Great Rock/Metal Albums of 1986: Bad Company- Fame and Fortune


It didn’t take long for me to see the advantage of being in Britain when British bands released new albums. I got to experience them before they got to America. Therefore, I was exceedingly glad when one of the founding fathers of heavy metal, Bad Company, released a new album in 1986.

My reaction to “Fame and Fortune” has always been that it is sort of half and half. Roughly half the album sounds like the Bad Company I knew and loved as a teen in the 1970s. Great albums such as “Bad Company,” my personal favourite “Straight Shooter,” as well as “Run With the Pack” and “Desolation Angels” have all given me fond musical memories of those years. Tracks that sound like traditional Bad Company are the opener, “Burning Up,” Fame and Fortune” and  “Tell It Like It Is.” All great tunes.

While none of the other tracks are bad, it did take a couple of listens with an open mind to get into them. These tracks sound like more commercial 80s rock in the form of such bands as Survivor, Journey or even Franke and the Knockouts. On these tracks, there is a little over use of keyboards which can mask the power chords I so dearly craved back then. However, the Bad Company of old still pokes its way on them. “That Girl” is a fine example. There is an 80s commercial rock vibe to it but it does have killer guitar solos on it, especially at the intro. The same can be said for “Hold on My Heart.” One thing I can say about the album is that Mick Ralph lays down some cool solos all throughout it.

Three songs successfully bridge the two different sounds. “This Love,” which was released as the first single, “Long Walk” and the closer “If I’m Sleeping” combine the harder rock of 70s Bad Company and the more 80s melodic rock and both songs sound really good as a result. In fact, “If I’m Sleeping” gets my vote for hidden gem.

When “Fame and Fortune” hit the record shops, the big question on everyone’s mind was, “How did new singer Brian Howe compare with the great Paul Rodgers?” For me, it was as pointless as trying to compare Brian Johnson with Bon Scott. Sure, there may (I stress may) be some similarities but like the two greats I’ve just mentioned, Rodgers and Howe have different vocal styles and while Paul’s vocals style worked with the old Bad Company, Brian’s vocals work perfectly fine on this album. Plus, Brian plays saxophone on some of the songs and that adds a new dimension to things. So, with all things said, this album works for me even if it didn’t impress commercially.

Track Listing:

  1. Burning Up
  2. This Love
  3. Fame and Fortune
  4. That Girl
  5. Tell It Like It Is
  6. Hold On My Heart
  7. Long Walk
  8. Valerie
  9. When We Made Love
  10. If I’m Sleeping


Bad Company

Brian Howe- vocals, saxophone

Mick Ralphs- guitar, keyboards

Steve Price- bass

Simon Kirke- drums

Guest Musician

Gregg Dechert- guitar, keyboards

If it didn’t do it for anyone else, “Fame and Fortune” told me that Bad Company were back and I for one was glad.

Next post: Black Sabbath Featuring Tony Iommi- Seventh Star












































6 Responses to “Great Rock/Metal Albums of 1986: Bad Company- Fame and Fortune”

  1. I adore ‘Bad Company’ by Bad Company. I imagine it as my character’s personal theme song (Grace from GoP).

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Funny how you and I reviewed a Bad Company album in the same day. I reviewed Holy Water as a tribute to Brian Howe who died last week.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Some Bad Company in my reader today. Good stuff. I have to dig back in with these guys.

    Liked by 1 person

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