The Law

The Law

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Vocalist Paul Rodgers had a strong track record with supergroups like Bad Company and the Firm, but he missed the mark with the Law. Rodgers and former Small Faces, Faces, and the Who drummer Kenney Jones formed a duo named the Law and released one album on Atlantic in 1991. In case any listener didn't recognize the stature of Rodgers and Jones, the liner notes trace their pedigrees. The Law was a hollow, ill-conceived attempt at commercial success, backed by powerful industry figures like Atlantic chief Ahmet Ertegun (listed as a co-producer), ZZ Top manager Bill Ham, and producer Chris Kimsey. But a duo with a singer and drummer? Rodgers and Jones had to utilize session musicians and a few ringers like Pink Floyd's David Gilmour, Chris Rea, and Bryan Adams. Hired guns, including Rea, Adams, Benny Mardones, and Def Leppard's Phil Collen, contributed seven of the 11 songs while Rodgers penned the other three. Considering the gritty, soulful past work of Rodgers and Jones, the slickness of The Law is a shock. Without question, the best song is Rodgers' lethal "Laying Down the Law," a smoldering, meaty slab of bluesy rock crackling with his amazing voice. This is the only song that comes close to matching the fire and intensity of Free and Bad Company. A few other songs, like the atmospheric "Stone," featuring both Rea and Gilmour and the boisterous "For a Little Ride," radiate a bit of sparkle. As performed by the Law, Collen's "Miss You in a Heartbeat" is bland, but Def Leppard had a big hit with it a few years later. It should be no surprise that the artistic and commercial failure of The Law rendered the "band" a one-off project. It could have worked had it formed and evolved naturally.

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