Brando's Feature: Very Best of Badfinger



Very Best of Badfinger The Very Best of Badfinger

(May 12, 2000) A track listing is being reported for the upcoming Very Best of Badfinger CD to be released on Capitol on August 1, 2000 to coincide with the debut of the Badfinger special on VH1. The reported track listing is as follows: Please keep in mind that this list is being offered at this time, but no official word from Capitol / Apple is being reported. After the list I will give my opinion of the track listing and how beneficial it will be to enticing new fans to purchase the disc and pursue the band's catalog.

 
The Very Best of Badfinger on Capitol

 1.  No Matter What			11.  I'll Be the One
 2.  Day After Day			12.  Without You
 3.  Baby Blue				13.  I'd Die Babe
 4.  Name of the Game			14.  It's Over
 5.  Maybe Tomorrow			15.  When I Say
 6.  Come and Get It			16.  Dennis
 7.  Rock of All Ages			17.  Love Time
 8.  Carry on 'til Tomorrow		18.  Lonely You
 9.  Midnight Caller			19.  Meanwhile Back at the Ranch /
10.  We're For The Dark				Should I Smoke

We've written many letters together over the past several years trying to encourage Apple / Capitol to improve the Best of Badfinger. We've all noticed many things that needed to be improved upon to attract new listeners to further their Badfinger collection. Did they listen to our requests? Well, sort of....

The Cover
If the cover at the top of the page is the correct cover (not positive): It is a stronger looking cover than the 1995 Apple collection. The darkness, which may be a bit too dark, looks good, the font style used in the photo may not be the exact font used on the actual cover, but it should be close. The font is more powerful than the sixties style used in the other collection. The photo is okay, it appears to be from the sessions that were used for the U.S. picture sleeve of Badfinger's 1972 classic, "Baby Blue." Gibbins looks great, Molland always looks good, Evans looks rugged and Ham looks okay, but his hair looks a bit matted (no pun intended). Just how it looks to me. It is good photo, but Pete probably deserved a better photo of himself. As I've said before, the gatefold to No Dice is a great shot of everyone, with an innocent yet confident quality. It could have been used to great effect. The Apple label on the cover is a plus. Use the Apple mystique for all it's worth (the label of the disc is hopefully an Apple label as well).

The Hits:
The Badfinger hit singles have all been moved closer to the top of the disc. On the Best of Badfinger they were tracks 1, 6, 16, 17, on the new collection they are track 1, 2, 3, 6. This is an improvement, a major one that was needed. Personally I would have rather the hits had a few (two) songs between them to allow listeners a chance to get exposed to other great songs that compliment the hit songs. I agree with the idea of moving "Come and Get It" away from the lead track if Warner material is to be used, but I would have used some Warner material prior to the track on the CD.

The Effort to "Toughen Up" the Collection:
"Dennis" and "Meanwhile / Smoke" are definite plusses for the collection, but passing on "Just a Chance" is a little hard to comprehend. As the review of the song in Cream magazine claimed, "Just a Chance" rips the album wide open with one gigantic sneeze like happens only once is a lifetime." It is so true! I wish it was here (a pun). Molland's "Suitcase" is a great rocker that probably should have made it before "I'd Die Babe" (though I must admit I like both). "Rock of Ages" is a good rocker, but a song I always felt was a bit juvenile and 50's ish (though some consider that it's appeal). "I Can't Take It", on the other hand, is a song you could picture hearing on FM rock stations even today if only given a chance on a best of collection.

The Lighter Moments:
The BIG plus here is that "We're For the Dark" was not overlooked. It is a song that will capture anyone's heart with it's shear beauty. Evans's "When I Say" is a good choice for one of Tommy's ballads. Molland's "Love Time" from Wish You Were Here is used, which is okay, but "Sweet Tuesday Morning" is so haunting and "hip" (can I say that) sounding I didn't see how it could miss. I would not have used "Maybe Tomorrow". I like the song, but the track sounds a bit on the sixties-ish ballad side which doesn't have the same maturity that the everything from No Dice through Wish You Were Here displays (include "Carry On Til Tomorrow" in the mature sounding category...a plus for the collection).

Middle of the Road Material:
Where is "Shine On"? I realize that "Lonely You" is a great song, but "Shine On" is a nice, bright, upbeat track and has always been my favorite from the first Warner's LP. "Midnight Caller" is a great song, but it pails in comparison to Pete's "Perfection". It would have been nice to show the band with a little political awareness on this collection (or any collection) and "Perfection" is the perfect track for such a display (successful conversation will take you very far..).

The Attempt to Capture Badfinger's Strength's:
The attempt is better in that the hits are closer to the top and there are rockers throughout, (unlike the Apple best of which closed out the Best of CD with 5 consecutive ballads) but by not placing a few songs between the hits you've negated the best chance for a new listener to be exposed to other great Badfinger tracks. Imagine a first time listener to the band listening to "No Matter What" then hearing "Just a Chance" and "Perfection" while awaiting to hear "Day After Day". I shutter to think of the increased sales for Straight Up and Wish You Were Here. On this collection the only chance for this type of "new" exposure between hits is track 4 and 5. Between "Baby Blue" and "Come and Get It" are "Name of the Game" and "Maybe Tomorrow". I believe "Name of the Game" can hold it's own (especially if it is the bonus version from Straight Up - Katz documentary also recognized the allure of the track by using it in the documentary), but "Maybe Tomorrow" doesn't have the same feel as the hits and comes across as being out of step with the "classic rock" sound Badfinger helped to define.

