Posts Tagged ‘Bad Company’

Rock N Roll Fantasy

Celebrating over 50 years since the release of ‘All Right Now’, and Free’s classic album “Fire and Water”, this official book features hundreds of contributions from fans, musicians and, of course, Paul Rodgers and Simon Kirke.

In their careers beyond Free, Rock ‘n Roll Fantasy follows the band members’ journeys via an oral history of eyewitness accounts and memories, incorporating Bad Company, The Firm, The Law, Queen and other projects. Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy features previously unseen photos and rare, collectable memorabilia from the late-sixties British blues boom to the present day.

Passion, excitement, and emotion are the words that keep cropping up in the pages of this book. The music that Paul Rodgers and Simon Kirke have created, solo, as part of Free, Bad Company, Queen and other outfits has deeply touched and affected the lives of so many people. Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy is an outpouring of the stories and eyewitness accounts of concerts and precious moments experienced by fans and musicians who literally can’t get enough of their music.

And the love and respect for Paul and Simon in these pages is also directed at Paul Kossoff, Andy Fraser, Mick Ralphs, Boz Burrell and many more musicians. They have all contributed to the unique-sounding blues rock that the various bands have performed and recorded so brilliantly over more than half a century. From Paul Rodgers’ Road Runners in the early 60s to his most recent Bad Company and the Free Spirit Tours tours, the quality of the music has remained undiminished. Paul Rodgers is the epitome of the rock god but, as the stories in this book will attest, the most approachable and generous of rock stars. It is no surprise to discover that the loyalty of the fans contributing to this book is so unwavering.

Free Highway

From the Nag’s Head in Battersea to Madison Square in New York City, this is the journey made by Free, Bad Company and the rest and described by the people who were there…

David Roberts is the author of music locations guidebooks Rock Atlas UK and USA and the biography of Stephen Stills: Change Partners. Farther back in time, 

“I am really enjoying it so very much. The anecdotes, stories and memories from fans and the bands are real gems.” Steve Scott

“Beyond excited. Fantastic job!!! I love the layout and all the stories.” Paula Terry

“I can’t begin to tell you how excited I was to open the package and take this beautiful book out and begin reading and looking at pictures. You did an absolutely sensational job on this and I’m sure Paul and Simon are thrilled with the outcome.” Tony Scott

“What a beautiful book this is! Congratulations! It is indeed an honour to be included in the book, and I simply can’t wait to read it!” Jan Ramsey

“I have the special edition. The book is fantastic. It has been written, and put together brilliantly. I love reading the memories of the fans, other bands and music writers. The photos are great too. Thank you so much for a great walk down memory lane.” Christine Killen

Rock N Roll Fantasy

“Rock ‘N’ Roll Fantasy – The Musical Journey of Free and Bad Company” has been nominated for the 2021 Association for Recorded Sound Collections Awards for Excellence in Historical Recorded
Sound Research.

“Without a doubt, this could well be one of the finest books of 2020!”  Strutter Magazine

Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy is, much like the artist it writes about, brilliant.” New Sounds Magazine

Both books come with a handwritten foreword  by both Paul Rodgers and Simon Kirke.

The Special Edition is limited to 500 copies only and are individually numbered.

Slip Case Edition comes complete with bonus items including:

  • Replica concert tickets
  • Island Records letter
  • Six previously unpublished photographs
  • Two exclusive artwork prints
  • Queen + Paul Rodgers set list
  •  A numbered certificate of authenticity

Special Edition

Bio – Bad Company Official Website

The original band: Paul Rodgers (vocals), Mick Ralphs (guitar), Boz Burrell (bass), and Simon Kirke (drums) – formed from the offshoots of three bands: Free, Mott the Hoople, and King Crimson – was one of the greatest British Rock super groups of the 1970s. Rodgers is and always was one and still is of the finest British Rock singers.

Their first three albums “Bad Company,” (1974), “Straight Shooter,” (1975), and “Run with the Pack, “ (1976) all crashed the Top 10. Singles such as “Bad Company,” “Can’t Get Enough,” “Good Lovin’ Gone Bad,” and “Feel Like Makin’ Love,’ are all standard fare on Classic Rock stations. Later albums “Desolation Angels,” (1979) and “Rough Diamonds,” (1982) where the end of the line for the original group, but the band soldiered on with variable personnel until the end of the 90s. Except no substitutes: the original band left their indelible mark on the History of Rock. It is long past due for Bad Company to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Sometimes rock is just rock. The blue-collar kind that doesn’t aspire to be artsy, that just wants to hit and finesse bedrock sounds that give fans a good-time . Coming at the end of the classic rock era, Bad Company aimed at that mark—and for the first two albums, mostly hit it. As they steered between overstuffed prog-rock and introspective singer-songwriters, they pared back roots-rock styles to be lean and mean. But they tucked in nuances that, listening today, make the hits you’ve heard so many times pop with subliminal surprises. For a while. Then they and the arena-rockers who rose in their wake turned their discipline and chops into radio-ready formulas—and helped paved the way for punk’s extreme rock teardown and reboot.

