MUSIC REVIEW | Bad Company – Bad Company (1974)

In a nutshell, Bored & Dangerous says: “This record is easy enough to listen to, and too harmless to ever be negative about.”

Bad 1
According to Wikipedia, Bad Company was a 70s supergroup, made up of members of the bands Free, Mott the Hoople and King Crimson.  I’ve heard the name King Crimson, but never knowingly heard any of the music.  I’ve listened to one Mott the Hoople record.  But I even had to do a search of my own website to confirm if that was true.  And I’ve never heard of Free at all.  I don’t say any of that as a snarky way of question the “supergroup” moniker.  I say that as a way of clarifying my own experience of these dudes, and where I’m coming from when it comes to Bad Company and their self titled debut.  It turns out that where I’m coming from is a place of almost complete ignorance.

Setting the tone for its time, Can’t Get Enough is some quintessential, 70s soft rock stuff.  I can’t really describe it beyond that, but if I read lyrics like, “Well, I take whatever I want, and baby, I want you.  You give me something I need. Now tell me I got something for you”, this is the exact song, note for note, I would imagine.

Like their British rock brothers who preceded them, Led Zeppelin and Rolling Stones, Bad Company take a classic blues dirtiness from America, and unapologetically reappropriate it, resulting in something cooler than white dudes from England could ever come up with them by themselves, with Rock Steady.

After the slow grind and burn of Ready for Love, as obvious in its intentions as the title would suggest, it’s time for Bad Company to go full power ballad meets gospel chorus, on Don’t Let Me Down.  The eponymous Bad Company is a little goofy in its theatrical pomposity and sincerity, but its grandeur lives up to its lofty ambition.  It might be a bit of a wank, but it at least earns its money shot.

Movin’ On gets a little more polished and middle of the road than Zeppelin and the Stones ever were.  Soften the edges a tad and straighten out the groove, and it would sound a lot like the soft rock of America in the 70s and 80s, from bands like Journey, or Styx, or The Cars.
Bad 2
‘Soft rock’ isn’t a term I would usually use in the complimentary.  And it has been bandied about this review several times.  But the way Bad Company delivers the softness is effective enough that this record is easy enough to listen to, and too harmless to ever be negative about.  You might as well get angry with tap water for being room temperature.

Bad Company

Other Opinions Are Available.  What did these people have to say about Bad Company?
Rolling Stone
Something Else
Martin Leedham

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