Five albums that live up to the phrase ‘flippin’ fantastic’.
Bad Company, Bad Company (ISLAND, 1974)
With the exception of Movin’ On, a relatively upbeat paean to life on the road, the second half of Bad Company’s self-titled debut is slow, meticulously impassioned and delivered with consummate class. It’s tough to think of a more emotion-drenched vocal display than Paul Rodgers summons here.
ZZ Top, Fandango (LONDON 1975)
While side one of Fandango! was recorded live in New Orleans (“Hot, spontaneous – and presented to you honestly, without the assistance of studio gimmicks”), its six-song flipside presented all-new studio material, including two of the trio’s best-loved tunes, Heard It On The X and the perennial Tush.
Rainbow, Rising (POLYDOR 1976)
It was the combination of contrasting songs that came together to make the B-side of this album a classic. Stargazer showcased the epic, tortured side of the band, with astonishing performances all round. How do you follow this masterpiece? With something in a different mood and tempo: A Light In The Black is a little sharper, but no less compulsive.
Boz Scaggs, Silk Degrees (COLUMBIA, 1976)
A soulful singer, Scaggs had served in the Steve Miller Band and recorded five solo albums before scoring a crossover hit with the smooth, funky, five-million-selling Silk Degrees. The album featured three future members of Toto, including David Paich, who co-wrote the two big hits on the flipside, Lowdown and Lido Shuffle.
QUEEN, Hot Space (EMI, 1982)
Unless you’re a real diehard, you might have to re-spin side two of this underrated diamond. Besides the hits Under Pressure and Las Palabras De Amor, its other treasures include the riff-rock of Put Out The Fire and the Lennon tribute Life Is Real.