Title: “Burnin’ Sky”
Artist: Bad Company
Release date: 1977
Favorite track: “Peace of Mind”
All of the Bad Company albums I feature are my boyfriend’s.
Many of the English rock group’s hits are standards of classic rock, but I never got much into the band. But, since my own collection is running low, I dug into his.
From my research, “Burnin’ Sky” was one of Band Company’s least popular albums — especially compared to the three before it. “Bad Company,” “Straight Shooter” and “Run with the Pack” featured the band’s hit songs “Bad Company,” “Can’t Get Enough,” “Good Lovin’ Gone Bad,” “Feel Like Makin’ Love” and “Shooting Star.”
The title track is the most popular.
“Burnin’ Sky” has a lovely fusion of classic and hard rock and the blues. What stands out most is Paul Rodgers’ semi-sultry, bluesy vocals and Mick Ralph’s brief wailing on the guitar.
“Morning Sun” really switches gears as a melancholy tune with drawn out lyrics.
She moves across the room with easy grace
Mona Lisa smiles upon her face
I who am completely mesmerized
By the sunlight in her eyes
— “Morning Sun”
After listening to only the first two tracks, I can see why the record is a bit overlooked in comparison to others. The songs are unimposing, not inherently bad or good. Something feels missing.
I think Bad Company shines in two areas, on the mid-tempo blues numbers, such as “Heartbeat,” and sentimental rock (I’ll get to this in a minute). Bluesy tracks tend to be more fun to hear live.
“Leaving You” has great rhythm, but no real crescendo. It has only a couple instrumental moments.
“Peace of Mind” is a lovely Elton John-esque moment for the record. It’s packed with emotion and wisdom — something characteristic of English musicians in the ‘70s. “Passing Time” follows suit. They are my two favorites, for sure.
“Too Bad” is a little more hard rock, but still lacks a certain edge. “Man Needs Woman” has a sexy rhythm, but, again, would be better for a live performance — or, better yet, a live album.
To be honest, I don’t see myself listening to this record again. I don’t hate it, but there are so many albums out there competing for time. I do plan to listen to other Bad Company albums — especially the debut — again someday.
I can’t believe I’m doin’ it, but to cite Wikipedia, the album cover is similar to the poster for the 1969 film “The Wild Bunch” and the Stillwater T-shirt in the 2000 movie “Almost Famous.” After some Google searching, I can see the resemblances, though I never would’ve noticed it myself.
I personally prefer the vivid colors on the inside cover.