Classic rockers Bad Company are celebrating 40 years this year, and the band have just released their Official 40th Anniversary music documentary, which is also available as a Classic Rock fan pack.
Simon Kirke, one of the UK’s greatest ever rock drummers, was behind the kit with BadCo, as well as Free with Paul Rodgers beforehand. Here are some of his greatest moments on some of classic rock’s most memorable tracks.
Can't Get Enough Of Your Love
Here are the band on Top Of The Pops in 1974. Between the fantastic hooky guitar riffs of Mick Ralph and the soulful vocals of Paul Rodgers, Simon Kirke anchors things with taste and power, smashing those crashes in the chorus, building up to the changes with snare rolls, and hitting those flams to great effect.
Paul Rodgers was born with a six-gun in his hand. Which if you’ve ever been to Middlesbrough, you’ll understand. Thus this semi-autobiographical but completely brilliant track became one of the band’s most awesome and popular tracks.
The Western atmospherics are helped along by Simon’s musical, tasteful rhythms and building groove. Here are the band playing their classic at Wembley a few years ago.
Now, this one really could have been autobiographical. The band became so big in the ’70s they were flying everywhere in private jets and were too rich to live in the UK, decamping to France for tax reasons.
It’s not only a great story lyrically, and an incredible grooving tune, but it’s also another great example of Simon’s ability to support a great song and a great songwriter.
Feel Like Making Love
From Bad company’s second album Straight Shooter, Feel Like making Love is a monster tune that once again benefits from Kirke’s tasteful drumming. This seems to revolve around leaving space for the vocals and other musicians rather than being a focal point within the music - a breath of fresh air in hard rock considering the flamboyance of contemporaries such as Ian Paice or John Bonham.
As a result, his approach tends to feature fewer fills combined with well chosen crashes, often avoiding crashing the downbeat of a verse but punctuating the vocal and guitar lines to convey a sense of dynamics.
Simon was just a nipper (practically) when he was in Free with Paul Rodgers, before they went on to achieve stardom together with Bad Company. But they did have this massive hit, simply but effectively driven by Simon’s 2s and 4s, with a syncopated bass drum and effective use of a hard-hitting drum fill that's a key and memorable part of the song’s chorus.