51 of 53 people found the following review helpful
on 23 December 2000
I strugle to think of an another album with only 8 tracks that is worthy of a 5 star status. The Quo, have always been seen as something of a joke, which is truly unfair. Piledriver is as good an album as you will find. It contains three ballads, which if covered today, would not seem out of place in the charts. `A Year` is one of my all time fovourite songs and when followed by `Unspoken Words`, I struggle to remember 2 ballads back to back which are still as haunting today as they must have been back in 1972. I am a huge Doors fan and my favourite band Echo & The Bunnymen also covered `RoadHouse Blues`, but I grew up thinking that it was a Quo original, better than any other version I`ve ever heard. `Don`t Waste My Time` and `Paper Plane` are classics. The beauty of this album, is that it has hidden treasures. `Big Fat Mama` and `Oh Baby` are not stocking fillers. That is why this album stands out, despite having only 8 tracks, it is not a short album; with 5 of the 8 tracks over 5 minutes long. In my opinion, the Quo never managed to produce a better album. They may have produced various other great tracks, but as an album it is a classic
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 17 April 2013
Many folk believe it all started here. Of course it didn't because 'Ma Kelly' and 'Dog' were the real starts (not counting their psychedelic days of matchstick men!), but this is where they found proper success - and deservedly so!
The intro to the 1st track 'Don't Waste My Time' just seems to be introducing the next 10 years' worth of Quo. The whole album seems just as fresh, like they were given a new lease of life. The new record contract had done this, so it's a good reflection on reality.
The upbeat songs are absolute belters: 'Big Fat Mama' (ooh, how un-PC!) where they let Rick Parfitt run wild; 'Paper Plane', a superb single.
Finally, Roadhouse Blues - not many groups could improve upon a Doors song, but Quo did exactly that with this rendition. What a song and what a version!
A great way to finish a fantastic album.
38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
on 18 September 2001
This album changed my life. When I first played through the irrepressible bounce of Don't Waste My Time, the show-stopping drive of Big Fat Mama and Paper Plane and right through to the end of the long, heavy, pounding version of the Doors' Roadhouse Blues, my listening habits were changed forever. It was the first time I had heard such energy and intensity commited to record. Even today, the sound has a fearsome edge, a live rawness that defies technology, but that can only be borne of real attitude. All these years on, the Quo themselves might have mellowed and achieved a state of comfortable familiarity, but this piece of work never will. It was forged in a raging furnace, and is still hot enough to burn.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 2 June 2011
Although for me it's got some pretty stiff competition from Hello and On the Level, the more I listen to Piledriver the more I believe it might be the perfect Quo album and firmly believe that if it was recorded by one of the critics' darlings it would be lauded as a classic album period.
What are the elements that combine to create the alchemy that is perfect Quo? For me it's 12-bar blues-boogie played with an 'attack' and agression that set the template for heavy rock and even metal a few years later (Lars Urich from Metallica is a self-confessed Quo fan); it's the clever contrast to this of the odd beautiful mellow or acoustic track; and it's incredibly catchy, dare I say it, poppy melodies (Quo have had something like 70-odd hit singles). You get all this on Piledriver.
To satisfy an appetite for heavy 12-bar rock n' roll there's Oh Baby, Paper Plane, Big Fat Mama and Roadhouse Blues (classic Quo tracks one and all). If there's a desire for heaviness but with a pop melody there's the awesome Don't Waste My Time, and for lighter more thoughful moments there's A Year, Unspoken Words and, my personal favourite, All the Reasons.
There's not many Quo albums I don't like on some level but on Piledriver there's not one track I don't like and along with Hello it represents, for me, Quo at their very, very best. FC Barcelona have a motto: Mes que un club (more than a club), with Piledriver you buy it, you turn it up to 11 and you begin to understand that why for some people Status Quo are (or have been) more than a band.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 8 April 2013
I was lucky enough to see the original line up of Quo (Rossi, Parfitt. Lancaster and Coughlan at Hammersmith in 2013. Now I knew the hits obviously but not the early albums, this the groups fifth and first for Vertigo was the turning point and the album I decided to start with. paper plane was the only single from the album, but having heard many of the tracks live I looked forward to hearing the studio versions.
The songs sound fresh and full of life like they were recorded yesterday,and the depth of sound is so much brighter and sharper than the best of collections. On this album there are none of the disappointing covers from the modern albums this was Quo as they should be rockers with a great beat, the tracks like Don't waste my time, roadhouse blues and Big fat Mama are great, this led me to buy every Quo album up to Just Supposin' and I have to say the 70's sound i can only recommend this album and the others that followed this was like listening to another group, brilliant stuff.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 13 July 2013
This came out shortly before the first time l saw the Quo. Well l hammered it to my local record store and proudly got a copy. I was, and still am, blown away by this album. It never gets old. That Saturday at the famous Rainbow theatre, me and my mate like thousands of other loonies in the crowd got into that famous piledriver stance and boogied for all we were worth.
