Sunday, 8 November 2015

Can't Get Enough by Bad Company (Bad Co 1974)

From the Alan Freeman Playlist

Bad Company (Courtesy: Wikipedia)

One of the characteristics of supergroups in the seventies, was that they rarely lasted for more than a few albums or years. The first of them, Cream, only survived for three years and it became a cliche to suggest that their successor, Blind Faith, was killed by the practise after which they were named. Rod Evans’ Captain Beyond made one, albeit great, album with the original line-up; and UK lasted for two studio albums and one live recording, but with a change of drummer. One of the exceptions was Bad Company, who made six excellent albums, over eight years, with the original personnel.

Bad Company were a supergroup formed by the singer and drummer from Free, Paul Rodgers and Simon Kirke, along with guitarist Mick Ralphs from Mott the Hoople and bassist Boz Burrell from King Crimson. It gave an interesting configuration because Rodgers no longer had the support of distinctive bass player Andy Fraser, who wrote the hit songs with which he was most closely identified, All Right Now and My Brother Jake. Mick Ralphs, out of Ian Hunter’s singer-songwriter shadow, was free to be an all-out hard rock guitarist and songwriter. The glimpses of Ralphs’ talents on Hoople tracks like Darkness, Darkness and Ready for Love could be given full reign, the only exception being his singing which would be sidelined for Rodgers. Most interesting of all was, and remains, Boz Burrell, who came from a jazz backgound, as a rhythm guitarist, and enjoyed a brief career as a pop singer, with members of Deep Purple, in the mid to late-sixties. Burrell joined King Crimson ostensively to sing, but they needed a bassist more than a rhythm guitarist, so Robert Fripp taught him to play bass. Within a few years, Boz became one of the best fretless bass players in rock music.

Can’t Get Enough, the opening song on Bad Co’s first album, is counted in and launched by Simon Kirke’s prominent drums. Rodgers voice sounds the same as it was with Free, but Ralphs’ guitar has less of a fiery blues feel than Paul Kossoff’s. It is also more straight forward hard rock than he was playing in his Hoople days. Bad Co had a more jazzy feel than Free, due partly to the presence of Crimson saxophonist Mel Collins and also to Burrell’s jazz background. On Can’t Get Enough, the bass is quiet in the mix, but often busy. The lyrics are simple and straightforward, which is frequently the sign of a great song. All Right Now had simple lyrics; All the Young Dudes, less so! The song was Bad Co’s first hit single and remained popular in their live set. Written by Mick Ralphs, it epitomised their approach in that it is catchy, direct and unpretentious. Can’t Get Enough demonstrates the reasons Bad Company lasted longer than many of their peers.


No comments:

Post a Comment