Badfinger – Money ….Power Pop Friday

Badfinger is the band that got me into power pop. After reading about them my interest widened into The Raspberries and Big Star. If any of you readers have a time machine I could use…take me back to January 19, 1973, at the Chicago Aragon Ballroom…where The Raspberries opened up for Badfinger. That would be a power pop dream.

This song was the B side to Badfinger’s hit Day After Day released in 1971. It was a good song written by bassist Tom Evans…  I zeroed in on this song from the album Straight Up. I’ve heard it used for some radio bumper music for talk and sports shows. The melody and harmonies stand out in this one.

Straight Up has two of their big hits…the beautiful Day After Day and what I consider the best power-pop song of all time…Baby Blue. It’s not just the hits that are good….the band had three songwriters with Pete Ham, Tom Evans, and  Joey Molland.  Tom and Joey were not at their bandmate’s writing level but they were very good. There is not a bad song on the album.

On the album, the song Money was connected with the Evans and Molland song Flying. They flow into each other to make a really good melody… similar to what the Beatles did on Abbey Road.

If you want to try out a Badfinger album that is not a greatest hits package…this is the one to start at. Badfinger was not known as an album band but this one I would consider one of the best power pop albums ever. Pete Ham wrote the best songs for Badfinger without a doubt but Tom and Joey did come up with some absolute winners. Pete was sometimes compared to Paul McCartney and George Harrison in his songwriting abilities.

The band started out as the Iveys with Pete Ham, Tom Evans, Ron Griffiths, and Mike Gibbins. Tom played guitar in that lineup but Griffiths had to quit because of family problems. Tom took over bass and they recruited Liverpudillian singer-songwriter Joey Molland for guitar.

Joey Molland is the only member left with us from the original lineup. He still tours as Joey Molland’s Badfinger.

Allmusic Critic Stephen Thomas Erlewine about Straight Up:

Straight Up winds up somewhat less dynamic than No Dice, largely because that record alternated its rockers, pop tunes, and ballads. Here, everything is at a similar level, as the ballads are made grander and the rockers have their melodic side emphasized. Consequently, the record sounds more unified than No Dice, which had a bit of a split personality. Todd Rundgren’s warm, detailed production makes each songwriter sound as if he was on the same page, although the bonus tracks — revealing the abandoned original Geoff Emerick productions — prove that the distinctive voices on No Dice were still present. Frankly, the increased production is for the best, since Badfinger sounds best when there’s as much craft in the production as there is in the writing. Here, there’s absolutely no filler and everybody is in top form. Pete Ham’s “Baby Blue” is textbook power-pop — irresistibly catchy fuzz riffs and sighing melodies — and with its Harrison-esque slide guitars, “Day After Day” is so gorgeous it practically aches. “Perfection” is an unheralded gem, while “Name of the Game” and “Take It All” are note-perfect pop ballads. Tom Evans isn’t as prolific here, but the one-two punch of “Money” and “Flying” is the closest Straight Up gets to Abbey Road, and “It’s Over” is a fine closer. Still, what holds the record together is Joey Molland’s emergence as a songwriter. His work on No Dice is enjoyable, but here, he comes into his own with a set of well-constructed songs. This fine songwriting, combined with sharp performances and exquisite studio craft, make Straight Up one of the cornerstones of power-pop, a record that proved that it was possible to make classic guitar-pop after its golden era had passed.

Money

Money stole my lady
Fools have a way of making me crazy
Money buy you freedom
Rules have a way of making me lazy

So we grow a little older
With another tale to tell
So we grow a little colder
With another tale to tell

Money make you feel unhappy
Fools have a way of making me crazy

So we grow a little older
With another tale to tell
So we grow a little colder
With another tale to tell

Author: Badfinger (Max)

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

14 thoughts on “Badfinger – Money ….Power Pop Friday”

  1. a new one to me, but it sounds quite good…a band that should have been bigger, no doubt about it. I don’t know if I ever knew Todd Rundgren produced that one, if I did I’d forgotten. I heard ‘BAby Blue’ on the radio a week or so back, which was nice but a surprise. Rare to even hear the ‘biggies’ by them these days.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yea… Breaking Bad did them a big favor by featuring that song…Baby Blue. This one I’ve known for a while but I have heard it on bumper music for radio programs. People who are tired of Money by Pink Floyd.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Badfinger were a great band, and I’m thankful you really brought them on my radar screen. I also agree with you that “Baby Blue” is a magnificent tune. As is “Day After Day”, obviously.

    I didn’t know “Money.” While it’s not quite as brilliant as the two aforementioned songs, it still is a nice tune. The harmony singing is just outstanding. It’s also neat how it blends into “Flying”, giving it a Beatle-esque approach.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do like the harmonies in this one. Now I’m fighting against myself…I have covered all the hits by many bands…now the album cuts lol. The only time I’ve heard this one or part of it on radio is bumper music.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yea that pretty much is a must! I thought of you the other day. I watch the Hitchcock movie The Birds and saw Suzanne Pleshette so I watched “If It’s Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium” again.

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      2. Haha, that’s great! I’ve still never watched The Birds, even though it’s written by one of my most favorite authors. I saw the opening minutes when I was a kid and it scared me to death. It’s time for me to watch If It’s Tuesday again! I won’t ever get tired of that one.

        Liked by 1 person

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