Hello. By now most of you know that although I feel that the Best of Badfinger CD on Apple Records is a good CD, it is not the stellar, super-fantastic, ultimate Badfinger experience CD it should be. With the VH1 show approaching, I am hoping at some point Apple will consider reconstructing this release. I believe the original intentions of Apple was to give a fairly equal sampling of the bands music and also include the bands hits. That was done, but the effort to capture Badfinger's true sound is not as apparent. The album is more than a bit on the soft side and the tracking order was not evaluated in a manner that displays Badfinger strengths.
This one album, more than any other album that will be available at the time of the VH1 airing, will make or break a potential new fans desire to further their Badfinger collection. The reason is obvious, this is the Best Of disc that feature the hits. I would say that 60% - 70% of my own CD collection consists of artists of which I have only purchased their greatest hits. We should want, and we need, the Best Of Badfinger on Apple CD to be the greatest Badfinger CD of all time. Every label, including and especially Apple, will reap the benefits of a truly excellent Apple Best Of CD of Badfinger material.
All that said, what follows is this writers opinion of what a proper Apple Best Of Badfinger CD should be. These are only my opinions, if you have suggestions please let me know in an email or on the guestbook. Otherwise, enjoy this take on a CD we should consider Badfinger's magnum opus (master work - I think)
I designed a cover for a new Best Of Badfinger CD. The reason, the original cover is gloomy and gives the impression the music is dark. I like the gatefold photo to No Dice and have used it here because it is a great photo and shows how the band looked when they were developing their most successful sound (No Dice / Straight Up period). It also has an innocent, yet confident quality about it. If possible, I would use a version of this photo that would cover the entire front of the CD, thus sans the black bars at the top and bottom. This is just my take on it, please keep that in mind.
Though, I believe, most of us agree the tracking of the Best Of Badfinger is not nearly as good as it should be, there are slight disagreements on how best to rearrange them. Most all agree the hits should be moved much closer to top of the CD. Day After Day and Baby Blue have no business being track 16 and 17 respectively on the Apple Best Of. Some feel that the hits should be tracks 1 - 5. I don't agree with this because it gives the impression that the remainder of the disc is filler. I do believe we have to assume people buying this disc are novice fans, thus we should hit them with what they know quickly, just not all at once. That said what follows is a picture of the disc I designed that would feature the hits in an order I am confident would sustain and convince new fans to further their Badfinger collection.
Apple Label on the Disc
The Apple logo on the Best of Badfinger is fine. The problem was the use of white text. It makes a good portion of the CD difficult to read. Black text definitely should have been used. Black text is more in line to how all Apple products were manufactured. Below is a picture of Brando's Best of Badfinger disc that could be used for a best of CD. Note the use of black text is clearly easier to read than the white text on your copy of the Best of Badfinger.
Explanation of the Tracking Order
1. Come and Get It
The most recognized Badfinger song, the right choice to open the disc.
2. I Can't Take It
It is a great rocking track, that also gives us our first taste of Ham on the lead vocals. Also noted: On the Apple Best of, Pete is not heard as a lead vocalist until track six, one fourth of the disc is complete before his vocals are given the spotlight. This is way too long.
I want to continue the rocking theme as we lead into the next hit, and also introduce Joey's vocals to the audience.
4. No Matter What
Up two places from track six on the Apple CD, the tone was set by the preceding two rockers to lead into this ultimate Badfinger track. Two songs in-between hits is not a long wait especially when the lead in is excellent as well.
5. Name of the Game
This is the bonus track version on the Straight Up CD. Since I received this CD, this version is clearly the one I enjoy more (though I love the other version as well). Also it has more of a "hit" single quality to it This "I'm a hit in waiting" quality persuades the listener on to track six. Also, we segue into a slightly moderate tempo for a few songs
6. Better Days
Joey midtempo rocker. Makes a nice transition into "Baby Blue"
7. Baby Blue (U.S. single mix)
The last of Badfinger's top 40 hits. Many people consider this the ultimate Badfinger track because it features many of the aspects of what really make this band something special. Somehow this song was buried at track #17 on the Apple Best of Badfinger.
