Friday 7/16/21 2021 12am ET: Feature LP: Bad Company – Desolation Angels (1979) 40th Anniversary Edition

Desolation Angels is the fifth studio album by the English rock band Bad Company. The album was released on March 17, 1979. Paul Rodgers revealed on In the Studio with Redbeard (which devoted an episode to Desolation Angels) that the album’s title came from the novel of the same name by Jack Kerouac. The title was almost used 10 years previous to name the second album from Rodgers’ previous band, Free, which in the end was called simply Free.

Desolation Angels was recorded at Ridge Farm Studios in Surrey, England in late 1978. It is considered the last strong album by Bad Company with the original lineup, mostly because it contains their last major hit, “Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy”, written by Paul Rodgers and inspired by a guitar synthesizer riff that Rodgers had come up with.

“Gone, Gone, Gone”, written by bassist Boz Burrell, also received substantial airplay on rock stations. The album reached No. 3 on the Billboard album charts in 1979 and went Platinum in 1979 and Double Platinum subsequently.

A cover version of “Oh, Atlanta”, written by Mick Ralphs, was recorded by Alison Krauss and appears on her 1995 album Now That I’ve Found You: A Collection. The original version was used in the open to The Nashville Network’s 1993 broadcast of the Motorcraft 500 when ABC (which originally had the broadcast) could not find time to air the race, which had been postponed six days by a snowstorm in the Atlanta Motor Speedway.

The album was remastered and re-released in 1994. In 2020, Rhino put out a deluxe edition to honor the 40th Anniversary with many alternate versions and bonus tracks.

1. “Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy” 3:15
2. “Crazy Circles” 3:32
3. “Gone, Gone, Gone” 3:50
4. “Evil Wind” 4:22
5. “Early in the Morning” 5:45
6. “Lonely for Your Love” 3:26
7. “Oh, Atlanta” 4:08
8. “Take the Time” 4:14
9. “Rhythm Machine” 3:44
10. “She Brings Me Love” 4:42
11. “Smokin’ 45” (Alternative Version 1) 3:36
12. “Smokin’ 45” (Alternative Version 2) 3:13
13. “Rock Fever” (Outtake) 3:03
14. “Oh, Atlanta” (Slow Version with Fender Rhodes) 5:07
15. “Rock ’n’ Roll Fantasy” (Alternative Version 1) 3:18
16. “Rock ’n’ Roll Fantasy” (Alternative Version 2) 3:19
17. “Rock ’n’ Roll Fantasy” (Alternative Version 3) 3:20
18. “Crazy Circles” (Alternative Version) 3:33

1. “Gone, Gone, Gone” (Alternative Version) 4:08
2. “Early In The Morning” (Alternative Version) 6:31
3. “Lonely For Your Love” (Alternative Version 1) 4:07
4. “Take The Time” (Alternative Version 1) 4:14
5. “Evil Wind” (Alternative Version) 5:11
6. “Take The Time” (Alternative Version 2) 4:15
7. “Lonely For Your Love” (Alternative Version 2) 3:34
8. “She Brings Me Love” (Alternate Version) 5:23
9. “What Does It Matter” (Blues Jam) 2:07
10. “Rhythm Machine” (Alternate Version) 3:45
11. “Amen” (A cappella) 2:02

Paul Rodgers – vocals, guitar, piano, synthesizers
Mick Ralphs – guitar, keyboards
Boz Burrell – bass
Simon Kirke – drums