Bad Company

Band members               Related acts

- Boz Burrell -- bass (1973-)

- Dave Colwell -- rhythm guitar (2003)

- Brian Howe -- vocals (replaced Paul Rodgers) (1986-)

- Simon Kirke -- drums, percussion, guitar, vocals  (1973-)

- Mick Ralphs -- lead guitar (1973-)

- Paul Rodgers -- vocals, keyboards, bass, guitar (1973-82)

- Rick Wills -- bass (2003)



- The Firm (Paul Rodgers)

- Free (Simon Kirke and Paul Rodgers)

- King Crimson (Boz Burrell)

- The Law (Paul Rodgers)

- Mott the Hoople (Mick Ralphs)

- Ted Nugent Band (Brian Howe)

- Mick Ralphs (solo efforts)

- Paul Rodgers (solo efforts)





Genre: rock

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  Holy Water

Company: ATCO

Catalog: A1-91371

Year: 1990

Country/State: UK

Grade (cover/record): VG+ / VG+

Comments: still in shrink wrap (opened)

Available: 1

GEMM catalog ID: 15

Price: $5.00


I'll readily admit that I was one of those folks who scoffed at the thought of a Paul Rodgers-less Bad Company.  How could any band replace a classic blues belter like Rodgers?  And the replacement was a guy who'd sung with Ted Nugent  ...  Well I was wrong.  Brian Howe certainly was no Paul Rodgers, but to his credit, he never made an attempt to sound like Rodgers which is worth at least one star in my book.


Produced by Terry Thomas (who also co-wrote most of the 13 tracks), 1990's "Holy Water" was actually the band's third post-Rodgers release and the first where Howe sounded comfortable in his surroundings.  Part of the credit was probably due to the fact that Howe co-wrote most of the material which was actually a little more commercial oriented than those earlier efforts.  That commerciality took the form of power ballads like 'Walk Through Fire', 'Fearless' and 'I Can't Live without You' which were 100% formula and could have easily been mistaken for any of the dozen of other early-1990s 'hair bands' then ruling the airwaves. Producer Thomas also made his presence felt in the highly commercial arrangements.  Just like he did when fronting the band Charlie (see separate entry), Thomas made sure that no matter how ponderous AOR material like the title track, 'Stranger Stranger' and 'Lay Your Love On Me' was kicked along by highly catchy group choruses.  Nice trick (imagine Def Leppard with a couple of decades on 'em) and it saved about half of the songs from being totally forgettable (kind of like Howe's voice).  Much of it may have been corporate schlock, but at least it was quality schlock and the band even enjoyed a top-20 hit with the single 'If You Needed Somebody' b/w '100 Miles' (ATCO catalog number 7-98872). 



The album went on to enjoy platinum sales with help from two more hit singles:


- 'Holy Water' b/w 'I Can't Live without You' (ATCO catalog number 7-98944)

- 'Walk Through Fire' b/w '' (ATCO catalog number ????)


Perhaps because it was so different, Simon Kirke's low-keyed largely acoustic ballad '100 Miles' was actually the LP's standout tune.  Not only did Kirke display a nice voice, but the absence of standard AOR moves was simply refreshing.  Yes, I would buy a Simon Kirke solo album !!!


"Holy Water" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Holy Water   (Brian Howe - Terry Thomas) - 

2.) Walk Through Fire   (Brian Howe - Terry Thomas) - 

3.) Stranger Stranger   (Brian Howe - Simon Kirke - Terry Thomas) - 

4.) If You Needed Somebody   (Brian Howe - Terry Thomas) - 

5.) Fearless   (Brian Howe - Terry Thomas) - 

6.) Lay Your Love On Me   (Mick Ralphs) - 


(side 2)
1.) Boys Cry Tough   (Brian Howe - Terry Thomas) - 

2.) With You In a Heartbeat   (Brian Howe - Terry Thomas) - 

3.) I Don't Care   (Brian Howe - Terry Thomas) - 

4.) It's Never Too Late   (Terry Thomas - Mick Ralphs) - 

5.) Dead of the Night   (Terry Thomas - Mick Ralphs) - 

6.) I Can't Live without You   (Terry Thomas - Mick Ralphs) - 

7.) 100 Miles   (Simon Kirke) - 





Back to Bad Cat homepage/search