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"CAPTAIN BILLY’S MAGIC 8 BALL" - " POWERFULLY POPPED " - BADFINGER- FEATURING THE ALBUM "STRAIGHT UP" BY BADFINGER IN HIGH DEFINITION WITH NARRATIVE - EPISODE # 46 - THE CAPTAIN EXPLORES HIS COVE OF 8 TRACK TREASURES JUST FOR YOU!!

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POWERFULLY POPPED

STRAIGHT UP by Badfinger (Apple, 1971)

Pete Hamm, lead guitarist of Badfinger, hanged himself just 4 years after this extraordinary sonic comet streaked across the world’s radio waves. Beatles roadie, Mal Evans, who we’ve recently gotten to know through Peter Jackson’s doc, Get Back, was the guy who discovered The Iveys at London Marquee Club, and promoted them to his Liverpool pals. This was the first group signed to the Beatles’ Apple Label, which precipitated a name change, derived from the working title of A Little Help From My Friends, “Bad Finger Boogie”. The label quickly spawned a smash for the group with the McCartney penned “Come and Get It”. Some other hits followed, and in this, their third album, you can hear the elegiac “Baby Blue”, which resurfaced not too long ago in the finale episode of Breaking Bad. As the tragic hero of the show, played indelibly by Bryan Cranston, dies, the ballad swells and the camera pulls back to end one of tv’s most popular series ever in a swell of Badfinger majesty. This tie-in reintroduced a new generation to this titanic group, and their fulsome sound.

Straight Up was initially produced by George Harrison, who left midway to administer and perform in the Concert For Bangladesh. So, Todd Rundgren swept in to finish the job, and did so masterfully.

The legacy of all this was dubbed “Power Pop”, and along with The Raspberries and Big Star, Badfinger managed to wrap the nostalgia of 60s harmony with the dynamic electric sound of the 70s, pointing the way to the future. It’s a shame Pete Hamm didn’t get to enjoy the ride. An old story: bad management emptied the coffers, and Pete, having just recently bought a new house and having a baby on the way, cracked under the financial strain. Fifty years later, his music still soars.


By Rich Buckland 02/22/2022 05:47 PM

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