In 1973, Paul Rodgers finally abandoned Free and was touring as opening act for Mott the Hoople, the glam-meets-proto-metal agglomeration boasting the fierce, rangy guitar of Mick Ralphs.

Ralphs, as it happened, had had enough with Mott, and one reason was the song he was playing for Rodgers that had the singer’s ears pricked up. Mott didn’t want it. (They turned down David Bowie’s “Suffragette City” and “Drive-In Saturday” too.) But Rodgers most definitely did.

Free’s stock in trade was a restraint and airiness that popped because it cut against the grain of many late 1960s trends. But the band ultimately came to grief over a widespread problem: drugs. Guitarist Paul Kossoff couldn’t stop—and didn’t until he was dead.

As soon as he heard Ralphs’ new tune, “Can’t Get Enough” became the seed Bad Company sprang from. Rodgers suggested they join forces. The distinctive guitarist’s models included James Burton and Steve Cropper, masters of classic minimalism. Paul Rodgers’ singing idol was Otis Redding, a master of phrasing and Cropper’s Stax primo songwriting partner. And they both heeded the advice of blues master Alexis Korner who doled out to his many acolytes: less is more.

Bad Company (album) - Wikipedia

So the embryonic Bad Company started with a mission: to reformulate blue-collar roots-and-blues rock and avoid the growing excesses of so much early 70s album rock, stripping it down to essentials in themes and sounds.

Rodgers soon tapped Free’s drummer Simon Kirke, into the band who’d taken off for Brazil to escape the last debacle. After auditions, they settled on Boz Burrell, on bass late of prog-rockers King Crimson, who Korner dubbed “the most natural bass player I’ve ever heard.”

Plucking up his courage, Paul Rodgers called on ex-wrestler Peter Grant, Led Zeppelin’s feisty six-foot-five biz guru. Grant signed them to Zeppelin’s Swan Song label and brought them up to Headley Grange, Zep’s mansion/rehearsal studio, enlisting Ronnie Lane’s mobile recording unit.

While other outfits were stretching studio time to often extravagant lengths, these four vets produced the disc themselves in two weeks. Now, they knew Zep was coming in to reclaim their space for what became ‘Physical Graffiti’. But that didn’t really affect how they worked. They knew exactly what they wanted.

You can think of ‘Bad Company’, the band’s debut, as a kind of genre study, where they cast their essentialist spell over a wide range of roots-rock sounds track by track.

It’s fitting they open with Ralph’s seminal “Can’t Get Enough.” The tune’s lean sound sets the template for what Bad Company is all about. Its loping blues-rock shuffle has a jaunty assertiveness that hones the sexual edge, thanks to the driving rhythm section.

Kirke lives up to his rep as one of rock’s hardest-hitting drummers, an effect heightened by his way of leaning back on the beat and maxxing out on minimalist fills—one of his heroes is the MGs’ Al Jackson Jr. And Burrell avoids Crimsonesque filigree as he threads his full-toned, subtly complex lines between Kirke’s bass and snare drums, dovetailing with his offbeat fills, creating finesse that pumps their power. They repeat that nuanced dance throughout Bad Company’s best tracks.

Rodgers is often compared to fellow Otis fan Rod Stewart as one of the time’s premier singers, and here his skillful plotting of phrasing and delivery builds tension and release as he deploys his considerable timbral expressiveness. Catch how he never repeats himself on the rideout.

Ralphs, as he was in Mott, is the joker in the pack. Here he’s tuned to open C (C-C-G-C-E-C), which gives those imploding power chords their peculiar ring. His tone is creamy but edgy as his double-tracked solo torques unexpected notes with Albert King-style bends jangling with dissonant overtones. A helluva kickoff: elemental rock presented with airy sonics that enhance its verve. No wonder it’s still their biggest hit, .

