George Starostin's Reviews

 BADFINGER

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Introduction

<Bhalquist1@aol.com> (11.07.2000)

GEORGE...YOUR REVIEWS ARE GREAT BUT YOU ARE SO WRONG ABOUT BADFINGER, GIVING THEM ONLY A ONE STAR RATING. THIS BAND SHOULD RECEIVE AT LEAST 3 STARS. AND ONLY IF THE BAND REMAINED FREE FROM THE SCREWING OF THERE RECORD COMPANY AND MANAGER WOULD WE EVER KNOW HOW GREAT BADFINGER COULD OF REALLY BEEN. (This comment dates to the early stage of the reviews when I really gave B. only one star. That has approved since then - G.S.)

Susan Robison <robinson@nysnet.net> (26.09.2000)

Wow, I don't understand why you even have a page on them since you sure don't sound like a fan! Sorry, but I totally disagree with most of your words. You don't appreciate "We're For the Dark"?????? That's Pete Ham at his finest. Also, Pete didn't write "Got to Get Out of Here", that's a Joey song (correction made - G. S.). You are so negative! I don't usually write comments on web pages but I just had to say something. They've been my favorite group since I first heard them sing "No Matter What" on the radio way back in the fall of 1970 and hearing such awful comments just surprises me so. I think Pete was a total musical genius and I can't imagine someone not even liking his songs. They all speak from the heart and are so genuine. Nobody can rock like Badfinger, no one can write like they did, or sing llike they did. (think of "Apple of My Eye"---wow) They were one of a kind and I think they deserve better reviews....Maybe you should listen some more.

<Ogdensgoneflake@aol.com> (29.10.2000)

I got Badfingers greatest hits, I listened to it once and nothing about it grabbed my attention, but after reading your intro I put it on AND IT IS GREAT! I'm glad i didn't get rid of it. I would give these guys a 2.

Jeff Melchior <Jeffmoncheri@aol.com> (24.12.2000)

After downloading some of the Badfinger songs mentioned on this site, I realized that I had been listening to this band, which had been such a mystery to me, for years on classic rock and oldies radio. Strangely enough, I had thought that a lot of these songs had come from old Canadian bands like April Wine or Trooper - both moderately entertaining power-poppers from the Great White North that entertained lost, bored youth in the '70s. Gotta admit I'm intrigued - I love 'Baby Blue' and 'Day After Day'. And you're right, as far as Beatles knock-offs are concerned, they beat the hell out of Oasis.

<MchlPiz@aol.com> (07.02.2001)

George, I think your "observations" on Badfinger are more or less correct (WHAT?). With out question this is a "good" band and they really do do everything "well" but unfortantly for them that was it. It seems to me that they needed something more than what they were. I would say as you did "passingly" they needed mostly a producer of high, high quality. Somebody to sort through their material, give it a bit more "zest", somebody to say wait a minute boys six of these songs all sound the same and then somebody finally to add there own cohesive unique sound etc...To bad Jeff Lynne wasn't around at Apple then! To me there best tracks feature George Harrison, Paul McCartney, and Todd Rundgren as the producer, am I wrong on this? "Come and Get It", "Day After Day", "Baby Blue", "It's Over", etc...I mean Geoff Emerick who was/is I guess a great engineer was rejected by the Beatles as a "producer" for the Get Back/Let it Be tapes and so "they" instead then had him produce a bunch of Badfinger tunes?

You are also correct in that there is so much much "filler" in these albums, jeez louise they must be like the kings of "filler". Was Paul McCartney and George Harrison going sit around and produce all this "filler", huh no there going to find something else to do like maybe Abbey Road, or The Concert For Bangladesh! To be fare they do have some excellent songs as you mentioned especially "No Matter What" which was supposedly produced by Mal Evans (another tragic story) but when I listen to this excellent song I can't help but think that Phil Spector (the worlds greatist producer) was there in the studio just hanging out waiting for John or George to show up? This song really does sound like a Spector production and I mean with all respect was not Mal Evan the Beatles roadie? Later the bands last two albums don't impress me much at least not as much as they do you, but they were a good band a band who never seemed to have gotten a chance for their own time

<YawkeyWayDude@aol.com> (20.04.2001)

please get a clue before you give badfinger 2 stars....ever here the songs 'Day after Day', 'No Matter What', 'Baby Blue', 'Without You', or the albums Straight Up, Wish You Were Here, or the newly released Head First album?   probably not, even if you say you have them...

