Pictures of Matchstick Men

Status Quo

About Pictures of Matchstick Men

"Pictures of Matchstick Men" is the first hit single by Status Quo, released on 5 January 1968.


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When I look up to the sky
I see your eyes a funny kind of yellow
I rush home to bed I soak my head
I see your face underneath my pillow
I wake next morning, tired, still yawning
See your face come peeping through my window

Pictures of matchstick men and you
Mirages of matchstick men and you
All I ever see is them and you

Windows echo your reflection
When I look in their direction now
When will this haunting stop?
Your face it just won't leave me alone

Pictures of matchstick men and you
Mirages of matchstick men and you
All I ever see is them and you

You're in the sky and with the sky
You make men cry, you lie
You're in the sky and with the sky
You make men cry, you lie

Pictures of matchstick men and
Pictures of matchstick men and you
Pictures of matchstick men and
Pictures of matchstick men and

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Status Quo

Status Quo, also colloquially known as The Quo or just Quo, are an English rock band whose music is characterized by their distinctive brand of boogie rock. more »

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Written by: Francis Dominic Nicholas Rossi

Lyrics © BMG Rights Management

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind


10 facts about this song

Song Background
"Pictures of Matchstick Men" is a song by the English rock band, Status Quo, released in January 1968.
Chart Performance
The song peaked at number 7 on the UK Singles Chart. In the US, it reached number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, making it the only song by Status Quo to make a significant impact in the US charts.
Record Label
The track was launched under Pye Records, a British record label that was active from 1953 to 1980.
Composer Info
The song was written by the band's lead singer, Francis Rossi. He penned the song while he was seriously ill with the flu.
Song Recognition
"Pictures of Matchstick Men" is considered Status Quo's first hit song and is generally categorized as one of the best examples of psychedelic pop from the era.
Song Style
Unlike the later material of Status Quo, which was typically hard rock or blues rock, "Pictures of Matchstick Men" features a lilting melody carried by tremolo guitar, which gives the track a psychedelic mood.
Cover Versions
The song has been covered by several artists, including Camper Van Beethoven, who released their version in 1989. Their cover went up to number 1 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart.
Song Inspiration
Rossi reportedly got the inspiration for "Pictures of Matchstick Men" from a matchstick drawing by British artist L.S. Lowry. Lowry was famed for his urban landscapes populated by matchstick men — hence the song name.
Song Legacy
Despite the band's shift in musical style over the years, it still often includes "Pictures of Matchstick Men" in its live performances, asserting the song's popularity and endurance.
Album Inclusion
Originally, the song was included in the band's debut album, "Picturesque Matchstickable Messages from the Status Quo". But it has also featured in multiple compilation and live albums due to its enduring popularity.

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    "Pictures of Matchstick Men Lyrics." Lyrics.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 28 Feb. 2024. <https://www.lyrics.com/lyric/35348616/Status+Quo/Pictures+of+Matchstick+Men>.

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    Pictures of Matchstick Men

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    Top Hot 100 Songs 1968

    Billboard #12


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