Sunday, May 22, 2016

The Best (w/Keith Emerson) - 1990-09-26 - Yokahama, Japan

The Best
(Keith Emerson, John Entwhistle, Joe Walsh, Jeff "Skunk" Baxter, and Simon Phillips)
September 26, 1990
Yokohama Arena,
Yokohama, Japan
Soundboard (from TV broadcast), Very Good Quality
Now available in Lossless! (FLAC) version!

Continuing with the Keith Emerson, ELP saga: While ELP was still on tour in 1977, they released their follow-up to Works, Vol. 1, Works, Vol. 2, a single album this time, and made-up primarily of miscellaneous and leftover tracks from previous recording sessions, and all short songs. Because of this, the album was not nearly as popular as its predecessor, but nonetheless still contained some very impressive tracks. In particular, Emerson's piano work, from his version of Scott Joplin Rag-time to the wonderful Meade Lux Lewis's 'Honky-Tonk Train Whistle Blues', as well as Keith's self-penned version of a honky-tonk piano song. Anyway, the band continued on their epic Works tour, through much of 1978 as well, then back to the studio for what was their final album of their original tenure. Unfortunately, the magic was gone by this time, and Love Beach (1978) is generally considered the nadir of their career; with the album tanking and their popularity plummeting, they pulled the plug on the group, each going their own way. Keith did a couple solo albums and music for movies throughout the eighties. Then in 1990, Keith joined a new group with a supertstar lineup, for the short-lived supergoup, The Best. Featuring Joe Walsh, Jeff "Skunk" Baxter, John Entwhistle, and Simon Phillips, along with Emerson, the band was avery eclectic mix of superstars from diverse bands. Although they only played a few shows in Japan before splitting up, this band was a really intriguing oddity, a strange mix of styles and talent that produced some very memorable versions of each of their respective hit songs. As far as I know, this was the only time Keith ever played in a band where his keyboards were not the primary and dominant component, and playing here with 2 great guitarists and songs that are not really 'keyboard' songs, the results are very interesting. Now, I have already posted and featured this show from a Japanese broadcast before, but now I have upgraded the show to lossless, for all those wishing to have it in better quality. For more on the show, see the previous post here , but let me summarize with this excerpt ..."Although on some songs, like 'Life in the Fast Lane' and 'My Wife', it is a bit disconcerting to hear Emerson's constantly moving keyboards in the background, some of his additions are positively breathtaking, such as his skillful piano licks in 'Bodhisattva' and 'Reeling in the Years', or putting everything from the 'Jaws Theme' to classical pieces like 'Night on Bald Mountain' into 'Boris the Spider'. And it is very interesting and exciting to hear Skunk and Walsh combine guitar forces (and different styles) on several songs, like 'My Wife', 'Life in the Fast Lane', 'Too Late the Hero', 'Reeling in the Years', and especially 'Bodhisattva'..." , as well as their guitar additions to the Emerson 'keyboard' songs. So, if you haven't checked this out previously, be sure to do so now, as it is one of Emerson's most interesting and unique contributions, and of course, the band itself is awesome, if just a bit odd in their mixing of musical styles.

01. Seven Bridges Road / Life In the Fast Lane
02. My Wife
03. Bodhisattva
04. Fanfare For the Common Man
05. Rikki Don't Lose My Number
06. Simon drum solo
07. Rocky Mountain Way
08. Too Late the Hero
09. America / Look At Us Now
10. Boris the Spider
11. Reelin' In the Years
12. Takin' It To the Streets

John Entwistle - bass
Jeff "Skunk" Baxter - guitar
Joe Walsh - guitar
Keith Emerson - keyboards
Simon Phillips - drums
Rick Livingstone - vocals
Hamish Richardson - backing vocals
Angus Richardson - backing vocals
Fergus Richardson - backing vocals

FLAC: The Best_1990-09-26_Japan_FLAC.rar

For mp3 version, see previous post here see previous post here 

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Emerson, Lake, and Palmer - 1977-07-08 - MSG, New York, NY

