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  • Free and Bad Company in the 1970s
  • Free and Bad Company in the 1970s

Free and Bad Company in the 1970s

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Free were formed in 1968 towards the end of the British blues boom. But after two critically acclaimed albums, it was the release of the acclaimed single ‘All Right Now’ and the album Fire and Water in 1970 that brought them major success. Musical and personal differences took their toll and they split after the comparative failure of their next album. However, after starting new bands that failed to take off, Free reformed before disbanding for good in 1973 following further dissension and guitarist Paul Kossoff’s drug problems. Vocalist Paul Rodgers and drummer Simon Kirke then formed Bad Company, who became one of the hottest bands on both sides of the Atlantic, maintaining a stable line-up with ex-Mott The Hoople guitarist Mick Ralphs and ex-King Crimson bassist Boz Burrell for the rest of the decade. Each member later pursued outside ventures, although they regrouped at intervals beyond the 1970s, recruiting new members after Ralphs’ retirement and Burrell’s death. This book examines both bands’ work and career from 1968 to 1980, plus the eponymous Kossoff, Kirke, Tetsu, Rabbit album, Kossoff’s solo work and with his band Back Street Crawler. A final chapter covers the band members’ later history, most notably Rodgers’ three years with Queen.

  • John Van der Kiste

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