Bad Company are an English hard rock supergroup formed in England, in 1973 by singer Paul Rodgers, guitarist Mick Ralphs, drummer Simon Kirke and later adding bassist Boz Burrell. Peter Grant, who managed the rock band Led Zeppelin, also managed Bad Company until 1982.
Bad Company enjoyed great success throughout the 1970s. Their first three albums, Bad Company (1974), Straight Shooter (1975), and Run with the Pack (1976), reached the top five in the album charts in both the UK and US. Many of their singles and songs, such as “Bad Company”, “Can’t Get Enough”, “Good Lovin’ Gone Bad”, “Feel Like Makin’ Love”, “Ready for Love”, “Shooting Star”, and “Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy”, remain staples of classic rock radio. They have sold 20 million RIAA-certified albums in the United States and 40 million worldwide.
Contrary to speculation that singer Paul Rodgers named the band after the Jeff Bridges film Bad Company, Rodgers stated in an interview with Spinner.com that the idea came from a book of Victorian morals that showed a picture of an innocent kid looking up at an unsavoury character leaning against a lamp post. The caption read “beware of bad company”.
Bad Company consisted of four seasoned musicians: two former members of Free, singer Paul Rodgers and drummer Simon Kirke; former Mott the Hoople guitarist Mick Ralphs; and ex-King Crimson bassist Boz Burrell. The band signed to Swan Song Records/Atlantic Records in North America, and with Island Records in other countries. (Island Records had until that time been the UK home to both Free and King Crimson, as well as to Mott the Hoople for their first four albums; Atlantic, in turn, released King Crimson’s and Mott’s early albums in the US through a licensing agreement with Island). Atlantic/Warner Music would later acquire the non-North American rights to the band’s catalogue.