“Bad Company” The piano-driven title track, its music inspired by spaghetti Westerns with a touch of Joni Mitchell’s “Woodstock,” demonstrates how adept Bad Company can be with the midtempo feels that define most of their output. Moody, dark, macho, and ominous, it’s a bad boy’s dream of imaginary showdowns during the time when Peckinpah and Leone and Eastwood were reinventing Westerns, and its sound shaped all the Bad Company wannabes from Foreigner onwards.

Here Rodgers goes for the gold with his passionate expression: he cut these vocals outdoors under a late fall full moon via what Kirke called “the longest microphone wire ever.”

For the music industry, the band’s timing and aim were perfect. AOR radio had emerged to showcase the tsunami of singer-songwriters who were spearheading soft-rock, which drew boomers looking for introspective retreats from a tumultuous world. But Bad Company met them halfway. Their sound, lean but crunchy a la Stax, allowed AOR program directors to slot them alongside mellower stuff without jarring listeners.

They’d ride that horse to the top of the charts for years—just as Rodgers had hoped when he teamed up with Ralphs. “Ready for Love” recalls Free, even though Ralphs, not Rodgers, wrote it. The ballad stays tensile and coiled till the choruses, when it bursts into heavier rock; the dynamic contrast adds heft.

The soulful ballad called “The Way I Choose” is a Stax homage complete with fine female backup singers and solid horn section, showcases both Rodgers’ and Ralphs’ love and intense feel for the idiom as they play Otis and Steve with their call-and-response phrasing.

“Movin’ On” rejiggers that rock perennial, the I’m-hittin’-the-road song, complete with startling wah-wah squibs answering Rodger’s throaty, soaring vocals. “Don’t Let Me Down” is the songs many fans love to hate…mostly because they think it’s uncharacteristic. They’re sorta right. Here the quartet recombines bits of the Beatles song into the album’s most ambitious composition, laced with yearning sax and churchy harmonies.

In 1974, even essentialist blue-collar rockers had to test their reach sometimes. Witness “Seagull,” which lays bare the weakness in Bad Company’s firepower the lyrics. Now, this tune is just one of those endless fantasy trips of the time, like Zep’s “Stairway to Heaven,” whose lyrics really don’t make a whole lotta sense either. So no biggie by itself. But their lackluster-or-worse lyrics would become the band’s creative Achilles heel as time went on.

By 1974, the heydays of clubs and mid-sized venues like the Fillmores were mostly nostalgic history. Sports stadiums, converted hockey and basketball arenas, anywhere a promoter could push tens of thousands of tickets for a lucrative but expensive package of acts was where the big action was.

Technology hadn’t exactly kept pace, though, so musicians and fans alike struggled with little things like hearing the details of the music. By the finales of too many shows, struggling sound mixers battled with overwhelmed sound systems and musicians’ monitors, standing waves built and clashed, and the music became at best blurred, at worst a wall of murk.

Rodgers’ Free did one of the earliest oversized-venue tours as openers for moribund Blind Faith. Their crisper, taut sound managed to stay more intelligible in horrific Madison Square Garden than the headliner’s. Maybe Rodgers knew something: at the time Bad Company was one of the rare arena acts whose sound at least started well.

So they were made for this moment. After their debut, they opened for the likes of The Who, Edgar Winter, ZZ Top, Santana, Joe Cocker—usually fourth on any big bill. In September 1974 they headlined at New York’s outdoor Wollman Rink, a prestigious but smaller venue. The following spring, when they returned to America, they were the headliners at caverns like Philadelphia’s Spectrum and the Dallas Convention Center.

Rodgers & Co. learned to use charisma and staging to tame these forbidding spaces for effect and create a sort of suspended-disbelief intimacy. The strong clarity and driving power of the material helped; their disciplined arrangements translated to stadiums without much overt loss.

So it’s kinda ironic that they didn’t release a live album until much later, although Ralphs recorded them regularly so they could self-critique. ‘Live in Albuquerque 1976’ was from one of those high-quality tapes. But it was quickly withdrawn as a “bootleg,” and years passed before any live Bad Company saw official daylight.

Too bad, onstage at these hangar-sized venues is where they made the commercial promise of their debut stick, and made the moniker “supergroup,” tagged onto them with the wanton profligacy of the day, a reality. Radio play, arena tours, and album sales dovetailed into Bad Company becoming a million-dollar industry—and a template that the ever-expanding music business would try to duplicate from now on.

Bad Company got tarred with all those bad epithets. But listening back to their early stuff now, I’m remembering how much they had to offer before they, like their knockoffs, became too formulaic for me to care.

