Badfinger's first, eponymous, album on Warner Bros arrived when the band were already in decline. Commercially, that decline was a sheer drop, beginning with their criminally-obscure last Apple album, 'Ass'. Artistically, the band were still buoyant. 'Badfinger' isn't as good as their previous three albums, but it's still a very good effort.
When you hear Pete Ham's opening words to 'I Miss You' you're reassured that he hasn't lost his touch. Ham's 'Song For A Lost Friend' and 'Lonely You' are also up to his usual mark. A big surprise is that drummer Mike Gibbins's sole contribution, 'My Heart Goes Out', is such a stunner, with the weaving of acoustic instruments helping to create a mesmeric effect. The remaining songs are good in varying degrees and the album finishes strongly with two Joey Molland songs, the angst-ridden 'Give It Up' and the barnstorming 'Andy Norris'.
'Badfinger' crept quietly into 1974 with barely a whimper and disappeared. A tragic waste.
on 17 September 2006
Badfinger had signed to Warner Brothers around 72/73 before the release of their final Apple-album "Ass". The recordings for the first album for their new company began in June 73, with Chris Thomas as the producer. The title for the new album changed twice during its creation. Originally it was to be called "Wish You Were Here"; that title was later changed to "For Love Or Money" and finally the album ended up just as "Badfinger". The album has often been critizised for being rushed and inconsistant; and is often considered one of the band's weakest , which doesn't neccessarily mean that is a weak album - in fact none of their albums are.
Most of the music on this album comes as a logical continuation of "Ass". This doesn't mean that no new grounds are explored - on the contrary. On Pete's "Matted Spam" the band experiments with funky/jazzy rhythms and Tom's "Why Don't We Talk" doesn't sound like anything they'd done before; the song is quite Lennon like and features a short but great guitar solo from Pete. This is one thing characterising the album: some very inspired leadguitar parts by Pete Ham ( he played almost all lead on it). Pete is also the main contributor of songs, and among them is the majestic "Lonely You" would have been a logical choice for a single. Unfortunately Warner chose Molland's "Love is Easy", which although it had a good guitar-riff, suffered from strained vocals and a production that sounded unfinished; the song also lacks variation in rhytm and melody. The second single "I Miss You" was an almost equally poor choice. The song doesn't have a hit-potential at all, but it's certainly a fine album-track. Its B-side "Shine On"; similar to "I'll Be The One" in style and sound; would have been a much better choice. Mike Gibbins wrote "My Heart Goes Out" for the album and for the first time Mike really shows his songwriting abilities, the song was easily his strongest contribution to Badfinger so far. All in all the album Badfinger is really a very good album; much better than its reputation. It contains several very strong tracks, some good tracks and - admitted a few weak/unfinished tracks (Andy Norris / Love is Easy ).
My favourites: Lonely You, Shine On, Song For A Lost Friend, Where Do We Go From Here and My Heart Goes Out