Paul Rodgers, of course, was the voice behind Free, Bad Company ( which he formed, together with drummer Simon Kirke when Free finally split), The Firm, with Jimmy Page, and The Law, with drummer Kenny Jones. Paul Rodgers is the subject of the weeks' Dino Quiz ( number 153 ), and a copy this double CD is the giveaway prize.
Question: Name the band co-founded by Paul Rodgers when he left Free in the early seventies - was it Blodwyn Pig, Humble Pie or Bad Company?
Answer: Bad Company
  

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Biography by Richard Skelly
In a career that now spans three decades, vocalist, guitarist, and songwriter Paul Rodgers and his various groups have sold in excess of 125 million records around the world. Best known for his expressive vocals on songs that have become rock & roll staples, like "All Right Now," "Feel Like Makin' Love," "Can't Get Enough" and "Rock 'n' Roll Fantasy," Rodgers has been cited by dozens of 1970s and '80s-era rock groups and musicians as a major influence. U.S. groups like the Black Crowes and Guns N' Roses have cited Rodgers and his various groups — Free, Bad Company, the Firm, the Law — as an influence on their styles. As a vocalist and songwriter, Rodgers had great admiration and respect for the classic African-American blues and R&B vocalists. Rodgers credits his father for buying him a guitar in his youth, but he later taught himself bass and piano as well. He began writing songs when he was in his early teens, before he had mastered any instrument.

Rodgers began playing out in clubs around Middlesborough, in northern England, when he was 13, taking singers like Rod Stewart as his role models. Right after he left school, he set out for London in a van with a band called the Roadrunners. The van broke down en route, and while the other members hitchhiked back north, Rodgers went south to London. After a short time he returned home to his parents, who were supportive of his musical endeavors. But having seen the club scene in London, he became determined to go back and make his mark there.

Returning to London, he formed the blues band Brown Sugar, deciding to see how far he could go as a vocalist, songwriter and guitarist. In the mid- and late 1960s, London was in the midst of a huge blues revival, and Rodgers had the opportunity to see Muddy Waters and dozens of other American blues musicians perform at London's Marquee Club and other blues and R&B venues. Seeing Waters live had a lasting effect on Rodgers, and his early experiments, Brown Sugar and Free, started out as blues bands. Rodgers was working with Brown Sugar when guitarist Paul Kossoff heard him sing. Kossoff was so impressed with Rodgers' voice, the two decided to create a new band, joined by Simon Kirke on drums and bassist Andy Fraser. After seeing them at the Nags Head Pub in Battersea, Britain's godfather of blues, Alexis Korner, suggested they call themselves Free. A song Rodgers co-wrote with Fraser, "All Right Now," hit number one in twenty territories around the world in 1970. The song remains a rock staple, having been entered into ASCAP's "One Million" airplay singles club. By the early 1970s, Free were one of the biggest-selling British blues-rock groups; by the time the band dissolved in 1973, they had achieved an uncanny level of superstar success: they had sold more than 20 million albums around the world and had played more than 700 arena and festival concerts.

In 1973, Rodgers formed Bad Company, then a prototype "supergroup," with King Crimson bassist Boz Burrell, Mott the Hoople guitarist Mick Ralphs, and Free drummer Simon Kirke. But this time, Rodgers learned from the mistakes he'd made with Free; he was determined to have bandmates who shared his musical vision — the overnight success that Free experienced put undue pressures on the personalities in the band. Rodgers contacted Peter Grant, Led Zeppelin's notorious manager, who was fortuitously starting Swan Song Records, the group's vanity label. By the close of the 1970s, Bad Company had recorded six multi-platinum albums, which spurred classic blues-rock and rock staples like "Can't Get Enough," "Feel Like Makin' Love," "Shooting Star" and "Rock 'n' Roll Fantasy." By the time Bad Company called it quits, they had played to over 10 million people around the world and sold 30 million albums.

Other highlights of Rodgers' career include a show-stopping version of Otis Redding's "Sittin' On the Dock of the Bay" at Atlantic Records' 40th anniversary party at Madison Square Garden in 1988, and his formation of a new group with Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin, the Firm, in the mid-1980s. Following that band's two albums, Rodgers formed the Law with former Small Faces/Who drummer Kenny Jones.

Since the early 1980s, Rodgers has also released a handful of solo albums. They include Cut Loose (1983) and The Morning After the Night Before/Northwind (1984), both for Atlantic Records. His 1990s output includes Muddy Water Blues: A Tribute to Muddy Waters (1993, Victory Records), and The Hendrix Set, a mini-CD, released that same year. Muddy Water Blues was nominated for a Grammy and features guest performances by Slash, Richie Sambora of Bon Jovi, Jeff Beck, Steve Miller, Buddy Guy, and Pink Floyd's David Gilmour. More recently, Rodgers put together a backing band featuring guitarist Geoff Whitehorn, bassist Jaz Lochrie and drummer Jim Copley, recording Paul Rodgers Live (1996) and Paul Rodgers Now (1997) for the New York-based Velvel Records. After a Bad Company reunion in 1999, Rodgers switched over to CMC International, issuing the album Electric in 2000.

 

 

Eric Burdon
Free
Paul Carrack

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Paul Rodgers - 1983 - Cut Loose - 3/5

Paul Rodgers - 1993 - Muddy Water Blues, A Tribute to Muddy waters - 4/5

Paul Rodgers - 1997 - Now - 4/5

Paul Rodgers - 1997 - Now & Live - 3/5

Paul Rodgers - 2000 - Electric - 3/5

Paul Rodgers - 2003 - Live, Loreley Tapes - 3.5/5

Rating

 

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