Emerson, Lake, & Palmer
(with Orchestra)
July 8, 1977
Madison Square Garden, New York, NY

Audience recording, very good quality
Available in both lossless (FLAC) and Mp3 (320 kbps) versions

Continuing with ELP:  After their extensive 1973-1974 Brain Salad Surgery tour, the band took an extended break, lasting through all of 1975 and into 1976. The band re-grouped in 1976 to record Works Vol.1, another epic scale production, a double album, with one full side for each artist to feature 'solo' works, and the 4th side featuring full group compositions. Emerson's side consists of his 3 movement Piano Concerto performed with the London Philharmonic Orchestra. The group piece 'Pirates' also featured an orchestra prominently. Because of this, Keith had the idea of touring with a full 65-piece orchestra for the forthcoming Works Live tour. It was a massive undertaking, and plagued with problems associated with the orchestra (union rules, requirements, travel restrictions, and of course, immense cost) from the start. The tour started in May 1977 in the US. After just 3 weeks and 13 concert dates into the tour (and mounting debts), the Orchestra had to be dropped from the shows, and the band re-grouped and continued the tour as a trio only, although they did again play with the Orchestra for a 3-night run at Madison Square Garden in NY in July, and later at a show in Montreal in August that was recorded and released as a Live album, Emerson, Lake, and Palmer In Concert. Overall, the band lost millions on the Orchestra tour venture, but it was a grand experiment and produced some stunning shows. Here is a recording from one of the MSG shows (second night), a very good audience recording that features the full Orchestral show.  The show features an assortment of songs throughout the ELP catalog, and alternates between songs with and without Orchestra involvement. Overall a very impressive show, and a must for ELP fans.

Disc 1
1. Abbadon's Bolero
2. Hoedown
3. Karn Evil 9 1st Impression Pt.2
4. The Enemy God
5. Tarkus-Eruption/Stones Of Years/Iconoclast/Mass/Aquatarkus
6. Still...You Turn Me On
7. Lucky Man
8. Pictures At An Exhibition
9. Piano concerto No.1-movements 1 & 3

Disc 2
1. Closer To Believing
2. C'est La Vie
3. Knife Edge
4. Tank (Carl solo)
5. Nutrocker
6. Pirates
7. Fanfare For The Common Man
8. Rhondo/Fanfare (reprise)

FLAC: ELP_1977-07-08_NY_FLAC.part1.rar
Mp3: ELP_1977-07-08_NY_mp3.part1.rar

Friday, April 29, 2016

Emerson, Lake, and Palmer - 1974-02-02 - Anaheim (FM Broadcast)

Emerson, Lake & Palmer
Anaheim Convention Center, Anaheim, CA

FM Broadcast Recording (combined from KBFH 1974 original and 1996 re-broadcast), very good quality
Mp3 @ 320 kbps

