BAD COMPANY: Holy Water LP Promo
Holy Water is the ninth studio album by hard rock band Bad Company, with Brian Howe in place of Paul Rodgers as lead vocalist, released in June 1990. The singles on the album all received moderate radio airplay. These include the title track, “”Holy Water””, power ballad “”If You Needed Somebody”” (which rose to #16 on the charts), and “”Walk Through Fire”” along with “”Boys Cry Tough”” both received significant airplay. With slick arena-ready production, this was the last album by Bad Company to go Platinum.
All songs written by Brian Howe and Terry Thomas, except where noted.
“”Walk Through Fire””
“”Stranger Stranger”” (Brian Howe, Simon Kirke, Terry Thomas)
“”If You Needed Somebody””
“”Lay Your Love on Me”” (Mick Ralphs)
“”Boys Cry Tough””
“”With You in a Heartbeat””
“”I Don’t Care””
“”Never Too Late”” (Mick Ralphs, Terry Thomas)
“”Dead of the Night”” (Mick Ralphs, Terry Thomas)
“”I Can’t Live Without You”” (Mick Ralphs, Terry Thomas)
“”100 Miles”” (Simon Kirke)
Brian Howe – vocals
Mick Ralphs – guitar
Simon Kirke – drums, vocals (lead vocals on “”100 Miles””), acoustic guitar
Felix Krish – bass
5.0 out of 5 stars the best of the Howe-era Bad Company
I think we can all agree that the old Bad Company albums with Paul Rodgers on vocals are rightly viewed as classics. I also think that if you take an honest look back at those albums, you’ll see that those last few albums were not on the same level as Bad Company or Straight Shooter. The band needed a shot in the arm and got just that when they hired former Ted Nugent vocalist Brian Howe. Howe was the perfect choice for the arena rock decade, and his tenure in Bad Company is still criminally underrated.
I know this kind of AOR/arena rock is almost universally ridiculed now, but plenty of us who grew up in that era can still appreciate an album full of big guitar hooks, rock anthems, bic-flicking ballads, and an unapologetic use of keyboards. Bands like Damn Yankees, Bad English, Foreigner, and of course Bad Company embraced this sound, and rode an unexpected second wave of popularity as a result.
Bad Company 1990 album Holy Water is (pardon the pun) the high water mark for the Howe-era lineup. This album starts with the powerful title track and then hits you with the song “”Walk Through Fire””, which is one of the era absolute best rock songs (Lou Gramm “”Midnight Blue”” is the other). It doesn’t let up there, instead charging through rockers like “”Stranger Stranger”” and “”Fearless”” as well as the hit ballad “”If You Needed Somebody””. Someone already noted that the album loses a little steam in the second half, but even the average song on Holy Water is still better than many of their contemporaries’ best efforts.
This is about as strong an AOR album as you could ever hope to find. The first half easily deserves a 5-star rating, and the second half is worthy of at least 4 stars. Holy Water may remain shunned by old school Bad Company fans, but it one of the era best rock albums, and one that all 80/early 90 rock fans will definitely want to check out.
5.0 out of 5 stars Stuart,
I am a big fan of the Bad Company with Brian Howe at lead vocals. I believe this is the best album from his era. Songs like: Stranger Stranger, Holy Water, If You Needed Somebody & Boys Cry Tough really show his range & power. Also, there are no fillers on this album so you can stick in the album & play it all the way through without skipping tracks.
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome and Stunning,
Brian Howe makes this record soar with his vocals, enough said. You have to listen to it to be purely amazed by his talent. Mick Ralphs really does well here, going along with Brian powerful vocals. This record is a must for rock fans. No garbage here.
5.0 out of 5 stars Best effort with Brian Howe on vocals.,
Being of the opinion that Paul Rodgers is a god would lead you to think I’d slag off this album like so many others seem keen to do.
However accepting that Brian Howe is a completely different singer with a different style, means you can listen objectively to this album and appreciate it for what it is.
Brian vocals have never been better and Mick guitar complements it both on the rockier tracks and the power ballads.
Simon Kirke adds the usual flawless beat and also gets a short solo outing at the end which is also well worth a listen.
