Bad Company (1973-1982, 1986-1999, 2001-2002, 2008-present): a Hard Rock band from Albury, Surrey, UK.
eaturing music business pros Paul Rogers (ex-Free; vocals/piano), Mick Ralphs (ex-Mott The Hoople; guitar/piano), Boz Burrell (Real Name: Raymond Burrell; ex-King Chrimson/ex-Snafu) and Simon Kirke (ex-Free; drums) the foursome Bad Company got together to deliberately create a power-rock super group. Although it has been widely distributed that they took their name from a 1972 Western style film starring Jeff Bridges, Rodgers once stated in an interview that the idea came from a book of Victorian morals that showed a picture of an innocent child looking up at an unsavoury character leaning against a lamp post; the caption reading "beware of bad company".The act started moving up the musical ladder when they teamed up with Led Zeppelin manager Peter Grant sign to his new 'Swan Song' label in 1974 and hit the big time immediately with a 1 US/3 UK for their debut eponymous album that June; the album eventually went 5 times platinum. Despite having innuendo filled lyrics (it was the 1970s after-all), the music was built to last through the ages, and indeed did with such tracks as Can't Get Enough Of Your Love and Bad Company.
Feel Like Makin' Love was the powerhouse with the follow-up album Straight Shooter in 1975, an album that was basically the same fare as the predecessor. Although the repeated formula allowed them a 3 on both charts, and went platinum in the US, it was nevertheless a formula that would limit them not in the too distant future, for after their next effort, Run With The Pack (1976) they sort of faded into the background of '70's music.
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The follow-up, Burnin' Sky (1977), made only 15 US/17 UK, and the follow-up Desolation Angels (1979) did only slightly better at 3 US/10 UK It would be several years before the 26 US/15 UK charting Rough Diamonds (1982) arrived. It was, however, the band's worst selling album.
By the end of the 1970s the band had grown increasingly disenchanted with playing large stadiums. In addition, Peter Grant lost interest in the group and management in general after Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham died on 25 September 1980. Although Bad Company managed to put 'bums in seats', and sold truckloads of records all the way through, they disbanded in 1982 when Rogers went to a solo career before joining The Firm, while Kirke joined Wildfire, and Burrell sessioned with Roger Chapman.
Without the distinctive voice of Rogers (who was replaced with ex-Ted Nugent vocalist Brian Howe) the group would reform in 1986 to release the 10 From 6 "best of..." compilation in January of that same year. The album came across as basic AOR fare meeting with lukewarm critical appreciation. Although the album sold modestly it failed to meet the same attention of the past. Fame And Fortune (1986) followed utilizing a basic 1980s sound complete with keyboards, but was stubbornly only modestly successful.
1988 saw the ditching of the keyboards in favor of the return of guitars for Dangerous Age (1988) before a line-up change occurred with Geoff Whitehorn (ex-Back Street Crawler) replacing Ralphs, Paul Cullen replacing Burell, and the addition of ex-A.S.a.P. keyboards Dave Colwell to release Holy Water (1990).
Howe would be replaced by Steve Walsh (ex-Kansas) in 1991, around the same time that Ralphs returned for Here Comes Trouble (1992), their first to chart in many years at 40 US Rick Wells (ex-Roxy Music/ex-Foreigner/ex-Peter Frampton) replaced Walsh for What You Hear Is What You Get (1993) a compilation of live events. Robert Hart took over vocal duties for Company Of Strangers (1995), Stories Of Told And Untold (1996), and a compilation double CD set The Original Bad Company (1999) followed.
Nearly a decade of various membership changes, reunions, performances and compilation albums followed until a reformation in 2008 after a split in 2002 now featuring the membership of Rodgers and Kirke along with Howard Leese and new member Todd Ronning (bass).
Boz Burrell died of a heart attack on 21 September 2006, aged 60, at his home in Spain.
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