Raspberries – Go All The Way

I wrote this for Dave’s Turntable Talk at A Sound Day. Be on the lookout for that series at A Sound Day. He has some interesting topics. This one was on One Hit Wonders.

This song has a mixture of The Who, Beach Boys, and The Beatles… a pretty good mixture! I’m cheating a bit…The Raspberries had 4 top 40 hits but this was the only top ten hit and the song they are most known for. The song starts off with a strong Who-like loud riff then continues on with hooks galore.

When people think of The Raspberries this is the song most think of. Personally, I always thought Overnight Sensation was their best song but this one is great and the masses agreed.

The song peaked at #5 on the Billboard 100 and #5 in Canada in 1972. This song was on their self-titled debut album released in 1972. The American and Australian versions of this LP carried a scratch-and-sniff sticker with a strong raspberry scent.

They were one of the 3 great power pop bands of the early 70s. Badfinger, Big Star, and The Raspberries. Out of those three, Badfinger was the most successful but all were good. Many alternative bands that followed would list all three or at least one of them as an influence. The Raspberries released 4 albums in total between 1972 and 1975. They broke up after their last album Starting Over (#143) and the great single Overnight Sensation only charted at #18. After you listen to Go All The Way…check out Overnight Sensation…it’s an epic song.

I moved to a different town when I was 8 and in a new school (we would move back later that year) we went on a field trip to some college. Thinking back, it was a small college and the students there put on a small show for us kids. After the show, they showed us the grounds and I remember Go All The Way booming out of a room. It’s funny how music can send you back to a place and I can remember the smell also.

Eric Carmen said he was inspired by The Rolling Stone’s performance of “Let’s Spend The Night Together” on the Ed Sullivan Show when Mick Jagger had to sing it as “Let’s spend some time together.”

This was before Eric Carmen went solo and started doing ballads and songs on soundtracks such as Dirty Dancing. Carmen hit it big solo but personally, I think his music with the Raspberries was the best he did.

This song appears in the 2000 film Almost Famous but was not included on the soundtrack. It did make the soundtrack to the 2014 film Guardians Of The Galaxy, which went to #1 in America and revived many ’70s hits. My son got the soundtrack mostly for this song.

Fans of the band included John Lennon and Bruce Springsteen. They did reunite in November of 2004 and toured shortly until 2006.

Eric Carmen: “I knew then that I wanted to write a song with an explicitly sexual lyric that the kids would instantly get but the powers that be couldn’t pin me down for.”

Eric Carmen:  “I remember ‘Go All The Way’ vividly. The year was 1971. I was 21. I had been studying for years. I had spent my youth with my head between two stereo speakers listening to The Byrds and The Beatles and later on The Beach Boys – just trying to figure out what combinations of things – whether it was the fourths harmonies that The Byrds were singing on ‘Mr. Tambourine Man’ – I must have worn out 10 copies of that first Byrds album listening to it over and over, and turning off the left side and turning on the right side trying to figure out why these certain combinations of instruments and echo and harmonies made that hair on your arms stand up. I did the same thing with Beatles records, and I tried to learn construction.

Go All The Way

I never knew how complete love could be
‘Til she kissed me and said

Baby, please, go all the way
It feels so right (feels so right)
Being with you here tonight
Please, go all the way
Just hold me close (hold me close)
Don’t ever let me go

I couldn’t say what I wanted to say
‘Til she whispered, I love you

So please, go all the way
It feels so right (feels so right)
Being with you here tonight
Please, go all the way
Just hold me close (hold me close)
Don’t ever let me go

Before her love
I was cruel and mean
I had a hole in the place
Where my heart should have been

But now I’ve changed
And it feels so strange
I come alive when she does
All those things to me

And she says
(Come on) Come on
(Come on) Come on
(Come on) Come on
(Come on)
I need ya (come on)
I love ya (come on)
I need ya (come on)
Oh, oh, baby

Please, go all the way
It feels so right (feels so right)
Being with you here tonight
Please, go all the way
Just hold me close (hold me close)
Don’t ever let me go no

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

Bonnie Tyler – It’s a Heartache

Late seventies at the skating rink…this one was played and that is what I think of. I knew enough about Rod Stewart at the time I was 10-11 to think this was him for a while. My sister got the single and I loved it. Rod Stewart finally covered the song in 2007.

