Real Gone Music is taking a bite of the apple, er, Apple, this fall with a special pair of newly remastered and generously expanded reissues from Badfinger. The band’s two underrated Warner Bros. albums are getting the deluxe treatment from the label on November 2.
Following five albums for The Beatles’ Apple label (including one as The Iveys in 1969), the hitmaking band behind “Come and Get It” and “Day After Day” decamped their fab home for the Warner Bros. label. The quartet of Pete Ham, Tom Evans, Joey Molland and Mike Gibbins announced their artistic rebirth by titling the album, simply, Badfinger. Producer Chris Thomas resumed work with the group in 1973 shortly after completing Apple swansong Ass, which was released in November 1973 in the U.S. and March 1974 abroad. Badfinger‘s arrival actually preceded the U.K. release of Ass, arriving in stores in February 1974. Consisting entirely of group originals, the album nonetheless failed to ignite the charts. Molland’s “Love is Easy,” released in the U.K. as a single, failed to make the charts. The choice for the American market, Ham’s “I Miss You,” also missed the commercial mark. With the band also engaged in litigation with Apple, Badfinger didn’t stand much of a chance. It peaked at No. 161 on the Billboard 200, becoming the group’s lowest-charting LP.
Undeterred, Badfinger regrouped with Thomas in the spring of 1974 at the famed Caribou Ranch in Colorado, the same studio where Elton John, Chicago and The Beach Boys all called home at one time or another. The album eventually titled Wish You Were Here would be the band’s second and last album for Warner Bros., as well as the final album by the original foursome. With just nine tracks all written by band members, Wish You Were Here was received more favorably than its predecessor upon its November 1974 release. Today, some pundits even consider it Badfinger’s best, most cohesive LP. But just weeks after its release, the album was pulled as a result of another lawsuit, this time between Warner Bros. and the band’s management. It did make the Billboard chart at No. 148, besting Badfinger‘s performance but hardly restoring the group to chart supremacy.
Wish You Were Here marked the end of the classic iteration of the group. Joey Molland quit Badfinger following a strife-filled tour; Ham, Evans and Gibbins joined with Bob Jackson (a brief replacement for Ham when he briefly quit following Wish You Were Here) in December 1974 to create the Head First album which went unreleased until 2000. (Produced by Kenny Kerner and Richie Wise of KISS fame, Head First was reportedly accepted by Warner’s recording division in Los Angeles, but a dispute with Warner’s publishing arm derailed it from release.) Pete Ham committed suicide in 1975, dashing hopes of any subsequent reunions. Evans and Molland picked up the pieces in 1979 with musicians Joe Tansin and Kenny Harck, reforming Badfinger for Airwaves on Warner Bros.’ sister label Elektra. A different line-up of Molland, Evans, Tony Kaye, Glenn Sherba and Richard Bryans issued Say No More in 1981 on the Radio label, the final new album to bear the Badfinger moniker. Two years later, Tom Evans also took his own life.
Real Gone’s Badfinger reissue expands the original release with 10 bonus tracks, highlighted by the unreleased song “Love My Lady” and featuring an additional nine “Work in Progress” mixes from the original album sessions. The Wish You Were Here expansion also adds 10 bonus tracks with another unreleased song, “Queen of Darkness,” and nine new alternate mixes from the featuring some different vocals and arrangements. Badfinger biographer Dan Matovina has remastered both reissues from the original master tapes. He has also penned new liner notes for each release which include new quotes from Chris Thomas.
If you want ’em, come and get ’em! You can explore Badfinger’s Warner Bros. period with these two new reissues due November 2, and we’ve got the full tracklistings and preorder links below.
- I Miss You
- Shine On
- Love is Easy
- Song for a Lost Friend
- Why Don’t We Talk?
- Matted Spam
- Where Do We Go From Here
- My Heart Goes Out
- Lonely You
- Give It Up
- Andy Norris
- Love My Lady – unreleased song outtake
- Shine On – work in progress mix
- Song For A Lost Friend – work in progress mix
- Island – work in progress mix
- Matted Spam – work in progress mix
- Where Do We Go From Here – work in progress mix
- My Heart Goes Out – work in progress mix
- Lonely You – work in progress mix
- Give It Up – work in progress mix
- Andy Norris – work in progress mix
Tracks 1-12 from Badfinger, Warner Bros. LP BS 2762, 1974
Tracks 13-22 previously unreleased
- Just a Chance
- You’re So Fine
- Got to Get Out of Here
- Know One Knows
- In the Meantime/Some Other Time
- Love Time
- King of the Load (T)
- Meanwhile Back at the Ranch/Should I Smoke
- Queen Of Darkness – unreleased song
- Just A Chance – alternate mix 2018
- Your So Fine – alternate mix 2018
- Got To Get Out Of Here – alternate mix 2018
- Know One Knows – alternate mix 2018
- Dennis – alternate mix 2018
- In The Meantime / Some Other Time – alternate mix 2018
- Love Time – alternate mix 2018
- Meanwhile Back At The Ranch / Should I Smoke – alternate mix 2018
- Know One Knows – alternate single mix 2018
Tracks 1-9 from Wish You Were Here, Warner Bros. LP BS 2827, 1974
Tracks 10-19 previously unreleased