Palash Ghosh <palash7@hotmail.com> (04.05.2001)

There are many many music fans out there who secretly admire and worship Badfinger, they're almost like the 'Greatest Unknown Band' in history. I love Badfinger, although I acknowledge their many weakness. They WERE a very very good (sometimes great) band, but their careers were ruined by severe mismanagement. They illustrate perfectly that The Beatles' Apple label simply could not manage or promote their acts properly (aside from The Fab Four, of course).

I have always (unfairly perhaps) regarded Badfinger as 'Beatles-Lite' -- their connection to (and subordination to) The Beatles is permanently fixed in my mind. Of course, if you compare Badfinger to The Beatles, Badfinger would always lose, but if you look at them without making any unfair comparison, you see an extremely gifted and sensitive songwriter, Pete Ham, with a magnificent tenor voice. With his talent and looks, Ham should've been a massive star, but he really wasn't (when he was alive I mean). To me, Badfinger is all about Pete Ham -- he was the very heart and soul of the group. He was a terrific composer and singer (perhaps his lack of charisma was his main flaw). I treasure songs like 'Without you' and 'Day after day' as much as anything The Beatles ever did.

You can't really fault Badfinger to 'imitating' The Beatles -- wasn't everybody doing this back then?

The odd thing is that I didn't like it when Badfinger tried to 'rock out' I much prefer the Ham-composed 'power pop ballads' that is, the type of songs that NOBODY could do better. As such, Badfinger's music was not very diverse or versatile; they could never aspire to being an all-time super-group (even if their managers HADN'T abused them).

I agree that Badfinger arrived at the wrong place at the wrong time, their 'power pop' sound just seemed lost and redundant in the early 1970s when glamour-king David Bowie and heavy metal monster Led Zeppelin ruled. Pete Ham is a tragic figure, he died utterly destitute and almost forgotten. Based on the two posthumous Pete Ham solo records that were released in recent years (7 Park Avenue and Golders Green), Ham wrote literally DOZENS of wonderful tunes that never reached vinyl, which is another shame.

Steve Potocin <epoggi@cox.net> (03.12.2002)

George, just a quick thought on Badfinger & Power Pop. Badfingers hits were Great! Two in Particular, 'No Matter What' and the classic 'Baby Blue', all time greats. Power Pop is defined by [In my opinion] by The Raspberries, from my hometown, Cleveland. If you can, get all their albums[There are only 4] If not,get their Greatest Hits. I'm telling you you'll be a big Power Pop convert! By the way Cheap Trick- Power Pop.

Jeff <historynut@bright.net> (26.01.2006)

Evidently their albums were not all that entertaining. Never bought one - and don't want to. However "Day After Day" and "Baby Blue" are outstanding songs certainly not from a craftsmanship perspective. They are just catchy tunes, especially "Baby Blue" with terrific guitar work. One of my all-time favorite songs!

Robin Farrell <RFarrell@harris.com> (27.03.2006)

Poor George, your hero worship toward the Beatles are overpowering your ability to see anyone else in their own light. I guess each of the Badfinger members needed to change their middle name to fit one of your revered Beatles (Mike Ringo Gibbons, Pete John Ham, Joey George Molland, Tom Paul Evans or any iteration you so desire). I love the Beatles too, but I am able to see beyond their genius and abilities to recognize other bands. Badfinger was generally an unpolished band that presented their music in an unabashed, honest way. They were never into glam, or agendas, or mimicing anyone else after their first two lps. They wrote ballads and power rockers and anything else that they felt...mostly simple tunes that can catch emotions or life in basic terms. They were naive business people, but for the most part, loved music and making music, and they had raw talent that were truly never fully developed into the plastic image they lived.


ALBUMS
MAGIC CHRISTIAN MUSIC

Palash Ghosh <palash7@hotmail.com> (04.05.2001)

I agree that Magic Christian Music is 'patchy and inconsistent' and way way too mellow (ugly album cover as well!).

I used to love 'Come And Get It' until I realized that it was simply an assembly-line, carbon-copy of a Paul McCartney song. It's incredibly catchy, though.

The one song I absolutely adore on this album is one that you (George) seem to detest the most: 'Knocking Down Our Home'. Listen to that gorgeous melody! And a beautiful Welsh voice Ham has!

But all in all, not an auspicious debut.


NO DICE

<JASONT413@aol.com> (24.08.2000)

Whooaa!! Dude! You really need to go back and listen to "Were for the Dark" This is one of the best acoustic anthems I have ever heard. Imagine if Oasis had written this song and Noel sang it, it would be right up there with "Wonderwall"

Imagine if Paul McCartney had wrote it and put it on Wildlife, people would buy Wildlife just because it would be on it!! Imagine if..... Okay, I'll stop right there. Point is "Were for the Dark" is a great song. Better than "Without you" "Without You" is just more luckier. Anyway keep up the good work. Bye......

