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Top Ten Favorite Albums of the Last Two Years: #7 Royal Sessions by Paul Rodgers from Bad Company

Paul Rodgers was originally the lead vocalist for a music group called Free, which had one big song called All Right Now. He then went on during the 1970s to be the lead vocalist for a much bigger music group called Bad Company, which had many hit songs and some great albums. After the 1970s, though, Paul Rodgers also left Bad Company and he was replaced by another lead vocalist for Bad Company. Bad Company continued on with their new lead vocalist during the 1980s with some decent music, which wasn’t as good as their 1970s albums. Paul Rodgers on the other hand for the most part aside from a couple of albums with Jimmy Paige, the guitarist from Led Zeppelin, for the Firm, had a rather obscure solo career, which is the way it is with most solo careers aside from a couple of artists such as Ozzy Osbourne and Slash from Guns and Roses.

I wasn’t even really aware Paul Rodgers was coming out with a new album, but I found this at the store when I went to buy Black Label Society’s new album. While the Royal Sessions wasn’t really an album I was eager to get, it pleasantly surprised me with how good it turned out to be. Royal Sessions is much softer than any of the music Paul Rodgers made with Bad Company. It sounds old fashioned, like something that could’ve come out of the 1960s with its classic blues sound. Despite the rest of Bad Company not helping to make the music for this album and Mick Ralphs’ great blues guitar missing from this album, Paul Rodgers is a strong vocalist, who was a large part of what made Bad Company so great and got me interested in them to begin with. This is demonstrated even more so on this album, which is mostly focused around Paul Rodgers’ strong vocals.

I Thank You is a recognizable cover of a song by ZZ Top, from ZZ Top’s Deguello album. Down Don’t Bother Me has some nice horns to it. I Can’t Stand the Rain is your typical blues song and sounds like something Eric Clapton would make. I’ve Been Loving You Too Long sounds like blues grass and has mostly just Paul Rodgers’ vocals for this song with the guitar very much in the background. That’s How Strong My Love Is is the typical love ballad by Paul Rodgers, smooth guy that he is.

Walk On By has a 1970s funk feel to it. Any Old Way also has some nice horns. It’s Growing has some prominent, twangy guitar but nothing too rocking. This entire album is pretty mellow, a real departure from the Bad Company albums he used to make. Born Under a Bad Sign brings the Eric Clapton blues influence back on in again as a cover of a song by Cream, which had Eric Clapton on guitar. I’ve Got Dreams To Remember is another blues grass sounding song to finish off the album.

Royal Sessions is not a stand out kind of album, but it’s a great demonstration of how good of a vocalist Paul Rodgers is. There is even less going on with this album and more emphasis on the vocals than some of the more blues focused Bad Company albums, but it’s good none the less.