Bad Company – When One Band Ends…
Bad Company, comes together as a rock super group after the band “Free” disbands. Paul Rodgers participates in a jam session with Mick Ralphs the guitarist of Mott The Hoople. They like what each other brings to the table.
Bringing on King Crimson bassist/vocalist Boz Burrell, adding drummer Simon Kirke and Rodgers Christens the band “Bad Company”. Rodgers’ brings in Led Zeppelin manager Peter Grant. And as a result, they become the first band signed to Zeppelin’s Swan Song label.
Success Right Out of The Gate
Coming out of the gate with their 1974 self-titled debut “Bad Company”. Immediately, it goes platinum five times over and features the smash hits, “Can’t Get Enough,” and “Movin’ On”. As well as electrifying rock anthems like “Ready For Love,” “Rock Steady” and the title track “Bad Company” also become instant hits worldwide.
They go on to release “Straight Shooter”and “Run With the Pack” which are also consecutive platinum albums in the UK and US. Meanwhile, songs from all three of these albums remain staples of classic rock radio to this day.
Break Up Rumors & New Music
Bad Company continues with its non-stop schedule, touring and recording “Burnin’ Sky” in 1977. When they take a break in 1978, and rumors start to travel around the music world that the band is breaking up. Needless to say, they squash the rumors by releasing “Desolation Angels” in 1979. The album includes the popular tracks “Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy” and “Gone, Gone, Gone.” Furthermore, we see the band adding synthesizers and strings to their musical mix.
On Hiatus & Side Projects
In 1980, the break-up rumors begin again. Rodgers began to consider leaving the group. However, he stays to record the 1982 release “Rough Diamonds”, which included the single “Electricland,” as well as performing on the follow-up tour. In July 1983, Bad Company announces they have officially disbanded.
Rodgers records a solo album and goes on to form “The Firm” with former Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page. From there, he performs with the band “The Law”, then finally settling on “Paul Rodgers & Company”. Guitarist Ralphs tours with Pink Floyd and goes on to perform his own material. Kirke forms a band called “Wildlife”, while Burrell also forms a short-lived rock band.
In 1986, Atlantic Records released 10 from 6, a compilation of ten Bad Company hits from their six albums. Atlantic Records approach the group with the idea of a reformation. They decided to go ahead and return with singer Brian Howe, who formerly worked with Ted Nugent and Bassist Steve Price fills in for Burrell in the studio since he has other commitments.
Resurrection & Roster Changes
Ok, this is where it gets tricky! In 1986, Ralphs and Kirke resurrects the “Bad Company” name. Furthermore, they bring in Brian Howe as the vocalist to replace Rodgers. The reconfigured unit’s debut, “Fame & Fortune”, is a commercial failure. Dangerous Age” becomes a minor hit in 1988. Meanwhile, in 1990, “Holy Water” fares even better, as the power ballad “If You Needed Somebody” becomes a Top 20 hit. “Here Comes Trouble”, releases in 1992, and achieves platinum status, and earns another Top 40 hit with “How About That.” On their 20th anniversary, Bad Company expands into a quintet with the addition of bassist Rick Wills and rhythm guitarist Dave Colwell, and releases the live retrospective “The Best of Bad Company Live…What You Hear Is What You Get”.
The next decade brought a series of member changes for the group, releasing more albums, tours with Damn Yankees, Ted Nugent and Lynyrd Skynyrd. The changes, struggles, and challenges returned them to the outlook they started with in the mid-1970s. “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”. “It’s come full circle now—this music could have been played 20 years ago,” Kirke stated in the band’s biography. “It’s worth all the trials and tribulations we’ve gone through over the years. More than worth it.” And the band still plays (tours) on.