8. We're For the Dark
The most beautiful Badfinger recording ever made. Should have been a single in the spring of 1971, will be the lead single and title track for the 2001 motion picture release of "We're For the Dark" look for it a theater near you. I truly believe this track still has hit potential. It is a "timeless" piece. No excuse for it not being on the Apple Best Of
9. Crimson Ship
Back to Magic Christian album for a nice midtempo / rocking track.
10. Day After Day
Big hit earlier in the tracking order from the original Best of Badfinger where it was track 16. Thus all four hits have been sandwiched between other great tracks and heard within the first 30 minutes of this disc
11. Get Away
A rocking track to follow Badfinger's classic ballad.
12. Carry On Til Tomorrow
We close out the first half of the disc, with a classic track from Magic Christian. (track 5 on Apple Best of)
13. Without You
The version of this track is not the hit version (that belongs to Harry), thus it is not a hit people will know by them. However, when you are 1/2 of the way through this disc you get hit by the surprise that you know (or think you know) you've heard this track. Badfinger admitted they should have done more with this track. It belongs because it is a diamond in the rough.
Another track that never should have been overlooked on the Apple Best Of. Pete was writing about conflicts in the city, but the lyric is more worldly. I still consider it the best anti-war song never heard by the masses. This song, like We're For the Dark, should have been a single in the summer of 1972 and has the timeless quality that would allow it to be a single even today.
15. Blind Owl
Follow up Perfection with another great rocker from the Ass collection.
16. Watford John
I've always thought this was a catchy tune, one that won't disappoint a first time listener.
17. Sweet Tuesday Morning
Joey's world weary mood piece, excellent track also has a beautiful sound to it.
18. Believe Me
Tommy at his best, also has a single quality. I thought I read somewhere that if there was a second single from No Dice this would have been it.
19. Apple of My Eye
One more Pete ballad before we close out the disc. A tribute to Apple Records, should be here.
20. It's Over
Badfinger has, for the most part, had a knack for closing out an album with a track that sounds like a closing track, from I've Been Waiting on the Iveys CD, We're For the Dark, Timeless, to Meanwhile / Smoke. But the best "album closing" sounding song is clearly this track, which also features the appropriate title. This song also could have been a single in the fall of 1972 and is also the perfect track to close out a Best of Badfinger CD.
Easy choices here, the three remaining unreleased tracks from the LP between No Dice and Straight Up. If these three tracks are here and no where else it would always guarantee that this Best of Badfinger disc would be sought after by any and all Badfinger fans regardless of what is currently in the individuals Badfinger collection.
21. Baby Please
How this missed being on any Apple CD is beyond me. It is a great unreleased track that could have been a nice rocking single in the summer of 1971.
22. No Good at All
The second of the unreleased tracks to appear on this disc. A great rocker by Tommy. Unreleased tracks guarantee that this CD will be sought out even by people who own everything else. (more sales)
23. Sing For the Song
This track, along with the other two bonus tracks suggested here would complete the releases of all the unreleased recordings that made up the unissued LP between No Dice and Straight Up. The presence of all three would guarantee more sales.
I hope this version, track listing and tracks, is little (lot) more in line with what a very strong Best of Badfinger could be. It is more upbeat throughout, with some classic Badfinger tracks that were missed on the Apple Best of. The hits are much closer to the front, while the other songs near the top are meant to compliment the hits and easily sustain an individual to listen to this disc in it's entirety, all the while subliminally encouraging them to investigate this band further by purchasing more CD's and etc...
If you believe this is a priority (changing the Apple Best Of) please join with me in writing Apple this month to request the label take a serious look into upgrading their Best Of disc to make it the "ultimate Badfinger experience" disc it should be. Write and let Apple know they need to create a disc that will encourage fans to explore Badfinger's entire catolog. There's no time like the present (Passin' Time) and there is a sense of urgency with the airing of the VH1 special scheduled within a few months. It should be an easy disc to create, all the tracks have already been remastered, the liner notes only have to be altered a little and the cover photo is already in Apple's possession. The address for Apple is: Apple Records, (c/o Neil Aspinall) 27 Ovington Square, London SW3-1LJ, England. If we all send a letter who knows what could be accomplished. Thanks.