For Pete’s Sake (Baby Hester STBO-3424)
CD 1 [79:32] 1. Carry On Till Tomorrow 2. Knocking Down Our Home 3. Maybe Tomorrow 4. John Forgot To Sing 5. No Matter What 6. I Can’t Take It 7. No Matter What 8. Without You (‘If It’s Love’) 9. Without You (‘I Can’t Live’) 10. We’re For The Dark 11. I’ll Be The One 12. Take It All 13. Day After Day 14. Name Of The Game 15. Do You Mind 16. Do You Mind 17. Coppertone Blues 18. Shine On 19. Oh Wow 20. Song For A Lost Friend 21. Where Do We Go From Here 22. It Doesn’t Really Matter 23. Just How Lucky We Are 24. Ringside 25. Ringside 26. Dennis.
CD 2 [33:54] 1. Lay Me Down 2. Turn Around 3. Keep Believing 4. Rockin’ Machine 5. Passed Fast 6. Saville Row 7. Moonshine 8. Rock ‘n’ Roll Contract 9. Back Again 10. Hey, Mr. Manager
The allmusic guide introduces the Badfinger biography by stating: “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 in the late 60’s 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 hot 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.”
The rear insert for ‘For Pete’s Sake’ best sums up the description of this predominantly well-recorded release: “This 2CD set compiles some of the best uncirculating or hard-to-find Badfinger demos and studio outtakes. Many other worthy tracks were excluded since they already appear in excellent quality on other collections (i.e. ‘Apple Demos 1970-1972’ and ‘Complete Ass’). Highlights include a ‘new’ version of “Coppertone Blues’, the speed-corrected demo of “Without You (‘I Can’t Live’)”, the first appearance on CD of an alternative ‘piano version’ of “Do You Mind’ and rough mixes of several tracks from their classic Apple-era. In addition, the second disc includes the original mix of the 1974 ‘Head First’ album taken from a cassette obtained directly from Mike Gibbins in the late 90’s. These 1974 mixes are different from the 2000 Snapper CD mixes and are a major upgrade from other circulating copies.”
I took particular preference to the following tracks on CD 1:
01. “Carry On Tomorrow”: This is a 1969 demo that sounds like Simon & Garfunkel’s ‘Scarborough Fair’ offering lush harmonies and exquisite finger-pickin’ guitar that slowly fades out. 02. “Knocking Down Our Home” is a 1968 demo given to Paul McCartney that, again, provides gorgeous harmonies. 03. “Maybe Tomorrow” is a 1969 recording for BBC radio with beautiful harmonies. 05. “No Matter What” is the 1970 early mix w/alternate lead vocal that offers compelling vocal and guitar variations that work effectively. 07. “No Matter What” is the 1970 ‘Top Of The Pops’ live vocal version with fixed intro. 08. “Without You (‘If It’s Love’)” is the 1969 Pete Ham demo. 09. “Without You (‘I Can’t Live’)” is the 1969 Tom Evans demo – speed corrected where you can hear the abrupt and riveting guitar leads faintly in the background. It would have been great to have them up front in the mix… 10. “We’re For The Dark” is a 1970 alternate mix – different guitar overdubs, no horns or strings. 13. “Day After Day” is a 1971 rough mix w/alternate lead vocal and lacking overdubs. 14. “Name Of the Game” is the powerful sounding 1971 unreleased Al Kooper single mix. 21. “Where Do We Go From Here” is a 1973 rough mix of finished take with piano solo vs. steel drums. 22. “It Doesn’t Really Matter” is a 1974 undubbed Pete Ham demo that is really captivating. 23. “Just How Lucky We Are” is a 1974 longer Pete Ham demo. 26. “Dennis” is the 2006 edit version from ‘Perfection: The Songs of Badfinger’s Pete Ham & Tom Evans’ promo CD that gives disc one a deserving finish.
CD 2, once again, focuses exclusively on the 1974 original mix of ‘Head First’. The allmusic guide review for ‘Head First” begins with: “Badfinger completed their best album in 1975, then had it pulled from the shelves in a haze of managerial misdeals and contractual screw-ups. They were good soldiers, at least for a while, heading into the studio (without Joey Molland, who bailed at the last minute) to bash out another album for Warner, completing it in two weeks. Warner rejected the effort, lead songwriter Pete Ham committed suicide not long afterward, and the album sat in the vaults until late 2000, when Artisan/Snapper released ‘Head First’ as a double disc set (the second disc consisting of demos and outtakes).”
The rear insert of ‘For Pete’s Sake’ advises on the bottom: “More to come…stay tuned for future Badfinger projects including the upgraded ‘Airwaves’ and ‘Say No More’ demos.” STBO-3424 is a very enjoyable and great sounding 2 CD set that covers alot of ground, although disc 2 only clocks in at 33:54 minutes, and is proof positive of just how talented Badfinger was. Alot of these tracks could have easily been released as successful singles back in the day. Badfinger had a natural knack for crafting gorgeous melodic tracks. This release comes with thick glossy inserts and full track descriptions of CD 1 that I embellished upon up above. The attractive discs bear the infamous apple logo. This is indeed an exciting release for Badfinger fans.