Bad Company

In the world of rock, few artists have played in one meaningful ensemble that will provide for their pension. Gruff-voiced singer Paul Rodgers can bank on three, all of which ensure instant immortality. His present liaison with Queen seems an unlikely pairing, but it's a reliable paycheck. His first band of note, Free, was a formidable blues-based outfit with a late '60s pedigree and a classic-rock staple in "All Right Now." But it wasn't until Rodgers and drummer Simon Kirke enlisted Mott the Hoople guitarist Mick Ralphs and King Crimson's former bassist, the late Boz Burrell, that they morphed into Bad Company. As the first signing to Led Zeppelin's fledgling Swan Song record label, their 1973 debut paved the way for continuing hits – "Can't Get Enough of Your Love," "Bad Company," "Feel Like Making Love," and "Rock 'n' Roll Fantasy" among them. A second attempt with singer Brian Howe replacing Rodgers in the mid-'80s became a dubious proposition; despite some chart equity, Mk II's generic sound wasn't worthy of its namesake's earlier acclaim. A 1998 reunion of the original lineup was short-lived, and a regrouping at the Hard Rock appears a one-time affair. Still, they'll attract a good company of enthusiastic fans.