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‘Straight Shooter’

One of the funny after-effects of Bad Company hits being all over the radio and damn near every bar on the planet for years and years is that it can make you forget how much range they had, even within their self-imposed focuses.

Their debut makes that undeniably clear. Their followup follows suit. Musically, that is; there are still some great hooks and the band’s arrangements usually max out on their four-way strengths and inventiveness. But their lyrics, never their strong suit, range from good to workable to ouch.

Unlike Stewart, who knew the value of covering strong songs by others, Rodgers was obsessive about sticking to material the band generated. That may have helped keep the quartet on target stylistically, but their variable lyrics would increasingly depend on the music’s seductive power to get over.

Their second album also reflects their new status as arena rock stars sonically and conceptually, as they edge away from their blues-and-roots foundations. But their artistic sleight-of-hand coupled with their commitment to rock basics and sonic clarity still powers mostly solid-or-better material.

‘Straight Shooter’ fires from the hip with its opener, “Good Lovin’ Gone Bad.” It’s pure hard-rock blast over raunchy power chords and a four-to-the-floor beat that chugs along till the turnaround that sets up the refrain, when it dissolves and floats for a bit, then slams back into gear. Pacing can be everything.

Take how Rodgers edges as near to metal-screamer mode as he ever gets, yet still manages to keep his phrasing distinctive, unlike the million headbangers coming up in Robert Plant’s wake. Ralphs‘ guitar threads the agile rhythm section’s parade of nuanced change-ups with the grungy edges and blues phrasing he could dial up with the best.

Next up: the alchemical power ballad “Feel Like Makin’ Love.” Its country-tinged verses and cool minimal guitar lead vividly illustrate this group’s nimbleness and rearranging rock’s building blocks in ways that are simultaneously familiar but refreshingly new: catch the subtleties lining the long coda as the crescendo builds.

Kicking off as a hard funky strut, “Wildfire Woman” is fueled by the powerful grooves these guys can routinely deliver even as they hew mostly to mid-tempo rhythms. Ralphs’ winding, snarling guitar sets off Rodgers’ vocals with the finesse he learned from studying Cropper with Redding et al; the bonus is we get a wacked-out slide solo too.

Ballads are tricky, and drummer Kirke doesn’t really care any more than his bandmates about piercing into the warp and woof of relationships. Fair enough: they were a hard-rock band aimed at young males and saw the singer-songwriter wave around them as “wimpy.”

So the music rides to the rescue of Kirke’s compositions: the gospel-flavored sound of “Anna” saves the song. And incidentally reminds us that, hey, most of Otis’s and Wilson’s and other soul hitmakers’ lyrics rarely rose to poetic heights; they were deliberately simple, elemental, laced with sexual hormones the music also stoked behind the riveting vocal delivery. Ditto the country-tinged “Weep No More.”

“Shooting Star” and “Deal with the Preacher” take off from rock staples: premature death by drugs (by 1975 the rockers’ list was plenty long) and a bad boy’s refusal to “make a deal” about love with a wedding that’s a “bargain in heaven.” Both became live-set favorites for fans.

Rodgers’ dynamically shapeshifting vocals, Ralphs’ ever-morphing guitars, and one of the outstanding bass and drum teams of the period combine in smart arrangements that lend their recycled narratives the extra emotional resonance they need. Which, from now on, will become increasingly true.

Bad Company - Run With The Pack 2XLP

‘Run with the Pack’

With their third album, the falloff in quality begins. The material feels thin, with too many retouched updates of earlier tracks. There are exceptions: the piano-centered “Silver, Blue & Gold,” another onstage fave unwrapping the tenderness Rodgers could deliver, has aged well.

They’d obviously mastered crafting radio-friendly rockers, which they repeat here with the scorching “Live for the Music” and the hard-driving “Honey Child.” But the freshness of the first two albums is fading. It’s one measure of how tapped or desperate for something new they felt that they tried cover the old Coasters novelty song “Young Blood.” Ironically, ‘Run with the Pack’ was the first Bad Company album to go platinum. Maybe it’s one measure of the group’s success that their basic concept—lean sound, catchy hooks and so on—not only got them the mass audience they aimed for, but made fans so loyal they kept on buying in.

The original line-up made three more desultory albums, one even larding the group’s streamlined sonics with synths and strings. It didn’t really matter. The album tanked but they kept selling out supersized venues until the late 1970s, when they finally got tired of the whole circus—the mammoth exhausting tours, the album-per-year contractual obligations, the mounting commercial and artistic pressures.

