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Bad Company

Bad Company: Official Authorized 40th Anniversary Documentary Blu-Ray

Review by Gary Hill

This new documentary is supposed to tell the story of Bad Company. I think it does an exceptional job of telling the early story of the band, from the origins dating back to Free all the way up to the departure of Paul Rodgers. There are some good clips, and I particularly found some of the background of the band members and how deep the connection to Led Zeppelin through Peter Grant went fascinating. I think the whole thing went off the rails a bit once Rodgers left. The whole "official authorized" part comes into play there, I think. That, in my opinion means, "approved by Rodgers."

Mind you, I'm coming from a place of not really being a fan of Rodgers. Don't get me wrong, he has a good voice. It's just never done a lot for me, and I like the old Bad Company stuff more despite him than because of him. I get the impression from interviews and such that he is the star of the show and pretty much calls the shots now. The problem is, that basically means pretending a whole period of Bad Company history doesn't exist. That's sloppy at best and just plain disingenuous at the other end.

It should be noted that I'm coming at this from the point of view of a person who prefers the Brian Howe era of the band. So, to have that whole part of history relegated to mentions of "we all did other things" and Rodgers saying that one of the other guys was using the name in a way in which he didn't approve just doesn't seem right to me. He was the one who left the band in the first place. The fact that they devote a decent amount of time to Rodgers' time in The Firm and with Queen really makes the lack of even a real mention of the years Bad Company worked with other singers seem even worse.

All that said, there are some fascinating things here, and it's well worth seeing. I would like to see a more honest documentary, too, though. Of course, it will probably have to be unauthorized.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2020  Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.

 
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