Continuing with ELP: Coinciding with the release of their 5th album, Brain Salad Surgery in November 1973, ELP set out on their biggest, most ambitious, and most outrageous shows and tour yet in support of the album, which included a massive stage set-up (including Keith's spinning piano and Carl's rotating drum platform, and a total of 40 tons of equipment). The album and tour were a phenomenal success, and resulted in the triple LP live album, Welcome Back My Friends to the Show That Never Ends...Ladies and Gentleman, Emerson, Lake, and Palmer, released in August 1974. And yet the tour continued on through October 1974. The shows were epic and featured songs from throughout their catalog, but the centerpiece was the full-length 'Karn Evil #9' from BSS. I saw them early on this tour (in Chicago, 12/73), and the show was truly memorable. This very good quality recording (unfortunately of just a fraction of the full show) comes from 2 separate King Biscuit Flower Hour broadcasts. The first broadcast, in 1974, edited the show down to about 50 min. for broadcast (eliminating several songs - indicated below), but included the full-length 'Karn Evil #9' (over 30 min.). In a later re-broadcast of the show in 1996, 'Karn Evil #9' was edited down to a 14 min. 'excerpt', and the 'Piano Improv' piece was removed, but, inexplicably, three songs from a much later unidentified show (probably from the 1977-78 Works Tour), were added, as well as a rather curious (butchered) edit of 'Tarkus' (excerpt) from the 1974 show was also added. Unfortunately, the entire re-broadcast show was still billed as being from Anaheim 1974, which has resulted in some setlists for the show incorrectly including the added 1977 songs as being played in 1974, which they definitely were not (No 'Tiger...', 'C'est La Vie', or 'Fanfare...' were ever played in '74, as they had not been written or recorded yet). So, anyway, I have combined the broadcasts into one show featuring the unique full-length songs from both shows. Since the 1996 re-broadcast recording was somewhat better quality, I have used this recording for the songs included in both shows, and the 1974 recording only for those that were edited or cut in the 1996 broadcast.  The result is a more complete, albeit unrepresentative, show (due to the newer 1977 songs included). But this is an ELP radio show in fine quality, so enjoy.
2. Tiger in a Spotlight (Added song [unknown date]- 1996 Re-broadcast)
3. C'Est La'Vie (Added song [unknown date]- 1996 Re-broadcast)
4. Still You Turn Me On
5. Lucky Man
6. Piano Improvisations
7. Tarkus (excerpt)
8  Karn Evil #9 First Impression part 1 >
9. Karn Evil #9 First Impression part 2 >
10. Drum Solo >
11. Karn Evil # 9 First Impression part 2 (reprise) >
12. Karn Evil # 9 Second Impression part 1) >
13. Karn Evil # 9 Second Impression part 2) >
14. Karn Evil # 9 Third Impression
15.  Fanfare for the Common Man (Added song [unknown date]- 1996 Re-broadcast)

Note: Songs known to have been played at the 1974 concert, but not included in the broadcast included 'Jerusalem', 'Toccata', 'Tarkus' (full version - 27 min), and 'Take a Pebble', as well as some combination of 'Benny the Bouncer/Jeremy Bender/The Sheriff', and possibly an encore of 'Pictures at an Exhibition' (played at some but not all shows).


Sunday, April 24, 2016

Emerson, Lake and Palmer - 1971-06-13 - Dusseldorf, Germany

Emerson, Lake and Palmer
Philipshalle, Düsseldorf, Germany

TV Broadcast recording ("Supergroups in Concert"), good quality
Available in both Lossless (FLAC) and Mp3 (320 kbps) versions

Wow, as I was preparing this (and a few other) ELP shows in tribute to (the recently deceased) Keith Emerson this week, got word of still more tragic and unexpected deaths of memorable rock artists and musicians. Of course, everyone is talking about the loss of Prince, but there were others this week, too, including legendary blues-rock guitarist Lonnie Mack (whose pioneering virtuoso lead guitar soloing style was a major influence on Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughn, and virtually every rock guitarist after), and multi-instrumentalist Pete Zorn (long-time member of Richard Thompson's Band, as well as stints with Gerry Rafferty and Steeleye Span). But the most shocking, unexpected, and devastating to fans was the death of Prince at 57, as he seemed to be in fine health and still very productive. Now, to be honest, I was never much of a fan of his music, overall (just not my style), but it is impossible not to recognize his vast talent, creativity, and artistry as a totally unique and dynamic artist and performer. There is no one else like him and his presence will be missed in the music world.