Why wouldn’t they? As Rodgers once explained, “There’s more subtlety in what we do than just hammering the hell out of people. We grab the audience and take them somewhere. The idea is to combine mood and excitement, with subtlety as the third ingredient.”

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One of the most important advances in the field rock ‘n’ roll marketing was the invention of the term, “Supergroup. A supergroup is a music group whose members are previously successful as solo artists or as part of other groups or well known in other musical professions.” Most people believe that Cream was the first supergroup, though there is an equally strong argument for The Steampacket, a mid-60’s U. K. band whose members included Long John Baldry, Rod Stewart, Julie Driscoll and Brian Auger. The term gained popular approval with the release of Super Session, a record marketed to the public as a truly glorious moment in rock history featuring the integrated talents of supermen Al Kooper, Mike Bloomfield and Stephen Stills.

Al Kooper was a so-so organist but a brilliant marketer. After leaving Blood, Sweat and Tears to go to work for Columbia Records, he heard that musical hobo Mike Bloomfield was ready to leave Electric Flag, so he booked two days of studio time to jam with him. When Bloomfield didn’t show up on day two (classic Bloomfield), he called Stills, who was looking for a way out of Buffalo Springfield. When the record was released, Kooper put Bloomfield’s stuff on side one and Stills’ contributions on side two. Bottom line: Bloomfield and Stills never played together in the “super session,” but the listening audience (which included many stoners) was not discouraged from believing that these three musical giants came together to create studio magic.

Bad Company was marketed as supergroup from the get-go, Bad Company had their fare share of detractors when they burst on to the scene in the mid 70s. Ex-Free men Paul Rodgers (vocals) and Simon Kirke (drums) were criticised for following a more commercial path, despite the fact that their former band had enjoyed several hits. Completed by Mick Ralphs (guitar, ex-Mott The Hoople) and Boz Burrell (bass, ex-King Crimson and Snafu), Bad Company had Zeppelin’s Peter Grant as their manager – and the American market in their sights. They struck the bullseye. “Can’t Get Enough” might have had a tasty Top 40 sheen but it was expertly rendered blues rock to the core. None of them were “name” musicians at the time of Bad Company’s formation; they had played in bands who generally familiar to the listening public but hardly top-tier (Burrell’s time with King Crimson came long after In the Court of the Crimson King). All are now more famous for their work in Bad Company than their other engagements, so while the supergroup label may have been prematurely applied at the start of their journey, one could say that they earned the label through their work. They were an enormous commercial success

Supergroups often fall short of their potential, but the four guys who made up Bad Company – originally Free, Mott the Hoople and King Crimson vets – were still young and hungry enough to add some muscle to their debut album. Later records would get more bloated under the strain of their rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle, but ‘Bad Co.’ still sounds lean after all these years.

Even if the song hadn’t dealt with the constant edge of sexual desire, “Can’t Get Enough” would still appear on my playlists because the music is so sexy. After Simon Kirke’s count-in and cue, Mick Ralphs lets it rip with a clean, sustained power chord using open C tuning, riding Kirke’s slap-that-bitch beat before downshifting into the rest of the three-chord pattern that ends on the bite of the Bb-F repetition. That tiny bite feels even sharper because Kirke shifts to cymbals, clearing the way for Mick’s power chords to be heard at full intensity. After a second go-round, Mick and Simon retreat to background to allow Paul Rodgers to do his thing.

Paul Rodgers’ voice gives me the tingles—up and down my spine. Paul Rodgers singing a sex song is an orgasmic experience, Paul Rodgers is one of the most intelligent, thoughtful and intentional singers I’ve ever heard, in any genre. A lot of guys have sexy voices but they fail to discipline the talent with intent. Paul Rodgers pays careful attention to phrasing, understands the critical importance of build and is the master at creating a mood. As he explained in one interview, “To me, that’s what music is: creating a mood, and taking the listener to the place that you’re going. on “Can’t Get Enough” he’s going to drag you to the bedroom and do all sorts of wonderful things to you. The first verse is all about command. Rodgers sings the lines with confidence and precision, making it perfectly clear what he’s after. On the second verse, he eases up slightly on the word at the end of the opening line—“Well, it’s late, and I want love.” That wicked little twist communicates the sweet side of love, the opening salvo in the seduction. It’s a disarming line that makes the clarification all the more erotic: “Love that’s gonna break me in two.” Rodgers gets looser in the second chorus but what really grabs my attention here are the slightly syncopated cuts where Kirke applies the high-hat, this Mick Ralphs composition was rejected by his former band, Mott the Hoople. That means they rejected two Bowie classics (“Suffragette City” and “Drive-In Saturday) and one of the greatest rock ‘n’ roll songs ever!

