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Bad Company - 1986 Fame And Fortune



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:

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

WEBLINKS: www.badcompany.com


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's. 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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Comments
#1 | gdazegod on May 01 2008 21:16:35
Goodness, I am so embarrassed. This is our first review of a Bad Company album on this site.. after all these years.. Oh dear, you are such a slacker GT!
#2 | jeffrey343 on May 02 2008 03:37:58
I too noticed and lamented the lack of Bad Company here. I was never a huge fan of their earlier stuff - my copy of '10 from 6' satisfies that urge. I got 'Dangerous Age', 'Holy Water', and 'Here Comes Trouble' when they came out and have enjoyed them for years. I didn't get 'Fame & Fortune' until a couple of years ago.

This definitely has a different sound than those three subsequent releases, although not radically so. The Foreigner comparisons are right on. Once just for kicks, I put this album in a playlist with several songs from the first three Foreigner albums, put it on shuffle, and tried to see just how similar they sound. Of course I knew all the songs, but this album does certainly sound like early Foreigner (that is a good thing).

This CD can be found cheaply. Definitely worth checking out, even if you don't care too much for the later stuff.
#3 | Jez on June 13 2008 11:08:55
Xcellent - Bad Co. goes Foreigner as Alun says above, not surprising as Mick Jones was exec producer. Brian Howe does an excellent 'Lou Gramm' throughout the ten strong songs. Nice one.
#4 | george_the_jack on May 11 2009 14:52:27
I think this catalogue should be completed someday...
#5 | Eric on May 15 2009 17:02:53
Agree GTJ, we've fallen behind on Bad Co. as well as Free and other related bands. We did The Firm a while back... Perhaps you wanna take a shot at another Bad co. review??Thumbs Up
#6 | george_the_jack on May 15 2009 19:32:37
It would be nice Eric! I would like to give a shot to a couple of their earlier records.Smile
#7 | gdazegod on May 16 2009 00:22:26
I am doing a few as well.. 'Holy Water', 'Straight Shooter', possibly also 'Dangerous Age'..
#8 | AOR Lee on May 14 2016 12:37:53
Been revving this one a lot recently, one of the great AOR albums for me. Completely essential, in fact Bad Co from Desolation Angels through to Here Comes Trouble hits the AOR spot for me. Even 1995's gritty Company Of Strangers has some good moments
 
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