It’s a Heartache was released in 1978 and peaked at #3 in the Billboard 100, #4 in the UK, and #1 in Canada. It also crossed over to the country charts at #10. The single sold over 6 million copies. This song fits Bonnie Tyler’s voice perfectly. The song was written by Ronnie Scott and Steve Wolfe.

Bonnie Tyler had throat problems severe enough to require surgery in 1976, the procedure can often be career-threatening. In this case, however, the nodules that she developed singing in nightclubs in her native Wales turned out to be career-making. She was told not to speak 6 weeks after her surgery but she did and it helped cause the rasp.

Some useless trivia… The two weeks that “It’s A Heartache” was at #3, for those two weeks the #1 record was “Shadow Dancing” by Andy Gibb and at #2 was “Baker Street” by Gerry Rafferty

The drummer on this song was Mike Gibbons of Badfinger.

It’s a Heartache

It’s a heartache
Nothing but a heartache
Hits you when it’s too late
Hits you when you’re down

It’s a fool’s game
Nothing but a fool’s game
Standing in the cold rain
Feeling like a clown

It’s a heartache
Nothing but a heartache
Love him ’til your arms break
Then he let’s you down

It ain’t right with love to share
When you find he doesn’t care for you
It ain’t wise to need someone
As much as I depended on you

Oh, it’s a heartache
Nothing but a heartache
Hits you when it’s too late
Hits you when you’re down

It’s a fool’s game
Nothing but a fool’s game
Standing in the cold rain
Feeling like a clown

It ain’t right with love to share
When you find he doesn’t care for you
It ain’t wise to need someone
As much as I depended on you

Oh, it’s a heartache
Nothing but a heartache
You love him ’til your arms break
Then he let’s you down

It’s a fool’s game
Standing in the cold rain
Feelin’ like a clown
It’s a heartache
Love him ’til your arms break
Then he let’s you down
It’s a fool’s game

Badfinger – Love Is Gonna Come At Last

This wasn’t released in the prime years of Badfinger. Pete Ham was gone by  this point but this is one new Badfinger song that I heard on radio at the time. I liked it so much that I bought the album Airwaves.

I posted another Airwaves song not long with a song called Lost Inside Your Love that came off of the Airwaves album. This song was a minor hit and peaked at #69 in 1979. It’s a nice power pop song that Joey Molland wrote.

Following the “hold placed (by the record company) on the last Badfinger album, Head First, and the suicide of group co-founder Pete Ham in 1975, Badfinger disbanded, and the remaining members joined various other groups or dropped out of music for the next two years.

This was a comeback album for the band trying to make it back without their main songwriter Pete Ham.

Rick Springfield just covered the song with Joey Molland that was released on an album which Joey worked with different artists such as Todd Rundgren, Springfield, Rick Wakeman, Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull), Sonny Landreth, Vanilla Fudge and more for a Badfinger cover album called Badfinger No Matter What: Recovering the Hits.

Love is Gonna Come at Last - song by Badfinger, Rick Springfield | Spotify

Love Is Gonna Come At Last

There are times when it feels so hard just to carry on
There are times when the days all seem to be so long
Then this feeling inside of me sets me free from the past

And I know that when I’m ready, love is gonna come at last
Yes, I know that when I’m ready, love is gonna come at last

Been alone in a crowded room, watched it all go on
I’ve had so many sleepless nights when I dreamed alone
Then a break in the clouds above feels like love shining down

And I know that when I’m ready, love is gonna come around
Yes, I know that when I’m ready, love is gonna come around

I live for tomorrow, what it may bring
I live through the sorrow
Live in my dreams, in my dreams

This feeling inside of me sets me free from the past
And someday I’ll find a way to make my dreams come true

‘Cause I know that when I’m ready, love is gonna come at last
Yes, I know that when I’m ready, love is gonna come at last
Yes, I know that when I’m ready, love is gonna come at last
Yes, I know that when I’m ready, love is gonna come at last
Yes, I know that when I’m ready, love is gonna come at last

Lynyrd Skynyrd – I Need You

This album track came off of their second album Second Helping released in 1974. It was less than a year after their fantastic debut album called Pronounced ‘Lĕh-‘nérd ‘Skin-‘nérd. 

In my opinion they had some good albums after this one but not until their final one Street Survivors  did they match their first two.

