Our Bad Company albums ranked list takes a look at the Bad Company albums that were released when Paul Rodgers was the band’s lead singer. Bad Company arrived on the scene in 1974 with their debut album entitled Bad Company. The band’s blend of pure rock and roll with no-nonsense added, soon found a huge audience in the United States. They sounded like a great American rock and roll band when the truth was, they were actually from England. Nonetheless, the band’s first five albums were huge hits and earned them a loyal following of fans that added Bad Company as one of their favorite bands of all time. The first band ever signed to Led Zeppelin’s Swan Song label on Atlantic Records, Bad Company broke out of the gates hard with their initial hit single “Can’t Get Enough of Your Love.” From that point on, it was hit after hit and solid album after solid album up until their final release with Paul Rodgers entitled Rough Diamonds.
Bad Company consisted of Paul Rodgers on vocals and guitars, Mick Ralphs on lead guitar, Boz Burrell on bass and Simon Kirke on drums. That core four lineup stayed together for the band’s first six albums. After the release of Rough Diamonds, lead singer Paul Rodgers left the band and was replaced by Brian Howe who was the former lead vocalist with Ted Nugent. Bassist Boz Burell also left the band. Mick Ralphs and Simon Kirke continued on with Bad Company with a revolving door of lead vocalists and bass players releasing six more albums up until Stories Told & Untold in 1996. Three of those albums went Gold and one Platinum. Still, for most original Bad Company fans, it was all over when Paul Rodgers left the band.
There was something very special about the group with Paul Rodgers. His voice was just so distinctive. For that reason, we decided to just rank the Bad Company albums released when Paul Rodgers was the lead vocalist, Boz Burrell was the bassist, Simon Kirke was the drummer and Mick Ralphs was the guitarist. That was the Bad Company that was special, that was the Bad Company we all loved.
Bad Company Albums Ranked
# 6 – Rough Diamonds
We open up our Bad Company Albums Ranked list with the band’s last album to feature Paul Rodgers on lead vocals. Rough Diamonds is also the band’s weakest record release with Paul Rodgers. The band was fighting at the time and the spirit and magic seems to be lost on this one. Rough Diamonds was released in 1982. The only tracks off the album that got significant airplay were the tracks “Electricland” and “Painted Face.”
# 5 – Burnin’ Sky
Bad Company’s Burning Sky album was the fourth studio album released by the band Bad Company. The album was released in 1977. This is a great Bad Company album that featured 12 new tracks. They didn’t have any really big time hit singles like the previous records had. The album also did not sell as as well as the first three. Hit singles sell records and this one lacked one. The album’s title track “Burning Sky,” was released as a single that peaked at number 78 on the Billboard US Hot 100 charts. The song “Everything I Need,” was also released as a single but it failed to chart. Other standout tracks on the album included the record’s second track “Morning Sun,” “Leaving You,” “Like Water, Heartbeat and “Man Needs Women.”
# 4 – Desolation Angels
After the lackluster sales and poor airplay of Burnin’ Sky, Bad Company came roaring back two years later with the phenomenal album Desolation Angels. This was a kicking album that contained some really good songs. The album was released in 1979. The album’s lead single entitled “Rock and Roll Fantasy,” returned the band to the US Billboard Hot 100’s top 20 as the song peaked at number 13. Interestingly, this was the band’s only single to go gold. The follow up single “Gone, Gone, Gone” did not do as well on the charts, but man was it a great tune written by Boz Burrell. Mick Ralphs’ “Oh Atlanta,” was also a standout track as well as Paul Rodgers “Crazy Circles.” This is a full band album where everybody contributed in the writing. This one still gets a lot of plays on my turntable. The band found their groove big time on this one.
# 3 – Straight Shooter
In the number three spot on our Bad Company albums ranked list we present the band’s second album entitled Straight Shooter. This was a hugely successful follow-up to their smash debut album. There are many Bad Company fans that would argue this was their best. It sure did have a couple of their best songs ever. Three of the band’s most legendary songs appear on side one. The album’s opening track “Good Lovin Gone Bad,” was actually released as the first single from the record. The song became a top 40 hit on the US Hot 100 peaking at number 36.
The second single from the record entitled “Feel Like Making Love,” was an even bigger hit than the first single released from the album. “Feel Like Making Love,” became Bad Company’s only other top 10 hit besides “Can’t Get Enough.” “Feel Like Making Love,” broke into the US Billboard Hot 100’s top 10 peaking at number 10. Side one of the record closed out with what is perhaps one of the most loved songs that Bad Company ever released. The Paul Rodgers penned song “Shooting Star,” became an instant classic in the Bad Company repertoire.
# 2 – Run With The Pack
From 1974 to 1977, Bad Company released an album a year. In 1976, the band released their third album entitled Run With The Pack. The Run With The Pack album contains some of our favorite Bad Company songs of all time. The album’s title track is actually our favorite Bad Company song. It’s a powerful testament to rock and roll. Paul Rodgers vocal is astonishing as well as the drum work of Simon Kirke. The entire band just nailed it on this one. As great as the song was, it was unable to break into any of the music charts. However, the second single from the album was a cover of a classic Doc Pomus song entitled “Young Blood.” It was a top 20 hit for the band. There’s so many great songs released on the Run With The Pack album. Other favorites included the song “Do Right By Your Woman,” “Silver Blue and Gold,” “Honey Child,” which was also released as a single, and the album’s great opening track, “Live For The Music.”
# 1 – Bad Company
Closing out our Bad Company albums ranked article we turn to their debut album entitled Bad Company. The band’s first album was released in 1974. It remains one of the biggest selling albums of the 1970s. Just about every track on this album is sensational. The first single entitled “Can’t Get Enough,” was a smash hit in 1974. It turned the band into a household name instantly. The song broke into the Billboard Hot 100’s top 10 and peaked at number 5. It is the highest-charting song the band has ever released. The song “Moving On,” was released as the follow up single. It broke the US Hot 100’s top 20 peaking at number 19. The third and final single from the album titled “Bad Company,” failed to chart. Nonetheless, that was one of the best songs on the record. The Bad Company album went straight to number one on the US Billboard album charts. It has sold over 4 million records since it was first released.
Bad Company Albums without Paul Rogers
In Chronological order.
Fame and Fortune (1986)
Dangerous Age (1988)
Holy Water (1990)
Here Comes Trouble (1992)
Company of Strangers (1995)
Stories Told & Untold (1996)
Feature Photo: Photo: Jim Summaria, CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
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