Wednesday, September 18, 2019

"This Love" by Bad Company

Song#:  2895
Date:  10/18/1986
Debut:  94
Peak:  85
Weeks:  5
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  Following the disappointing results of their 1982 album Rough Diamonds, the band needed a break. After much success and relentless touring, they were worn out. The band then split and decided to go their own ways. Later in '85, two members of the band, Simon Kirke and Mick Ralphs, wanted to work on a new project together. They pitched the idea to their label, Atlantic, who were on board with it but demanded one thing. They had to revive and use the Bad Company name. Thinking a reunion might work out, the pair sought out their former lead vocalist Paul Rodgers. Unfortunately, Rodgers was already committed to his new band The Firm and couldn't jump ship. So Kirke and Ralphs still moved forward with the project and hired in Brian Howe as lead vocalist. Together they recorded a new LP, Fame and Fortune, with producer Keith Olsen. Olsen gave the band a more modern, 80s sheen adding slick synths to their sound and this first single showcased the new Bad Company. While the tune did fine at Rock getting to #12, it didn't catch on at Pop and it stalled low on the chart. Further singles failed to chart at Pop and that left the album peaking at a minor #106. The results certainly weren't what they wanted, but the band would end up rallying and doing well with their next three albums.

ReduxReview:  This was a definite stab at a commercial, mainstream hit. It was certainly not the Bad Company of the 70s who turned out rock-bluesy tunes like "Feel Like Makin' Love" (#10 Pop, 1975). This nearly sounds like when Jefferson Airplane/Starship evolved into just Starship, minus the strong hit contenders. Mick Jones from Foreigner served as executive producer and that's probably why this track also sounds like a weaker effort from that band. It's not a bad tune, but it just wasn't strong enough to break through on pop radio. And for long time fans of the band, this wasn't what they were looking for. It all kind of fell flat, but their next effort would bring fans back in.

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  British-born Brian Howe got his first major gig via an American artist. In the early 80s, Howe was struggling to get noticed and had sent demos to several labels including Atlantic. It seemed the label showed some interest in the aspiring artist, but not enough to fully sign him on. However, Howe's voice did spark interest from someone who was walking the halls at Atlantic and happened to hear his voice. Producer Ashley Howe (unrelated) was looking for a lead vocalist to front the latest album by rocker Ted Nugent. Howe's voice seemed to fit the bill and he was hired to sing on Nugent's 1984 LP Penetrator. The album did fairly well getting to #56 while it's lead single "Tied Up in Love" got to #41 at Rock. However, Howe's deal with Nugent wasn't all that it was cracked up to be so Howe decided to go back out on his own. Not long after, the boys from Bad Company came calling.


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