But today, I am still honoring the life and music of an important death from last month, keyboard virtuoso and progressive rock icon, Keith Emerson. Although today, the progressive rock movement of the (late 60's and) early 1970's often gets dismissed as trivial or some quaint musical oddity, let me tell you, it was (and is) a very big deal, and quite important in the continuing development of Rock. This time period corresponded to my high school years, and progressive rock was my favorite music, and very important in my own musical development. Progressive rock sought to move rock away from short, dance-beat singles to greater artistic and technical sophistication through use of experimental instrumentation, compositional structure, harmony and rhythms, through incorporation of instrumental virtuosity,  long-form compositions, and techniques and styles from jazz and classical music. Progressive rock is a mainstay of my musical background, but (other than Genesis), I have not featured it very much here on the blog. So, honoring Keith gives me a chance to present some more here now. At the time, progressive rock was very popular (Pink Floyd, Yes, Jethro Tull, Genesis, King Crimson, Moody Blues all at their peak), but for a time, ELP were the undisputed kings of the genre.
     Keith Emerson first earned acclaim and notoriety for his performances and antics on the Hammond organ with the group The Nice in the late 60's, where he first featured his 'symphonic rock' versions of classical pieces done as epic rock songs. By 1970, when he teamed with members of other  progressive rock groups, vocalist/bassist Greg Lake (from King Crimson) and drummer Carl Palmer (Atomic Rooster) to form Emerson, Lake and Palmer, they were already considered a 'Supergroup' (and received a record deal) before ever performing together. Their premier public performance (which coincided with the release of their self-titled 1st album) was at the Isle of Wight Festival in late 1970, where they made a big impression, and became very popular very quickly thereafter. With ELP, Emerson became one of the most prodigious and prolific users of the (relatively recently developed) Moog synthesizer, which permeated the band's sound. The band and their music continued to grow and develop through multiple hit albums throughout the 1970's, such as Tarkus (1971), Trilogy (1972), and Brain Salad Surgery (1973), with Emerson's reputation as a keyboard virtuoso and master showman growing throughout (was sometimes referred to as "the Jimi Hendrix of keyboards").
   Here is a show from very early in their career, in support of their first album. Like many other acts from this period, there are many recordings of shows from this period available, but very few of very high quality. This is one of the better quality recordings, as it comes from a TV broadcast, and features all the varied aspects of their live shows from that time, from Jazz, blues, and classical piano to folk-rock, to prog rock weirdness (and extended drum solos) to madcap classical rock ('Nutrocker'). Here's ELP in their earliest form.

01. Take a Pebble
02. Knife Edge (First 2:00 are a little warbled)
03. Blues Jam
04. The Barbarian
05. Rondo (w/ drums)
06. Nutrocker
Bonus track
07. Knife Edge // fade - Beat club 1970-11

Keith Emerson - Keyboard and Synthesizer Wizardry
Greg Lake - 'The Voice', bass, guitars
Carl Palmer - Percussion Extraordinaire

mp3 - ELP_1971-06-13_Dusseldorf_TV_mp3.rar

FLAC - ELP_1971-06-13_Dusseldorf_TV_FLAC.rar

Monday, April 11, 2016

A Great 8 Years

BB's 8th Anniversary

Hey now, what do you know? Another year has come around and its a blog birthday of 8 years now. It just sorta snuck up on me, and I didn't even realize that the anniversary was coming around, but here it is, 8 years of BB Chronicles. OK, so it's not a big deal, no big celebration or anything special to commemorate the event (after all I only post something about once a week), but still, 8 years is quite awhile in the land of music blogs. So many others have come and gone in that time. So, it is something. And what I have put out here is some really quality stuff, all music and artists that I personally enjoy very much, and many of these shows are (or at least were) not readily available elsewhere. I try to provide some background and context to the music and artists, as well as my own commentary, rather than just unadorned music files, to give those new to these artists some perspective and history, to explore the music further. And in that sense I hope that what I have provided here has been useful and worthwhile, as well as musically satisfying. And so, I am somewhat proud of what I have assembled here over the last 8 years, and I hope it has been something that you come back to often and have been introduced to some new music here that you really enjoy, to expand your musical horizons and enjoyment in addition to your music collection. I also take pride that most of the music that has ever been posted here, is still available for download, even multiple years after first posting. I try to keep the links up to date as much as possible, so that the music will continue to be available for all to sample.

