Apple Records and EMI will be releasing remastered versions of key albums from the Apple Records catalog, including Badfinger, James Taylor, and Billy Preston.
“Each of the 15 albums in this bumper batch of Apple Records releases has been digitally remastered at EMI’s Abbey Road Studios in London by the same dedicated team of engineers behind The Beatles’ recent remastered catalogue releases of 2009.”
Wait, they’re passing over 1971’s The Radha Krsna Temple (SAPCOR 18)? That wouldn’t have happened if George was alive.
Totale’s Lost Classic review of Badfinger’s Straight Up has had me on an early 70s power pop rave up. In order to fulfill my need for lush melodies, sly guitar solos, and backbeat drums, I’ve compiled a playlist of the bands surrounding Badfinger’s legacy: Peter Ham’s Dream (re-read the heartbreaking story of the Badfinger front man on Wikipedia).
There’s naturally a gang of Badfinger on this mix. If you’re going to wear your influences on your sleeves then do it with vigor! Be proud and be true to their vision…and yours. While too many will dismiss Badfinger as a poor man’s Fab Four, I revel in their absolute and unflinching embrace of the Beatles‘ later-day sound. They were, after all, disciples of the Fabs so why not be true to that musical message? It’s that musical legacy, as translated by followers for decades to come, that this mix is celebrating.
In mixes like this I prefer to use a band as a point of reference; the point from which the musical personality is derived. Instead of the Beatles as the point in this case, I like the focus being once removed from the source. Bands like Sloan and Spoon are as much influenced by Badfinger (the second layer in the scheme) as they are the Beatles (the primary source). That’s the point. To me it’s just as valid to create new music that shares more of a sonic palette with your influences than not. How that influence is translated and communicated down through the various layers is what allows for the continuity of sound as well as originality in execution. Can you dig it?
The recently departed Jay Reatard summed it up so perfectly in this New York Times article from August, 2009 interview:
The whole concept for me behind pop music is to take your influences and filter them through yourself, and then they become something new. I’m not trying to move forward and create territory that hasn’t been mined before, I’m just trying to do my version of something that I like.
For all the talk about the Beatles remasters, there’s a hefty amount of Apple material that could also use a quick tidying up from their original cd releases of two decades ago. Topping the list wouldn’t be a release by a former Beatle, but instead the band that seemed to be handpicked ambassadors to the Fab Four’s power pop division.
Badfinger was indeed a band that could sound remarkably similar to the Beatles, but it was 1972’s Straight Up that demonstrated how the band could actually compose material that lived up to the Beatles in terms of quality.
I think it’s fairly easy to buy Christmas gifts for me. Honestly, I don’t know what the trouble is for some. You could easily go and take a look at my record collection, figure out what artists I enjoy and then find out the missing pieces of the artist’s catalog that I don’t have and help fill them in. If you don’t have access to that, just get me a gift card and I’ll figure it out myself.
Honestly, I wouldn’t take offense.
For years growing up, my Father understood that I was a big music fan and he would try to address this each year at Christmas. The problem was that he would take the holidays as an opportunity to try and “teach” me about rock music. In other words, he took it upon himself to try and educate me on some of the artists that he considered to be vital. As a result, there were many years where I would rip open the wrapping on what was obviously a record and then have to feign excitement over a brand new album by…the Yardbirds.