The original lineup of Bad Company consisted of guitarist Mick Ralphs who had previously played with Mott The Hoople, bassist Boz Burrell who had played in King Crimson, drummer Simon Kirke who had played in Free, as well as singer Paul Rodgers who had also been a member of the band Free. The band was managed by Led Zeppelin’s legendary bombastic manager Peter Grant. The group was signed by Led Zeppelin’s Swan Song Records label.
The band broke up after the release of Rough Diamonds in 1982. The group reformed minus Paul Rodgers in 1986. Brian Howe who had sung lead vocals in the Ted Nugent band took over lead vocal duties from 1986 to 1994. After Brian Howe left the band in 94, singer Robert Hart landed the lead vocalist job from 1994 to 1998.
Since 1998 when Paul Rogers rejoined the band, the group has toured on and off in many different line-ups. From 1974 to 1996, the band released a total of 12 albums. Our Top 10 Bad Company songs list focuses mainly on the material recorded with Paul Rodgers during the band’s golden years.
# 10 – Gone, Gone, Gone
Starting out our top 10 Bad Company songs list is the heartbreaking, but oh-so-rocking Bad Company tune “Gone, Gone, Gone.” The song was released on the fantastic Desolation Angels album in 1979. Desolation Angles was the band’s fifth album. Although Paul Rodgers did a sixth album with the band, Desolation Angels really was the last great Bad Company album. The song “Gone, Gone, Gone,” was the second single released from the album after “Rock and Roll Fantasy.” “Gone, Gone, Gone,” was written by the band’s bassist Boz Burrell.
# 9 – Burnin’ Sky
While many of Bad Company’s greatest songs were full-blown pedal to the metal, straight ahead rock and roll tunes, the band’s song “Burnin’ Sky,” was somewhat of an outlier. There was a rhythmic sense to the tune that had never been utilized by the band before. It was brilliant, inspiring and it worked. One of the best Bad Company songs ever released, Burnin’ Sky was issued on the album of the same name in 1977. It was the band’s fourth album release.
# 8 – Rock and Roll Fantasy
“Rock and Roll Fantasy,” was the lead single from the band’s spectacular 1979 Desolation Angels album. The song was a huge hit for the band. Rock and Roll Fantasy was a top 20 hit peaking at number 13 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song was written by Paul Rodgers. 1979 was an exciting year for music fans. Punk music was morphing into New Wave. Bands like The Police, Blondie and the Ramones were delivering new sounds to the masses while bands like Bad Company, Foghat, The Marshall Tucker Band and so many more were still turning our some of the finest records of their careers.
# 7 – Movin’ On
While many Top 10 Bad Company songs list may ignore this great track, the truth is those of us who were in our teens in the 1970s remember how loved this song was. “Movin’ On,” was a FM deep tracks radio favorite in the 1970’s It is one of the most soulful songs that Bad Company ever released. The song appeared on their self-titled debut album Bad Company in 1974.
# 6 – Good Lovin’ Gone Bad
Another great track that often does not appear on Top 10 Bad Company songs lists is the opening track to the band’s second album Straight Shooter. The song was also released as the first single from the album. “Good Lovin’ Gone Bad,” was a top 40 hit. However, the song’s popularity was quickly trumped by the second single released from the album entitled “Feel Like Making Love.” Nonetheless, “Good Lovin’ Gone Bad,” was pure straight ahead rock and roll. Bad Company style!
# 5 – Shooting Star
The Bad Company song “Shooting Star,” was probably one of the most loved Bad Company songs in the band’s catalog. Fans fell instantly in love with the tale of Johnny’s rise to stardom and its sad ending. The seventies were a time in which the short story played an important role in the music of many artists. Song’s like Bruce Springsteen’s “Jungleland,” Harry Chapin’s “Taxi,” Bob Dylan’s “Hurricane,” Elton John’s “Ticking,” all presented fans with heartbreaking stories. The song “Shooting Star,” appeared as the last track on side one of Bad Company’s Straight Shooter album released in 1975
# 4 – Bad Company
Bad Company’s debut album was a monster record. There are more songs on this top 10 Bad Company songs list from their debut album than any of their other records. This great track opened with a haunting piano riff that oozed around Paul Rodgers’ silk vocal line. The smooth opening crashed into a powerhouse chorus that became one of the most legendary songs of the 1970s.
# 3 – Can’t Get Enough
Well, we can thank Bad Company for writing a song that was possibly the most played garage band song of all time. Right up there with The Beatles Twist and Shout, and Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama,” the three chord progression to Can’t Get Enough became a favorite of young guitar players growing up in the 1970s
The song “Can’t Get Enough,” was the first single ever released by Bad Company. The song reached the number 1 spot on the Billboard Top 200. There are not many bands in history that had a number 1 single with the first song they ever released. Bad Company was one of them.
# 2 – Feel Like Making Love
The second single released off the band’s second album wound up being a huge hit for Bad Company. “Feel Like Making Love,” reached the number 10 spot on the Billboard 100. I was once at a wedding in which the band played “Feel Like Making Love,” as the couple’s first dance. Most of the older people almost had heart attacks as the couple went at it on the dance floor. The younger generation just smiled. That’s rock and roll!
# 1 – Run With The Pack
There is an energy to this song that just simply defines what Bad Company was all about. The great intros, the pulsating verses that built up to Superman style choruses. It is all there at its peak on Run With The Pack. The seventies were the time of riff bands. Groups like Led Zeppelin, Jethro Tull, Queen, Blue Oyster Cult, Cream, and The Allman Brothers all utilized amazing guitar riffs in their songs. Bad Company riffs came out of the vocals of Paul Rodgers.
When Paul Rodgers left the band after Rough Diamonds, the Bad Company we all loved ended. Yes of course the guitar work of Mick Ralphs, the bass playing of Boz Burrell, and the drumming of Simon Kirke all contributed to that hard-driving sound. Nonetheless, it was that magical Paul Rodgers voice that led the way. “Run With The Pack,” was Paul Rogers’ shining moment with the band. It is hands down easily the best Bad Company song ever released.
Updated May 8, 2023
Top 10 Bad Company Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2023
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