And once again, as I have each year at this time, I also want to take this time to thank and celebrate all the others out there who have made so much of this great music, which is not available for purchase anywhere, freely available to all who wish to download and enjoy it. I am only able to offer these downloads because others before me have made them available. So, to all the other bloggers, tapers, forum posters, and music fans that have collected these recordings and made them available over the internet, as well as to all the great artists and musicians out there that allow these recordings to be freely exchanged, I offer a huge and heartfelt Thank You. And again, I implore everyone to purchase all the official releases of your favorite artists. The music here serves to supplement, not replace, all of their officially released music. They are supported by fans like us.

I hope to be able to continue this endeavor, albeit primarily in the same sporadic way it has been up to now, for some to come, but you never know what the future brings. I've made it through some rough patches and am still going, so, should be able to continue a while longer. I very much enjoy doing it, but just have a very limited time I can devote to it. But I will always strive to provide new and interesting content that is generally not readily available from most of the the other music blogs.  As I've said previously, I do wish I could get more comments, feedback, and discussion from you, the readers of this blog. Please, let me know what you think of what is here, provide your own insight and perspective, and some real discussion of some of this great music. I would love to hear and see more from you, if possible. So, for know, I'll just keep things going as they are, and I hope you will stop by occasionally, check it out, and and join me on this journey. Thanks to all.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Badfinger - 1979-06-15 - Laredo, TX

June 15, 1979
unknown venue, Laredo, TX
'Friday Night in Laredo'

Soundboard recording, good quality
Mp3 @ 192 kbps

Ok, so this is not the 'classic' Badfinger, in that this was after Pete Ham's death, but they were still pretty good. This was the 2nd incarnation of Badfinger, but it does include both of the key remaining singer-songwriters of the group, Tom Evans and Joey Molland, for their last concert tour performing together. After Ham's tragic death in 1975, Badfinger was no more. Molland (who had actually already left the group in late 1974), Evans, drummer Mike Gibbins and latecomer keyboardist Bob Jackson all went their separate ways, joining/forming other bands. Molland formed Natural Gas (released 1 album, 1976), and Evans and Jackson joined The Dodgers (1 album, 1978). However, none of these ventures worked out (Natural Gas fizzled and Evans was actually kicked out of The Dodgers before their album was released, with his vocal and bass parts removed and overdubbed). So, by 1978, they were basically out of music, working various jobs to get by. Joey was then recruited by a couple of American musicians, guitarist Joe Tansin and drummer Kenny Harck, to start a new band, and since they needed a bass, Joey recruited Tom to join as well. At the time there was no intention of having the new band be a re-formation of Badfinger, but as they were rehearsing and shopping demos, it was recommended by a prospective record company that they rename the band Badfinger and bill their new album as their 'comeback'. So, they became Badfinger again, working on a new album that became Airwaves (1979). However, drummer Harck was fired before the album was finished (using other session drummers to finish), and Tansin left shortly after completion of the album (upset that Evans/Molland had taken over, leaving most of his songs and vocals off the album - Tansin only had 2 songs make it on the album, neither with him singing lead). So, for the upcoming tour, Joey Recruited keyboard player Tony Kaye (formerly of Yes) and drummer Peter Clarke (Stealers Wheel) to fill out the band. With this lineup, they toured promoting Airwaves, and then (after adding Glenn Sherba on guitar) made another album, Say No More (1981). However, after Say No More wrapped, Evans and Molland split for good, with each forming their own competing touring versions of Badfinger (and each claiming the other's was not the 'real' Badfinger) from 1981 to 1983. Of the competing bands, Evans' version also featured the return of Mike Gibbins and Bob Jackson, so his band did have more core Badfinger members (with the bands generally referred to as Joey Molland's Badfinger and Tom Evans' Badfinger). This only increased the acrimony between Molland and Evans, in addition to ongoing financial and legal problems and struggles. In February 1983, Evans and Jackson with some new band members recorded some demos for a new album, with the band tentatively called 'Goodfinger' (one of the tracks was a tribute to Pete Ham entitled 'I Won't Forget You'). Evans shopped the tapes around (and continued touring through 1983) trying to get the backing and money to make the album but was not successful. On November 18, following a long, heated phone conversation with Joey Molland regarding Badfinger finances, Tom, who had never gotten over Ham's death,  just gave up and hanged himself at his home.

