Badfinger – Straight Up (1971)

Badfinger_StraightUp3.5 out of 5 Stars!

Always (and rather unfairly) compared to The Beatles (generally not a band I ever worshipped—yes, I admit, I’m a Stones fan), largely thanks to the group’s relationship with Apple Records, Badfinger was a band over which I was never overly enamored, although I always respected the group’s occasionally brilliant songwriting skills despite the somewhat-patchy albums. Plus, I sympathized with the group’s professional (legal) tragic circumstances in which Badfinger found itself (management hell—ie. greed) and the horrible personal tragedies that followed, with two of the band members sadly taking their own lives.

Nevertheless, to this day, I occasionally enjoy a few of the band’s early releases, including Straight Up, where (to me) the band’s songwriting skills truly shine. The mega-hit “Baby Blue” is perhaps my favorite single the group ever produced (apart from the excellent “No Matter What” from the previous album), and the melodic “Day After Day” wasn’t too far behind. Both exceptional tracks! The remaining tracks are mostly decent slices of melodic (and often light) Power Pop, with some of them (“Money,” “Suitcase,” and “It’s Over”) seemingly potential hits in their own right.

Additionally, on Straight Up, Badfinger’s third album, the band seemed to truly gel, with finally a welcome cohesiveness regarding its overall sound, style, and instrumentation. If only the band had been allowed to experiment and navigate its own career without the damned continual interference from its “sharky” management and the record company executive demons…ah, well, a sad tale…

Anyway, this is probably my favorite Badfinger album, one I’ve found myself playing on a semi-regular basis in recent years.

 

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