Our 25 Essential Paul Rodgers songs list takes a look at the amazing musical career of one of rock and rolls greatest singers. Most legendary rock band lead singers have one band that defines their best work. Paul Rodgers has two. The vocals that Paul Rodgers recorded for Bad Company and Free stand among some of the best lead vocals ever recorded. One cannot be a rock and roll fan without having enjoyed the sound of Paul Rodgers voice. This article will take a look at some of his most iconic vocal recordings from all aspects of his career.
Paul Rodgers musical career began in England during the mid to late 1960s playing bass and singing lead vocals in a a band called The Wildflowers. The group had originally been called The Roadrunners. After a short stint with the group, Paul Rodgers joined the band Free in 1968. The group would become very popular in England. Two years later, they would become a household name when they hit it big with the single “All Right Now.” Paul Rodgers and Free would release six studio albums and one live record between the years 1969 and 1973. They included the albums Tons of Sobs (1969), Free (1969), Fire and Water (1970), Highway (1970), Free Live! obviously a live album released in 1971, Free at Last (1972) and their final album Heartbreaker released in 1973.
When Free broke up in 1973, Paul Rodgers supposedly turned down an offer to become the new lead singer of Deep Purple. Instead, Paul Rogers and Mott The Hoople guitarist Mick Ralphs formed a new group they would call Bad Company. In forming Bad Company, Paul Rodgers and Mick Ralphs would recruit two additional musicians including drummer Simon Kirke who was Paul Rodgers band mate in Free and ex-King Crimson bassist Boz Burrell. Bad Company would become the first band signed to Led Zeppelin’s new label entitled Swan Song Records. There was just something very cool about opening up a Bad Company album and seeing that Led Zeppelin associated label on a Bad Company vinyl record.
Bad Company would become one of the most successful and most loved rock bands in classic rock history. Bad Company released their first album in 1974 entitled Bad Company. Album sales would be fueled quickly by the album’s hit “Can’t Get Enough Of Your Love.” Paul Rogers would release six albums with Bad Company from 1974 to 1982. They would include the albums Bad Company in 1974, Straight Shooter in 1975, Run With the Pack in 1976, Burnin’ Sky in 1977, Desolation Angels in 1979 and Rough Diamonds in 1982. Paul Rodgers left Bad Company after the release of the release of the Rough Diamonds in 1982. Bad Company would continue to release new albums without Paul Rodgers while Rodgers would move on and release his first solo album in 1983 entitled Cut Loose.
Paul Rodgers association with Led Zeppelin and Jimmy Page would eventually lead to the two rock and roll legends to form a new group called The Firm. The band would release two albums with Paul Rodgers on vocals, Jimmy Page on guitars, Tony Franklin on bass and Chris Slade on drums. This new super group would not last long as they only released two albums. The first was released in 1985 entitled The Firm. The band’s follow up and final album was released in 1986 entitled Mean Business.
Paul Rodgers next group would last even shorter than the Firm. In 1992, Paul Rodgers formed the group The Law with drummer Kenny Jones who had replaced Keith Moon in The Who and had also been the drummer in the band The Faces. The Law only released one album. The record features another musician who would play with The Who. When John Entwistle died in 2002, bassist Pino Palladino replaced him. Other musicians featured on the lone Law album included Jim Barber and John Staehely.
In the 2000s Paul Rodgers would continue to work on his solo career releasing studio and live albums. His solo career would be defined by a mixture of solo studio albums of original material, live albums and tribute albums to musical legends such as Muddy Waters and Jimi Hendrix. One of the most recent and interesting career moves was his five year relationship with the band Queen. Billed as Queen + Paul Rogers, the two legendary musical acts would work together touring and performing a mix of Queen songs and material from Paul Rogers’ catalog. Paul Rogers and Queen would release three live albums and even a studio album entitled The Cosmos Rocks in 2008.
Paul Rodgers has had one of the most extraordinary musical careers in classic rock history. His legendary voice stands as one of rock most cherished and distinctive voices of all time. Our 25 Essential Paul Rogers songs list presents highlights of Paul Rogers’ magical career. This list is presented in CHRONOLOGICAL order. This is not a definite list but rather a place to start for those looking to explore the classic catalog of Paul Rogers songs.