Now, regarding the re-formed Badfinger and their albums Airwaves and Say No More, generally critics and fans have not been very supportive, but actually there are some very good songs there. Of course, Ham's songwriting and vocal talents are sorely missing, but both Evans and Molland are fine songwriters and performers on their own, and the results are pretty good overall (just not quite classic Badfinger). The biggest complaint about the albums is that they suffer from an overly slick ('West Coast') pop production and style (the beginnings of that '80's pop slickness creeping in) and just don't have that Badfinger sound. However, that is not a problem in the live shows from the subsequent 1979 tour, where they maintain their rockin' edge (Joey and Tom were always harder rockers than Pete was anyway). Thus, this tour is very interesting, and the show presented here is very good. The setlist starts right out with 5 straight songs from Airwaves (which the tour was promoting), but after that it is all classic Badfinger songs (with the exception of 1 song from Joey's previous Natural Gas band and a Chuck Berry closer). Not surprisingly, they stick primarily with their own (Evans and Molland) songs, with just a couple of Ham's well-known hits thrown in. But there are plenty of great Evans/Molland songs (although I can't believe they did not do 'Sometimes', which was Joey's best-ever rocker) to go around. This is also interesting in that it features far more keyboards than ever before for Badfinger (only tour having only one guitar, with Tony Kaye's keyboards filling in much of the sound) providing a somewhat different sound and feel on many of the songs. The recording itself is a soundboard, but not of great quality, as it is apparent that the tape comes from a somewhat worn cassette, with inherent wobble and volume/clarity fluctuations throughout. Still, it is pretty good overall (and best I've heard from this tour). So, anyway, check it out, the last tour of Badfinger featuring both Tom Evans and Joey Molland.
1 Look Out California (fades in)
2 The Winner
3 Lost Inside Your Love
4 Love Is Gonna Come At Last
5 Come Down Hard
6 Suitcase
7 Get Away
8 Blind Owl
9 Without You
10 Give It Up
11 Come And Get It
12 Baby Blue
13 I've Been Waiting
14 Andy Norris
15 Rock Of Ages
16 Better Days
17 Johnny B. Goode

Joey Molland - guitar, vocals
Tom Evans - bass, vocals
Tony Kaye - keyboards
Peter Clarke - drums

Note: First song of set reported to be 'Rock 'n Roll Contract' apparently was not recorded and not included on this source tape.