That Chronological Thing:
If you are going to start the CD by not being chronological, then stay that way!! Starting with track 5: Magic Christian tracks from 5-8, No Dice from 9-12, Straight Up 13-14, Ass 15, Warners material 16-19. Badfinger's classic sound doesn't originate from Magic Christian, but four of the first eight tracks are from it. Don't get me wrong here, "Come and Get It" and "Carry On Til Tomorrow" are great songs, but I'm worried that the youthful qualities of "Maybe Tomorrow" and "Rock of All Ages" could be a drawback for those waiting to hear that "power pop classic rock thing" (ie. "Just a Chance").

The Bonus Tracks:
Where are they? The biggest disappointment (if the track listing is correct) is the omission of an incentive for me to purchase this collection. How many times do record executives think diehard fans will buy the same material just for the new liner notes? I own every track on this forthcoming collection. I have access to a CD burner - writer (not my own, but I want one real bad...) and next week I'll burn this collection in this order to see how it sounds to my ears. Bonus tracks are a must!!! "Baby Please" and "No Good at All" deserve to be released on this collection. They are great rocking tracks that everyone who knows about the band and knows of their existence would gladly pay money to posses. Yes I would pay $18 just for those two tracks!!! Throw in "Sing for the Song" and that No Dice radio advertisement and I'll be in Badfinger ecstasy. I'm praying that the listing that was given is either incorrect or incomplete on this issue and that any day we will be hit the pleasant surprise of the inclusion of bonus tracks.

Overall:
The collection is good, not great. It is a overall improvement over the 1995 Best of Badfinger on Apple. It rocks more that the first collection, but is still missing some great tracks such as "Just a Chance". "We're For the Dark" is a major plus, though three ballads from No Dice may have been a bit much (replace "Midnight Caller" with "I Can't Take It"). The inclusion of the Warner material is a plus. The tracking order is better, not perfect, but better. Will it help to entice new listeners to pursue Badfinger's catalog more than the 1995 collection? I think it can and will with the help of the VH1 Behind the Music Special to help assist the collection in promoting the band's catalog. We don't know yet, but some of the non-hit songs may have been specifically chosen to tie in with the show, we'll just have to wait to find out.

Grading:
1990 Best of Badfinger Volume 2 on Rhino.....A- (needed "Dennis" for an A+)
1995 Best of Badfinger Volume 1 on Apple ....C (okay, but needed some work)
2000 Very Best of Badfinger on Capitol...........B (an improvement, but not perfect..bonus tracks???)

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Badfinger:  The Ultimate Collection I'm Burning for You (Blue Oyster Cult reference)
This past Christmas my older brother used a CD-burner - writer to make me a CD for Christmas. The CD he created was the Brando's Best of Badfinger collection I had been suggesting as an improvement for the Apple Best of Badfinger. I enjoy the CD very much!

About a month ago I attained access to a CD - burner. I made arrangements to have burned a Best of Badfinger CD containing both Apple and Warner material. I used a 74 minute blank CD (they do make 80 minute blank CD's - good for bonus tracks). I had to adjust the recording levels to balance the levels of the tracks. The result is a collection which I have been playing almost daily since it's creation. I offer the track listing hear as my opinion of a potential best of that would feature both the Apple and Warner material. I hadn't thought this one through as much as the all Apple collection, thus there are a few things that would need tweaking to please everyone (ie moving a few Molland and Evans tunes to first half of this collection). But I love what I created and just want to share it with you. Enjoy!

Badfinger: The Ultimate Collection: (Yes, that is what I named it)



Badfinger:  The Ultimate Collection  (by Brando)

 1.  Know One Knows			11.  Some Other Time (nix Meantime)
 2.  Baby Blue (U.S. Single Mix)	12.  Come and Get It
 3.  We're For the Dark			13.  I Can't Take It
 4.  Name of the Game (bonus version)	14.  Dennis
 5.  No Matter What			15.  Money (bonus version, nix Flying)
 6.  Just a Chance			16.  Sweet Tuesday Morning
 7.  Perfection				17.  Carry On Til Tomorrow
 8.  Shine On				18.  Meanwhile Back at the Ranch
 9.  Day After Day				Should I Smoke
10.  Watford John			19.  Without You
					20.  It's Over

If I would have had another minute available on the 74 minute blank CD I would have included Molland's "Suitcase." Obviously some things are not going to happen on a Best of collection, such as splitting "In the Meantime" and "Some Other Time." Thus, this collection may be a little more on the personal preference side than what should be a Best of Badfinger, but I like it...I like it a lot.

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