Our top 10 songs from The Quireboys looks at the body of work of a London-based rock band that was established in the mid-80s. The Quireboys is best known for its blues-tinged classic rock/hard rock sound taking inspiration from English rockers such as The Rolling Stones, Rod Stewart, and The Faces. Vocalist Spike and the late guitarist Guy Bailey have been cited to be the founders of The Quireboys.
The duo would eventually add drummer Paul Hornby and bassist Nigel Mogg (nephew of the late UFO bassist Pete Way). Over the years, The Quireboys’ lineup has undergone constant metamorphosis. Currently, the band’s membership remains disputed after the dismissal of Spike earlier this year from The Quireboys.
His dismissal was quite brutal with the Guy Griffin-led group citing his departure as the culmination of years of persistent problems. Spike, who legally owns the band’s name, went ahead to recruit original bassist Nigel Mogg and guitarist Guy Bailey into his faction. Sadly, guitarist Guy Bailey met his death earlier this year leaving a gap in the Spike-led faction of The Quireboys.
On the other hand, the Griffin-fronted offshoot has been quite active having released a single “Lie to Me” at the end of 2022 for its forthcoming album The Band Rolls On… The Griffin-fronted faction has also set off on tour this year receiving some welcome by the band’s fans, albeit amidst confusion from some of the band members. This doesn’t discredit the fact that Guy Griffin has an accomplished voice. However, the question remains as to whether his vocals echo The Quireboys’ signature delivery as set by Spike.
In 1990, The Quireboys issued their debut studio album A Bit of What You Fancy. The album was issued through EMI Records under the production of George Tutko (who worked with Lita Ford, Rod Stewart, and Debbie Harry) and Jim Cregan (who worked with Joe Cocker, Steve Harley, and The Neville Brothers). A Bit of What You Fancy marked The Quireboys’ commercial heyday earning gold certification in the UK.
The album was also a mainstream success in the UK where it graced the Albums Chart peaking at position two. A Bit of What You Fancy made it to the Billboard 200 rising to position one hundred and eleven. “Hey You,” “7 O’clock,” “I Don’t Love You Anymore,” and “There She Goes Again” are some of the best songs by The Quireboys from A Bit of What You Fancy.
The Quireboys returned in 1993 with their second studio album Bitter Sweet & Twisted. Bitter Sweet & Twisted was also issued through EMI Records under the production of Bob Rock and Chris Kimsey. Bob Rock is a renowned record producer who has worked with prodigious artists including The Offspring, Metallica, Aerosmith, and Bryan Adams. On the other hand, producer Chris Kimsey is best known for his work with The Rolling Stones, The Chieftains, and Killing Joke among others.
Bitter Sweet & Twisted was fairly successful in the mainstream. The album made it to position thirty-one on the UK Albums Chart and position twenty-five on the Swedish Albums Chart. “Tramps and Thieves,” “King of New York,” “White Trash Blues,” and a cover of Hot Chocolate hit “Brother Louie” are some of the most popular songs featured on Bitter Sweet & Twisted.
The Quireboys marked their return from a hiatus with their third studio album This Is Rock’n’Roll. This Is Rock’n’Roll was issued in 2001 through Sanctuary Records with the production contributions of C. J. Eriksson. Other artists who have worked with C. J. Eriksson include U2, Incubus, The Automatics, and Matchbox Twenty. Unfortunately, the album was a mainstream and commercial flop. Nevertheless, it featured musical gems such as “C’mon,” “Taken for a Ride,” “This Is Rock’n’Roll,” and “Seven Days.”
Well Oiled, issued in 2004, marked the band’s fourth studio album. The album was The Quireboys’ first record issued through Steamhammer Records. Well Oiled was produced by Nick Mailing. As a record producer, Nick Mailing has also worked with the three-piece musical group Desert Mountain Tribe. “Black Mariah,” “Good to See You,” and “Sweet as the Rain” are some of the most popular songs by The Quireboys from the album.
In 2008, The Quireboys returned with their fifth LP Homewreckers & Heartbreakers. The album was co-produced by Guy Griffin and Nick Mailing. Homewreckers & Heartbreakers is home to musical gems such as “Love This Dirty Town,” “Blackwater,” “Take A Look at Yourself,” and “Mona Lisa Smiled.”
Other notable albums issued by The Quireboys include Beautiful Curse, Black Eyed Sons, and White Trash Blues. These albums, issued in 2013, 2014, and 2017 respectively, made it to the UK Independent Albums Chart. However, it is worth mentioning that The Quireboys album catalog stretches to over ten recordings.
The Quireboys’ Legacy
The Quireboys gained popularity in the ‘90s thanks to their blues-infused classic rock/hard rock soundscapes. Despite the decline in commercial success and mainstream appeal, The Quireboys remained a definitive band in the ‘90s British rock scene. High-octane live performances have seen The Quireboys retain a loyal following over the years. Here we take a look at the top 10 songs from The Quireboys of all time.
#10- Seven Deadly Sins
We start the review of our top 10 songs from The Quireboys with the tremendous hit “Seven Deadly Sins.” The song is featured on the band’s 2019 studio album Amazing Disgrace. “Seven Deadly Sins” is an emblem of The Quireboys’ continued musical excellence years after what would be considered the band’s prime years.
The quality of the song from Amazing Disgrace impressed the band’s then-guitarist Guy Griffin. Griffin went ahead to quote that the album surpassed his expectation. Thanks to songs like “Seven Deadly Sins” Amazing Sins oozes haunting rock and roll vibes.
#9- Brother Louie
“Brother Louie” is among the top musical gems by The Quireboys that define brilliance. The song is featured on the band’s sophomore studio album Bitter Sweet & Twisted. Initially, the song “Brother Louie” was issued by the British soul band Hot Chocolate in 1973 as a non-album single. Nevertheless, the song went ahead to become one of Hot Chocolate’s most revered hits, climbing to the seventh spot on the UK Singles Chart.
