Bad Company Steps Out Of Led Zeppelin's Shadow
Bad Company Live at Wembley Eagle Vision, 110 mins., $14.98.
Though they were originally thought of as Led Zeppelin's "little brother band," sharing both a label and manager, Bad Company forged their own mark with a string of powerful records in the '70s and a bunch of hits that have become FM-radio and cover-band staples.
Changing lineups, breakups, and sporadic reunions marked the '80s to recent times, but the remaining original members - Paul Rodgers (vocals), Mick Ralphs (guitar), and Simon Kirke (drums) - got back together for this 2010 run of dates - including this gig at England's Wembley Stadium, augmented by bassist Lynn Sorensen and second guitarist Howard Leese. Original bassist Boz Burrell died in 2006.
The result? Classic Rock Power!
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This is no rote run of tired old guys sleepwalking through their set list. Live at Wembley is a surprisingly vital and punchy show, mixing 16 of the band's biggest hits with some deep cuts and covers.
Standouts include "Honey Child," "Burnin' Sky," a mandolin-infused "Feel Like Makin' Love," "Rock and Roll Fantasy," and "Gone, Gone, Gone" - the last a tribute to Burrell, who wrote the tune. A take on the '50s doo-wop classic "Young Blood" is also a lot of fun, with each member calling out the come-on lines to the sexy chick of the title. Ralphs and Leese also engage in some twin-guitar action throughout.
But what's most interesting about the DVD is that is shows how underrated a frontman the 60-year-old Paul Rodgers is. Energetic, animated, and ripped - he obviously works out and told Rocks Off why some years back - he's lost minimal vocal chops from the original records. But, man, that hairpiece has got to go...
One complaint though, is in the editing. Far too many quick cuts via a multitude of angles, some lasting a fraction of a second, are an assault on the eyes. Unfortunately, this seems to be the trend in videos, which aren't aiming to replicate the concert experience so much as appease super-short attention-spanners.
It's a shame, and doesn't give the viewer a chance to really observe the players..
Bonus features include interviews with the band, and companion CD features all of the tunes on the DVD except for "Burnin' Sky."
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