Second Helping contained their big hit Sweet Home Alabama.  The album peaked at #12 in the Billboard Album Chart and #9 in Canada in 1974.

They played schools, parties, and bars for years before they hit it big. The band was first discovered in a rock club called Funnochio’s, on Peachtree Street in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1972. They were found by the famous Al Kooper, who had just landed an executive position at MCA Records and was searching to find some new talent for MCA’s “Sounds of the South” label. At that time Kooper was on tour supporting Badfinger at the time.

This album was produced by Al Kooper who was a founding member of Blood, Sweat, and Tears and he also played organ on Bob Dylan’s classic Like A Rolling Stone.

The three guitar attack was important with this band but it was Ronnie Van Zant’s songwriting that made them what they were. This song is a little slower but has that Skynryd build up of guitars. The band had some great album cuts and this is one of them.

Al Kooper: “Ronnie Van Zant was Lynyrd Skynyrd. I don’t mean to demean the roles the others played in the group’s success, but it never would have happened without him. His lyrics were a big part of it – like Woody Guthrie and Merle Haggard before him, Ronnie knew how to cut to the chase. And Ronnie ran that band with an iron hand. I have never seen such internal discipline in a band. One example: These guys composed all of their guitar solos. Most bands improvised solos each time they performed or recorded. Not them. Ronnie’s dream was that they would sound exactly the same every time they took the stage.” 

I Need You

Ain’t no need to worry
There ain’t no use to cry
‘Cause I’ll be comin’ home soon
To keep you satisfied

You know I get so lonely
That I feel I can’t go on
And it feels so good inside babe
Just to call you on the telephone
An’ I said…

Ooh baby I love you
What more can I say
Ooh baby I need you
I miss you more everyday

I woke up early this mornin’
And sun came shining down
And it found me wishin’ and a’hoping
Mama you could be around

Well you know I need you
More than the air I breathe
And I guess I’m just tryin’ to tell you woman
Oh what you mean to me yeah, yeah

Ooh baby I love you
What more can I say
Ooh baby I need you
I miss you more everyday
What I say…

I’m tryin’ to tell you I love you
In each and every way
I’m tryin’ to tell you I need you
Much more than just a piece of leg

Ooh baby I love you
What more can I say
Ooh baby I need you
I miss you more everyday

Ooh baby I love, love, love, love you
What more can I say yeah
‘Cause ooh baby I need your sweet lovin’
I miss you more an’ more everyday

Ooh baby I love you
Baby, baby I need ya

….

Badfinger – Sweet Tuesday Morning

This song came off the album Straight Up that was released in 1971. Sweet Tuesday Morning was guitarist Joey Molland’s ballad about his then new wife Kathie.

All the band members wrote songs and sang. Pete Ham was the most successful out of the four but that doesn’t mean the rest were mediocre. Joey and Tom were both good songwriters and all collaborated with each other at times.

Joey Molland joined the band when bass player Ron Griffiths quit right after they recorded Come and Get It because of friction caused by his marriage. Molland who was previously with Gary Walker & The Rain, The Masterminds, and The Fruit-Eating Bears joined as a guitar player. Tom Evans switched to bass and this was the most successful lineup.

Sweet Tuesday Morning is mostly an acoustic song with simple backing that fit the early 1970s. In the UK this was the B side of Day After Day, Badfinger’s biggest hit.  Joey Molland had quite a strong showing on Straight Up…with the songs “Sweet Tuesday Morning,” “Suitcase,” “I’d Die Babe” and the albums most rocking song “Sometimes.”

Most consider Straight Up the best album they made. If you ever decide to buy a Badfinger album and want something other than just a greatest hits…this is the one to buy. 

Sweet Tuesday Morning

Sweet Tuesday morning
You came and you smiled
And all of my fears,
They have left me

Sweet Tuesday morning
You came and you smiled
And love is the answer you gave me

I’ve been to places all around, astound me
I’ve seen the breaking of the souvenirs
I’m in a brightness I can feel surround me
And it’s the first time I’ve felt it for years

Sweet Tuesday morning,
You came and you smiled
And love is the answer you gave me….mm-mhm

I’ve been to places all around, astound me
I’ve seen the breaking of the souvenirs
I’m in a brightness I can feel surround me
And it’s the first time I’ve felt it for years

Badfinger – Lay Me Down

Lay Me Down was written by Pete Ham and is a wonderful pop/rock song. Another song that slipped through the cracks…I’ve heard Teenage Fanclub cover this one and I’ve liked it as well as their known hits.  I want to thank everyone who stuck with me through four Badfinger songs since Thursday.

