They were a band who's music always seemed to be playing somewhere while I was growing up. I would hear it everywhere. They also were one of the really great rock and roll bands. Their albums were the soundtrack to my high school years.
This album was always my favorite for reasons I will get into later. The sophomore effort proved that Bad Company was a force to be reckoned with. No jinx here, instead we get an album of guitar power rock that defines the genre.
I remember my first serious girlfriend in high school. Her name was Karen. We met when she rode my bus with her girlfriend to visit this girls boyfriend. He was a pal of mine. We started talking and the next thing I knew I was getting off at his house. As things heated up between Mike and his girlfriend, Karen and I decided to retire to a bedroom. As we started to get really acquainted with each others anatomy, I heard the radio blaring Good Lovin Gone Bad. I kept thinking that it would have been much better if track two would have been playing instead of this one. Well, as a teenager I have to credit Bad Company with one major feat. They allowed my first experience to last a lot longer than it normally would have if I had not thinking of that song! So I say thank you fellows for making my first time a memorial experience!
One thing about the opening song to this album, it makes for terrific background music for such activities. The churning guitar riffs and the pulsing bass makes this ideal for use as an accompaniment. As added proof, the band even slows down for a breather at the bridge, allowing you to gather a second wind before turning it up and cranking the guitars for the final explosion. This song is dear to my heart for obvious reasons and one of the best cheatin' woman anthems of this rock era.
You might wonder why I said that I wish track two was playing when discussing the previous tune. Well that is because Feel Like Makin Love is the one song (other than Foghats I Just Wanna Make Love To You) that sounds like it is written to be played during carnal coupling. Starting out with a slow acoustic guitar and Paul Rogers stirring vocals, it is a true love song that suddenly with a powerful downbeat and a crash of guitar becomes an animalistic bit of rock and roll lust before once again calming you down for a brief rest. Then just when you ready for the finish, the guitars once again come searing through to carry you to the climax.
Karen and I continued to date and this song came to be what you would call our song. In those crazy high school days, we would try and find as many places we could to play our song and consummate what went with it.
With the song Weep No More Bad Company gives a respite to Karen and I. This song is a bluesy tune that is a true Bad Company song, but one that explores territory far removed from their guitar oriented rock and roll. This piece uses the piano as the driving force and backbone after a little jangle of guitar to open it. What it is though is a great driving tune. With the windows down and the sun shining, this is one of the songs that sound so much better on the open road. This is classic rock and roll. Honky tonk piano, blues guitar and a little Hammond organ thrown in too!
We all wanted to be rock stars in those days of youth. Bad Company captures that passion like no one else has ever been able to with the song Shooting Star. Every guy who ever picked up a tennis racket backwards could relate to the words:
Johnny was a schoolboy When he heard his first Beatles song Love Me Do, I think it was And from then it didn't take him long Got himself a guitar Used to play every night Now he's in a rock 'n' roll outfit And everything's alright.
Never has the life and death of a rock star been so poignantly portrayed as with our hero Johnny. The combination of acoustic and electric guitars are also one of the most appealing aspects of this tune. That along with one of the finest vocal performances by the man they call The Voice. I would be remiss also if I didnt mention that this song also has one of the most recognizable guitar solos in rock and roll history. This is one of the great songs in the annuals of rock and roll.
When Karen and I would partake in some of the other activities that most high schoolers of that time found appealing, such as a little partying or maybe even some dancing, one of the songs we would always make sure was on the play list was Deal With The Preacher. Paul and the boys give us a great dose of hard edged blistering guitar mayhem with this tune. It might not be a classic but it is good stuff neverless.
Well, as Karen and I kept dating, we became a little bit experimental in out quest to keep each other well, lets say, entertained. One of the ways that this was accomplished was this little dance that Karen would do every time she heard the song Wildfire Woman. With moves that became more popular years later by Demi Moore, Karen knew just how to be a Wildfire Woman! Even though many feel that this is a weak point in the album, I firmly believe that they just didnt have the right encouragement when listening to it! It is a slight departure from the norm for the band, but it is not an unappealing one. Using a light twangy guitar to offset Rodgers outlandish vocals in the chorus, I cannot see where this song is such a downer. Then again, most do not have the visuals to go along with it that I do!
Looking back, I wonder if Paul know Karen and I. It is almost as if he was reading our mind. Well, at least Karens. He knew how she would want to just cuddle now and then and he wrote a song just for that purpose. Anna is the mellow little blues ballad that fits the bill. Many nights I can remember being curled against that firm high school body while Paul sings:
Got a sweet little angle And I love her so. She is there when I need her She understands when I say go.
Thanks for the memory once again guys! You helped me through many a romantic night with this cool little number.
Over the years, Karen and I drifted apart. The relationship just runs out of gas. As we got older we could not sustain the passion that was there for a good many years. I guess you could say the same thing happened to Bad Company with this album. Although not a bad song, Call On Me it is most definitely the weak point of the disc. It seems like it was a hastily done song to fill out the album. Some very good guitar playing goes to waste in a somewhat boring song.
This album has to rank as one of the greatest pieces of guitar rock from that time period or any other for that matter. Some think that Bad Companys first album was their greatest achievement. Although that is another great piece of music, this album shows the maturing of the band into a complete unit. I see many lists that are suppose to be the best albums of all time. I have to laugh when I see groups like The Pixies or Smashing Pumpkins on them and groups like this all but forgotten. Of course most list writers are more interested in making themselves sound cool by rattling off obscure, inconsequential bands that only appeal to the highbrow. Well, they dont know what rock and roll is all about in the first place. If they did, this album would not be left off of at least the top 100.
And to Karen wherever you might be. I hope your memories of those days are as good for you as they are for me. And I want you to know that you will always be my Wildfire Woman.
The above CD/record musicwise is of mereordinary value. The group more or less repeats their slam bam thank you maam formula from their debut recording with slightly less successful results. Shooting Star is a really beautiful song though and Deal With The Preacher, Feel Like Making Love and a couple of others are interesting as well. However, what makes this album stand out is the cover of the red dice on a craps table. The album jacket is a winner too as there is a shot of the band from the rear … more