin. "Pictures of Matchstick Men" is one of a number of songs from the late sixties to feature phasing (the audio effect).

“wrote it on the bog. I'd gone there, not for the usual reasons…but to get away from the wife and mother-in-law. I used to go into this narrow frizzing toilet and sit there for hours, until they finally went out. I got three quarters of the song finished in that khazi. The rest I finished in the lounge."

The song is an example of bubblegum psychedelia. Their following release, "Black Veils of Melancholy", was similar but flopped and so caused the group to change direction.

The "matchstick men" of the song refer to the paintings of L.S. Lowry.


Duración: 03:16
Año: 1968
Formato: 7"
A la venta: 01/01/1968
Lado B: Gentleman Joe's Sidewalk Café
Disquera: PYE Records


Francis Rossi - vocals & lead guitar
Rick Parfitt - vocals & rhythm guitar
Alan Lancaster - bass guitar
John Coghlan - drums
Roy Lynes - vocals & organ


En las listas semanales de popularidad y ventas de la revista Billboard Pictures of Matchstick Men llegó al número 12



Pictures of Matchstick Men
Fotos de los hombres de las cajas de cerillos
When I look up to the skies
I see your eyes a funny kind of yellow
I rush home to bed I soak my head
I see your face underneath my pillow
I wake next morning, tired, still yawning
See your face come peeping through my window

Pictures of matchstick men and you
Mirages of matchstick men and you
All I ever see is them and you

Windows echo your reflection
When I look in their direction now
When will this haunting stop?
Your face it just won't leave me alone

Pictures of matchstick men and you
Mirages of matchstick men and you
All I ever see is them and you

You're in the sky and with the sky
You make men cry, you lie
You're in the sky and with the sky
You make men cry, you lie

Pictures of matchstick men and
Pictures of matchstick men and you
Pictures of matchstick men ....


1. "Black Veils of Melancholy"
2. "When My Mind Is Not Live"
3. "Ice in the Sun"
4. "Elizabeth Dreams"
5. "Gentleman Joe's Sidewalk Café"
6. "Paradise Flat"

1. "Technicolour Dreams"
2. "Sheila"
3. "Spicks and Specks"
4. "Sunny Cellophane Skies"
5. "Green Tambourine"
6. "Pictures of Matchstick Men"

Picturesque Matchstickable Messages from the Status Quo is the 1968 debut album by the British psychedelic rock group, Status Quo. The album features a large number of covers, including "Green Tambourine" by The Lemon Pipers.

The album's lead single was originally intended to be "Gentleman Joe's Sidewalk Café", with the original Francis Rossi composition "Pictures of Matchstick Men" as the b-side, but these songs were eventually swapped round. It reached #7 in the UK, and remains the band's only major hit single in the United States where it reached #12. It also reached #8 in Canada. A second single, Rossi's "Black Veils of Melancholy" (with organist Roy Lynes' non-album track "To Be Free" as the b-side), flopped and has even been called "a carbon copy of "Pictures of Matchstick Men"". The third single, "Ice in the Sun", was written for the band by Marty Wilde and Ronnie Scott (not the jazz musician), with the Rossi/Parfitt composition "When My Mind Is Not Live" as the b-side. It reached #8 in the UK Singles Chart, and #29 in Canada.

The album itself was released on 27 September 1968, and reached #12 in the UK album charts. The band planned to release a fourth single from the album - "Technicolour Dreams" backed with the Wilde/Scott composition "Paradise Flat" - but this was withdrawn after a few days in favour of a non-album single release early the following year. The new single, Rossi and Parfitt's "Make Me Stay a Bit Longer", with bassist Alan Lancaster's "Auntie Nellie" as the b-side, was released in 31st January 1969. As well as getting the "thumbs up" from a majority of the record reviewers, this single was also something of a landmark for the group, as it would be their final release to credit them as "the" Status Quo.


Status Quo: Inglaterra

Status Quo, also known as The Quo or just Quo, are an English rock band whose music is characterized by their distinctive brand of boogie rock.

The group's origins were in "The Spectres" founded by schoolboys Francis Rossi and Alan Lancaster in 1962. After a number of lineup changes, the band became "The Status Quo" in late 1967, finally settling on the name "Status Quo" in 1970. They have recorded over 60 chart hits in the UK, more than any other rock group in history.[4] 22 of these have reached the UK Top Ten.

The origins of Status Quo were in the rock and roll freakbeat band "The Spectres" formed in 1962. Francis Rossi and Alan Lancaster met at Sedgehill Comprehensive School, Catford, and were members of the same orchestra. Rossi and Lancaster played their first gig at the Samuel Jones Sports Club in Dulwich, London. In 1963 they added drummer John Coghlan. They began writing their own material and after a year met Rick Parfitt who was playing with a cabaret band called The Highlights. By the end of 1965 Rossi and Parfitt, who had become close friends, made a commitment to continue working together. On 18 July 1966 The Spectres signed a five-year deal with Piccadilly Records, releasing two singles that year, "I (Who Have Nothing)" and "Hurdy Gurdy Man" (written by Alan Lancaster), and one the next year called "(We Ain't Got) Nothin' Yet" (a song originally recorded by New York psychedelic band The Blues Magoos). All three singles failed to make an impact on the charts.

By 1967, the group had discovered psychedelia and changed their name to Traffic (later amended to Traffic Jam, to avoid confusion with Steve Winwood's Traffic). At this time the line-up also included organist Roy Lynes. They released another single "Almost But Not Quite There" which was also a flop. In late 1967 the band became The Status Quo, and in January 1968 they released the psychedelic-flavoured "Pictures of Matchstick Men". Rick Parfitt was invited to join the band just as the song hit the UK Singles Chart, reaching Number 7. "Matchstick Men" also became their only Top 40 hit single in the United States. Though the follow up was the unsuccessful single, "Black Veils of Melancholy", they had a hit again the same year with the poppy, Marty Wilde penned "Ice in the Sun", which climbed to Number 8. Although the group's albums have been released in the United States throughout their career, they have never achieved the same level of success and fame there that they have enjoyed in their home country.[6] After the breakthrough, the band management hired Bob Young as a roadie and tour manager. Over the years Young became one of the most important songwriting partners for Status Quo.

After their second album Spare Parts failed to impact commercially, the band, disillusioned with their musical direction, abandoned pop psychedelia and Carnaby Street fashions in favour of a hard rock/boogie sound, faded denims and T-shirts, an image which was to become their trademark throughout the 1970s. Lynes left the band in 1971, to be replaced (in the studio) by guests including keyboard player Jimmy Horowitz and Tom Parker. By 1976, ex-The Herd, Judas Jump member and Peter Frampton Band member Andy Bown was brought in to cover keyboards - although as he was contracted as a solo artist with EMI he was not credited as a full-time member until 1982.


The Slickee Boys; Forgotten Rebels; Camper Van Beethoven; Arjen Anthony Lucassen; Ozzy Osbourne; Atrocity

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