25 Essential Paul Rodgers Songs – In Chronological order:
# 25 – I’m A Mover – Free
Released on the first Free album entitled Tons of Sobs in 1969. The song was written by Paul Rodgers and Andy Fraser.
# 24 – I’ll Be Creepin’ – Free
I’ll Be Creepin’ was released on Free’s second album entitled Free in 1969. The song was written by Paul Rodgers and Andy Fraser.
# 23 – All Right Now – Free
The song “All Right Now,” was released on Free’s third album entitled Fire and Water. The album was released in 1970. The song was written by Paul Rodgers and Andy Fraser.
# 22 – Mr. Big
The song “Mr. Big,” was released on Free’s third album entitled Fire and Water. The album was released in 1970. The song was written by Andy Fraser, Paul Rodgers, Simon Kirke and Paul Kossoff.
# 21 – Little Bit Of Love
The song “Little Bit Of Love,” was released on the album Free At Last. The album was released in 1972. The songs was written by Andy Fraser, Paul Rodgers, Simon Kirke and Paul Kossoff.
# 20 – Wishing Well
The song “Wishing Well,” was released on the album Heartbreaker. The album was released in 1972.
# 19 – Can’t Get Enough – Bad Company
The single “Can’t Get Enough,” was released on the first Bad Company album entitled Bad Company in 1974. The song was written by Mick Ralphs.
# 18 – Bad Company – Bad Company
The title track from Bad Company’s debut album Bad Company released in 1974. The song was written by Paul Rodgers and Simon Kirke.
# 17 – Feel Like Makin’ Love – Bad Company
Released on the Straight Shooter album in 1975. The song was written by Paul Rodgers and Mick Ralphs.
# 16 – Shooting Star – Bad Company
Released on the Straight Shooter album in 1975. The song was written by Paul Rodgers.
# 15 – Run with the Pack – Bad Company
Released on the Run With The Pack album in 1976. The song was written by Paul Rodgers.
# 14 – Burnin’ Sky – Bad Company
Released on the Burnin’ Sky album in 1977. The song was written by Paul Rodgers.
# 13 – Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy – Bad Company
Released on the Desolation Angels album in 1979. The song was written by Paul Rodgers.
# 12 – Cut Loose – Paul Rodgers Solo
Released on Paul Rodgers first solo album entitled Cut Loose. The album was released in 1983. The song was written by Paul Rodgers.
# 11 – Radioactive – The Firm
“Radioactive,” was released on the first Firm album. The record was issued in 1985. The song was written by Paul Rodgers.
# 10 – Tear Down the Walls – The Firm
“Tear Down The Walls,” was released on the second Firm album entitled Mean Business. The record was issued in 1986. The song was written by Jimmy Page and Paul Rodgers.
# 9 – Laying Down the Law – The Law
“Laying Down The Law,” was released on the only album released by The Law entitled The Law. The album was released in 1991. The song was written by Paul Rodgers.
# 8 – Rollin’ Stone – Muddy Waters Blues Tribute
Paul Rodgers great album of blues classics in tribute to Muddy Waters was released in 1993. The album featured an all star cast of guitar players. The one featured here is the legendary Jeff Beck.
# 7 – Soul Of Love – Paul Rodgers Solo
“Soul Of Love,” was released on Paul Rodgers solo album entitled Now & Live. The album was was released in 1997.
# 6 – Saving Grace – Paul Rodgers Solo Now & Live
“Saving Grace,” was released on the Paul Rodgers solo album entitled Now & Live
# 5 – Deep Blue – Paul Rogers Solo Electric
Deep Blue was released on Paul Rodgers solo album entitled Electric. The album was released in 2000. The song was written by Paul Rodgers.
# 4 – Reaching Out – Queen + Paul Rodgers
This fun live track”Reachin’ Out” / “Tie Your Mother Down” was a live CD single released in 2005 only in Europe.
# 3 – C-lebrity – Queen + Paul Rodgers
C-lebrity was a a single released by Queen and Paul Rodgers that appeared on the album The Cosmos Rocks. The studio album was released in 2008
# 2 – Walk In My Shadow – Paul Rodgers Solo
Classic Free song that has been released multiple time. This version is from the great Paul Rodgers solo live album Live at Hammersmith Apollo 2009.
# 1 – I Thank You – Paul Rodgers Solo
From the album The Royal Sessions. The album was released in 2014.The song was written by Isaac Hayes and David Porter.