September 1974: Bad Company's Debut Tops Billboard Charts

Bad Company's self-titled debut topped the Billboard 200 on September 28, 1974.
Photo Credit
Swan Song/Atlantic Records

America couldn't get enough of Bad Company's self-titled debut album when it was released, taking the record to the top of the Billboard 200 on September 28, 1974.

From the beginning, Bad Company were poised to take the rock world by storm. Though some critics were quick to dismiss the concept of a supergroup - Time dismissed the idea in 1974 as "a potent but short-lived rock phenomenon...an amalgam formed by the talented malcontents of other bands" - there was no ignoring the pedigree of Bad Company's four members. Singer Paul Rodgers and drummer Simon Kirke were part of Free, one of England's best-loved hard rock bands, while guitarist Mick Ralphs helped define the glam-rock movement in Mott the Hoople and bassist Boz Burrell held down rhythm in progressive outfit King Crimson.

It wasn't just fans that adored the quartet: the group was the first to be released by Swan Song Records, Led Zeppelin's highly-touted new label. All three of Zeppelin's previous releases had topped the U.K. album charts (two of them also American chart-toppers), and their endorsement set the stage for Bad Company's immediate burst of success.

Related: Bad Company Releases Debut Single "Can't Get Enough"

Armed with the smash hits "Can't Get Enough" (a No. 5 hit on the Billboard Hot 100) and the Top 20 follow-up "Movin' On," Bad Company became one of the year's top rock albums. More than four decades from its original release, it's been certified 5x platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America.

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