Bad Company - 1986 Fame And Fortune

edited August 2 in year-1986

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ARTIST: Bad Company
ALBUM: Fame And Fortune
LABEL: Atlantic
SERIAL: 781 684-1
YEAR: 1986
CD REISSUE: 2005, Wounded Bird, WOU 1684

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: image

LINEUP: Brian Howe - vocals * Mick Ralphs - guitar * Boz Burrell - bass * Simon Kirke - drums

Guests: Steve Price - bass * Greg Dechert - keyboards

TRACK LISTING: 01 Burning Up * 02 This Love * 03 Fame And Fortune * 04 That Girl * 05 Tell It Like It Is * 06 Long Walk * 07 Hold On My Heart * 08 Valerie * 09 When We Made Love * 10 If I'm Sleeping

Background

After the original Bad Company called it quits in 1983 all the members of the band went on to various projects with little success, Paul Rodgers finding some degree of acclaim with The Firm.

Meanwhile the pickings were lean for the remaining trio of Ralphs, Kirke and Burrell, and predictable Bad Co reformed in 1986 with Brian Howe on vocals, having previously made a name for himself on Ted Nugent's excellent 'Penetrator' album of 1984.

This wasn't the Bad Co of the 70's, the brawny hard rock that made them superstars replaced by a slick AOR aesthetic that would serve them well over the next six years.

The Songs

This was probably a hard listening experience for those weaned on tried and true classics like 'Can't Get Enough' or 'Good Lovin' Gone Bad'.

In came keyboards by the truckload, AOR melodies and production from Keith Olsen, who did everything in his power to turn Bad Co into a clone of Foreigner, only this is far more inspired than 'Agent Provocateur' or 'Inside Information.'

This album has gone largely unnoticed over the years and been criticised, but there's a host of quality AOR on offer, with intense tracks like 'Burning Up', 'Tell It Like It Is' and 'Long Walk' adding a real sense of class to this comeback.

Worth a mention is Ralph's dynamic guitar solo on 'This Love', which is a good example of the Foreigner comparisons.

Elsewhere we get saxophone on 'Hold On My Heart', another effortless AOR romp and the delicious synths scattered through 'Valerie', which is on par with anything Journey or Michael Bolton could conjure up in their heyday. This is a fantastic track, probably the most pure AOR moment of their 'second' stage.

In Summary

Quite strange this hasn't received any accolades or recognition from AOR pundits in the last 22 years. There's not a bad track included and it must have been the culture shock of Bad Co evolving into an AOR act that saw this gain such a lukewarm reaction.

That changed with 1988's 'Dangerous Age', which saw the band back to the sales and popularity of the 70's.

But I prefer this out of all their melodic output of 86-92, with the production here capturing a classic AOR atmosphere courtesy of Olsen, more so than Terry Thomas would later on.


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