I pre-ordered the Boxset version of this release in February. In the set you get both version of the album on CD (I think otherwise the Band mix version is only available on vinyl) and a specially designed Tshirt from Hauptstadrocker, a clothing firm favoured by Rick in the last decade or so.
The main CD comes in a digipak sleeve with a lyric booklet and the band mix (a more basic version of the tracks) is in a simpler card sleeve. And all of it is housed in a small, sturdy box.
But the packaging is less important than the musical content.
Twinkletoes featuring Brian May on guitar is a rocking opener, in a modern Quo style setting the standard for what is to come. And that is a selection of tracks that although largely familiar in style sound fresh and modern as far as classic rock goes.
My favourite tracks are definitely classic Quo in flavour – Lonesome Road, Everybody Knows how to Fly and Lock Myself Away stand out the most for me.
The more plaintive tracks, Over and Out and Without You certain show a softer side to Rick, the latter may have evoked a tear on first listen.
Much like Twinkletoes, both Fight for Every Heartbeat and Long Distance Love are distilled from the essence of the more modern Quo sound. (And the latter gets extra points for using the words “electronic letter” in the lyrics!) while When I Was Falling In Love wouldn’t have been out of place on a Traveling Wilburys album.
The closing track Halloween was originally written for a mid-eighties solo album that never made it to an official release. It does sound pretty eighties too but that’s not a complaint.
The band mixes have a slightly edgier, more raw sound and make me sadder that this stuff won’t get a live airing. Both versions of this album are a worthy tribute to Rick and his lasting legacy in the world of rock music.