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Wish You Were Here

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Badfinger’s career played out like a true rock 'n' roll cautionary tale filled with greedy mismanagement, stolen royalties and advances, multiple lawsuits, and, eventually, suicide. Yet in 1974, Badfinger released both the great album Badfinger and this, which is, arguably, the band's finest hour. Wish You Were Here was pulled from shelves not two months after its release, when Warner Brothers' publishing arm sued the group over missing escrow funds its manager had stolen—and that was the end of the potholed road for Badfinger’s best lineup. (The band’s despondent leader, guitarist Pete Ham, committed suicide in 1975, and bassist Tom Evens followed in 1983.) This criminally unsung album (on which every member contributes songs) is a pop-tune treasure chest stuffed with harmony and pathos. Standouts include a country-rockish toe-tapper (“You're So Fine”), a riff-happy rock ’n’ roller (“Just a Chance”), some sing-song prog (“In the Meantime/Some Other Time”), an aching lament of self-examination (“Got to Get Out of Here”), and a power pop powerhouse (“No One Knows It”).

Customer Reviews

An overlooked classic

In 1974, Badfinger released "Wish You Were Here". This was their second album for Warner Brothers Records. The album was pulled off the shelves within a month because of legal problems. However, some Badfinger fans say this is one of or is the best album the band has ever done. I would't say it's their best but it's a really great album. The songs have a beat, sound, and feel to them and I like that. I like all the songs but my personal favorites are "You're So Fine", "Know One Knows", "Dennis", and "King Of The Load". The album is filled with great solos, brilliant lyrics, and overall it's just a really great album. I wouldn't get this as a first Badfinger album. I recommend for Badfinger beginners to listen to "No Dice" and "Straight Up" first before you listen to "Wish You Were Here".

Wish They Were Here

I always thought Badfinger got a bad rap with the inevitable "Beatles Clones" reputation, but I think Wish You Were Here put a stake through the heart of that rep. This album was no doubt, their most complex and sophisticated work, and for that alone, you could argue, their best, although their hook-laden "Straight Up" was pure pop magic. Music fans of almost any age and musical preference will appreciate, if not love, this whole body of work... In fact, the songs work together so well, I would only recommend buying every one. Definitely worth the investment! Also, the tragic demise of this band is interesting and worth reading about....


Although a followup album was recorded after this (without Joey Molland, who left the band) and Joey Molland and Tommy Evans re-grouped a few years later and released two albums under the name BADFINGER, WISH YOU WERE HERE is, for all intents and purposes, the last REAL BADFINGER album. And, it's a solid, cohesive effort. Pity that this band had such bad luck (see the original review and the legal entanglements), and then the tragic suicides of Pete Ham (within a couple of years of the release of this album) and Tommy Evans (several years later). Today, only Joey Molland remains alive of these four, and still writes and records. As for the album, it's probably their second best, with only STRAIGHT UP surpassing it (which featured hits like "Day After Day" and "Baby Blue"). No clinkers on this album, but, no really GREAT singles, either (like the previous mentioned songs from STRAIGHT UP), although that could be the fault, in part, to it's lack of promotion and series of legal entanglements. It's a strong series of album tracks, and Pete Ham is the main force here. Badfinger was as democratic a band as any of it's time and era. All four wrote, and they wrote in various combinations with each other. Ham's material was probably the most commercial, but Molland added a hard edge to the band with his more basic rock writing style and grittier vocals. They were a great combination that could have done amazing things, had they had a little bit of luck and some decent promotion. They were both blessed and cursed to have been "discovered" by the Beatles. At once introduced to the world by them through Apple records, they were also suffocated by them and got lost in the shuffle when the Beatles split, and lawsuits and other legal problems left Badfinger without any promotion or encouragement from their own label. They left Apple in 1973, and signed with Warner Brothers, but, then ran into similar problems with them. A tragic story of a band that deserved better. These guys could have been Rock and Roll Hall of Famers.


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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Wish You Were Here, Badfinger
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