The song was on the album Head First. Joey Molland had just quit and was replaced by Bob Jackson.

Badfinger’s management replaced Chris Thomas as producer because he didn’t think they should make an album so soon (6 months) after their last album Wish You Were Here. The band felt the same but they had no control… Kenny Kerner and Richie Wise was picked to produce them, Wise had just become successful by producing KISS.

They recorded Head First in December 1974 – January 1975 after Wish You Were Here with new member Bob Jackson. While recording the album Warner Brothers wanted to know where thousands of dollars went to that disappeared from an escrow account (in the managers pocket).

WB’s sought to attach the royalties due from their previous album Wish You Were Here. Consequently, WB suspended sales of Wish You Were Here.

Although the master tapes of Head First were delivered to and accepted by WB’s recording division in Los Angeles, WB’s publishing arm there refused to accept them because of the lawsuit. With a lack of publishing protection, the record division shelved the tapes and the album was not released.

The album was stuck in limbo for 26 years. It wasn’t released until 2000. I went out and bought this the day it was released at Tower Records. On a couple of songs, Hey Mr Manager and Rock and Roll Contract,  they are taking aim at their management and frustration. The songs that stand out to me are Lay Me Down, Hey Mr. Manager, Rock N’ Roll Contract, and Keep Believing. A good album and I wish it would have had a chance at the time it was recorded.

This song would have had a chance to chart.

This would be the last album released by Badfinger with Pete Ham. He would die 3 months after they finished the album. Tom Evans and Joey Molland would revive Badfinger in the late seventies and release two albums. They did have two minor hits.

Lay Me Down

Need your loving
Need your loving
Need your loving
It’s everything to me

Need your loving
Need your loving
Need your loving
It’s everything to me

Take me high take me low
Show me anything that you know
But tonight little lover lay me down
Make me laugh make me sigh tell me how and tell me why
But tonight lover little lay me down

Lay me down move me round
Let me hear your loving sound
In our mess we are blessed with our love
Take and give take and live all the love that we have found
And just send all our problems away

Play me fun play me sad
Tell me things that could make you glad
But tonight lover little Lay me down
Lay me down
Need you loving

Play to share play to care
You can play with me anywhere
But tonight lover little lay me down
But tonight lover little lover lay me down
Lay me down
Need your loving

Badfinger -Suitcase

This song was on their Straight Up album but it’s when they were live it came alive. They have a terrific groove going on and Pete wails on the solo. This was Badfinger live as they ventured out of power pop into a jam band. The live version of the band is much different than the studio version.

This song was going to be the B side to Name of the Game issued as a single but Apple never released it. The song has a power pop base but with hard electric on top and it changes the dynmaic of it.

Making the Straight Up album was no easy task. They started off with Geoff Emerick (he produced their last album and engineered several Beatle albums) producing them. The songs were rejected by the Apple’s head of US operations Allan Steckler. George Harrison thought a lot of Badfinger, especially Pete Ham and wanted Name of the Game to be released as a single before the album.  George then started to produce the band himself. He worked with them and they started to make progress. He played slide with Pete on the hit Day After Day and Leon Russell played piano.

They were making great progress but then the  Bangladesh concert came up and George was distracted. He handed off the producing to Todd Rundgren. The band and Rundgren didn’t mix well but he finished producing it in two weeks. The members were much happier with George who actually listened to their ideas.

It was a great album but one of the complaints from the band was it lost a lot of rawness and energy after Rundgren mixed it.

Going through three producers…it’s a wonder it’s as good as it is.

The Studio version is the second video but I would reccomend the live version…and I don’t do that a lot.

Suitcase

Suitcase, suitcase, follow me ’round
Bootlace, bootlace, tie me down
Money for fun, yeah, golden crown
It’s all inside a game we’ve been playing for so long

Driver, driver, go too fast
Miser, miser, make it last
Pusher, pusher, on the run
It’s all inside a game we’ve been playing for so long

And I’m sorry to be leavin’
Yeah, that’s all I get to say
‘Cause I’m sorry to be leavin’ today

[guitar solo (Pete Ham)]

Well I’m sorry to be leavin’
But that’s all I get to say
‘Cause I’m sorry to be leaving today

(Driver drive)

Driver, driver, go too fast
Miser, miser, make it last
Pusher, pusher, on the run
It’s all inside a game we’ve been playing so long

So long

Badfinger – Apple Of My Eye …. Badfinger Long Weekend

The song was written by Pete Ham, produced by Chris Thomas and Badfinger, and released on Apple Records in 1973.

