Saturday, May 25, 2019

Badfinger - 1974-03-04 - Agora Ballroom, Cleveland, OH

Agora Ballroom, Cleveland, OH

Soundboard Recording, Good Quality
Mp3 @ 320 Kbps

Back to Badfinger once again! During their 1974 US Tour (which was their last with Pete Ham), the band decided to take advantage of the 16-track recording system at The Agora Ballroom in Cleveland and record their 2 shows there for possible release as a Live album. Unfortunately, the resulting recordings did not turn out very good, with poor sound quality and an erratic performance by the band. The tapes were considered unsalvageable and shelved. However, when Joey Molland left the band later that year, he apparently took the tapes with him. The recordings made their way around the bootleg and collector's circles for some time, and eventually, much later, Joey re-worked the tapes himself, overdubbing and re-recording most of his own guitar work and vocals, as well as inexplicably dubbing in some sampled drum tracks (at excessive volume). Joey also re-arranged the tracks, putting all his own vocal tracks at the beginning, and pushing Pete's songs to the end. Joey convinced Rykodisc to release his handiwork in 1990 as a Badfinger album, Day After Day: Live, which was much maligned as a "live" album that did not represent Badfinger live at all. In addition, Joey did not get permission from the other band members (or families) for releasing this (or plan to share in any profits), and numerous lawsuits ensued challenging the ownership of the tapes and potential royalties, etc. The release has been mercilessly criticized by fans and critics. But the original recordings (untampered with) do provide a much more relevant look at Badfinger as a live band in 1974. Although not a great quality recording, it is a soundboard and still remains as one of the best  live recordings of the band that is available (which is sad but true). It shows the band rocking out in fine form. Although the vocals are somewhat weak and low in the mix, it still is a fine performance from the band, and one of the few recordings to feature some of the later songs from Ass and Badfinger albums. After hearing these recordings, it is not surprising that Joey wanted to re-do his vocals, as his singing is particularly weak (and off-key) in many places (but that does not excuse the mess he made of the re-dubbed album). I'm particularly glad to have 'Sometimes' represented here (which they didn't play live very often), as I think it is one of the great rockers of all time (and Joey's best song, too bad his vocals are off in this version). So, here we have the raw soundboard recordings from the March 4 concert (in correct song order) and you can hear for yourselves that even though only a so-so recording, the band shines, especially in the guitar work throughout. Unfortunately, the encores were not present on these tapes, so I have added a few additional songs from another Ohio show, from Akron in 1972, an audience recording, but not bad compared to other available shows. So, here's more live Badfinger, and as they actually were, not the unauthorized re-worked, re-dubbed, and re-recorded versions that were notoriously released as a live Badfinger album (and this recording also features more songs than were on that ill-fated album). Enjoy.

01. Day After Day
02. Constitution
03. Baby Blue
04. I Don't Mind
05. Intro to Blind Owl
06. Blind Owl
07. Intro to Name of the Game
08. Name of the Game
09. Sometimes
10. Perfection >
11. Timeless
12. Give It Up
13. Suitcase
14. Suitcase Jam
Bonus Tracks:
(1972-07-03 - Akron OH - Audience recording)
15. Better Days
16. No Matter What
17. I Can't Take It
18. We're For the Dark (1972-07-01-Boston)



rev.b said...

I've been wanting to hear the unadulterated version of thes tapes for a while now. Agreed, I wish there were more of these too. Much appreciated.

drogos said...

Great. many thanks for sharing. There are not so many Badfinger available.
Best regards,

david said...

Thanks for posting this. While there is a fair amount of live Badfinger out there, most of it is not very good quality. The one exception being the Kansas City show, which is worth seeking out. It's a shame that such a band who were really popular, aren't better represented in live recordings. One would think a lot more would be circulating.