Right around the time The Beatles were breaking up, Badfinger burst out of the Apple Records roster with a series of singles that proved so enduring, they’re still being discovered nearly 50 years later. However, as principal singer/guitarist Joey Molland told a captive City Winery crowd, the group’s crowning achievement “Straight Up” almost didn’t see the light of day after the label required it to be re-recorded, though that second chance afforded everyone the opportunity to have George Harrison and Todd Rundgren on board as producers.
Molland also sheepishly admitted it took some time for The Beatles connection to fully sink in with the public after initially signing the dotted line with Apple, but upon hearing of their disappointment, Paul McCartney quickly came to the rescue by offering Badfinger his personally penned “Come And Get It.”
Along with four younger musicians/vocalists, that entire 1971 album was on display, from A-side apexes “Take It All” and “Baby Blue” through the equally engaging “Staircase,” all of which possessed Beatles-esque elements, bits of the blues and a quintessential snapshot of the British rock/power pop trends of the time. Yet the entire project, especially the Harrison-fingerprinted “Day After Day,” have truly transcended any era, found fresh ears in the wake of a remastered reissue and given Badfinger the momentum to rightly continue (even in this revamped incarnation following the tragic loss of all the other main members).
Speaking of having legs well beyond the original recording, the ballad “Without You” came from this very band, but went on to further immortality thanks to remakes as widespread as Harry Nilsson, Shirley Bassey, Air Supply, Mariah Carey, Kelly Clarkson and so many more. Outside of a few brief breaks to focus on its softer side, Badfinger spent most of the 80-minute night revving up the guitars, building towards the sing-a-long “No Matter What” and breaking out the mod-styled jam “I Got You.”
Molland also sheepishly admitted it took some time for The Beatles connection to fully sink in with the public after initially signing the dotted line with Apple, but upon hearing of their disappointment, Paul McCartney quickly came to the rescue by offering the guys his personally penned “Come And Get It.” Badfinger of course jumped at the opportunity, knocked it out of the park and continue to use it as a thrilling closer for this consistently satisfying retrospective show.
For additional information on Badfinger, visit BadfingerSite.com.
Upcoming concert highlights at City Winery include Miki Howard (Nov. 21); Joshua Davis (Nov. 22); The Verve Pipe (Nov. 24); Kurt Elling (Nov. 25-26); Marcus Johnson (Nov. 27); Nico Segal Presents: The JuJu Exchange (Nov. 28); Earl Klugh (Nov. 29); Rhett Miller with Matthew Ryan (Nov. 30); Lynne Jordan (Dec. 2); Ms. Lisa Fischer & Grand Baton (Dec. 2); Story Sessions Brunch (Dec. 3); Jeffrey Foucault & Kris Delmhorst (Dec. 3); The Secret Sisters with Brian Dunne (Dec. 4); Marc Roberge of O.A.R. (Dec. 5); Joe Pug with Juanita Stein (Dec. 6); Shemekia Copeland (Dec. 9) and Mihali (Dec. 9). For additional details, visit CityWinery.com/Chicago.