The song is about Pete Ham having regrets leaving Apple Records where the Beatles signed them but Stan Polley (the manager) was  pursuing a larger contract by moving to Warner Bros. Records. This is where Badfinger started their slide into hell. The album cover was about being led away from Apple.

Ass (album) - Wikipedia

Warner Bros offered them a huge contract. As it turned out they would never see the Warner Bros money as Polley took it out of escrow without telling the band. In the next few posts and little more info on this will be given.

The reason Polley wanted the band to leave Apple Records is because he could control everything with a new contract with Warners. He started to take all of the Apple royalities as well until the members stopped Apple from giving it to him. After that no one got the money (Apple held the money waiting for the courts to decide) and the band members were broke. It was held up in litigation until 1985 when some of the money was distributed.

The song peaked at #102 in the Hot 100 in 1973. Apple didn’t do a good job pushing this album because they knew Badfinger was leaving. This song ended up being the last non-ex-Beatles release on Apple Records.

In 1985 the band and family members finally got their money that had been tied up from Apple because of the lawsuits with Warners…all caused by a ruthless manager who really never got punished for his deeds and lived to be 87.

A movie was going to be made of their story…and still might be one day.

Apple Of My Eye

Oh, I’m sorry, but it’s time to move away
Though inside my heart, I really want to stay
Believe the love we have is so sincere
You know, the gift you have will always be

You’re the apple of my eye
You’re the apple of my heart
But now, the time has come to part

Oh, I’m sorry, but it’s time to make a stand
Though we never meant to bite the lovin’ hand
And now, the time has come to walk alone
We were the children, now we’ve overgrown

You’re the apple of my eye
You’re the apple of my heart
But now, the time has come to part

Oh, I’m sorry, but it’s time to move away
Though inside my heart, I really want to stay
Believe the love we have is so sincere
You know, the gift you have will always be

Now, the time has come to part
Now, the time has come to part.

Badfinger – Without You

Ever since I wrote about Baby Blue by Badfinger for Hanspostcard’s draft…I have been listening to them again and I wrote up a few posts so I thought I would make a weekend of it…so lets start the weekend a little early!

Most everyone knows this song by Harry Nilsson and some by Mariah Carey. Harry to me has the definitive version but Pete Ham and Tom Evans of Badfinger wrote it as a simple blues song. They never dreamed it would be turned around into an epic song.

The song was originally on the No Dice album released in 1970. The album peaked at #28 in the Billboard 100. The album spawned the hit No Matter What that peaked at #8 in 1970.

Badfinger - No Dice | Releases, Reviews, Credits | Discogs

Without you was not released as a single and it wasn’t meant to be. Pete and Tom put together two songs they were writing… Pete’s in the verses and Tom’s chorus. They always thought of it as a little blues song that was an album cut.

Badfinger were in the studio one night and Nilsson called them over to listen to what he had recorded. They had no clue he was recording their song…when they heard Harry’s version it blew them away. Over 180 artists have recorded the song since then. The band didn’t start getting royalities from this song or much of anything else until `1985 when the court case was settled. Their former manager tried to get his hands on it then but wasn’t successful. The two families of Ham and Evans…received some of the money for the late songwriters.

You can’t really compare the versions. Badfinger never meant it to be commercial sounding and who could sing like Harry Nilsson?

In a way…this song sums up Badfinger perfectly. 

Without You

Well, I can’t forget this evening
And your face when you were leaving
But I guess that’s just the way the story goes
You always smile, but in your eyes your sorrow shows
Yes, it shows

Well, I can’t forget tomorrow
When I think of all my sorrow
I had you there, but then I let you go
And now it’s only fair that I should let you know
What you should know

I can’t live, if living is without you
I can’t live, I can’t give any more
I can’t live, if living is without you
I can’t live, I can’t give anymore

Well, I can’t forget this evening
And your face when you were leaving
But I guess that’s just the way the story goes
You always smile, but in your eyes your sorrow shows
Yes, it shows

Oh

I can’t live, if living is without you
I can’t live, I can’t give any more
I can’t live, if living is without you
I can’t live, I can’t give anymore

I can’t live, if living is without you
I can’t live, I can’t give any more
I can’t live, if living is without you
I can’t live, I can’t give anymore

I can’t live, if living is without you
I can’t live, I can’t give any more
I can’t live, if living is without you
I can’t live, I can’t give anymore

I can’t live, if living is without you

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.

