Bad Company

In Concert: Merchants of Cool

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Oddly enough, on this 2002 live recording by Bad Company, vocalist Paul Rodgers sounds younger than he ever has on record. And no, that's not necessarily a good thing. Bad Company's original members number two: Rodgers and drummer Simon Kirke; bassist Jaz Lochrie and guitarist Dave Colwell have replaced Boz Burrell and Mick Ralphs, who were smart enough to bail after the obligatory reunion tour that resulted in a previous live album. True enough, Bad Company was once able to inspire legions of rock fans with their melodic, memorable, tough, and lean bluesy paeans to lovers, losers, gamblers, and ramblers, and one would hope that even with a new lineup some of that inspiration and fire remained. But those days are long, long gone. One wonders why anyone, even a die-hard fan, would appreciate this tired, plodding, going-through-the-motions set of hits. The singalong on "Can't Get Enough" is nauseating, and the redone "Feel Like Makin' Love" sounds like a cover band in a bar doing Bad Company songs. This should have been called Former Merchants of Cool Ready for the Old Rock Stars' Home.

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