Bad Company “Bad Company”

Posted 14 Feb 2012 in Albums of 1973, Albums of the 70s, Rock + Roll

 

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#630 in the Series) is self-titled debut from Bad Company  

The year was 1974 and the musical landscape as far as the charts were concerned was a saccharine heavy peppering of Crosby Stills and Nash, The Eagles, and Carole King, full of laid back California Soul that was about as dangerous and edgy as Peter Frampton, and much like Cliff Richard was very close to exceeding its shelf life. It was during this time that hard rock & heavy metal was very much like that green, leafy, combustible substance, it was something I really wanted, but did not necessarily know how to go about getting it.  I could not find it on the charts and had to settle for the gateway drugs of “Saturday Night’s All Right for Fighting” and Bread’s horrific “Mother Freedom”. Believe it not, this was considered harder rock back in the day.

Thank goodness my older sister was one of those kids that hung out in the smoking section and vicariously exposed me to Black Sabbath, Uriah Heep and Deep Purple. While I was in my room listening to my new K-Tel record she had her black light and lava lamps going and was rumbling the wall between our rooms with “Iron Man”, “My Woman From Tokyo”, and “The Pusher”.  It was like being a prisoner on Alcatraz.  I could see, or in this case hear, everyone on the mainland whooping it up having a great time while I was trapped on an island with a “Peaceful Easy Feeling”, hanging out with “Sweet Baby James”, and riding “A Horse with no Name”.   The horror of it all.

Musical salvation thankfully arrived with the Eponymous release Bad Co.  by the super group Bad Company that consisted of Paul Rodgers and Simon Kirke from the band Free, Mick Ralphs of Mott the Hoople and Boz Burrell, bassist for King Crimson.  The resulting band put the rock back in Rock & Roll as far I was concerned and set the blues rock template that was to be brilliantly followed by the likes of Tom Petty, the mid 70’s sound of Grand Funk Railroad, and even to some extent Boston and Lynyrd Skynyrd, just listen to the opening riffs of “Rock Steady” and tell me there was no influence.

Paul Rodgers, right there  on the Mount Rushmore of hard rock and heavy metal singers alongside Ian Gillan, David Coverdale, and Ronnie James Dio, already had his stamp punched to the classic rock radio hall of fame with “All Right Now”, a song that showed off his musical chops in the sixties with as much gritty power and punch as he demonstrated during his recent short lived one album tenure as the Freddie Mercury replacing lead singer for Queen, showing his voice is still a powerful force of nature even after 40 years.

The album Bad Co. reached number 1 on the Billboard Charts with “Can’t Get Enough” reaching number 5 and “Movin’ On” peaking at number 19. While this album may have seemed somewhat  primitive in nature at the time of its release, the 1-2-3 power chord intro of “I Can’t Get Enough of Your “love”, the song that introduced us to Bad Company and good old listener accessible hard driving Rock & Roll, provided an immediate rush and sent an immediate, clear message that the cavalry was on its way to get us out of the musical doldrums.  For people that were too afraid or our parents would not let us listen to Ozzy Osbourne or Ronnie James Dio, this voice was different from the mellow crooning of James Taylor, Don Henley or even Elton John.  This was bluesy, soulful sounding with an edge that we had been looking for, and desperately.

Just take a look at the albums that were in the top 10 at the time Bad Co. was number 1: Elton John – Caribou / Mike Oldfield – Tubular Bells / Paul McCartney – Band on the Run / The Carpenters – The Singles / David Bowie – Diamond Dogs /Gary Glitter – Remember Me This Way /R. Wakeman – Journey to the Centre of the Earth /Sparks – Kimona My House / Alan Price – Between Today and Yesterday

The hardest this list rocks is with Diamond Dogs, and this would not be considered hard rock under anybody’s estimation.   At just under 35 minutes this album is almost the perfect length with each of the 8 songs standing tall on their own.  Sure there are the hits, “Can’t Get Enough of your Love”, “Rock Steady”, and “Ready for Love” has good an opening trio of songs as you will find on anyone’s debut album, with the two closing songs “Movin’ On” and “Seagull” that were hit singles in their own right.  Add to this the fact that the somewhat obscure “Way I Choose” that could very well be the first real power ballad and you get a timeless effort by a timeless band and a peerless voice.

… in short, pure 1974 perfection.

— Jeremy Wren

Track listing

Side one

  1. “Can’t Get Enough” (Mick Ralphs) – 4:16
  2. “Rock Steady” (Paul Rodgers) – 3:46
  3. “Ready for Love” (Ralphs) – 5:01
  4. “Don’t Let Me Down” (Rodgers, Ralphs) – 4:22

Side two

  1. “Bad Company” (Rodgers, Simon Kirke) – 4:50
  2. “The Way I Choose” (Rodgers) – 5:05
  3. “Movin’ On” (Ralphs) – 3:21
  4. “Seagull” (Rodgers, Ralphs) – 4:06

Personnel

Bad Company

  • Paul Rodgers – vocals, second guitar on “Can’t Get Enough”, piano on “Bad Company” and “Don’t Let Me Down”
  • Mick Ralphs– guitar, keyboards on “Ready for Love”
  • Simon Kirke – drums
  • Boz Burrell – bass
Additional Musicians
  • Sue Glover and Sunny Leslie – back up vocals on “Don’t Let Me Down”.
  • Mel Collins – saxophones on “Don’t Let Me Down”

Links

Listen to Bad Company in its entirety

Here’s some additional Rock and Roll Albums that we’ve written about.

