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 from that success. Instead, four years of hit singles and international tours precipitated the suicides of its two creative members and legal proceedings that left lawyers as the only ones enriched by the group's work.
Originally signed to Apple Records as THE IVEYS, Pete Ham (b. 27 April 1947, Swansea, Wales, d. 24 April 1975, Weybridge, Surrey, England; vocals), Mike Gibbins (b. 12 March 1949, Swansea, Wales; drums), Tom Evans (b. Thomas Evans, 5 June 1947, Liverpool, England, d. 19 November 1983, Surrey, England; guitar) and Ron Griffiths (b. Ronald Llewellyn Griffiths, 2 October 1946, Swansea, Wales; bass) changed their name following the release of two unsuccessful singles and Maybe Tomorrow. Griffiths left in September 1969 and was replaced by Joey Molland (b. Joseph Charles Molland, 21 June 1947, Liverpool, England). The new line-up then enjoyed an immediate hit on both sides of the Atlantic with "Come And Get It', written by their label boss Paul McCartney. In order to increase their public profile, the band was invited to contribute to the soundtrack of the movie The Magic Christian, which starred Peter Sellers and Ringo Starr. The Beatles patronage, on which the press quickly seized, was reinforced by Badfinger's sound, which had strong traces of the Fab Four influence, particularly on the vocals. "No Matter What", another transatlantic Top 10 hit, compounded the Beatles comparisons, though it was a fine pop record in its own right, as were the albums No Dice and Straight Up. By the beginning of the 70s, Badfinger were something of an Apple house band and even appeared on three solo Beatle recordings ("All Things Must Pass", "It Don't Come Easy" and "Imagine") as well as appearing at George Harrison's Bangla Desh benefit concert.
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