Bad Company Expands ‘Desolation Angels’: Listen

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Bad Company is celebrating the 40th anniversary of their 1979 album, Desolation Angels, with a newly expanded edition. The release includes 19 previously unreleased recordings from the original studio sessions. The new edition, available on 2-CDs or 2-LPs, arrived Jan. 10 via Rhino. (Listen to several of those tracks below.)

Desolation Angels continued the classic rock band’s significant commercial success. The LP was the British supergroup’s fifth studio album and became a double-platinum hit, peaking at #3 on the U.S. album charts, thanks to the success of “Rock ’n’ Roll Fantasy,” the best-selling single of the band’s career.

Desolation Angels was recently remastered from the original multi-track tapes for Bad Company‘s The Swan Song Years 1974-1982, a boxed set that was released in 2019. That remastered version of the album is also used in this new anniversary collection.

From the Dec. 6 announcement: In the late summer of 1978, Paul Rodgers, Mick Ralphs, Simon Kirke and Boz Burrell spent several weeks recording songs for Desolation Angels at Ridge Farm Studio in Surrey, England. The album – named after Jack Kerouac’s 1965 novel – was released in March 1979, and spawned two singles, “Rock ’n’ Roll Fantasy” and “Gone, Gone, Gone.” The album also introduced fan favorites like “Evil Wind” and “Rhythm Machine.”

The second disc that accompanies the 40th anniversary edition presents unreleased versions of seven album tracks. Highlights include alternate takes for “Rock ’n’ Roll Fantasy,” “Early In The Morning” and “She Brings Me Love.” Also, the version “Oh, Atlanta” included here is played at slower tempo and adds a Fender Rhodes keyboard into the mix.

In addition to alternate versions of album tracks, the new collection also features two unreleased outtakes from the sessions. The first is “Smokin’ 45.” (This version is different from the one that appeared on the 1999 compilation The Original Bad Co. Anthology.) The second outtake, “Rock Fever,” has never surfaced on any Bad Company release until now.

Also coming in 2020: Bad Company: Official Authorized 40th Anniversary Documentary, to DVD and Blu-ray, on Feb. 7 via FilmRise/MVD Entertainment. The film by Jon Brewer, “exposes the truth behind the band, including revelations about past management, sell-out stadium tours and the loss of bass player Boz Burrell,” who died in 2006.

The supergroup formed in 1973. Brewer joined Rodgers, Kirke and Ralphs on the road in 2013 to chronicle their 40th anniversary in the 2014 documentary.

Watch a clip from the film

Desolation Angels 40th Anniversary Edition CD Track Listing
Disc One
1. “Rock ’n’ Roll Fantasy”
2. “Crazy Circles”
3. “Gone, Gone, Gone”
4. “Evil Wind”
5. “Early In The Morning”
6. “Lonely For Your Love”
7. “Oh, Atlanta”
8. “Take The Time”
9. “Rhythm Machine”
10. “She Brings Me Love”

Bonus Tracks: Outtakes and Alternative Takes
11. Smokin’ 45 (Version 1)* [3:33]
12. Smokin’ 45 (Version 2)* [3:12]
13. Rock Fever* [3:02]
14. Oh Atlanta (Slow Version with Rhodes)* [5:05]
15. Rock ‘N’ Roll Fantasy (Version 1)* [3:17]
16. Rock ‘N’ Roll Fantasy (Version 2)* [3:20]
17. Rock ‘N’ Roll Fantasy (Version 3)* [3:17]
18. Crazy Circles (Version 1)* [3:42]

Disc Two – More Bonus Tracks: Alternative Takes

1. Gone, Gone, Gone* [4:17]
2. Early In The Morning* (Version 2) [7:28]
3. Lonely For Your Love* [4:09]
4. Take The Time* [4:12]
5. Evil Wind* (Version 2) [5:06]
6. Take The Time* [4:10]
7. Lonely For Your Love* [3:32]
8. She Brings Me Love* (Version 2) [5:58]
9. What Does It Matter* (Blues Jam) [2:06]
10. Rhythm Machine* [3:42]
11. Amen (a cappella)* [1:53]
*previously unreleased

When Bad Company, with Rodgers and Kirke, schedule 2020 tour dates, tickets will be available here and here.

Related: The band’s co-founder, Mick Ralphs, suffered a stroke in 2016

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