“Brother Louie” had its lyrics centered around an interracial love affair been a black woman and a white man. Twenty years later after its initial release, The Quireboys came back with their rendition. The quality of The Quireboys’ cover of the song “Brother Louie” was irresistible. We saw the song climb to position thirty-one on the UK Singles Chart.
The song also managed to grace the Canadian RPM Singles Chart peaking at the sixty-sixth spot. A promotional music video was issued for The Quireboys’ cover—the video earned some rotation on MTV. Working on the promo video was director, Samuel Bayer. Other artists who have worked with Samuel Bayer include Iron Maiden, The Cranberries, and David Bowie, to name a few.
#8- Twisted Love ft. Lynne Jackamann
Ranking eighth on our top 10 songs from The Quireboys is the amazing hit “Twisted Love.” The song serves as the album-title track of the band’s 2016 ninth studio album. “Twisted Love” features the contribution of Lynne Jackamann on the background vocals. Lynne is best known for fronting the now-defunct rock and soul band Saint Jude. “Twisted Love” is a guitar-driven ballad that showcased The Quireboys’ endured musicianship after about thirty years of playing music together.
#7- This Is Rock‘n’Roll
“This Is Rock‘n’Roll” is yet another favorite pick from The Quireboys music catalog. The song serves as the album-title track to The Quireboys’ third studio album. Like the song’s title suggest, “This Is Rock‘n’Roll” is an ode to rock and roll. This hard rock anthem saw The Quireboys rekindle their musicianship after several years on a hiatus. Unfortunately, the band failed to achieve mainstream and commercial success with this song and its parent album.
#6- Mother Mary
Ranking sixth on our top 10 songs from The Quireboys is the haunting hit “Mother Mary.” The song was issued as the third and final single of the band’s 2013 studio album Beautiful Curse. “Mother Mary” is an impressive rock and roll Christmas ballad. The song was issued as a single for Christmas—guitarist Guy Griffin showcased affection for this song when he hoped that “Mother Mary” enters the Christmas charts.
“Mother Mary” features charming guitar riffs that make it quite a mellow pick. However, the greatest takeaway from this pick is Spike’s vocal delivery. His raspy vocals are best suited for the song “Mother Mary.”
#5- Mona Lisa Smiled
Homewreckers & Heartbreakers, the band’s fifth studio album, is home to the fifth pick on our top 10 songs from The Quireboys, “Mona Lisa Smiled.” The song is a captivating pick that delivers The Quireboys’ distinctive blues rock-oriented sound influences. “Mona Lisa Smiled” finds the band continuing its signature energetic delivery.
In this song, Spike proceeds to deliver his signature raw and raspy (yet soulful) vocals. The song “Mona Lisa Smiled” features an infectious chorus that brings out the catchy classic rock vibes in The Quireboys’ song. Unfortunately, “Mona Lisa Smiled” is among the few musical gems by The Quireboys that never made it big in the mainstream charts.
#4- 7 O’clock
“7 O’clock” is one of the most sought-after tracks by The Quireboys of all time. The song serves as the introductory track in the band’s debut studio album A Bit of What You Fancy. “7 O’clock” is a guitar-driven hard rock ballad that brings out the true picture of The Quireboys’ classic lineup musicianship.
Once again, we encounter an energy-filled rocker by The Quireboys. “7 O’clock” is among the concert-ready tracks by the band. Spike’s vocal delivery in this song gets even more luscious. The song was a mainstream success peaking at position thirty-six on the UK Singles Chart. “7 O’clock” also climbed to position forty-one on the Canadian RPM Singles Chart.
#3- Tramps and Thieves
Bitter Sweet & Twisted was an inspirational commitment to rock and roll. We earlier met The Quireboys’ cover of Hot Chocolate’s hit “Brother Louie,” a song featured on this album. At the third spot on our list is the archetypical rock and roll anthem from Bitter Sweet & Twisted, “Tramps and Thieves.” The song is by every measure the best song by The Quireboys from the album.
Very few songs by The Quireboys can match the energy and commitment delivered in “Tramps and Thieves.” The song was a mainstream success having peaked at position forty-one on the UK Singles Chart. “Tramps and Thieves” is a song worth adding to your playlist!
#2- I Don’t Love You Anymore
Despite being primarily a hard rock band, the band has often showcased its soulful musical explorations. “I Don’t Love You Anymore” is the emblem of The Quireboys’ soulful songs. The song is featured on the band’s most successful album A Bit of What You Fancy. “I Don’t Love You Anymore” features impassioned vocal delivery by Spike.
The song remains one of the most successful singles by The Quireboys. “I Don’t Love You Anymore” made it to position twenty-four on the UK Singles Chart—this makes it the second highest-charting single by The Quireboys on the UK Singles Chart. The song is The Quireboys’ only single to have made it to the Billboard Hot 100 where it peaked at position seventy-six.
#1- Hey You
Coming in at number one on our top 10 songs from The Quireboys is the high-spirited hit “Hey You.” The song was penned by vocalist Spike Gray and guitarist Guy Bailey. “Hey You” is featured on the album A Bit of What You Fancy. The song showcases the band’s ability to churn out rock ballads with catchy hooks and infectious melodies.
“Hey You” features a punchy rhythm section and impassioned vocal delivery by Spice. The song is a concert-ready pick thanks to its raw and energetic delivery. “Hey You” is the band’s highest-charting track on the UK Singles Chart. The song climbed to the fourteenth spot on the UK Singles Chart.
Top 10 Songs From The Quireboys article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2023
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