Badfinger - 1979-06-15 - Laredo, TX

Addendum: As you may be able to tell, I have been on a Badfinger kick lately. They really were a great band. Although I have always known about the brilliance of No Dice and Straight Up, I have only recently discovered the joys of the rest of their catalog. I had always been under the impression that their Warners albums and subsequent work was not that good, but had never really listened to it all myself. And I was not even aware until recently of the 'lost' album, Head First, which was recorded in 1974, but not released (in rough form and on an obscure label) until 2000. And that is not even mentioning multiple CDs full of home demo recordings by Pete Ham that have also been made available in the subsequent years. Well, I have been immersing myself in all of it recently, and I have to say, I had no idea that Badfinger's catalog (and legacy) was this impressive and large.
Although the first Warners album (Badfinger) is a bit of a disappointment relative to the others, it is still overall a quite good album. But Wish You Were Here is an absolutely great album, and the real shocker is that Head First, so long buried, is also, for the most part, a great album as well, certainly a worthy successor to Wish You Were Here, and continues right where that album leaves off. It's just a shame that the version we have of Head First is not of top sound quality (made from cassette recording of original rough mixes, as master tapes were apparently lost) and has not received a decent release or the subsequent acclaim it deserves. Thus, in addition to Straight Up (which everyone should already own - get the 2010 remaster version, which has improved sound and excellent bonus tracks), I highly recommend getting Wish You Were Here and Head First (if you can find them). The Evans/Molland re-formed Badfinger albums (Airwaves/Say No More) are also worth checking out, but not essential.
I have also been trying to track down the releases of Pete Ham's home demo recordings, 7 Park Avenue (1997), Golders Green (1999) and Keyhole Street (2013), as well as Tom Evans' last recordings Over You (The Final Tracks) (1993). I've only been able to find some, parts of, but not all of these recordings (as they are very difficult to locate). But what I have heard from these are also quite amazing. These make it clear just what an immense talent Pete Ham was, and that if he would have lived, could have emerged as one of the great songwriters of our time. Although the demos are very rough recordings, most of them just Ham playing guitar and singing into a recorder, the extent, melodies, and breadth of his songs are astounding, as well as the shear number of song ideas, in various states of completion. Of course, included here are early demos for most of his Badfinger songs, but in addition, dozens and dozens of others, many just as good as any of his best songs. It is just amazing to hear this extremely talented young man just play into his recorder, primarily just for his own amusement. So, if you can track these down, I also highly recommend giving them a listen as well.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Badfinger - 1974-03-31 - Cambridge, MA

March 31, 1974
The Performance Center, Cambridge, MA (two full sets)

Audience recording (remastered), good quality
Mp3 @ 320 kbps

Here's more live Badfinger, this time from their subsequent US tour in March 1974, which featured many new songs, as it followed the release of two different Badfinger albums, one for Apple (Ass - 1973) and one for their new record company, Warner Brothers (Badfinger - 1974). Their performance is wonderful, but by this time, the band was overworked and in much turmoil, and things were about to go from bad to much worse. Recording for Ass, their last contracted album for Apple, started in 1972, but trouble started almost immediately, with producer Todd Rundgren leaving after 1 week (and 2 finished songs), in a money dispute with Apple. Badfinger continued recording, producing themselves, but after substantial additional recording, Apple was not happy and insisted they start over, with Engineer Chris Thomas as producer. Apple was a financial mess at this point, and Allan Klein's offer to the band for a new contract was worse than their previous one, so band business manager Stan Polley took them to another label. Thus, in 1973, as they were still working on Ass, they signed Polley's deal with Warner Brothers, which required 6 new albums in 3 years. By this time they were beginning to suspect Polley's bad financial dealings, but were talked into the promise that the new deal would earn them millions. Unfortunately, the band would never see any of that money. As per their deal with Polley, all band earnings (from recording, touring, publishing, and even songwriting royalties) went into a holding company, controlled by Polley, with the band members receiving only a meager salary stingily doled out by Polley. And no sooner had they wrapped up the recording sessions for Ass at Apple, they were whisked back in the studio to start working on their first album for Warners. The new album, intended to be called 'For Love or Money', was again produced by Thomas, but was hastily written in the studio as they recorded. As it happened, both albums, Ass and Badfinger (the intended title 'For Love or Money' was left off the final album) were released around the same time, Ass in late 1973, Badfinger in early 1974, confusing fans, with neither doing very well or producing any hits. The band then embarked on their US tour in Spring 1974, followed immediately by going back to the studio to record their 2nd Warners album, Wish You Were Here (which despite the rushed output, became one of their most beloved albums), followed by a UK tour, and then, unbelievably, back to the studio to record another album, all still within 1974. Thus, from early 1973 to late 1974, a period of about 1-1/2 years, Badfinger wrote and recorded 4 albums of material, as well as extensive US and UK tours. But by the end of 1974, additional problems arose when Warners found out about missing money from band escrow accounts, suing Polley and the band, and pulling Wish You Were Here from the shelves (after just a few weeks in release). In addition, they took the tapes from the last album (tentatively titled Head First), but would not release or relinquish them due to the ongoing legal battles (Head First was finally released in 2000, but only in the form of the original rough mixes, as the master tapes were never found). Apple also was involved in suing Polley, and also withheld payments (and pulled Ass from release). By this time, Joey Molland had had enough and was quitting the band. By early 1975, with Polley's mounting legal problems, any and all salary payments to the band members also stopped (and they found they couldn't even perform anywhere on their own due to the legal issues), and for the first time they became aware of how fully they had been mismanaged. In Spring 1975, desperate to receive any money to live on, Pete Ham discovered that all the money that was supposedly locked up and put away in the band's corporate account was gone, and he had nothing at all. He couldn't handle it and took his own life, hanging himself at his garage studio on 4/24/75. Although that was the end for Badfinger (remaining members all joined other bands, at least temporarily), financial and legal issues continued (with band members essentially having to sell-off most of what they owned, taking other menial jobs to survive). Eventually, in 1978, Molland and Evans joined together in a re-formed version of Badfinger, releasing two albums, Airwaves (1979) and Say No More (1981), but it just wasn't the same. In 1982, Molland and Evans split again, with each forming rival versions of a touring Badfinger band. Amid further financial problems and disputes, and following a heated argument with Molland, Evans, who had never quite gotten over the death of Ham, hanged himself on 11/18/83. In subsequent years, Joey Molland (sometimes with Mike Gibbins, until his death in 2005) has continued to tour and perform in various incarnations of Badfinger bands. I saw them in the mid-eighties (with both Molland and Gibbins present), and they were still very good then.

