Lightweight Bad Company Retrospective

English rock group Bad Company, a heavyweight act in the 70s, reunited in the late 2000s for a successful tour. This authorized documentary by Jon Brewer (BB King: A Life of Riley) features the three surviving members of Bad Company as they recall their band’s formation and the loss of bass player Boz Burrell. Precipitated by their reunion and 40th Anniversary Tour, Bad Company: A Film By Jon Brewer captures one of rock’s original supergroups looking back on their career.

Bad Company first arose from former members of three other significant rock groups coming together – Free, Mott the Hoople, and King Crimson. Paul Rodgers had a huge hit with “All Right Now” in Free, while Mick Ralphs was around for Mott the Hoople’s David Bowie-produced smash “All The Young Dudes”.

With a pedigree instantly recognized by any serious rock fan, Bad Company became a huge act during the 70s. Classic hits for the group include “Simple Man”, “Feel Like Making Love”, “Good Loving Gone Bad”, “Rock and Roll Fantasy” and other hard-rockin’ songs, heard here in brief archival television and concert clips.

… a promotional vehicle advertising Bad Company’s reunion with a few candid behind-the-scenes moments

The surviving members of Bad Company featured in the documentary are Paul Rodgers, Simon Kirke and Mick Ralphs. Being authorized by the group, the documentary doesn’t take a deep dive into Bad Company’s darker moments. The members are much happier recalling details of their songwriting for “Shooting Star” and “Feel Like Making Love” than diving into squabbles and break-up. They admit the band was loaded on cocaine for most of the 1970s with the exception of lead singer Paul Rodgers, who seemingly kicked that habit to the curb fairly early in the band’s storied run.

A lot of the focus centers on the reunion tour and the reasons for getting back together after so many years. They discuss wanting to ensure none of the members would tour under the band’s name without everyone involved. Surprisingly few concert clips are included. Brewer skimps on direct footage of the band performing outside of partial clips.

Bad Company: A Film By Jon Brewer is a serviceable retrospective that doesn’t take a deep dive into the band’s history. On some level the simple and straightforward doc is a promotional vehicle advertising Bad Company’s reunion with a few candid behind-the-scenes moments from the surviving members. It’s not bad per se, but lacking for long-time fans looking for more authentic insight.

Video

Distributed by MVD for FilmRise, the documentary’s primary 1.78:1 aspect ratio includes a mixture of source material taken from varying resolutions. Almost all concert and television footage looks sourced from standard definition video, resulting in aliasing and interlacing artifacts. The modern interviews are filmed in adequate HD clarity, though their definition and overall quality is a step behind most other documentaries.

The 2014 documentary runs 88 minutes. Encoded in AVC on a BD-25, the 1080P video looks rough when using SD sources. I’m not sure that Bad Company: A Film By Jon Brewer completely deserves being released on BD for its video quality. So-so detail and mostly poor archival footage on the whole makes for an underwhelming BD experience.

Audio

The lone 2.0 DTS-HD MA audio option is decent without being spectacular. The stereo mix offers serviceable sonics when hits like “Simple Man” and “All The Young Dudes” play in robust-sounding snippets. There are no full concert performances, talking head interviews dominate the documentary. Musical clips are handled well with robust low end and fine highs.

Optional English SDH subtitles are included.

Extras

FilmRise reissues the original BD put out by Universal back in 2014. There are no special features included.

Full disclosure: This Blu-ray was provided to us for review. This has not affected the editorial process. For information on how we handle review material, please visit our about us page to learn more.

Bad Company
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A serviceable but not particularly engaging retrospective documentary on Bad Company that sees the three surviving members recall their early days.

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