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    Main » 2010 » April » 25 » Badfinger - 1970 - No Dice
    Badfinger - 1970 - No Dice
    Style: beat
    Country: uk
    Audio: lossless (ape 763k)
    Size: 314mb

    Tapestry of Delights:
    Badfinger, who were the most successful non-Beatles related band signed to the Apple label, began life as The Iveys in Swansea in the mid-sixties. The name change came in 1969 and around the same time the band were invited to contribute three tracks to the soundtrack of a movie based on a novel, 'The Magic Christian', written by Terry Southern. The three tracks, Come And Get It, Rock Of All Ages and Carry On Till Tomorrow, were all contained on their first album as well. The first of them was a highly commercial song, written by Paul McCartney and after its release, in December 1969, it rocketed up the Charts peaking at No 4 in the UK and No 7 in the US. Around the same time Ron Griffiths left the band and was replaced by Joey Molland who'd previously played with The Masterminds, The Merseys and Gary Walker and The Rain. It was Griffiths who had played on most of these tracks when they were originally recorded, but Joey Molland, who looked a little like Paul McCartney who helped promote them. The finest track on the album was Maybe Tomorrow, but several of Pete Ham's other whimsical tunes like Crimson Ship and Dear Angie, which was written by Ron Griffiths, were fine examples of sixties pop. However, in the progressive era of the early seventies the album sounded rather dated and didn't sell too well, only charting in the US, where it peaked at No 54.

    Their follow-up 45, the self-composed No Matter What, was much heavier and made the Top 10 on both sides of the Atlantic. The follow-up album, No Dice, again sold better in the States. It contained some good rockers like Better Days and Love Me Do (not The Beatles song) and a Ham/Evans ballad, Without You, that would later top the UK Charts when covered by Harry Nillson.

    Their next album was scheduled to be produced by George Harrison but he became understandably preoccupied with the 'Concert for Bangladesh' and Badfinger appeared, as back-up musicians at Madison Square Garden. Apple also rejected many of the initial compositions for the album, which was eventually produced by Todd Rundgren and contained several slickly produced soft rock songs. Again Straight Up sold better abroad than here, peaking at No 31 in the US. One of the Harrison productions, Day After Day, was released as a single (he actually played on the guitar intro) and it made the Top Ten on both sides of the Atlantic. In the States to capitalise on this another track, Baby Blue, was taken from the album and made the US Top 20, but for some unknown reason no follow-up issue was put out here.

    It would be fair to say that Apple didn't do the band too many favours over the years - Badfinger set out to produce the next album themselves but Apple rejected it and whilst it was put on hold (much of it was being remixed) the band's business manager negotiated them a new contract with Warner Brothers. They got to work on a new album, releasing Love Is Easy as a 45. It was more rock 'n' roll orientated. Probably a little out of pace with the current fad and released almost two years after their previous 45 when any momentum they'd previously enjoyed was lost, it missed out. Before the Warners album could be put out Apple released the Ass album. One of its tracks, Apple Of My Eye, was released as a 45 but flopped only making No. 102 in the US. The album was less immediate in its appeal than their previous efforts and it made little impact. It did, however, result in Warner Brothers delaying the release of their album, which in the end was simply entitled Badfinger. It included that earlier Love Is Easy 45 but no new 45 was released to help promote it and in fact the album was hastily put together and sounded like it.

    Most people regard Wish You Were Here as their finest album, but by the time of its release any popular base of support they had was eroded. It contained some excellent Pete Ham compositions like Know One Knows, Dennis and Just A Chance, as well as strong numbers like Some Other Time and In The Meantime. Some of the arrangements were complex and Chris Thomas, who Warner had assigned to produce the album, had done a far better job than on the previous effort. Despite the release of no 45 to help promote it, it sold well in the US, climbing to No. 60 when Warner Brothers withdrew it from sale. An investigation was launched to establish why advance monies had gone missing, the band were cleared of any culpability, but the progress of the album, which was only released briefly here where it is their rarest album, was halted as a result and thoroughly frustrated Joey Molland left the group at the end of 1974. The remaining members recorded an album entitled Head First during the early months of 1975, but it was shelved in April of that year when Pete Ham committed suicide. Pete was really the band's major talent and after his death the band split up.

    Joey Molland, who in the interim had had spells with Blue Goose and Natural Gas, reformed the band with a new line-up in 1978 and they re-recorded Come And Get It for the Hits Reunion (Era BU 5904) compilation. They used the funds from this to record demos for Elektra. This led to a recording contract and a further album and 45 in 1979. Incidentally, the new recording of Come And Get It was later included on The Legendary Sixties (Arcade ADEH 453) compilation. However, the band later fell apart after a problematic American tour in 1983 and in November of that year Tom Evans, who returned to England to find himself in severe financial difficulties, committed suicide too. The remaining members have occasionally embarked on Sixties revival tours but in reality Badfinger was now dead too - the band had never really fulfilled its early promise.

    The recent CD reissue of Straight Up includes five tracks from the original version of the album which was rejected by Apple (Money, Flying, Suitcase, Name Of The Game and Perfection) along with an US 45 version of Baby Blue. These six tracks appear on a separate 12" single which accompanies the vinyl reissue.

    TOM EVANS bs, vcls
    RON GRIFFITHS bs, vcls
    PETE HAM vcls, gtr


    01 - I Can't Take It 2:57
    02 - I Don't Mind 3:15
    03 - Love Me Do 3:00
    04 - Midnight Caller 2:50
    05 - No Matter What 3:01
    06 - Without You 4:44
    07 - Blodwyn 3:26
    08 - Better Days 4:02
    09 - It Had To Be 2:29
    10 - Watford John 3:24
    11 - Believe Me 3:01
    12 - We're For The Dark 3:55
    13 - Get Down 3:47
    14 - Friends Are Hard To Find 2:32
    15 - Mean Mean Jemima 3:44
    16 - Loving You 2:53
    17 - I'll Be The One

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