Friday, March 25, 2016

Badfinger - 1974-03-31 - Cambridge, MA

Cover Photo by Chris Makris. Thanks Chris!
March 31, 1974
The Performance Center, Cambridge, MA (two full sets)

Audience recording (remastered), good quality
New Lossless UPGRADE!
Now available in both Lossless (FLAC) and Mp3 (320 kbps) versions. New links!

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

New Lossless Links (Updated 05/21/17)
FLAC - Badfinger_1974-03-31_Cambridge MA_FLAC.part1.rar
             Badfinger_1974-03-31_Cambridge MA_FLAC.part2.rar

mp3 - Badfinger_1974-03-31_Cambridge MA.part1.rar
          Badfinger_1974-03-31_Cambridge MA.part2.rar
Links updated (11/27/2020)

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Badfinger - 1972-04-07 - Cowtown Ballroom, Kansas City, MO

April 7, 1972
Cowtown Ballroom, Kansas City, MO

FM Broadcast recording, very good quality
Available in both Lossless (FLAC) and Mp3 (320 kbps) versions

Here's some live Badfinger, from their 1972 American tour, following the success of Straight Up and their hit singles 'Day After Day' and 'Baby Blue' . Although there are a lot of low quality recordings of Badfinger shows available out there, there are really very few really good or high quality recordings of them live, which is a shame because you really need to hear them live to fully appreciate their music. Well, this is one of the best of the unofficial recordings available (their official release BBC In Concert 1972-73 album is probably the best overall live recording of them). First thing you notice about their live shows, is that they are far more 'rock 'n roll' than you might expect, and Pete Ham's lead guitar is prominent and stunning. The source of this tape is reportedly from Badfinger member Joey Molland himself, who made it available for the first time in 1996. Enjoy some rollicking Badfinger live.

1. Better Days
2. Midnight Sun
3. Sometimes
4. Sweet Tuesday Morning
5. We're For The Dark
6. Feelin' Alright
7. Take It All
8. Suitcase
9. Day After Day
10. No Matter What (end cut - tape flip?)
11. Love Me Do/Lucille/Rip It Up/Long Tall Sally
12. I Can't Take It
13. Only You Know And I Know

mp3: Badfinger_1972-04-07_Kansas City_mp3.rar

FLAC: Badfinger_1972-04-07_Kansas City_FLAC.rar

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Badfinger - Apple Demos 1970-1972

Apple Demos 1970-1972

(Early rejected version of Straight Up album)
Soundboard recording, very good quality
Mp3 @ 320 kbps

Badfinger is known primarily for a few things, first, as a band with a similar style and sound that the Beatles took personal interest in developing (signing to Apple Records, Paul writing and producing their first hit single, George arranging and producing some songs, them performing with George on All Things Must Pass and Concert for Bangladesh, performing with John on the Imagine album, etc.), second, for their string of early 70's hit singles 'Come and Get It', 'No Matter What', 'Day After Day', and 'Baby Blue', and lastly, for their tragic history resulting in the early destruction of the band and suicide of 2 of the 4 band members. I won't go into the depressing history and mistreatment of this talented band (chronicled in the book, Without You: The Tragic Story of Badfinger, by Dan Matovina), except to say that although they certainly weren't the only band to be taken advantage of by unscrupulous and inept management, I think they had it much worse than most and were subject not only to criminal greed (literally) and loss of all their earnings, but also were caught in the all the issues and turmoil of the decline of Apple Records at that time, as well as raging lawsuits among Apple, their manager, Warner Bros (their new label), and ultimately themselves, making things particularly unbearable. So, although much is often made of both the advantages (help from the Beatles themselves!) and notable problems and tribulations of the band, not enough is usually said about just how great they were, despite all the turmoil. For some reason, it is generally assumed that they were a mediocre band (imitating the Beatles) that only achieved the success they did because of their association with The Beatles and Apple. Well, I would contend that Badfinger was a genuinely great band, that could (and should) have been even greater, if they would have been treated even humanely and given an adequate chance. With three very talented songwriters (that could write in a variety of styles), all of whom had excellent singing voices (and made great harmonies together), two fine guitarists (one a virtuoso lead), and rock solid backing, they had everything needed. Although after their early very Beatlesque sound they did find their own unique style and sound, they still were never quite able to shake the impression that they were sub-par imitations of The Beatles (which is nonsense, besides what's so wrong about a band playing their own original songs that happen to sound somewhat like the Beatles - sounds pretty good to me). Anyway, no apologies needed. They were a great band, making great music. They were really the first (and one of the best) of what later became known as Post-Beatle Power Pop (or just Power Pop). What I have here today were billed as demos in this well-known bootleg, but really these are much more than just 'demos'. These are actually fully produced songs, the original Geoff Emerick-produced tracks recorded (in 1971) for the band's follow-up album to the successful No Dice (1970), to be called Straight Up, that were rejected by Apple as not being good enough. The band was sent back into the studio, this time with George Harrison producing, where they recorded some new songs ('Day After Day' and 'I'd Die, Babe') and re-recorded 'Suitcase' (with a new, more rockin'  arrangement by George) and 'The Name of the Game' before George was called away to work with Ravi Shankar and set-up The Concert For Bangladesh. Badfinger eventually went back to the studio again, now with Todd Rundgren producing, to finish the album. Ultimately they only used 6 of the 12 songs recorded with Emerick for the final album (and most of these were re-recorded - only 'Flying' and 'Sweet Tuesday Morning' utilized the original recordings, which were remixed and overdubbed), and adding the new songs 'Take It All', 'Baby Blue', 'Sometimes', and 'It's Over' (in addition to the other 2 that George produced) for the final album. The final Straight Up album that was released, was all the better for the tinkering (the new song additions added immeasurably, especially 'Sometimes', 'I'd Die, Babe' and the eventual hits, 'Baby Blue' and 'Day After Day', and every one of the re-recorded song versions was better), and became a great, classic album, one of the best of that era, and one of my all-time favorites ('Perfection' is still one of my favorite songs), a Power Pop masterpiece. However, the original version presented here was not bad either, and some of the rejected songs are still very good (best of the bunch are 'Baby Please' and 'I'll Be The One', which was reportedly rejected by George because it sounded 'too Beatley'). So, check out this early, rejected version of the classic Straight Up, and enjoy the unused songs and early arrangements. But by all means, also listen to the final released version in all its glory (if Straight Up is not already a part of your collection, you must correct that immediately). Please, enjoy Badfinger.

