How to play Down Down by Status Quo.
Note the tuning for this song is Open G tuning with a capo on the 4th fret
The guitar intro is played on a clean guitar and was preformed by Francis Rossi.
Rossi’s guitar of choice is the Fender Telecaster, and he has used several over the years including his trademark green 1957 (actually a 1966 ‘no striped’ maple neck Telecaster) model with a maple fretboard, which he purchased in 1968 for £70. It was originally sunburst, but was painted green in 1970. Through the years several parts had been replaced with G&L parts, and a third pickup had been installed in a configuration much like a Stratocaster. He also owns two other green Fender Telecasters that are both brighter in colour and feature rosewood fretboards. One is used for the song “Down Down” and the other for “Whatever You Want”. Like his main guitar they are both in a three-pickup configuration.
In December 2014, Rossi was said to be “heartbroken” when his green 1957 Telecaster, after 46 years of use, finally became worn beyond use – the wood having become too soft to be able to properly tune the instrument.
For amplification Rossi uses Marshall JCM800 or JCM900 Lead series amplifiers with 4×12 cabinets and a Roland GP8 to boost his signal. The sound from his Marshall rig is blended with Vox AC30 amplifiers that are kept behind his Marshall setup. He also uses software like Amplitube in the studio.
Written by Francis Rossi and Bob Young and produced by Status Quo, “Down Down” was Status Quo’s only number one single on the UK Singles Chart. The single spent a week at the top of the chart in January 1975.
It was released on 29 November 1974 on the Vertigo label, paired with the B-side song “Nightride”. Both songs came from the album On the Level, which had yet to be released. The album version lasts 5 minutes and 24 seconds, whilst the single version is 3 minutes and 49 seconds.
When the album was released in February 1975, the group were more or less at the peak of their career, record sales-wise. The album entered the chart at #1. All tracks were written or co-written by the group and long-term collaborator Bob Young, apart from “Bye Bye Johnny”, which was a Chuck Berry composition.
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