Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Bad Boy - The Band That Milwaukee Made Famous (1976)

Milwaukee's Bad Boy sprang from the ashes of local favorites, Crossfire, in 1975. Through rigorous touring in the midwest, the band were able to secure a contract with United Artists Records in 1976. Later that year, the band's debut "The Band That Milwaukee Made Famous" was issued. Despite considerable industry hype, the album failed to chart and sank quickly into oblivion. The band shuffled into the studio the following year to issue its 2nd album, "Back To Back", which again failed to garner national attention. Soon the band were dropped and spent the next two years writing, recording and preparing their own self-financed release, 1981's "Private Party". Over the next five years, the band continued to release albums with only regional succes and eventually split before the end of the decade.

Bad Boy's debut is actually a charming slice of straightforward journeyman hard rock. Though there's nothing that reinvents the wheel, it's competent and memorable in places. The album sounds like anything you'd expect from a second tier midwestern 70's band, lifting elements from their contemporaries like REO Speedwagon, Head East, Starz, Aerosmith and many more. For their lack of originality, the band manages to excel musically by providing airtight performances across the board. It appears the audiences were quick to dismiss the band, and ultimately Bad Boy became one of many forgotten bands from the era.

Amazingly, the band (in a slightly altered lineup) regrouped in the late 90's and actually released another album in 2003, followed by a live recording in 2005. If you prefer to dip back into the band's early years, this is as good a place as any to start. Check it and get hip to a band the general public has long forgotten...



kingpossum said...

Great post, ronnie. You're right, the band may have not been the most innovative thing to come out of the bars, but they knew how to put a decent rock-pop song together.

Milwaukeeans will quickly identify the location of the cover photo...it's along the entry road to the Milwaukee Airport, which is out of frame on the right.

Grab a frozen custard from Gillies (or better yet a cold Blatz) and enjoy a bit of solid Midwestern rock and roll.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the post. Not a bad hard rock album.

Residentevil2 said...

Great blog! For sure in my favourites. Found this blog from another blog surfer and it has some stuff I have been looking for, for over 15 years(Large LP collection Stolen).Thundermug, Earthquake and Morningstar Thanks.
I have located most but if you might have or know were any of these?
See you have some rare Canadian stuff hoping to find more of what I grew up with like Thundermug.
DILLINGER - Don't Lie To The Band (1976)

SUGARLOAF - Don't Call Us, We'll Call You
FLAME (US)- Queen Of The Neighbourhood
FANCY(US) - Wild Thing - Turns You

BLACKFOOT SUE (UK) - *Strangers 75 - *Gun Running 76 - Call Me 91 - Talk Radio 91 - Red on Blue 98 - Best Of 96

Again thank you very much

Chris said...

Bad Boy used to play a lot in Syracuse NY, believe it or not! A promoter friend of mine used to book them at my local Community College, and at a bar called the Poor House North, from 1977 to 1981. I remember them playing the night of the Miracle On Ice, as the USA defeated Russia in hockey. That is still vivid in my mind. I have all 3 albums, and one is autographed, actually. A very good band with lots of great songs! They also put on a great live show and sounded great and tight! Great memories, from a great band. Too bad they never really made it BIG, but that's rock and roll I guess. Thanks for the great info on Bad Boy!