Badfinger – Baby Blue

This is my ninth song pick for Hanspostcard’s song draft. Badfinger’s Baby Blue.

The holy trinity of power pop for me are…Badfinger, Big Star, and The Raspberries…those were the 70s  pioneers. Badfinger was the most successful out of the three…hit wise anyway. You can hear later bands like Cheap Trick, The Posies, Teenage Fanclub, Matthew Sweet,  and even KISS get something from each three.

My love for this song is so over the top. Baby Blue, to these ears, is the perfect power pop song. It has the right combination of the hard British crunch and pop with an irresistible guitar riff. Lets talk about that guitar riff. I know there are other good rock riffs but the perfection in this one is sensational. He plays a variant of it through the song always changing plus a walk down or two. Nothing is purely defined and that is just pure brilliance. The solo is simple but fits perfectly. No nuance in this song is wasted…it was in there for the good of the song…not meant to be flashy.

It’s a hook here, a hook there, and a hook everywhere…and…I’ve been hooked since I first heard it. Everything blends. Even the ending is perfect. On top of that it was produced by a power pop guy Todd Rundgren.

You can hear a young Rick Nielsen of Cheap Trick listening and learning from this.

I had gone through Han’s entire album draft without mentioning my name sake…Badfinger…I’m here to rectify that now. I learned about Badfinger as a wee young kid who thought “Come and Get It” was a long lost Beatle song. I found out more about them and bought the album Straight Up. I liked many of their album cuts more than their hits.

As they went along they started to move away from the power pop genre because of the too close Beatle connection. During live performances they sorta became a jam band. Later on they made some excellent albums that no one heard because of a manager who would make Allen Klein (Satan, snake, etc) look good. Arguably the most tragic story in rock and roll…but that is for another day. We are looking now at Badfinger in 1972 before the rug got pulled out from underneath them.

A year ago or so I posted a ranking of my favorite power pop songs. This one was at the top of my list before I wrote it, during the process of writing it, and is still at the top. The others have changed places depending on my mood but not this one.

The song peaked at #14 in the Billboard 100 in 1972. The “Dixie” in the song was Pete Ham’s ex-girlfriend, Dixie Armstrong whom he’d met during the band’s US tour of 1971. Dixie was from Wichita Kansas (thanks run-sew-read).

The song was revitalized again in the great show Breaking Bad. I’m happy that Breaking Bad showcased this song so that another generation knows the song and hopefully that will lead more people to learn about Badfinger. After the show’s finale with this song…the song entered the charts again.

*** Here is the clip from Breaking Bad…but warning…it has a major spoiler for those who haven’t watched it.

Or you can watch them below that with an awkwardly cool Kenny Rogers introducing them. The music is not live but the vocals are…they are playing to a backing track…but listen to those live voices….although they are mic’d up so they are probably playing low along with the backing track.

Baby Blue

Guess I got what I deserved
Kept you waiting there too long, my love
All that time without a word
Didn’t know you’d think that I’d forget or I’d regret
The special love I had for you, my baby blue

All the days became so long
Did you really think, I’d do you wrong?
Dixie, when I let you go
Thought you’d realize that I would know
I would show the special love I have for you, my baby blue

What can I do, what can I say
Except I want you by my side
How can I show you, show me the way
Don’t you know the times I’ve tried?

guitar solo

Guess that’s all I have to say
Except the feeling just grows stronger every day
Just one thing before I go
Take good care, baby, let me know, let it grow
The special love you have for me, my Dixie, dear.

Author: badfinger20 (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

44 thoughts on “Badfinger – Baby Blue”

  1. I blabbed at Hans. How long were Dixie & Pete together? It’s cool that Diana knew about her. I never knew anything about Dixie. I thought it was just a name for the song’s lyrics, Dixie Dear being a Southern colloquialism.

    And…it’s about time. If you didn’t pick a Badfinger song for this draft, I was gonna drive to TN and thump you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LOL…maybe you could thump some sense in me.
      I don’t know…I looked for an interview…nothing. Her name is Dixie Armstrong and I found someone that died but it doesn’t look like her.

      Like

      1. Yes I saw that the other day. There is a bio on them that I cannot find anymore. I have it on DVD somewhere….just heartbreaking

        Liked by 1 person

      2. There was a lot of noise about Joey’s wife Kathy. She supposedly caused a bunch of trouble. Fans to this day are in the Joey camp or against Joey camp .
        Pete has been described as the nicest guy like ever walked the earth.
        His daughter was a month or so away from being born when it happened.

        Like

    1. Thanks for your nice comment. I told Hans one time when he liked a movie I recommended…if one person tries a song or etc that I recommend and likes it…my job is done.

