How To Play What Your Proposing By Status Quo

Learn to play note by note


What You’re Proposing” is a single released by Status Quo in 1980. It was included on their album Just Supposin’.

What Your Proposing was written by Francis Rossi & Bernie Frost.

The B-side is “A B Blues”, a non-album instrumental studio jam. Some later pressings of this single mis-credited Andy Bown as Andy Brown on the B-side composer’s credit.

Tablature is available on my website here.

Just Supposin’ is the thirteenth album by Status Quo. Co-produced by the group and John Eden, it was recorded at Windmill Lane Studios, Dublin. Released on 17 October 1980, it entered the UK albums chart at number 4.

Three tracks were issued as singles the same year, “What You’re Proposing”, and a double A-side, “Lies”/”Don’t Drive My Car”. At the end of 1981 an edited version of another track, the uncharacteristic ballad “Rock ‘n’ Roll”, appeared as a single after the release of Quo’s subsequent album Never Too Late. It was a prolific recording session, which included enough material for Never Too Late, released only five months later.

“Over the Edge” was co-written by bass player Alan Lancaster and Keith Lamb, lead singer of British bands The Case, Sleepy Talk and Mr. Toad, and founder and lead singer of Australia’s successful glam rock band Hush.

The cover art work features the launch phase of a UGM-84 Harpoon submarine missile.

So what exactly is being proposed here? “It was about this meeting with this woman who had offered herself to me,” Francis Rossi said in our 2014 interview, adding that this woman was somebody’s wife. Francis passed up this opportunity, which he came to regret. “Wish I’d gone there, now that I think about it,” he told us.

The very unusual guitar sound on this song comes courtesy of a very unusual guitar-maker. Steve Acworth, who the band referred to as “The Cosmic Cowboy,” worked out of a London music shop that the band used for their gear.

The guitar he made for Francis Rossi is a piezo crystal model, which was new at the time. These guitars use pickups made of the crystals to create a distinctive sound. “I wanted a guitar that sounded like a telecaster before it hits that pickup,” Rossi told us. “So just the resonance – literally the strings.”

Acworth made such a guitar and Rossi purchased it. When he started to play it, this song quickly developed. Said Rossi: “I’d stuck a capo on, so I think it made it into C sharp. I played, but it was much slower, and for some reason, I started to instantly carry on with it – this was before the days when you could just stick it down on your iPhone and keep it.

I sort of strummed it, and it started to sound gospel-y to me. I had this whole vision – and I can’t find that vision anymore – but I know that was going on in my head.

I got it down in minutes and thought, Wow, this is really good. I was writing with Bernard Frost at the time, and he came around the following morning. Within minutes that song was finished. It’s so repetitive. But. It. Just. Has. Something. I get very enthused about the song. I love it, and it was a very big hit in this country, did extremely well, which makes me salivate.”