They had no choice but to dial it down a bit from that killer opener, and the Paul Rodgers composition “Rock Steady” was a good choice—it keeps the intensity high while foregoing the dramatic cuts and pauses of “Can’t Get Enough.” The song is about taming the wild beast who showed up in “Can’t Get Enough,” and though Rodgers tries to convince us that he’s capable of keeping his libido in abeyance, his gritty vocal expresses the opposite. He covers the range of dynamics, attenuating his vocal when telling himself to ease up on the testosterone accelerator (“When my love . . . gets a little bit too heavy”) and breaking into all-out passion when he discovers that there is indeed erotic opportunity in the slow, deep one. Virtually missing on “Can’t Get Enough,” (low bass levels are a problem throughout the album), Boz Burrell provides some nifty bass runs and strong rhythmic support throughout this piece.

“Ready for Love” was a Mick Ralphs composition that appeared on Mott’s All the Young Dudes, and anyone who has heard that version has to conclude that Mick Ralphs was not the right guy for the vocal—this is a passionate, erotic song, and Mick’s thin, reedy voice was incapable of expressing the depths of those feelings. Enter Paul Rodgers, the best rock voice in the business when it comes to setting the mood for an erotic evening at home. The arrangement is much cleaner than the Mott version—the introduction of piano into the mix adds a touch of balancing tenderness to offset the guitar and organ, and its use as the solo instrument in the break reinforces the melancholy psychological state expressed in the opening lines Bad Company gives “Ready for Love” the treatment it always deserved—it really is a superbly written piece.

While the opening segment with its dramatic drum rolls is a bit over the top, this “Don’t Let Me Down” isn’t half bad because it doesn’t wallow in insecurity as much as express dissatisfaction with the current partner. The best parts of the arrangement occur when Sue Glover and Sunny Leslie provide background vocals to support Paul Rodgers’ soulful approach, giving the song a gospel-like feel. The band is far off the mark, though, with Kirke paying way too much attention to the snare and Mick Ralphs dropping in with a fairly weak solo.

We’ll flip it over to side two and explore the curious title track and band anthem, as promised. There are various and competing stories about its origins, including the Jeff Bridges western flick Bad Company and a seedy character Paul Rodgers saw in a book on Victorian morals used as a warning to the young to “beware of bad company.” I have no problems whatsoever with his Rodgers vocal, with his portrayal of the character, with the haunting piano refrain, with the eerie sounds in deep background or with Simon Kirke’s POW-POW that cue the chorus.

The rest of the album is pure filler. The follow-up piece “The Way I Choose” is a slightly lumbering song with a guitar counterpoint somewhat reminiscent of George Harrison’s work on “Don’t Let Me Down” and a supporting horn section that falls far short of soulfulness. Paul Rodgers sings it well but his voice is completely wasted on the shallow lyrics celebrating independence, stupidity and mistrust. It’s followed by the equally vacuous rock-star-whining-about-life-on-the-road song, “Movin’ On,”.

The album closes with what became sort of a tradition for many hard rock bands of the era: the “deep” song. This was a slow number presented in a way to suggest to the listener that hard rockers weren’t just all about fun and games but that they had a serious side and thought about meaningful things. “Seagull” is Bad Company’s “deep” song. The lyrical content is just as confused as that alleged masterpiece, with the songwriting team of Ralphs and Rodgers taking a page out of Donovan’s songwriting handbook and attempting to imbue the seagull with meanings far beyond its status as a nasty, squawky bird. Bad Company is a fairly decent debut album, all things considered. Listening to Paul Rodgers is always an engaging experience, and despite a couple of out-of-sync moments, the band is tight and relatively tight and disciplined for a hard rock band.

Bad Company’s – ‘Can’t Get Enough,” and Honey Child.” This is what a real Rock band sounds like – even after nearly 50 years – with three of the original members: Paul Rodgers, one of a handful of great Rock singers (vocals), Mick Ralphs (guitar) and Simon Kirke (drums) with Howard Leese (guitar (late of Heart). If you want to hear the band at its absolute pinnacle check out Bad Company: Live at the Hard Rock in Hollywood, Florida. It is a masterpiece.

