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Paul Rodgers: Buyer's Guide

From Free to Bad Company and recent excursions into soul, Paul Rodgers' back catalogue is a gold mine. Here's how to bag his best work...

There has never been a better rock singer than Paul Rodgers. There are bigger stars, there are wilder frontmen. But what Paul Rodgers has got, more than any other rock singer before or since, is soul.

Ever since he was a raw 18-year-old making his recording debut in 1968 on Free’s first album, Tons Of Sobs, Rodgers’s voice has had a special quality, an emotional depth gleaned from vintage blues and soul music. According to drummer Simon Kirke, who backed Rodgers in Free and his next group Bad Company, “Paul owed a great deal to Otis Redding”. Moreover, Rodgers, a tough, working-class lad from Middlesbrough, had plenty of rock’n’roll bravado. “His voice has power and presence,” Kirke added. He was – and still is – unique.”

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