Palash Ghosh <palash7@hotmail.com> (04.05.2001)

No Dice is a stunning record, the only weak track here is probably the pointless 'Blodwyn'

'Without You' is a massively beautiful and moving ballad -- I utterly hate the fact that Harry Nilsson's dreadful, overwrought version of this great song is better known to the public. If Pete Ham's pleading, soulful voice doesn't bring a tear to your eye, you must be made of ice! You can fairly criticize Badfinger for imitating their Beatle overlords on some of the songs here - but 'Without You' seems to have no precedent at all. I just couldn't picture Lennon or McCartney coming up with this tune.

'No Matter What' is another classic that I never tire of hearing. Even some of the 'lesser' tracks are redeemed by superbly energetic musicianship (Joey Molland, whose presence would've greatly improved the poorly conceived Magic Christian).

Harry Cooper <coop40@earthlink.net> (05.12.2002)

I just stumbled onto this site and don't even know if you're still around but I just had to speak out about your dismissive attitude concerning "We're for the Dark". Together with 'Midnight Caller' this song ranks as the best No Dice has to offer, in my opinion. It was also one of the songs chosen by the Loud Family for their contribution to the Tribute to Badfinger CD. Quite a nice song, give it another listen.


ASS

Pedro Andino <pedroandino@msn.com> (23.08.2003)

ass? what ass? you mean liv tyler's ass? oh yeah! anyhow badfinger wants to be like aerosmith but failed. they need the money! the chicks! the booze so tha they can be punch drunk rockers! they will be so high that they fuck a girl woh also got drunk. badfinger is so underrated!

Horst Klienmaschien <klienmaschien@yahoo.com> (02.09.2004)

George, you incredible ass's patoot. You said: "APPLE OF MY EYE is really moving, and the song's genius is in that it can appeal on two different levels [blah blah blah]." Okay. Let's stop right there before I vomit myself hollow. Ned Rorem once said that Erik Satie is the most overrated underrated composer. I feel the same way about Badfinger. (Although then again, I don't even like power-pop in the first place. With its bland shadowless primary-color sensibility.) I readily agree that 'BABY BLUE' and 'NO MATTER WHAT' are meisterwerks, but I'm flabbergasted by your admiration for 'APPLE OF MY EYE'. It's a piece-of-nothing with delusions-of-melody. And let me assure you, George, that I have indeed listened to it at least 10 or 20 times just to be absolutely certain that I hate it. So it's not like I haven't given it a fair chance to sink its simpering sugar-tentacles into my brain. Oh and uh, by the way, I would be remiss were I not to inform you that Pete Ham's greasy lounge-lizard singing style really knows how to irritate the crap out of me. He sure knew how to vocally ooze that extreme unction (if I can say that without being mistaken for a Catholic). Regarding the record's title: I think it's a parody of Paul McCartney's RAM. (Confere Lennon's notorious pig pic.)


BADFINGER

Robin Farrell <RFarrell@harris.com> (27.03.2006)

You missed it again...simple melodies, some rockers...nothing too overprodiced or oozing with "hey, I have to listen to this a million times to get to the hidden meaning of this" kind of pretend influence. Song for a Lost Friend is a great tune, should have been a hit along with Lonely You...but then again, the media and record labels were ignoring these guys at the time. I Miss You is as syrupy as Pete Ham can get, I never really liked the tune, fascinating that you liked it - makes me wonder if you really listened at all to the lp, or picked the poorer songs on purpose. Basic rock and pop, simple, no hidden meanings...how do you hate that?


WISH YOU WERE HERE

Palash Ghosh <palash7@hotmail.com> (04.05.2001)

Woh, now, George, this is a fine album. By now Badfinger was lost in limbo (in America I think), the Beatles were dead and they had to go it alone, and they did quite well. Granted, the sailor motif on the cover was nothing less than disturbing, but musically this album is supreme. "Love time" and "Your so fine" are wonderful.


AIRWAVES

Palash Ghosh <palash7@hotmail.com> (04.05.2001)

I have never heard this album, although I've heard a few of the tracks on other compilations. 'Love is gonna come at last' and 'Lost inside your love' are both excellent songs, they almost 'sound' like Pete Ham type of songs. If Badfinger is 'Beatles-Lite' then Molland & Evans are 'Badfinger-Lite.' It's virtually impossible for me to consider Badfinger without the late great Mr. Ham.

<Rdten1@aol.com> (10.11.2001)

Great (if unknown) comeback LP. Tought and commercial pop-rock that was almost as good as the band during their prime.

There's also a really good solo Joey Molland LP that was released in the wake of Tom Evans suicide ...


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