In 1979, an 11-year-old me took a major step in my musical appreciation evolution. It was the year I embraced the vinyl album and moved from radio listening to purchasing records. Some were older, Revolver, Hot Rocks and some were new - Breakfast in America and Bad Company's Desolation Angels.
Bad Company is one of those bands that I've always liked and while that was my first purchase of their music, over the next few years I assembled the full collection. Fast forward more than 30 years, and while I still like and appreciate them, I rarely if ever dig out the Bad Company records. Like a lot of classic-rock music, the bulk of the Bad Company catalog is still in heavy radio rotation and while there are deep cuts for sure, so much of their music is heard so often I don't usually think to listen to more.
Surprisingly for a band of their popularity and deep catalog, Bad Company had never released a live album, something almost ubiquitous from their '70s counterparts. The newly available 2 CD Set - Bad Company: Live in Concert 1977 & 1979 remedies that with these two signature shows.
I'd never had the chance to see the band live and even video footage seems to be lacking so I was excited to hear these shows. Being a fan, I figured I would enjoy them but I really had no idea how much. The live performance makes the songs fresh.
The 1977 show was in support of the Burning Sky album while the 1979 show is from the previously mentioned Desolation Angels tour. Both shows feature strong setlists with a mix of classics and a healthy portion of songs from the touring album. Together, this set could essentially serve as a greatest hits and I would certainly recommend it for hard core and casual fans. There is some overlap of a couple songs but the sets are distinct enough to listen to both straight through.
Over the years, I learned more about the band and their lineage. I dug deep in to Free and Mott The Hoople and have pretty much decided that Paul Rogers is one of the best singers in Rock and Roll. He and the band are in fine form during these performances, and even though they would soon disband, they seemed to be clicking on all cylinders here. It took nearly 40 years for this music to see the light of day but it's been worth the wait.
I still don't see myself listening to much of their studio stuff but I've listened to this live set a bunch of times since I got my copy. Highly recommended.