Badfinger – Lost Inside Your Love

I haven’t posted a Badfinger song in a while…and this is the first one I’ll post that came after Pete Ham passed away. Pete Ham was the principle songwriter but Joey Molland and Tom Evans were no slouches. This edition included Tony Kaye, formally of Yes.

This song is slow but the melody is fantastic. This song was long after Pete Ham was gone from the band in 1975. This song was written by bass player Tom Evans. In 1977 the guitar player Joey Molland and Evans started the band back after the death of Ham.

They were signed by Electra Records and released an album called Airwaves.  I remember when I was around 11 I saw this in a cutout bin…I bought it because I’d read so much about them from Beatle books. It’s a good album considering there is no Pete Ham

The album flopped, only hitting #125 in America. “Lost Inside You Love”, however, was selected to be the album’s first single release. Backed with the Joey Molland-written track “Come Down Hard”, the song, like the album, was not successful, not charting in America or Britain. Another single followed named “Love Is Gonna Come at Last”, that same year which got some radio play.

In 1983, after a dispute with former bandmate Joey Molland over royalties for the song “Without You”, Tom Evans hanged himself in his garden only eight years after Pete Ham did the same.

Lost Inside Your Love

What can I say, what can I do?
All of my life I’ve been a victim of you
What can I say or do?
Lost inside your love

What can it be, who can I see?
All of your life you’ve been the winner in me
What can I say or do?
Lost inside your love

Is it any wonder there’s no reason why?
Is it all because I left it open wide for your pride
To leave me one more time
Are you leaving me one more time?

[guitar solo (Joey Molland)]

What can I say, what can I do?
All of my life I’ve been a winner with you
What can I say or do?
Lost inside your love
Lost inside your love
Lost inside your love.

LOST INSIDE YOUR LOVE [solo demo version] (Tom Evans)
What can I say, what can I do?
All of my life I’ve been a victim of you
What can I say or do?
I’m lost inside your love

What can it be, who can I see?
All of my life you’ve been the loser in me
What can I say or do?
I’m lost inside your love

Is it any wonder there’s no reason why?
Is it all because I left it open wide for your pride
To lose me once again
Am I losing you once again?

What can I say, what can I do?
All of my life I’ve been a loser with you
What can I say or do?
I’m lost inside your love
Lost inside your love
Lost inside your love.

Badfinger – Name Of The Game…Sunday Album Cut

This song was off the album Straight Up which is in my top 5 of power pop albums.

George Harrison helped produce and mix this  album and was impressed by this song. It was earmarked to be the first single off the album. That got cancelled. Not that the song couldn’t be a single because it is that good. Day After Day and Baby Blue were the first two singles and I can’t fault George for that.

There were many possible singles from this album. Suitcase, Sweet Tuesday Morning, Take It All and I’d Die Babe are songs that could have been considered.

If you are new to Badfinger and would like to start with an album that is not a greatest hits package…Straight Up is the album to purchase.

Name of the Game

I saw the railway master and I looked him in the eye
I said, “Would you go much faster if you thought that you would die?”
He said, “Not me sir, I could not care, in fact, I would not try.
For protest would not take me far.
It’s different, me not being a star.”
I lock my feelings in a jar until another day

Oh, comfort me, dear brother, won’t you tell me what you know?
For somewhere in this painful world is a place where I can go
Oh, long awaiting mother, is it time to make a show?
And take your babies to your breast
No, we never passed the test
And all our sins should be confessed before we carry on

[CHORUS:]
Oh, don’t refuse me
If you choose me, you’ll follow my shame
No, don’t confuse me
For I know it’s the name of the game

I got up off my pillow and I looked up at the sun
I said, “You can see quite clearly, now, the things that we have done
We burned your sacred willow and our battles we have won.
But did we get so very far?
It’s different, me not being a star.”
I lock my feelings in a jar until we go away

[CHORUS x2]

Badfinger – Straight Up

Obviously, I really like this band. When I was a newbie Beatles fan I thought Come and Get It was a Beatles song and then I found out it was this band with a funny name called Badfinger . As a teenager I had this album and I bought their  1979 Airwaves album (without Pete Ham) in the early eighties. in the cutout bin. It was a nice album but without Pete Ham it wasn’t up to their standards.