      .I didn’t know you were a Giants fan…I’m the opposite but that is alright.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m certainly not a rabid fan, as I don’t really follow sports all that much. My dad, who was born in Denver, was a Brooklyn Dodgers fan, and followed them to L.A. But I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, so learned to like the Giants a bit more. I became a pretty big Cardinals fan during the 17 years I lived in St. Louis.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. My father’s brothers all liked the Yankees in the 50s and my dad always liked the underdogs so he liked the Brooklyn Dodgers. When I was 10 I started to follow them and I have ever since.
        I only hope Nashville one day gets a team.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. This is such fantastic song Max – as you say perfection. The riff. The singing. The bridge. Just love it. L look forward to more of your posts on them since not super familiar with them

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Paul… forget about catching up on the other posts… this was the one I wanted you to see lol. You and I share a love of power pop.
      I have one coming soon… their story is beyond sad but they made some great music.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Paul…I’ve been enslaved at work for months and then the wife pushed me into installing our living room (that we bought in June) floor a couple of weeks ago…so I get it man.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yeah I remember reading about that in one of the threads. Have you guys finished the floor – kudos to you man sounds like a major job

        Liked by 1 person

      3. No we lack around 4 more runs…getting those staples and nails from the old carpet out…well…it sucks! But yea it’s almost done.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Ok Max you’ll be happy to hear that that ear worm that is the Baby Blue riff has burrowed deep into the brains gray matter and has taken up residence there ! It’s been in my mind all day. I had forgotten how much I love this song.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. And so I went to Spotify and looked up Badfinger and so had forgotten about No Matter What – I think at one point I thought that was a Beatles song- and Day after Day – I knew the song but didn’t know it was by them. Going deep sea diving on them

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Oh…also “Come and Get It”…. One more song you may not know they wrote is “Without You”…you know Harry Nilsson’s version…

        Liked by 1 person

      7. Yeah knew about Come and Get It -McCartney gave them it. Didn’t know they they wrote the Nilsson song. Unbelievable they didn’t become more famous with all the great songs they had. Really tragic story

        Liked by 1 person

      8. And Paul…with the music you like…you would like a lot of their songs that weren’t hits. Sorry…I’m a pusher when it comes to Badfinger.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I listen to this on my morning jobs, and I still hear for the first time. I don’t know if that makes sense, but it always feels new to me. It has the perfect form for a classic rock song, the lead guitar solo makes me weep, the backup vocals are stellar, and the story/lyrics tears your heart out. Then, to know what happened to the group later… Speechless.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It really is Bernie. Thanks for commenting. Everything about it is just so damn perfect. From the intro…the guitar licks and even the end is just perfect!
      Yea everytime I read about them I want to go back in time and stop them from signing with that damn manager.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Managers can be killers. Look at Selena, Amy Winehouse, heck, the Beatles (Alan Klein). They all had a manager that instigated the literal death of a musician or band.

        That guitar solo in “Baby Blue.” I love how unique it is to the song. It could have doubled the chorus melody, but it went elsewhere and cried. You just don’t hear that intangible sound anymore.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yea Klein really took the Stones for much more…all their songs until 1969 he and now his familly own. The Beatles got off good comparaed to that lol.

        Yea Polley was a son of a bitch. He played his part in two suicides.

        You said it better than me! I was trying to get across how perfect the song is constructed….you said it better.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. It’s a greedy business, unfortunately.

        Good to reconnect with “Baby Blue.” Songs bring people together.

        Little Rylan had a bad case of RSV and was hospitalized last week. Tough stuff for a new dad.

        On a whim, I heard Neil Diamond’s “Shiloh” in the nurse’s station. Please note that I’m not really a Neil Diamond fan, and this song could be perceived as “corny,” but after listening to it again, I just fell in love with it. It reminded me of me as a kid. I wonder what it was like when that song was first introduced. I don’t know why I had never heard it before.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. RSV can be seious…I hope everything is better now!
        I’m not a huge Diamond fan but…there are some that I really like. I know that one…no it’s fine. Even if a song is corny…if it hits you a certain way…that is all that counts! Some songs hit me also…let me think…songs from Bread…the softest rock band in the world…I love some of them. Guilty pleasure.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. My dad likes Bread too. Guilty pleasures are the best.

        She’s doing much better, but it took a long time for her to recover. Terrible wheezing and low oxygen levels. Very scary.

        Just nice to be back to “normal” today 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      6. I know where you are coming from…it IS very scary.
        Bailey kept having pneumonia and the doctor just blurted out where I could hear him…that is a symptom of”cystic fibrosis”….I said WHAT? He said no it probably isn’t…

        I then told him NO…you will test him NOW. He was trying to get out of it but I would not let him. Of course Bailey was negative. I was livid at that Doctor…he couldn’t understand why I made them do that…

        So yea…it is all scary…. I’m glad it’s back to normal man…sorry for the novel.

        Liked by 1 person

      7. Haha, more like a short story. Always good to hear other parent stories. Makes you feel less alone for sure. A week ago, Ry was struggling for every breath, and her rib cage vibrated with each wheeze. That was my scary part. I said to my wife, “Get your sh*t, we’re heading to the ER because this isn’t right.” Good thing we did because it could have gotten even worse…

        Liked by 1 person

      8. Yes it could have…and man….let me tell you…It DOESN’T EVER end lol.
        It’s all great though. I’m glad she is alright man.

        Liked by 1 person

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