Bad Company — led by former Free singer Paul Rodgers and original Mott guitarist Mick Ralphs — resembles Free in its structural starkness and early Mott in its stormy directness. In Bad Company, Robert Benton’s overlooked 1972 western from whose title the group got its name, the chief characters, Civil War-era teenage romantics, displayed a sort of swaggering innocence that was quite affecting. The personality of this appealing new band is similar.
The rhythm section — bass player Boz Burrell and another former Free member, drummer Simon Kirke — plays with such economy you’d think they’re penalized for hitting unnecessary notes. But they make up for the spareness of their lines through the sheer muscularity of their playing (Kirke is as physical a hitter as any I’ve heard). This hard, spartan bottom forms a tangible base for the exploits of the two front men.
The debut studio album from the British hard-rockers Bad Company, here it is newly remastered from the original production sources and paired with a disc of non-album B-Sides, Alternate takes and songs that were unreleased at the time.