There was a point where you really couldn’t go wrong with a Bad Company album.
(photo courtesy of BadCompany.com)
Formed in 1973, Bad Company was actually something of a supergroup: Paul Rodgers had already gotten some acclaim with Free, with whom he recorded the classic “All Right Now.”
Ralphs and singer/songwriter Ian Hunter had done a fair job of putting Mott on the rock map, producing hits like “All the Young Dudes” and “All the Way from Memphis.”
Ralphs and Rodgers then signed on Free drummer Simon Kirke. To round out the rhythm section, they hooked up with bassist Boz Burrell, who had recently left progressive rock icons King Crimson, which had been earlier led by Greg Lake before Emerson, Lake and Palmer. Burrell had actually joined Crimson as a singer, but was taught bass when the need arose.
The new band released their debut album, Bad Company, in 1973. It quickly put them on the rock map, with hit tunes that included “Can’t Get Enough” and “Ready for Love.”
Their next release, Straight Shooter, proved to be their most successful album, with “Feel Like Makin’ Love” rising up the charts. They continued to record for several years, producing a total of six albums before calling it quits.
They went on to other projects, not the least of which was Paul Rodgers’ run as lead singer with The Firm, a short-lived supergroup that included Zeppellin’s Jimmy Page. More recently, Rodgers fronted the reformed Queen.
However, Bad Company occasionally performed with various replacement players over the years. In 2001, Rodgers and Kirke hooked up again, In recent years, Rodgers, Ralphs and Kirke reunited as Bad Company.
Missing was Burrell, who died of a heart attack in 2006 at the age of 60, and was replaced by various musicians in the reformed band.
So, it goes to show you, no matter where you end up, everyone comes from somewhere in the music world. So credit Free, King Crimson and Mott the Hoople with giving birth to Bad Company — and keeping them alive.
(NOTE: This is part of an occasional Listening Room series I’ll be doing on noted rockers and where they came from. JF)
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