- Incredible sound on both sides with each rating a Triple Plus (A+++) or close to it – size, clarity, balance, energy; it’s all here
- If you’re playing this one good and loud you’ll feel like you’re in the room with the boys as they kick out the jams
- This is the right sound for this album – take it from us, it is not easy to find a copy that’s this right
- “Vocalist and songwriter Paul Rodgers wrote two acoustic-based rock ballads that would live on forever in the annals of great rock history: “Shooting Star” and the Grammy-winning “Feel Like Makin’ Love” 4 stars
The sophomore jinx is nowhere to be found on this album. In fact, you could make a pretty good case that this is actually a better album than their debut. The best pressings of Straight Shooter have ROCK ENERGY that cannot be beat!
What You Want
It’s got exactly what you want from this brand of straight ahead rock and roll: presence in the vocals; solid, note-like bass; big punchy drums, and the kind of live-in-the-studio energetic, clean and clear sound that Bad Company (and Free before them) practically invented. (AC/DC is another band with that kind of live studio sound. With big speakers and the power to drive them YOU ARE THERE.)
Turn It Up and Rock Steady!
If you’re playing this copy good and loud you’ll feel like you’re in the room with the boys as they kick out the jams. Feel Like Makin’ Love rocks like you will not believe — shocking clarity, tons of ambience, silky sweet highs, and a grungy guitar sound that will blow you away.
Who gets better tone than Mick Ralphs? Half the sound of Bad Co. is his guitar and the other half is Paul Rodgers voice. Between the two of them they rocked FM radio in the ’70s as good as any band of their time and far better than most.
Check out the lineup on side one. Three out of four of those songs are serious Heavy Hitters that you probably know by heart. (If you listen to a Classic Rock station you definitely know these songs by heart.)
The Typical LP
We used to think that “the biggest problem with the average copy of this record was GRIT and GRAIN, no doubt caused mostly by the bad vinyl of the day. You have to suffer through a lot of dry, flat, grainy copies in order to find one that sounds like this.”
That was not our experience this time around. Our Odyssey record cleaning machine, Walker fluids and tons of interim tweaks have taken most of that grain and grunge our of the sound of the records we play. (Uncleaned or improperly cleaned records strongly contribute to Old School Audio sound. These revolutionary cleaning methods make much higher fidelity — one might even say Hot Stampers themselves — possible.)
This album was one of RON NEVISON’S early engineering jobs. Two years before (1973) he had been behind the board at Ronnie Lane’s Mobile Studio for Quadrophenia, one of the best sounding Who albums we know of and a longtime member of our Top 100. He also knocked it out of the park on this band’s first album, 1974’s Bad Company. In 1977 he worked on the sprawling mess that turned into Physical Graffitti.
If you have great copies of any of them you should be able to recognize the qualities they all seem to have in common. This guy definitely knew how to get The Big Rock Sound onto analog tape.
Our job here at Better Records is simply to find you the very special pressings that actually reproduce all the energy and rock and roll firepower that Nevison recorded. It ain’t easy but we don’t mind doing it — these are clearly some of the All Time Great Rock Albums of the ’70s (or any other decade you care to name) and we just never get tired of playing them.
Nevison went on to do many of the biggest selling rock albums of the ’80s, but The ’80s Sound has never held much appeal for us. This explains why you find so few recordings from the era on our site, silk purses, sow’s ears and all that.
One year after Bad Company’s multi-platinum self-titled debut, the British band returned to London to record a follow-up. Utilizing material written earlier in 1973, vocalist and songwriter Paul Rodgers wrote two acoustic-based rock ballads that would live on forever in the annals of great rock history. “Shooting Star” and the Grammy-winning “Feel Like Makin’ Love” helped Straight Shooter rise quickly through the charts to reach Billboard’s number three spot both in the U.S. and U.K.
The Making of Straight Shooter
Heartened by the response to Bad Company, the group hired Ronnie Lane’s mobile studio and had it installed at Clearwell Castle in Gloucestershire, England in September 1974. “That was an interesting place to record,” states Rodgers. “Where next after Headley Grange but an old haunted castle! We had been touring very hard but we were still able to come up with the goods in the end. By comparison, we hadn’t done any touring before our first record.”
Bad Company followed up their initial success with the 1975 release of the triple-platinum album Straight Shooter which contained the Top Ten smash ballad “Feel Like Makin’ Love” which also won a Grammy Award. “I loved Straight Shooter” says Kirke. “Quite a few of the songs on that album came along during the first year of our existence. A lot of the songs on the first album had been done in 1973 before we really had started, so we were always playing catch-up with new material. We wanted to record a follow up album that really validated what we had done on Bad Company.” Other tracks form the album, such as “Shooting Star” have long since become concert and radio staples. “I remember Paul was singing a few of the verses for that song in the airport as we were going over to America to start our second tour,” remembers Kirke. “He had taken his guitar on the plane with him and was tinkering around with the song on the flight over.”
”I just started singing that lyric, ‘Johnny was a schoolboy…,’ and I was thinking, that’s a good song,” continues Rodgers. “Where had I heard that? Then it dawned on me that I hadn’t heard it anywhere before. I quickly grabbed a pen and paper and wrote it all down. The song just flowed out of me. It wrote itself. I was thinking, wow, where did this come from? Since then, people have asked me who it is about including whether it’s about (former Free guitarist) Paul Kossoff. Actually, with hindsight, the song is about all of the casualties of rock music because there have been way too many.”
”Paul’s ability to come up with good lyrics have always enabled us to have rock songs with class,” says Ralphs. “I tend to write more simplistic songs, but believe me, it’s very hard to write a simple rock song on guitar that has something special without sounding ordinary.”
Eagerly anticipated by the group’s fans. Straight Shooter enjoyed international success, reaching number three on both the UK and US album charts. The ecstatic response to the album accelerated the group’s momentum and their standing as one of the most popular concert attractions in the world. “In 1975, we were able to come back and tour America as a headliner,” recalls Kirke. “It had been an amazing year.”
”There was quite a bit of pressure on us being the first artists signed to Zeppelin’s Swan Song label,” states Rodgers. “Behind the scenes, we did take the mickey out of each other mercilessly. We would stand on their side of the stage and yell ‘Rubbish!’ and the like at them. We never did shows together, but we did jam quite a bit. There was a real rapport between the two bands.”
”There is no doubt in my mind that without Peter Grant we would not have reached the level of success we achieved,” echoes Ralphs. “His clout and insights were essential to our elevated status. He was a great manager and a lovely man.”
FROM THE BAD COMPANY WEB SITE
Good Lovin’ Gone Bad
Feel Like Makin’ Love
Weep No More
Deal With the Preacher
Wild Fire Woman
Call on Me