Welcome to the musical meandering insights of Aaron Joy. Here you'll find 600 reviews of CDs & DVDs of rock & metal in all its variations, mainstream & indie. What they all share is that the album or band is unique in some way & not every submission was reviewed. Please share these reviews or link to them if you like what you read. Reviews are no longer being posted here but feel free to e-mail Aaron & post comments. (Formerly the Roman Midnight Music Blog)

Thursday, July 7, 2011

DVD: Bad Company ~ Live At Wembley

(Click on heading to visit official website.)
Style: classic rock, hard rock, live, British
Label: Eagle Vision
Year: 2011
Home: n/a

Concert location: Wembley Arena, England
Year Recorded: 2010
Length: 110 minutes
Bonus Features: band interviews

Members: Paul Rodgers ~ vocals/guitar/tambourine/piano
Mick Ralphs ~ guitar
Simon Kirke ~ drums


Additional: Howard Leese ~ guitar/mandolin/piano
Lynn Sorensen ~ bass


I can't count the number of friends a generation older than me who rave about Paul Rodgers as one of the greatest of 1970's singers. I've never understood it as The Firm with Jimmy Page was good but I felt Rodgers was vocally tame in a desire to sell commercial rock over bluesy rock while his blues belting with Queen always seemed for me mismatched with the camp Freddie Mercury spirit. For some strange reason, partly due to my youth, I never got into Rodgers' Free & Bad Co. catalogs. These two bands have always mysteriously floated just outside my radar outside of being familiar with their chart hits. I know see my loss. Returning to Jimmy Page to set the scene ... I grew up loving Led Zeppelin but had a musical revelation when I finally got to see concert footage of them. They're magicians in the studio but on stage they become gods as its one thing to overdub & overdub to find perfection over a long period of trial & error, but its another hitting it just as powerfully on stage in under two hours with a limited supply of instruments & back-up musicians, if any. I've heard a bit of Bad Co. but was never struck enough to hunt up their studio albums. But, now, seeing them live, or at least 3 of the original members, I'm getting that Led Zep revelation all over again. The now over middle-aged reunited Bad Co. present an unbelievable live show in their first U.K. tour in 30 years. Now, I truly can say that I understand what all the bragging of Paul Rodgers is about. If you've been like me & think he's 'just another' 70's singer let me point you to this DVD, or CD if you choose to get that version, to change your mind. Before you start listing his contemporaries who are still performing & may have, in their heyday, been far better than him ... let's be honest - many of them have not retained their voices ... Rodgers has & if anything has better control than ever ... or maybe he always did & now I'm just realizing what I've missed. He's in prime form, young singers could take a few lessons, where the natural high of the stage gives his voice an extra kick. But, then, one might also say that after all these years, different bands & solo albums, Bad Co. is home & it's always good to be home. Some reunited bands show their age & remind us why rock'n'roll has always been primarily a young kids sport, but while the guys may not be a band of top tier rockstars whose names immediately call up tons of images they are definetly rockers that are having as much fun as a garage band at their first show in the high school cafeteria. Actually, I'm reminded by how many middle-aged rockers today are disproving the notion that being old isn't much fun & that rock'n'roll is for the young only. Even new 'boys' - guitarist Howard Leese, most famous for being a founding member of Heart, & extroverted bassist Lynn Sorensen - help kick things up like this is also their first time & they're out to prove something versus laying back as the 'other' guys. There's a mix of nerves & excitement that opens the show. When the audience takes over vocals of opener "Can't Get Enough" you can tell the band is a little bit surprised that after so long people are still enjoying the music. But, the nerves quickly break into excitement as the band pulls out all the stops in one of undoubtedly the best reunions of the past few years. Reunited bands, particularly those with new/replacement members, often come off as tributes/cover bands rather than the real thing, which was one criticism of Rodgers time with Queen. These guys, new boys & all, are the real thing no doubt. The great thing about Bad Co. is they remind the forgetful just how much 70's music rocked. The Journeys, Black Sabbaths, Jefferson Starships & other bands that pushed the boundaries might have eclipsed bands that played it somewhat safe like Bad Co., but on some level Bad Co. might be more responsible for the 80's hair metal than many others. Certainly few bands sound like Sabbath, but Bad Co. have the same vitality as Bon Jovi. They definetly rock as hard as what would follow in years ahead, sans wasting their time with costumes, overly mellow-dramatic power ballads, "Simple Man" & "Ready For Love" being the closest, & other weaknesses of the era. Bad Co. is bad rock'n'roll plain & simple & I want to have as much youth as them when I hit their age in a couple decades. Sadly, a lot of young folks will probably write the DVD off as being a bunch of old guys. The loss was mine & now theirs. A great bonus features include pre/post-band interviews including the three original members together, who are just normal guys who seem genuinely surprised at how good the music is & looking forward to going out with this final show with a bang, plus the new American boys that look more like rockers than their bandmates. Note that the DVD, versus the CD, features the additional track of "Burnin' Sky", which is a real vocal powerhouse & worth spending the extra money for the video.

Track listing: Can't Get Enough
Honey Child
Run With The Pack
Burnin' Sky
Young Blood
Seagull
Gone, Gone, Gone
Electric Land
Simple Man
Feel Like Makin' Love
Shooting Star
Rock And Roll Fantasy
Movin' On
Ready For Love
Bad Company
Deal With The Preacher






2 comments:

  1. Great job with the review. I also like your layout, the videos and the set list. Very much like my own style of reviewing ;)

    Paul Rodgers is definitely deserving of your attention... though I also felt like he was somewhat out of place in Queen... but then again EVERYbody (but Freddie) would sound funny together with Queen, right? :)

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  2. Thanks for the compliments Sylvie.

    Yeah, seeing Paul Rodgers in Queen didn't help my interest in checking out his career any and he's such a good singer, too .... it just didn't click right.

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