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3.8 out of 5 stars
In The Army Now
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
This 1986 release was Quo's first album for three years, during which time they'd gone through an acrimonious split from founder bassist Alan Lancaster. The new rhythm section would endure beyond 2000 but lacked the oomph of the old partnership. With the emphasis on light, melodic material and keyboards more prominent, "In The Army Now" is an album on which rock and pop seem to duel for supremacy.
The hits "Rolling Home" and "Red Sky" lean more towards Quo's more familiar style and the overall production is chunkier than on the thin previous album, "Back To Back". The commercial gloss that pervades this album however makes it a very good pop release rather than a typical Quo classic. "Dreamin'" sums up the problem, being an uptempo song that the old Quo could have done something exciting with. Here though it panders to the plastic-sounding synth age. Also, in the wake of the success of "Marguerita Time", Francis Rossi insisted on dropping in the odd feeble country-style song, in this case, "Invitation".
The title track was the biggest hit of four from this album. Like many big pop hits it hooks you at first but before long you never want to hear it again. Significantly, it no longer has a place in their live set.
This reissue is however an improvement on the original, containing half a dozen bonus songs that hark back more to Quo's rock sensibilities. "Keep Me Guessing" is especially good. The riff has been ripped off from "Nutbush City Limits" but at least it's worth ripping off. A good album then, but pale by comparison with the 1970s stuff.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 27 March 2006
'In The Army Now' is the first album that Quo made after the split from bassist Alan Lancaster. The results are, unfortunately, rather mixed, and summarily set the tone for the next 15 years.
Overall, the album is really quite good, with some excellent songs. 'Rollin Home' was the first single to be released and went top 10. 'Red Sky' followed, which charted in the top 20. Both of these are very good tunes, despite the poor production letting them down.
Unfortunately, there are also some very poor songs as well, in my view. 'Speechless', 'Invitation' and 'In Your Eyes' are quite frankly sub par, and not worthy of Quo at all.
But the main talking point with this album seems to be the title track: 'In The Army Now' was a smash hit single, but Quo fans in general seem to either love or hate the record. Nevertheless, it provided Quo with their second biggest selling single at that time, like it or not.
I was very surprised, however, when I listened to the bonus tracks. In my view, some of the bonus songs are better than some of the tunes on the actual album, especially 'Lonely', 'Keep Me Guessing' and 'Late Last Night'. Why Quo would have left these three off I will never understand, as I feel the album would have been a lot stronger had they been included.
Overall, 'In The Army Now' isn't bad at all, but to see now how it could have been so much better is disappointing, to say the least - and this too, seems to be a trend that would continue for the next 15 years.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 28 April 2013
I've been a Status Quo fan for many years and ought to be giving a better review (more stars) I suppose but the trouble is it doesn't compare with earlier albums like Hello, On the Level, Dog of Two Heads, Piledriver, Quo, Blue for You, and of course the Double Live album - i.e. Quo in their prime. There are one or two better tracks on this album deserving more than my two star rating but the album as a whole doesn't come close to the raw energy of say Piledriver or Quo. Appologies to Rossi an Parfitt for my honest review! However, went to see the original frantic four (Rossi, Parfitt, Coghlan & Lancaster) at Wolverhampton Civic Hall on 7/3/13 and they were terrific! Why? Because they played all of the old stuff and NONE of the new stuff.
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on 17 April 2012
After "The End of the Road" tour in 1984, this was the first studio album from Quo after the departure of Alan Lancaster and, for some, confirmation of the end of the "real" Quo.

As a result, a lot of Quo fans don't like this album - the harder edge of Piledriver, Quo etc was long gone and this was clearly another step towards more "pop rock" after Back To Back (but not as far down that path as 1988's "Ain't Complaining").

However, for me, it still has a good collection no-nonsense songs with the trademark Quo sound along with "hooks" that you can't stop humming. This re-mastered version also has the added bonus of the B sides from the singles which were lifted from Parfitt's never to be released solo album (more of that later).

The first two singles ("Rollin' Home" & "Red Sky") hit the spot - up tempo 80's rock pop at its best. The third release, the title track "In the Army Now" was ironically one of Quo's best selling singles, but is not in the traditional style. At the time it seemed "modern", but (in my opinion) hasn't dated that well.

The fourth release ("Dreamin'") was even more pop-orientated, but as a pre Christmas release, was fun, up-tempo and kind of hit the spot.

In terms of other highlights from the original album, "Overdose" showed more of Parfitt's heart-felt lyrics and softer side than usual, whilst "In Your Eyes" was typical Rossi/Frost fayre. "Invitation" (a "marmite" track if ever there was one) is straight down the line country pop and hinted at more to come from Perfect Remedy two albums down the line.

The beauty of this re-mastered album are the bonus tracks mentioned above. "Lonely" is a great tune, "Don't Give it Up" is potentially the strongest track on the whole album, whilst "Keep Me Guessing" & "Heartburn" show the harder edge of Parfitt's writing and benefit from the volume being cranked up.

So, in summary, if you're looking for a truly classic Quo album this isn't for you. However, if you want to a collection of pop/rock-based tunes which don't take themselves too seriously and offer an insight into how Quo evolved from the 70's into the 80's this is the one to buy...
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on 2 March 2012
This has to be one of the biggest albums to ever come out of 1986. Status Quo were always known for there three chord way of playing but this was a brand new level even for them.

The brilliant album opener rollin' home get's this album off to a great start with calling following up as the second track. In your eyes was a very good track to go along with save me as the next one. In the army now shows exactly what they are made of and was played in every collage towns everywhere. Dreamin' is a good follow up single but a very short track then the blistering paced end of the line next. I was slightly stunned by the appearance of invitation on this one as it is a slower track than usual from them but keeps the album ticking along for there cover version of red sky. The Dave Edmunds classic is a real fast fuelled version. it ends up with speechless and the brilliant overdose which should end this album.

That is unless you have bought the re issue whic contains a few more tracks and adds an interesting finish to this cd. Buy it listen to it and love it.
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on 1 November 2013
I have returned recently to this album, attracted by the bonus tracks. And while they certainly help it really isnt a very good album. Its partially a victim of its time - the production (apart from the 2 tracks Dave Edmunds had a hand in) is very 80s with nasty synths and tin can drums all over the place. The 'new' line up is fine and indeed and I am a great fan of most of the later albums (as well as the earlier classic LPs). Unfortunately I just dont think this has aged very well. Its Quo but with no rough edges making them sound more like a Pop than a Rock group. Fine if thats what you want , but if you are a Quo fan looking for a later album try Heavy Traffic or Lost Chord over this.
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on 11 May 2012
Bought this for my grandson (who'd probably never heard of the Who), as he was joining the Army Air Corp. He was delighted but hasn't played it yet, although it was played by the army on his enlistment!
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on 3 January 2015
Had the album on vinyl. But got scratched.
Now I can enjoy my music.
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on 4 March 2015
Excellent recording
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on 26 December 2014
Quo at their best
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