Sunday, November 27, 2016

Bad Company - Run With the Pack (1976)

Run With the Pack, Bad Company's third album, is a recycling of the band's previous two albums, regurgitating hooks and riffs without anything new or fresh to offer.  So what?  It's still good, dude!  Bad Company's music was as reliable as a Dodge Dart, and it was also just as unpretentious and devoid of flash as that venerable old Dodge; that may not be how I like my cars (GTI fan that I am), but it's how I like my seventies classic rock.
Run With the Pack is a record form a band that doesn't have anything to prove and whose members are comfortable in their own skins.  Paul Rodgers continues to handle sharp, heavy rockers like "Live for the Music" and "Sweet Little Sister" and sultry ballads like "Love Me Somebody" and "Do Right By Your Woman" with aplomb, and the support he gets from his bandmates remains as solid.  Mick Ralphs still offers plenty of crunchy guitar parts with some solos that range from delicate to biting, and bassist Boz Burrell and drummer Simon Kirke keep everything together with steady, albeit unspectacular (again, who cares about that?) rhythmic backing.   
And yes, there are tracks here that stand out as Bad Company's best work throughout their original eight-year lifespan.  Not only will you find a quirky and endearing heavy-rock cover of the Coasters' "Young Blood" here, but the majestic title track, with its commanding orchestration in the fadeout, and the heartfelt tearjerker "Silver, Blue and Gold" are two of the best power ballads anyone's ever done.  Even if Bad Company were running with the pack of unchallenging mainstream rockers who were almost begging for the Sex Pistols to rise up in rebellion, they were still ahead of the pack in offering up an enjoyable record at a time when many of the rest of them were running behind. 

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