Desolation Angels (40th Anniversary)

In the late summer of 1978, Bad Company’s Paul Rodgers, Mick Ralphs, Simon Kirke and Boz Burrell spent several weeks recording songs for the British supergroup’s fifth studio album at Ridge Farm Studio in Surrey, England. “Desolation Angels” – recording their fifth album named after Jack Kerouac’s 1965 novel – was released in March 1979, and became a double-platinum hit, peaking at #3 on the U.S. album charts.

The 1979 album features the single ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy’ and the new deluxe edition features the 2019 remaster (used for The Swan Song Years box set) along with a bonus disc of previously unreleased versions of album tracks and outtakes.

The collection introduced fan favorites like “Evil Wind” and “Rhythm Machine” and spawned two singles: “Gone, Gone, Gone” and “Rock ’n’ Roll Fantasy,” which took radio by storm and became the best-selling single of the band’s career. The new double-disc “Desolation Angels”: 40th Anniversary Edition boasts 19 unreleased songs taken from the album’s recording sessions, including versions of seven album tracks as well as outtakes “Smokin’ 45” and “Rock Fever.”


We’re gearing up to run with the pack, the Bad Company pack that is! We’ve got a pair of deluxe editions of the bands “Run With The Pack” and “Burnin’ Sky” coming down the line this May. Both feature the remastered original album along with rare and unreleased recordings like this previously unissued version of “Young Blood” (Alternate Version 2) recorded in Grasse, France and engineered by Ron Nevison (Led Zeppelin, UFO, Hear) and “Morning Sun” (Take 3, Early Version) recorded by Chris Kimsey at Le Chateau Studios, Herouville, France, in the summer of 1976.

Bad Company recorded four classic albums in as many years, giving rise to some of the most recognisable rock songs of the seventies, like “Rock Steady”, “Run With The Pack” and the who can forget the date night favourite “Feel Like Makin’ Love”.

After releasing expanded and remastered versions of their first two albums a couple of years ago, the band have announced the May 26th release of souped-up deluxe editions of their next two albums from that incredible run – 1976’s Run With The Pack and 1977’s Burnin Sky . Both albums have been remastered from the original production tapes and expanded with rare and unreleased recordings taken from the original album sessions. For fans, there is plenty that they will not have heard before.

During a rare break from touring, Paul Rodgers, Mick Ralphs, Simon Kirke and Boz Burrell got together in France to record new songs using the Rolling Stones’ mobile recording studio. Those sessions produced Run With The Pack, a 10-song album that came out in early 1976 in America, where it sold three million copies. Radio stations pumped out the title track along with a cover of The Coasters’ “Young Blood”, while “Silver, Blue & Gold” became one of the band’s signature tracks, even though it was never officially released as a single.

The bonus disc that accompanies “Run With The Pack” Deluxe Edition includes unreleased early mixes for “Honey Child” and “Simple Man”, as well as an extended version of the title track. There’s also the previously unreleased “Let There Be Love”, an outtake from the recording sessions. In fact, the acoustic version of “Do Right By Your Woman”, previously only available as the B-Side of the single release of Run With The Pack, is the only song on the bonus disc that has ever been previously released.

During 1976, the band returned to France again to record 12 songs for what would become Burnin’ Sky. They chose Château d’Hérouville as the studio, which is where David Bowie would record Low later that same year. Burnin’ Sky was released in March 1977, and broke into the Top 20 in both the U.K. and U.S.

The “Burnin’ Sky – Deluxe Edition bonus disc features unreleased versions of nearly every song on the album, including alternative takes and mixes of “Man Needs A Woman” and “Morning Sun”, plus the full version of “Too Bad”. The session tapes also unearthed “Unfinished Story”, a song that was completed, but never released.

The CD versions of these Deluxe Editions each have a second disc of new bonus tracks, while their vinyl counterparts offer a selection of the bonus material.

Bad Company Live 1977 And 1979 Album Cover

English hard rockers, Bad Company’s live concerts rivalled some of the best, bringing primal, menacing riffs with shades of light and dark. Their “Live In Concert 1977 &1979” is stacked with classic gems in the two-and-half hours of music, taken from two concerts – The Summit in Houston, Texas on May 23rd, 1977 and the almighty Wembley Arena in London on March 9th, 1979. This is the kind of set that would inspire an arena full of people to spark their lighters and sway as one.

You’re listening to tracks off of Bad Company’s album, ‘Live In Concert 1977 & 1979’. The first-ever official live album to spotlight the original Bad Company line up: Paul Rodgers, Mick Ralphs, Simon Kirke and Boz Burrell is out April 29th. This archive collection includes more than two-and-half hours of unreleased music taken from 24-track tapes in Bad Company’s vault. The music heard on this live collection features absolutely no enhancements or overdubs — nothing but the band as they performed live on the night of the concert.

