Acoustic instruments are donned for the following Joey Molland track, 'Sweet Tuesday Morning' a standout song featured on Straight Up. Delicately thumped conga percussion by Mike Gibbons tickles the three acoustic guitars played by Molland, Ham and Evans that are sewn together into a shimmering web of wooden reverberated sound. The three guitarists stand stoically, a modicum of concentration. Molland sings eyes closed fully invested in the performance. A highlighted document of a underrated LP track and united band performance.
The vibe stays pensive when Pete Ham sits at the piano for an exceptional reading of 'Take It All', the opening track off of Straight Up. In the 'rock room's' humble opinion this song is one of Ham's finest officially released compositions. The song is the perfect conglomerate of melodic prowess, instrumental attitude and emotive lyrical content. Ham and Evans intimate vocal blend is stirring and poignant, their magical collaboration on the chorus chill inducing. Also of note is Molland's clean tone recitation of the melody played within a tasteful Gibson SG solo. This live reading is sparse in comparison to the official studio reading. The clarity of just the four instruments allows for the melody to let out a breezy exhale and for all of the colors of the song to slowly bleed through, revealing a musical changing of seasons.
Before the assembled crowd can take a respite the band blasts into a high tempo version of the 'B' side single, 'Better Days'. Another Molland penned track, 'Better Days' is perhaps the highpoint of this particular performance finding the band deftly weaving their way through the song at an extreme tempo. In comparison to the studio version this is a raucous high speed romp with Gibbons rattling chains behind the kit. Ham solo's endlessly under the verses fully amped, in a fashion that would make any of the 1970's guitar gods blush. The guitar work here is worthy of inspection and amazement. Visually you can tell that the band is getting off as well, wearing looks of enthusiastic satisfaction. The preceding jam that took place in 'Suitcase' lubed up the gears for this nimble and torrid rendition. Off microphone asides and sizzling licks abound before the song ends as quickly as it started. Again, Mike Evans enthusiastic backing harmonies are an absolute pleasure to behold.
45 seconds of audio for the post performance 'Johnny B Goode' exists, but only as a teaser, as the song was only played on top of the closing credits. No video exists for this, but as previously mentioned there is a quick audio snippet available to help to complete the performance. It's a shame as it sounds like a smoker!
This classic footage of Badfinger is an excellent primer for those just getting introduced to the band's catalog, as well a being a welcome addition to the collections of well versed fans. Even in the sterile environment of a television sound stage, the talent and musical abilities of the band illuminate the performance with perfect power pop. The tragic stories contained within the group can be temporarily forgotten and their legacy remembered through this multifaceted performance.
Day After Day-Set of Six
Sweet Tuesday Morning-Set of Six
Take It All-Set of Six
Suitcase-Set of Six
Better Days-Set of Six
No Matter What-Set of Six