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Music / Badfinger

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Badfinger in 1970. From left to right: Pete Ham, Tom Evans, Mike Gibbins and Joey Molland.

"Knock down the old grey wall, be a part of it all
Nothing to say, nothing to see, nothing to do
If you would give me all, as I would give it to you
Nothing would be, nothing would be, nothing would be"
— "No Matter What"

Badfinger were a (mostly) Welsh Power Pop band that originated in The '60s. The main lineup consisted of Pete Ham (vocals, guitar), Joey Molland (vocals, guitar), Tom Evans (vocals, bass) and Mike Gibbins (drums).

Founded in Swansea and originally known as The Iveys, Badfinger rose to prominence after being signed to The Beatles' label Apple Records. After releasing an album as The Iveys, the group renamed to Badfinger and recorded songs for The Magic Christian. From this film came a chart-topping single, "Come and Get It", written by Paul McCartney.

After this, a string of hit singles (among them "No Matter What", "Day After Day", and "Baby Blue"), followed on Apple before the label folded and the band moved to Warner (Bros.) Records. Unfortunately, due to the antics of their business manager Stan Polley, the band earned little money from their troubles. They eventually realised this and turned on him, but it was too late. The band became mired in lawsuits, failed to get their earnings, and lost their commercial standing and income. The resulting mess led Pete Ham to commit suicide in 1975, and the band broke up. They reformed three years later, tried to recover, and released two more albums. But Tom Evans never got over Ham's death, and he eventually took his own life in 1983. Badfinger are generally better known today for their tragic history than their music, although they are still one of the more famous Power Pop acts of the early '70s and their hits continue to get airplay on classic rock radio.

Two unofficial continuation groups exist — one fronted by Joey Molland, and another fronted by later member Bob Jackson.

One of their songs from No Dice, "Without You", was later popularized as a Cover Version by Harry Nilsson, and then again by Mariah Carey.


  • Maybe Tomorrow (1969) (as The Iveys)
  • Magic Christian Music (1970) (as Badfinger, with some songs from Maybe Tomorrow remixed for the album)
  • No Dice (1970)
  • Straight Up (1971)
  • Ass (1973)
  • Badfinger (1974)
  • Wish You Were Here (1974, last album with Pete Ham before his suicide)
  • Airwaves (1979, a reunion album with Evans and Molland and session musicians)
  • Say No More (1981, last album with the duo of Evans and Molland)
  • Head First (Recorded in 1974-75, released in 2000)

Tropes Associated with Badfinger:

  • Driven to Suicide: Pete Ham in 1975, Tom Evans in 1983.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: Their debut single, "Maybe Tomorrow", was not only credited to The Iveys rather than Badfinger, but is a soft, orchestrated acoustic ballad, rather than Power Pop. Magic Christian Music in general is a lot more reminiscent of a later Beatles album, with No Dice really solidifying their sound.
  • I Am the Band: To a certain extent, Pete Ham, as he composed many of the band's famous songs.
  • Intentionally Awkward Title: Ass.
  • Power Pop: They're not just the Trope Maker for the genre, but specifically "No Matter What", with its mix of Beatle-style vocal harmonies and heavy guitar, is the foundational Power Pop song, and the genre's first big hit.
  • Record Producer: The band employed some famous ones, including two Beatles (Paul McCartney and George Harrison) and other Fab Four associates; Mal Evans was part of the Beatles' entourage, while Geoff Emerick and Chris Thomas both engineered Beatles sessions before becoming big-name producers. Tony Visconti (best known for his work with David Bowie and Marc Bolan) and Todd Rundgren (who's recorded some influential Power Pop in his own right as a solo artist) also worked with Badfinger.