Thursday, June 20, 2013

No matter what you do, I will always be around (Badfinger)

Badfinger No Matter What/ Better Days (Apple, Apple 31 1970)

Badfinger Day After Day/ Sweet Tuesday Morning (Apple, Apple 40 1972)

Badfinger Baby Blue/ Flying (Apple, Apple 42 1972)

Badfinger Apple Of My Eye/ Blindowl sic (Apple, Apple 60 1974)

These four singles have a lot of things in common. They are all on Apple, all by Badfinger, and all the A side hits were written by their rhythm guitarist Pete Ham.

I love Pete Ham and I am still extremely sad that he is no longer with us to share his gifts.
Tragically he killed himself in 1975 at the age of 27 (yes - another of the 27 club although not as well known as some other members).

Although Pete is best known for co-writing Without You, that song was never released by Badfinger as a single.

These four singles in the list above are the goods though. Each one a classic slice of pop.

I remember when I first heard Day After Day in particular because it was a song on Solid Gold Hits Vol 2, released in 1972. I bought that album and listened to it a lot in 1972.

Especially the Badfinger song. It had a creamy pop sheen that drew me in. It was like nothing I'd heard up to that point (even though it is Beatlesque thanks in part to George Harrison's guitar, it's still an original Badfinger sound).

Day After Day was the highest charting song of the four.

Baby Blue (like Day After Day, it's featured on their 1972 Straight Up album) is another great song. It has a harder rock edge to it but a soft centre - it's about his then girlfriend Dixie.

Apple Of My Eye was his love song (and farewell) to Apple Records. Badfinger were the last band to leave the label and they were reluctant to go. All things to their credit.

Pete sings lead on all of the A sides and his vocals are brilliant; exactly right for the songs. The Joey Mollard guitar sound is another fantastic feature of these four songs, and the production, the soundscape, is timeless.

Hidden Gems: All the B sides are album tracks so there's nothing rare on offer. My favourite of these B sides is Sweet Tuesday Morning: a great soft rock ballad. There is a bathos at work that isn't easy to achieve (I wouldn't think).

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