Boz Burrell (Bad Company, King Crimson)

Photo courtesy of Bad Company Com Photo courtesy of Bad Company Com

Photo courtesy of Bad Company Com

Boz Burrell, bassist by Tom Semioli


Artists/Bands: Bad Company, King Crimson, Alvin Lee & Mylon LeFevre, Jon Lord, Pete Townshend & Ronnie Lane


Seminal Sides: Bad Company (1974), Straight Shooter (1975), Run With The Pack (1975) – all with Bad Company 


Though Peter Overend Watts of Mott the Hoople was offered the gig first, the late Raymond “Boz” Burrell was the perfect choice for the iconic hard rock hit making machine Bad Company.


A former jazz crooner (The Tea Time 4, and The Boz People with Ian McLagan) who took up the bass at Robert Fripp’s behest as a member of King Crimson, the vastly underrated Boz plied his craft with innate simplicity abetted with a decidedly rhythm and blues disposition.


Dig Boz with Crimson “Ladies of the Road”


A fretless pioneer, Boz also waxed sides with Pete Townshend and Ronnie Lane (Rough Mix/1977), Alvin Lee and Mylon LeFevre (On the Road to Freedom / 1973), Jon Lord, Alexis Korner, and Chris Farlowe, among others.


Following his tenure in Bad Company, Boz worked with blues rock artist Roger Chapman, and most notably with Scottish blues belter Tam White, with whom he toured extensively until Burrell popped his clogs in 2006.


Among Boz’s weapons of choice included an Ampeg AMUB-1 Fretless bass, Fender Precision, Fender Jazz, MusicMan Stingray, a Lakeland 55-02 Five string, and a Fender Precision fretless.


When the original Bad Company reunited in ’99 (The Original Bad Company box set), Boz flexed his vastly improved harmonic chops on the five string!


Boz Burrell Sound & Vision: 


Boz on the 5 String for “Shooting Star” 1999


Boz on his composition “Gone Gone Gone”


“Can’t Get Enough” Live–uI


Boz with….


Alvin Lee & Mylon LeFevre “Riffin”


Jon Lord “Hollywood Rock and Roll”


Tam White “Save Me”


Pete and Ronnie “Heart to Hang On To”


Boz Burrell Coda from Lou Loudhailer, who owns one of Boz’s instruments: I bought it frorm a little shop in Camden Town in 1982. I saw it and thought wow that’s the bass for me – although I’d never played a fretless until then. It was about £200… after I bought it the guy in the shop said ‘You just bought Boz Burrell’s bass’ – so I didn’t know until I’d paid for it – I was a fan of Bad Company so I was happy with that! I’ve played it ever since. I read somewhere that Boz didn’t get on with it which is why he sold it. But I love it. It’s got an early serial number. Plays and sounds amazing. I bought a new Cutlass with a carbon graphite neck a few years later when I was in the Red Guitars and played that until about 3 years ago when I replaced it with a Caprice.


Photo courtesy of Bad Company Com Photo courtesy of Bad Company Com