But despite their tragic history, Badfinger was a great band while they lasted. It's just such a shame and waste that they had to endure so much hardship in pursuit of their music, and that these outside forces destroyed not only the band and their music, but for Ham and Evans, actually took their lives as well. However, little of their ongoing struggles could be perceived from their stage performances. This performance includes both sets (same setlist) from a show at The Performance Center in Cambridge MA. It is an audience tape, but of very clear quality. However, the mix is very uneven, with the guitar way up front, loud and clear, but the vocals and drums way down in the background (must have been recorded right near the guitar amp). Thus, it is not an ideal recording, but still one of the best ones available from this tour. The set features many new songs from the Ass and Badfinger albums, as well as past classics, including 'Perfection' (one of my favorites that was not done live very often) from Straight Up, as well as a cover of Dave Mason's 'Only You Know and I Know'. So, it is a fine show (2 shows actually), and if you really like the guitar sound up close and dominant, this one's for you (less spectacular if you are a more a fan of their vocal harmonies, which are a bit distant). Sad that only about a year after this performance, Pete Ham would be dead and the band no more. But again, the band lives on in their recorded history, both live and in studio. And here we are, 42 years later, in 2016, enjoying these performances all over again.

Early Show  8pm  Total Time - 81:25
01. tuning & intro  1:16
02. Day After Day  3:25
03. Constitution  5:24
04. Baby Blue  4:18
05. I Don't Mind  3:45
06. Perfection  6:31 >
07. Timeless  9:39
08. Love Is Easy  5:45
09. Blind Owl  7:05 >
10. Suitcase > Jam  10:22 >
11. I Can't Take It (cut)  5:49
12. Give It Up  6:14
13. No Matter What  2:34 >
14. Only You Know And I Know  9:18

Interview between sets
with Mike Gibbins & Joey Molland
by Doug Ehrlich
Total Time - 18:55
15. interview part one  7:07
16. interview part two  7:40
17. interview part three  4:08

Late Show  10:30pm  Total Time - 70:49
18. tuning & talk  1:20
19. Day After Day  3:25
20. Constitution  5:23
21. Baby Blue  3:54
22. I Don't Mind  4:37
23. Perfection  6:46 >
24. Timeless  8:23
25. Love Is Easy  5:35
26. Blind Owl  6:40 >
27. Suitcase > Jam  8:17 >
28. I Can't Take It  8:16
29. Give It Up  8:13

Badfinger_1974-03-31_Cambridge MA.part1.rar
Badfinger_1974-03-31_Cambridge MA.part2.rar