Badfinger was known as a singles band but they did have one great album along with very good ones…and Straight Up was the great one.

I bought two of Pete Ham “solo” albums named Golders Green and 7 Park Avenue in the 1990s. The albums were made of Pete’s demos from the 60s and 70s. The pop world really missed out when Pete decided to leave the earth. His songs were very McCartney like…good McCartney like.

Badfinger had undoubtedly one of the saddest stories in a business that is full of them. Two members committed suicide and the band was ripped off beyond belief by a manager. The band was left virtually penniless after making millions.

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 though that are good….the band had three songwriters with Pete Ham, Tom and  Joey Molland.  Tom and Joey were not in their bandmate’s writing level but they were very good. There is not a bad song on the album.

Take It All is a song written by Pete and the song is about the Bangladesh concert when Pete got to play with George Harrison up front and his bandmates were in the background. Joey Molland the other guitarist was upset at this so Pete wrote this song.

Suitcase was a rocking song that Joey Molland wrote and was a great live song. It was a departure from the power pop they played…they were expanding their repertoire. Pete Ham plays some great slide guitar in this.

Sweet Tuesday Morning is one of those seventies songs that is beautifully written and performed by Joey.

Of course the hits…Day After Day and Baby Blue…this is Day After Day it peaked at #4 in the Billboard 100, #2 in Canada and #10 in the UK in 1971.

Badfinger along with Big Star and the Raspberries gave us great power pop and helped create the genre. If you have a greatest hits…this would be a good companion album to go with it.

Take It All
Baby Blue
Money
Flying
I’d Die, Babe
Name Of The Game
Suitcase
Sweet Tuesday Morning
Day After Day
Sometimes
Perfection
It’s Over

Baby Blue peaked at #14 in the Billboard 100, #7 in Canada, and #73 in the UK.

My 10 Favorite Powerpop Songs

As you may have guessed by now I’m an extreme fan of power pop. This list was hard to write…I kept changing most of it… but I knew the top choice and worked from there.

I just gave my self ten choices or I would have gone on and on. A lot of artists and their songs were left off…such as Todd Rundgren, The Cars, Sloan, The Lemon Twigs, The Flamin’ Groovies, The Shivvers, The Jayhawks,  and too many more to mention.

10. The Ride – Twisterella– 1992 – I found this a few months back and have been listening to it ever since.

9. The Records – Starry Eyes– 1979 – Great song. Starry Eyes would end up being The Record’s best-known song. Robert John “Mutt” Lange produced their debut album for The Records.

8. The La’s – There She Goes– 1990 – A very good power pop song that has no verses…It just repeats the chorus four different ways four different times…but that doesn’t matter.

7. Cheap Trick – Voices– 1980 – One of my top Cheap Trick songs. Robin Zanders voice sounds great in this Beatlesque song.

6. The Who –Pictures of Lily– 1967 –  When this song came out Pete Townshend coined the name “power pop” and this song is about the childhood…lusts…of a boy.

5. Raspberries – Overnight Sensation (Hit Record)– 1974 – An epic song by the Raspberries. Not their most popular…that would be “Go All The Way” but this encapsulates everything power pop is about. Bruce Springsteen on Overnight Sensation: It’s one of the best little pop symphonies you’ll ever hear.

4. Big Star – The Ballad of El Goodo – 1972 – The tone of the guitars, harmonies and the perfect constructed chorus keeps me coming back listen after listen.

3. Badfinger –No Matter What– 1971 – The only band to make this list twice. Why? because this song defines the crunchy power pop of bands like Cheap Trick to come.

 2. Tom Petty – American Girl– 1977 – The Rickenbacker, the hook, and a Byrds sounding track.

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  1. Badfinger – Baby Blue – 1972 – The number one song was the easiest decision of the list. The rest were changed a few times…this one for me is a no-brainer. This song is the perfect power pop song…strong vocals, Crunchy Brit  guitar, great hook,  and great melody