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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Bad Company

Live at Wembley

Review by Mark Johnson

Bad Company is a classic from the ‘70s. Paul Rodgers is one of the most legendary vocalists from that era. This CD is the companion to the BluRay which captures the band live in April of 2010.  The group proves that they are as capable and relevant today as they were in the 1970s  The show is full of energy and power and the crowd share singing duties with Rodgers later in the set. This is great introduction for anyone unfamiliar with the band, and a great set of live songs for the Bad Company fan.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2011  Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Can’t Get Enough

“Can’t Get Enough” from the band’s debut album, kicks off the show. Rodgers and crew take the stage sounding as if it’s 1976 and “everything is alright now” again. It’s as if no time has passed under the bridge. But maybe they’re better for the wear, because the band seems to be even more adept technically despite the passage of time. They do not miss a beat delivering one of their best arena pleasing anthems complete with the fans cheering and singing the refrain in the background. Yeah, it’s just like 1976 all over again.

Honey Child

“Honey Child” is one of those deep album cuts promised in the marketing brochures. This was never one of my favorites, but the band does such a great job with it this time.

Run with the Pack

Rodgers opens with piano on “Run with the Pack.” This is one of those classic songs that just cannot be missed in any Bad Company set. The piano and lead guitar are as exceptional as they were when the song came out in 1976.

Young Blood

Don’t know why, with as many hits as they have I still think “Young Blood,” also from Runnin’ with the Pack, is one of my favorite songs from the band. Rodgers and the band have always had fun with this old blues track. Why stop now?

Seagull

This is another one of my favorite tracks that the band rarely plays live. It features deep lyrics with sympathetic vocals ringing through the acoustic guitar rhythms.

Gone, Gone, Gone

We’re back to some more pulsing rhythm as “Gone, Gone, Gone” from Desolation Angels brings hard rock back to the stage. This was one of Boz Burell’s favorite tracks and it is full of great bass and drums.

Electric Land

“Electric Land” brings Las Vegas front and center. It’s an excellent track from when the band was at the top of their career. Rodgers plays the keys as the others provide great support.

Simple Man

This is another of my favorite tracks, which the band rarely plays. Ralphs and Leese provide an excellent acoustic guitar opening together, before Rodgers joins them on vocals. He stretches the vocal range as far as anyone in his 60s could.

Feel Like Making Love

 “Feel Like Making Love” from Straight Shooter is a big show topper as the fans and the band’s supporting vocals give Rodgers a run for the money. Everyone loves this song and you can feel the emotion roll through the crowd. It’s always a highlight of their shows and this time is no exception. Rodgers pulls out the harmonica and delivers a nice solo.

Shooting Star

This number is one of the band’s best stories of rock and roll’s highs and lows. The band breaks into one of its best jams as Rodgers proves he can still roar. Then he coaxes the Wembley crowd to sing with him.

Rock and Roll Fantasy

Coming from Desolation Angels, this is another song full of emotion and power. The crowd joins in with Rodgers’ singing as the three guitarists join him to push the sound high.

Movin’ On

Kirke’s drums and the crowd clapping get “Movin’ On” off the debut album, rolling. It is another great song out of the band’s extensive catalog.

Ready for Love

“Ready for Love” is the first encore song of the evening. It’s another one of the best tracks from the band’s discography, and a showstopper. Ralphs’ guitar solo is one of the best of the show. Rodgers delivers one of his best vocal showcases of the evening.

Bad Company

This is still my favorite track from the band. They do a great job of giving it new life here. Rodgers is featured at the piano delivering the classic vocals as they pull out all the stops. “Bad Company till the day we die!”

Deal with the Preacher

“Deal with the Preacher” off Straight Shooter is another seldom played track and shows up here as a great surprise as the second encore to close the show. “Somehow I know it’s time for me to say goodbye, yeah, yeah.” It’s a fantastic way to close this show!

 
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