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Rhino Hi-Five: Badfinger - EP

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Album Review

This 84-minute documentary by Gary Katz is a fan's dream, containing numerous performances, television and concert clips from the late '60s and early '70s, and extensive interview material with surviving band members Joey Molland and Mike Gibbins. There are very few stones left unturned in the video's 50-minute film portion, and the survivors are brutally frank about their mistakes as well as their successes. The videos accompanying the stories of the early days are priceless, including a lip-synched performance of "Maybe Tomorrow" dating from the Iveys' original appearance on the Apple label, and a 1972-vintage TV clip of "Baby Blue." In contrast to most documentaries of this type, these clips and others are shown intact, without overdubbed narration. Indeed, the absence of a narrator anywhere in this documentary makes the whole thing very refreshing — the participants and the music speak for themselves. All of the expected bases are covered, including the renaming of the band (Lennon wanted to call the group the Prix) and Paul McCartney's presenting the newly rechristened Badfinger with "Come and Get It." The promise of the early group still radiates from the band, its songs, and its image, as one watches the period performances. They're also a reminder of how events can outrun appearances — one gets a sense, watching these clips and hearing the stories of the group, that if Pete Ham and Tom Evans could have hung on past the crises in their lives, today they'd have been among the most warmly received and popular of Apple veterans — the association would have worked for them. The laserdisc version of this documentary has several virtues, including the use of AC-3 audio: The sound, when pumped through a speaker system, comes off like an audiophile CD playback. The laserdisc also includes an additional 30 minutes of material after the end credits of the finished film, going further into the lives and deaths of Pete Ham and Tom Evans, Gibbins' recollections of his first meeting with Paul McCartney (who played the as-yet-unrecorded "Hey Jude" for the group), and Molland's remembrances of the group's work on "Jealous Guy" and "Don't Want to Be a Soldier" from the Imagine album.


Formed: 1968 in London, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s

There are few bands in the annals of rock music as star-crossed in their history as Badfinger. Pegged as one of the most promising British groups of the late '60s and the one world-class talent ever signed to the Beatles' Apple Records label that remained with the label, Badfinger enjoyed the kind of success in England and America that most other bands could only envy. Yet a string of memorable hit singles -- "Come and Get It," "No Matter What," "Day After Day," and "Baby Blue" -- saw almost no reward...
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Rhino Hi-Five: Badfinger - EP, Badfinger
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