Producer Terry Thomas seems able to bring out the best in all concerned and certainly helped pen a tune or two of note.
More polished than the previous collaboration but still with enough grit to please out and out rock fans as well as the old AOR mob.
Boys cry tough, and Holy water are by far the stand out tracks along with If you needed somebody and With you in a heartbeat, which make this a worthy successor to the excellent Dangerous age.
By far the best work Brian has done since side one of Ted Nugent Penetrator album, and while Paul Rodger is not at the helm of Bad Co I’ll take this as an enjoyable alternative.
5.0 out of 5 stars the most kickin album on earth,
this is the greatest album EVER. period. you can do anything to the sound of this album. get laid, make love, drive, be depressed, be elated, anything. it is the ultimate all-purpose album! rock on 4ever.
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Pure Rock Album Ever,
While I admit that Brian Howe is not a replacement for Paul Rodgers, Bad Company clearly has not lost a step in producing rock and roll. Every song on this album is driving rock and roll. Although Howe is no match for the vocals of Paul Rodgers, Bad Company has provided him with 13 opportunities to show what he got; and he delivers.
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome
This LP surprised me. I actually like ALL of the songs on it. I don’t know how I could’ve missed this LP back in ’91 other than the fact that I was living in Californa, listening to British Punk/New Wave bands back then. I may buy another copy for someone who was born in 1979 – way too young to remember Bad Company.
5.0 out of 5 stars Not Possible,
The shear fact that a band can go through an utter reformation and come up with this good a work is well, rather incredible. Bad Company was Paul Rodgers’ baby. His bluesy vocals and no-nonsense style made for some unforgettable rock history. But along comes Brain Howe and Terry Thomas. The glimmer twins on two amazing projects. Holy Water ends up being the pinnacle of this tandem. The material is breathtaking. Crushing drums from old man Simon Kirke and ridiculously scrumptious pop-metal grooves from old timer Mick Ralphs. But it Thomas’ production work that exumes all the 1989 rock potential from this corporate logo. “”Holy Water”” has one of the best guitar intros in rock history. “”If You Needed Somebody”” is a perfect fill for the top 40 of the day. “”Fearless””, “”Stranger, Stranger”” and “”Walk Through Fire”” contain enough octane for a quick trip to the moon and back. And all those cowbells. Thomas knows how to fire up this combination. He also sings backing vocals and seems to know which buttons to push at any moment. Every song is a potential hit single. For a real treat, check out the Simon Kirke vocals on “”100 Miles””, the album closer that actually works. For AOR in 1989, nothing surpasses this collection. A work of art comprised of all the right ingredients. This album went platinum for good reason. It that good!
5.0 out of 5 stars An Album That Testifies To The Power Of The Individual, HOLY WATER is an album that testifies to an individual determination to get what he/she wants/needs/deserves. The album features numerous songs with great lyrics about taking as much control over one fate as possible, even if others strongly disagree with what your intentions are. Of course, some kids who took this album messages too literally ended up in special schools because of it, but overall, this LP is a great example of an album whose songs are connected yet not connected.
5.0 out of 5 stars Stands a Decade Test of Time, I somehow made it thru the 70 and 80 without knowing who Paul Rodgers was. I had heard of Bad Company, of course, but had never bought an album. So I came to the Holy Water album with no “but it ain’t Paul Rodgers!” bias, and this is one of my few owned rock albums that has stood the test of time with me. Almost all of my other 80s and 90s albums have left my collection, but not this one (and not Foreigner 4 or Lou Gramm solo efforts, either). I LOVE Brian Howe vocals. Give the man his due – he ain’t Paul Rodgers, but that in no way takes away from his talent. He really belts it out on this album! I’ve sampled the earlier Bad Company releases here on Amazon and am not ready to lay down money for them yet. Frankly, I’m not sure I’d like them. They sound dated to me and I am not a particularly big fan of blues (which I definitely hear in those earlier albums). If you want anthem rock and kick-butt vocals and guitars, you can’t go wrong with this Holy Water album (unless it only the Paul Rodgers incarnation of Bad Company that you’re willing to accept).