623. perfection

“I’m twelve years old. It’s 1972 and there’s this band I keep hearing on the radio who can’t be the Beatles, because the Beatles broke up two years ago, but they sure sound like the Beatles. Bad-something. And then my friend Chris buys their latest single. It’s called Baby Blue, and it’s official. This band is called Badfinger.  Maybe three years later, I’m finally buying albums on a regular basis, and one that I’m always looking for is Badfinger’s Straight Up (the one with Baby Blue on it). ‘Good luck finding that,’ says a record store guy one day. ‘It’s impossible to find ever since Apple went under.’ Which was not entirely accurate. I found Straight Up a few times over the years, used and stupidly expensive. Then finally, early-90s sometime, there it was at a flea market, cover a bit hacked but the vinyl itself looked okay. The weird thing is, the song that immediately grabbed then thirty-something me wasn’t Baby Blue, but Perfection. Solid sort of mid-tempo rock, with lyrics on the topic of there being no real perfection, but love and truth regardless. A stoic’s tune, I guess, and all too sad given the tragedies that would tear Badfinger to pieces. All the more reason to keep playing the records.” (Philip Random)

994. name of the game

“Badfinger were supposed to be the next Beatles. Hell, some people thought they were the Beatles, signed as they were to Apple Records and showing a penchant for strong melodies and harmonies, and no fear of rocking out if required. In which case, Name of the Game would have been one of Paul McCartney’s songs, sad, beautiful, perhaps even meaningful. Maybe too meaningful in Badfinger’s case, as Pete Ham, the guy who wrote it, killed himself four years after its release (age twenty-seven) due, it seems, to deep despondence at the trajectory of the band’s career. Eight years later, fellow band member Tom Evans would do the same.” (Philip Random)

Badfinger-studio