Ralphs in 1976
|Birth name||Michael Geoffrey Ralphs|
31 March 1944 |
Stoke Lacy, Herefordshire, England
|Genres||Hard rock, blues-rock, glam rock|
|Instruments||Guitar, vocals, keyboards|
|Labels||Angel Air, Griffin|
|Associated acts||Mott the Hoople, Bad Company, David Gilmour|
|Les Paul Junior|
Then a guitarist with the Doc Thomas Group between 1966 and 1968, Ralphs joined Mott the Hoople the following year. In 1973, Ralphs left Mott the Hoople to join former Free vocalist Paul Rodgers to form Bad Company. This band ultimately had greater commercial success than Mott The Hoople. Ralphs' composition "Can't Get Enough", became an immediate hit and pushed the group's 1974 debut album to number one in the United States. For "Can't Get Enough", Ralphs tuned his guitar in the open-C tuning C-C-G-C-E-C, stating, "It never really sounds right in standard tuning. It needs the open C to have that ring." Ralphs continued to record and tour with Bad Company until they folded in 1982, when Rodgers announced he was leaving the band.
In 1984, he toured with Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour on Gilmour's About Face tour. Ralph's 1985 solo album, Take This, featured bassist Micky Feat and his fellow Bad Company member, drummer Simon Kirke. Ralphs only managed four gigs in support of the album, but his live band consisted of guitarist Dave Colwell (later to join Ralphs in a reformed Bad Company), Uriah Heep drummer Chris Slade and Ozzy Osbourne keyboard player Lindsay Bridgewater. Prior to rejuvenating Bad Company Ralphs joined Cold Turkey, an act that lasted just one gig.
Bad Company reformed and split several times through the 1980s and 1990s, but Ralphs finally quit for good in 2000. He then announced that he was giving up touring, something he was never comfortable with in either band, since he has a morbid fear of flying.
In 2001, Ralphs released his second solo album, the all instrumental effort It's All Good, on the Angel Air label. Two years later his That's Life – Can't Get Enough album was released, including a demo version of "Can't Get Enough".
In 2004, he once again teamed up with former Mott colleague Ian Hunter, playing second lead guitar (along with Andy York) on Hunter's UK tour. Ralphs performed at Hunter's 2005 concert at the London Astoria, with Ralphs performing a guitar solo to "All the Way from Memphis".
On 2 July 2008, it was announced that the original line-up of Bad Company (minus Boz Burrell who died in September 2006) would do a one-off gig at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida on 8 August 2008. According to Paul Rodgers, they did this gig to 'protect the legacy they have built and cement the rights to the trademark Bad Company for touring'. The now regular line-up of Bad Company includes Ralphs, along with Rodgers and Kirke.
Mott the Hoople, including Ralphs, reunited for two shows at the Blake Theatre in Monmouth close to Rockfield studios where they rehearsed before playing five concerts at the Hammersmith Apollo in London, during September and October 2009. All five of the original members participated in the reunion with Martin Chambers assisting on drums.
In 2011, Ralphs formed The Mick Ralphs Blues Band with musicians he met while guesting at a jam session at the Nag's Head pub in High Wycombe: Stuart Son Maxwell, harmonica/vocals; Jim Maving, guitar; Sam Kelly, drums; Dickey Baldwin, bass. The band's website states that Ralphs is seeking to explore his blues and soul roots, playing covers of classic blues and R&B songs. The band made its debut as Mick Ralphs and Co at Jagz Club in Ascot in June 2011, changing the name to the Mick Ralphs Blues Band soon afterwards. More dates were announced for late 2011 and early 2012.
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (June 2013)|
- Mott the Hoople – Gibson Les Paul Junior, Gibson Firebird (Single Pick-Up), Gibson SG, Fender Telecaster
- Bad Company – Fender Stratocaster, Gibson Les Paul Standard, Fender Esquire, Gibson Flying V – "Feel Like Making Love" video
- Recently – Gibson 1957/1959 Custom Shop re-issue Gibson Les Paul Standard.
- Mick Ralphs also has a Fender Stratocaster fitted with a 2TEK bridge
Notable songwriting credits
- "Ready For Love"
- "Can't Get Enough"
- "Good Lovin' Gone Bad"
- "Movin' On"
- "One of the Boys" with Ian Hunter
- "Feel Like Making Love" with Paul Rodgers
- "Flying Hour" with George Harrison
- "Oh, Atlanta" (recorded originally by Bad Company on the album Desolation Angels; but covered more recently by Alison Krauss)
- "Biography by Steve Huey". Allmusic.com. Retrieved 30 December 2008.
- Sharken, Lisa (15 May 2001). "Mick Ralphs: The rock 'N' roll fantasy continues". Vintage Guitar. Retrieved 21 February 2013.
- Allmusic.com – album overview
- Bad Company News
- Queen News
- "Alison Krauss Cover Songs". The Covers Project. 9 March 2005. Retrieved 18 June 2013.