Note: Many of these original version tracks have been made available as bonus tracks on updated, remastered editions of Badfinger albums. However, the tracks included here are the earlier available bootleg versions, not the official released versions.

1. No Good At All (Evans)
2. Sweet Tuesday Morning (Molland)
3. Suitcase (Molland)
4. I'll Be The One (Evans, Gibbins, Ham, Molland)
5. Baby Please (Ham, Gibbins, Molland)
6. Mean Mean Jemima (Molland)
7. Loving You (Gibbins)
8. The Name of the Game (Ham)
9. Money (Evans) –  Flying (Evans, Molland)
10. Sing For the Song (Evans)
11. Perfection (ver.2) (Ham)
12. Perfection (demo)

Pete Ham - vocals, guitar, piano
Tom Evans - vocals, bass
Joey Molland - vocals, Guitar
Mike Gibbins - drums

Badfinger_Apple Demos 1970-1972.rar

Next: some live Badfinger

Friday, March 4, 2016

Captain Beyond - 1973-10-06 - Arlington, TX - 'Frozen Over - Live'

Captain Beyond
Texas Hall, University of Texas, Arlington, TX
"Frozen Over - Live"

Audience Recording, good quality
Mp3 @ 320 kbps

Since the response to the Captain Beyond post was surprisingly strong, here's some more live Captain Beyond. This one comes from their 1973 tour, after the release of their 2nd album, Sufficiently Breathless, and so features some new songs not included in their previous (1971-72) tour shows. There are very few available live recordings from Captain Beyond (after 'The Completer' previously posted, this is really the only other decent quality Captain Beyond boot I've ever seen or heard of). And although drummer Bobby Caldwell left the band before the recording of the 2nd album, and that album was made without him (and with added keyboard player and percussionist in addition to new drummer), he came back to join them afterwards for the follow-up tour, which restored the original lineup. So, this show does feature Caldwell in all his glory (including an extended 13 min drum solo), as well as the whole original lineup, before the band split again shortly after this tour.

01. Intro
02. Distant Sun
03. Dancing Madly Backwards On A Sea Of Air
04. Armworth
05. Myoptic Void
06. Drifting In Space
07. Pandora's Box
08. Thousand Days Of Yesterday
09. Frozen Over
10. Butterfly Bleu
11. Mesmerization Eclipse
12. Drum Solo
13. Mesmerization Eclipse (Reprise)
14. Stone Free

Original lineup restored for these shows:
Rod Evans : Vocals
Lee Dorman : Bass
Rhino Reinhardt : Guitar
Bobby Caldwell : Drums

Captain Beyond_1973-10-06_Arlington TX.rar