Formed out of the ashes of British blues-rockers Free, Bad Company saw singer Paul Rodgers and drummer Simon Kirke unite with Mott The Hoople guitarist Mick Ralphs and King Crimson bassist Boz Burrell to form a hard rock supergroup that released classic albums in the shape of 1974’s Bad Company and the following year’s Straight Shooter. They now continue to tour, maintaining their reputation as one of the finest live acts on the circuit.

Amazingly, however, they are only just getting round to releasing a live album that features their classic original line-up. Live 1977 & 1979 is a double-disc set that features two entire concerts taken from the band’s original 24-track tapes and faithfully represented with no overdubs or additional enhancements added to what was captured in the moment.

Due for separate vinyl releases later in the year, Live 1977 & 1979 presents an entire show from Houston, Texas, on 23rd May 1977, and a show captured in London on 9th March 1979 (with the inclusion of a single track taken from Washington, DC, on 26 June 1979).

The full tracklisting is:

CD1 (The Summit, Houston, Texas, 23 May 1977)
‘Burnin’ Sky’
‘Too Bad’
‘Ready For Love’
‘Morning Sun’
‘Man Needs Woman’
‘Leaving You’
‘Shooting Star’
‘Simple Man’
‘Movin’ On’
‘Like Water’
‘Live For The Music’
‘Drum Solo’
‘Good Lovin’ Gone Bad’
‘Feel Like Makin’ Love’

CD 2 (The Empire Pool, Wembley, London, 9 March 1979)
‘Bad Company’
‘Gone, Gone, Gone’
‘Shooting Star’
‘Rhythm Machine’
‘Oh, Atlanta’
‘She Brings Me Love’
‘Run With The Pack’
‘Evil Wind’
‘Drum Solo’
‘Honey Child’
‘Rock Steady’
‘Rock’n’Roll Fantasy’
‘Hey Joe’ [from Capital Center, Washington, DC, 26 June 1979]
‘Feel Like Makin’ Love’
‘Can’t Get Enough’

Bad Company… Great Gigs

Deluxe 2CD editions of ‘Bad Company’ and ‘Straight Shooter’ are available from Monday 6th April.

Both albums have been re-mastered form original tapes each set features bonus disc of rare and unreleased recordings. Formed in 1973, the British hard rock outfit Bad Company was a supergroup comprised of ex-King Crimson bassist Boz Burrell, former Mott the Hoople guitarist Mick Ralphs, and singer Paul Rodgers and drummer Simon Kirke, both previous members of Free. Powered by Rodgers’ muscular vocals and Ralphs’ blues-based guitar work, Bad Company was the first group signed to Led Zeppelin’s Swan Song vanity label.

Bad Company’s eponymous 1974 debut was an international hit, topping the U.S. album charts and scoring with the number one single “Can’t Get Enough of Your Love.” The second disc of the Deluxe Edition features 12 tracks, including eight previously unreleased recordings such as the demo for the ballad “The Way I Choose,” a take of “Bad Company” recorded right before the album version, and an unedited version of “Superstar Woman,” a song that Rodgers later recorded in 1983 for his solo album Cut Loose. Also featured is the single edit of “Can’t Get Enough,” and the B-sides “Little Miss Fortune” and “Easy On My Soul.”

Bad Company has helped shaped the sound of an entire rock era with iconic powerhouse rock anthems and popular ballads. Having unearthed the original multi-track tapes and discovered previously unreleased tracks, takes, and mixes the band has remastered their first two albums to create new Deluxe Editions.

Singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Rodgers, along with guitarist/songwriter Mick Ralphs, bassist Boz Burrell, and drummer Simon Kirke released the band’s second album Straight Shooter in April 1975, 40 years to the month of the new deluxe edition. The album features the hit singles “Feel Like Makin’ Love” and “Good Lovin’ Gone Bad” as well as the rock radio staple “Shooting Star.”

Of the 14 bonus tracks, all are previously unreleased except the B-side “Whiskey Bottle.” Among the standouts is a stripped-down version of “Shooting Star,” a remix of “Good Lovin’ Gone Bad” with alternative guitar and vocals tracks, as well as two lost gems, never released before: “See The Sunlight” and “All Night Long.”

NEWS: On tomorrow’s Classic Rock Magazine show, Nicky Horne speaks to Bad Company‘s Mick Ralphs about the band’s history. Find out more here: