Swan Song Failed To Promote This Gem!!
David J. Spuria | Webster, Massachusetts | 08/13/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Rough Diamonds was released in a time when "new wave" began to take hold. But in 1982 other styles of music were still viable. Bad Co.'s obvious 70's blues rock zep-light was not going to vanish with the dawm of the new decade. In fact, Paul Rodgers and crew went even further down the R&B road on RD. The tracks are effervesent blues rock ditties. The music is far and away some of BC's best thus far. "Painted Face" was an AOR staple after the messmerizing "Electricland" shorted out. This album has amazing buoyancy and should have been mega platinum. "Untie The Knot", "Nothin On The TV" and "Kickdown" all exhibit that Paul Rodgers cool and some emotional playing by Mick and the boys. This is a bonifide front to back album. A touch of soul, boogie, funk and good ol' rock. Record companies are just a pain in my butt. This CD is another prime example."
The End Is Near
Music Lover | Clifton, NJ USA | 07/27/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"in 1982 Bad Company was struggling to stay afloat. Their manager-the late,great Peter Grant was depressed and unvavailable after the shocking death of John Bonham in late 1980. In fact the entire Swan Song team(led by Grant anyway) really was dismayed and going through the motions at this point. I believe this album or Robert Plant's first solo record(Pictures at Eleven) were the last releases on the label before it crashed and burned. After doing a nice job of reviving their career in 1979 with Rock N Roll Fantasy from Desolation Angels the long wait for a follow-up didn't help the band's momentum at all. They tried to add a more 80's friendly keyboard sound but most of the record lacks the hard rock edge of their earlier works. Electricland is a good tune-smooth and atmospheric-Rodgers' voice is on point as usual and there's some real cool bass lines. Untie The Knot has always been a unheralded favorite of mine with it's driving piano, good guitar solo and cowbell(always need more cowbell!). In a different era this song may have been recognized more or even been a hit. Sadly, after those two songs the album declines quickly and i think the blame mostly has to fall on Mick Ralphs. Mick started out as one of the two principal songwriters(Rodgers being the other) in the band and he constructed many of the band's early hits. But after Run With The Pack Mick's writing and playing seemed to decline. Oh Atlanta was the only semi-hit he contributed on the last 3 Bad Co records(though for my money Take The Time could have been a great ballad hit) and by the time we get to Rough Diamonds Paul Rodgers is taking lead solos on three of the 10 songs(while others have no solo at all) and Ralphs only contributed two self penned songs(Old Mexico and Kickdown). Those two songs are okay but don't hold up to his earlier output. Personally there's nothing i hate on this record it's just mediocre. The first two songs are very good. After that i'd say Downhill Ryder,Old Mexico and Painted Face are good. the rest are uninspired and average. This is the weakest of the original band's offerings as evidenced by the fact that when they got back together no songs from this record made the setlist but i own everything with Paul Rodgers' voice on it so if you are a completist you must purchase this"