It’s easy to take Bad Company for granted as another ‘70s musical dinosaur destined for perpetual play on classic-rock radio. But give their 1974 debut another spin in its entirety, and Bad Co.’s place in rock becomes clearer.
Certainly Led Zeppelin manager Peter Grant, not one to be bamboozled, saw the band’s possibilities and signed them to his newly formed Swan Song label. Bad Company, composed of vocalist Paul Rodgers, guitarist Mick Ralphs, bassist Boz Burrell and drummer Simon Kirke, didn’t disappoint.
Their self-titled release went to #1 in the United States and #3 in the United Kingdom. Where most artists would practically give their left ventricle to have one hit single, the BC boys loaded their first LP with five – “Can’t Get Enough Of Your Love,” “Rock Steady,” “Ready For Love,” “Bad Company” and “Movin’ On.” Those are the hits, and the other three tracks are nearly as strong – the gospel-tinged “Don’t Let Me Down” and the lovely acoustic number “Seagull,” particularly, icing an already rich cake.
Ironically, the very things that made Bad Company successful – three-chord rock and lyrics that glorified being savvy in the sack – would be their undoing, as they struggled to reinvent (or at least redefine) themselves in the late ‘70s. Before that, though, it all came together in this astounding debut.