Following on from the initial hopeful offering of Ma Kelly's and the impressive Dog this was their masterpiece. The riff from Don't Waste My Time and the sheer brilliance how they switch to the raw rhythm near the end of the track is masterful. Paper Plane still rocks my socks off and has now been discovered by my teen Daughter so l'm happy.
For those of you who love this album, whenever you discovered it, please also give Dog a listen. It's a real gem and you won't be disappointed.
21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on 20 February 2006
Listening to Piledriver, it doesn't seem possible that Status Quo first started off as a pretty little Carnaby Street pop band, but any doubts as to their change of direction or longevity were well and truly put to bed with this awesome release.
Quo had had a couple of previous albums in this vein ('Ma Kelly's Greasy Spoon' and 'Dog Of Two Head') but it was Piledriver that really started the heads down, no nonsense boogie that we all know and love nowadays, and was summarily the first in a long line of top class, top quality records which carried on all through the 70's and the start of the 80's.
Although 'Paper Plane' was the only single to be lifted from the album, eventually charting at No 8, there are several other songs here that they could have released as singles and they too, would have charted well - especially 'Don't Waste My Time' and 'Big Fat Mama' - both of them the epitome of the heads down rock and roll which Quo had developed. Indeed, these tunes are quite often played in their live set to this day, such is their popularity!
Quite simply, Piledriver is a classic - and was the shape of things to come from Quo. An awesome album from an awesome band!
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on 27 June 2006
Not sure what the last reviewer was on - must've had his piles driven recently - but this is truly the best of the best for Quo. Like the missing link between the Beatles and AC/DC it's an outstanding rock classic that deserves to be heard by all. If you already know the album then the remastered sound will blow you away and if you don't know it, prepare to be seriously impressed. Buy it now and amaze your friends!
25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on 9 March 2006
I have always had my suspicions about the track listing for this remastered version i.e. the bonus track of "Don't Waste My Time" being "Live at the N.E.C". Before writing this review I did try and correct the track listing but it's not one of the options available!(Amazon, please take note).
The NEC recording came from 1982 which would have looked slightly out of place with the original album having been recorded a decade earlier and has also been available for many years on the live album of the same name. Other Quo remasters from this period have had added rare tracks or hard to find "B" sides so it didn't make sense.
Bearing in mind the price (an absolute giveaway) I thought I would get a brand new copy anyway as my vinyl copy is knackered (showing my age there).
Having received my copy today, I am pleased to annouce to those of you who might have thought that it wasn't worth getting for just one extra track that the live version of Don't Waste My Time is in fact from the 1973 Reading Festival (I've had a taped copy for years)and an absolute barnstorming version it is.
It's a ballsy brash version, typical of the Quo from that period. I,ve just listened to it on my headphones and the atmosphere is terrific.It also includes Francis Rossi bellowing at the crowd, urging all sections to clap their hands - it still makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end!.
As for the rest of the album, I think the other reviewers have made their point, it an absolute corker. Get it and get headbangin!
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
This is the first of the classic quintet of Quo's Vertigo studio albums from 1972 to 1976. The band produced themselves, their method being to set up all their kit in a confined space and crank everything up to the max. The walls probably pleaded for mercy. You can remark on the lack of finesse or the variable quality of the material but the euphoria "Piledriver" generates makes all of this irrelevant. It even has a hold over the most unlikely of fans, one Robert Smith of The Cure for instance.
"Don't Waste My Time" is, despite the doleful lyric, a joyous opening to the album. An evergreen fan favourite, it's no surprise that it remains in their live set today. "O Baby" is a slightly odd heads down, hard driving song worthy of inclusion despite its obscurity. Alan Lancaster's brooding "A Year" and the standard blues item "Unspoken Words" amount to a lull in the pace but this is picked up by the frenetic "Big Fat Mama", a song that's found its way back into Quo's live set in the wake of their recent "Heavy Traffic" renaissance. "Paper Plane" is "Piledriver" exemplified, three minutes of 100mph steamroller, unusual for 1972. "All The Reasons" shows that Quo can cut the gentler, melodic stuff too. Finally, their extended cover of The Doors' "Roadhouse Blues" points the way to the atmosphere created at gigs and their ability to carry their fans on the crest of their music.
The bonus track is nothing more than a live version of the opening song, unnecessary though it neatly bookends the album. "Piledriver" is the oil and grease of 1970s rock, far more exciting than is possible in the current musical culture. Don't worry that it won't exercise your intellect because it's sure to stimulate other parts.