  • Dire Straits
  • Alice Cooper "Billion Dollar Babies"
  • The Doobie Brothers
  • Big Country
  • Tim Finn 'Escapade'
  • King Crimson 'Discipline'
  • XTC 'Apple Venus (Volume 1)
  • Billy Joel '52nd Street'
  • Brian Setzer 'The Knife Feels Like Justice'
  • Pixies 'Doolittle'
  • The Allman Brothers Band 'Idlewild South'
  • The Outlaws 'Lady in Waiting'
  • Rockpile 'Live at Montreux 1980'
  • Steve Winwood 'Steve Winwood'
  • The Stone Roses 'The Stone Roses'
  • Spinal Tap 'This is Spinal Tap'
  • The Who 'Live at Leeds'
  • Wishbone Ash 'Wishbone Ash'
  • Warren Zevon 'The Wind'
  • Cheap Trick 'In Color'
  • The Power Station 'The Power Station'
  • The Rolling Stones 'Black and Blue'
  • Barrence Whitfield & the Savages 'Dig Thy Savage Soul' - NEW MUSIC REVIEW
  • Bruce Springsteen 'Born to Run'
  • Jefferson Airplane 'Volunteers'
  • The Flaming Groovies 'Teenage Head'
  • Elton John 'Caribou'
  • David Bowie 'Young Americans'
  • Chicago 'VII'
  • Dire Straits 'Making Movies'
  • New Album Sneak Peek: New White Trash
  • The Grateful Dead 'Rare Cuts & Oddities 1966' .. Plus a 'Record Store Day' Recap
  • Tune in Tom Lounges New Show
  • Silver Condors 'Silver Condors'
  • Peter Gabriel 'Rockpalast Live 1978'
  • Montrose 'Paper Money'
  • Original Santana Band to Reunite For New Album.
  • Tommy Bolin 'Teaser'
  • History of the Eagles on Showtime
  • The Who 'Magic Bus: The Who On Tour'
  • Spirit's Ed Cassidy Dead at 89 From Prostate Cancer
  • Hindu Love Gods 'Hindu Love Gods'
  • Scorpions 'Fly To The Rainbow'
  • 801 "Listen Now"
  • Rank and File 'Sundown'
  • Badfinger 'Wish You Were Here'
  • John Lennon and Yoko Ono
  • 10,000 Maniacs 'The Wishing Chair'
  • The Rolling Stones Bring a Bigger Bang to Tinsel Town
  • The Silencers 'A Letter From St. Paul'
  • The Beacon Street Union 'The Eyes of The Beacon Street Union'
  • Simple Minds
  • King Cannons
  • The Sensational Alex Harvey Band
  • New Order
  • Mudcrutch "Mudcrutch"
  • The (English) Beat
  • Bonnie Raitt "Nick of Time"
  • Dave Mason
  • Bruce Springsteen
  • Thin Lizzy
  • Tears for Fears
  • Roxy Music
  • The Shadows of Knight
  • Todd Rundgren "The Hermit of Mink Hollow"
  • The Blasters
  • Elvis Costello & The Imposters
  • The Smiths
  • Bangles "All Over The Place"
  • Ian Anderson
  • NRBQ
  • Vanilla Fudge
  • Queen
  • Richard and Linda Thompson
  • Crowded House "Woodface"
  • Little Village "Little Village"
  • Keith Richards
  • Mink DeVille
  • Novo Combo
  • Bruce Springsteen
  • Joe Jackson "Big World
  • Montrose
  • Bad Company
  • Ringo Starr
  • J. Geils Band
  • The Guess Who
  • The Tubes
  • Springsteen Announces Dates for First Leg of US Tour. European Dates as Well.
  • Bobby & The Midnites
  • Charlie
  • Boz Scaggs
  • John Fogerty
  • Unreleased Thin Lizzy Box Set to Be Coming. As Many as 700 Phil Lynott-era Tracks
  • Freedy Johnston
  • Heart
  • Blood, Sweat and Tears
  • Neil Young
  • The Notorious Cherry Bombs
  • Warren Zevon
Posted by Larry Carta

1 Comment

  1. Jeff (15 Feb 2012, 13:04)
    Reply

    What an awesome album this was, and still is. Every time I plugged in my guitar I ended up putting this album on to play along with. Sadly, when you hear today’s music buyers talk about Paul Rogers they only know him from Queen. Great pick for Album of the Day.



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