Kickin´ Ass

Released on Brilliant Road 1999 - BRD 006

Tracks: Written By: Lead Singer: Time
1:My Dark Hour ( live 70 ) (Miller) Tom 2.05
2:Midnight Sun ( Live 70 ) (Ham) Pete 3.34
3:Better Days ( Live 70 ) (Molland/Evans) Tom & Joey 4.39
4:Blodwyn ( Live 70 ) (Ham) Pete 4.35
5:We´re For The Dark ( Live 70 ) (Ham) Pete 3.27
6:Feelin´ Alright ( Live 70 ) (Mason) Tom 8.32
7:I Can´t Take It ( Live 70 ) (Ham) Pete 4.00
8: No Matter What ( Live 70 ) (Ham) Pete 2.39
9: Medley ( Live 70 ) (Molland/Penniman) Joey & Tom 5.52
10: Suitcase ( Live 70 ) (Molland) Joey 4.32
11: Roll Over Beethoven ( Live 70 ) (Berry) Joey 1.22
12: We´re For The Dark ( acetate ) (Ham) Pete 3.59
13: I Can´t Take It ( acetate ) (Ham) Pete & Tom 3.49
14: Dreaming (Molland) Joey 4.59
15: Piano Red (Ham) Pete 3.41
16: Rock´n Roll (Evans) Tom 3.09
17: Regular (Molland) Joey 2.41
18: Do You Mind alt. (Molland) Joey 3.20

My comments:

The first 11 tracks are taken from a stereo soundboard tape recorded in Philadelphia December 1970.
Tracks 12 and 13 are from a very rare 1970 acetate single
Tracks 14-18 are "Ass" outtakes which were originally planned to be featured as bonus-tracks of the CD rerelease of that album. Unfortunately this never happened.

Notes from the sleeve:
1970 found Badfinger in an exiting position. After the successes of working with Paul McCartney on the "Magic Christian" movie soundtrack, with George Harrison on his "All Things Must Pass" three album set and Rongo´s "It Don´t Come Easy". It was time for the band to shine in their own light.

December 1970 saw the band for two successfull singles and two successful albums under their belt. Their tour of the states was commenced after completing what should have been the band´s third album, "Straight Up". Badfinger were exited about the upcoming release, believing it to be the best example of what the band was really like.

On the back of the previously released "No Dice" album, and the about to be released "Straight Up", Badfinger presented much of the same stage act as their earlier shows, with one notable addition; the inclusion of Joey Molland´s "Suitcase".

This rollicking track would become the cornerstone of Badfinger´s stage performance. The straight ahead rocker would develop into a jam session that would show the attributes of both Pete Ham and Joey Molland as guitarists who had abilities way beyond their years and Tommy Evans and Mike Gibbins as being the power house behind the two guitarists, Mike especially shines during the show through a variety of drumming styles

Badfinger were still performing tracks which were probably better suited for their Iveys days. Blodwyn is treated as a joke by Joey Molland, but the standard is lifted somewhat with tracks like "We´re For The Dark" and "Feelin´ Alright" ( featured here complete for the first time !)

Badfinger would from this point never play such a variety of material on stage again. After the success of the re-recorded "Straight Up" album ( 1972 ) the band would develop a stage presence that was more hard-edged, more serious. Apart from Joey´s clowning on stage the band would all be well within their shells, preferring the music to do the entertaining. This they did well. The concert tape closes with an incomplete version of "Roll Over Beethoven". The 45-minute recording tape ran out during this performance, so in all likelihood the remainder of the show is lost forever.

What remains is however an exelllent example of an early Badfinger gig. This is Badfinger with their innocense intact. Before drugs, drink, business and personal issues overwhelmed four British lads and brought one of the world´s foremost bands to their knees.

The 1970 Apple Acetate:
"We´re For The Dark" is an early mix that does not include the orchestra overdubs on the "No Dice" version. Tom´s backing vocals are also far more prominent than on the officially released version.

The version of "I Can´t Take It" presented on this disc shows the difference between how Badfinger would record their tracks in the studio, emulating some of the live vocal style they had honed down during their recent tours, with the final edited version released on the "No Dice" album. This song is the original performance prior to that editing down and the addition of the byplay between Tom and Pete during the last minute of the song.

Both these tracks come from an acetate that was removed from the Ham estate after Pete Ham´s passing. By the notation on the acetate label, there were at least six copies made of this particular acetate, with the copy we had acces to being number five. It should also be noted that unlike studio master tapes, which contain calibration tones, there was no possible way of determining the correct speed of the acetate, given the variations whicj could occur during the manufacturing process. Thus it was decided to speed correct the acatate recordings to their counterpart on the "No Dice" album.

The 1972 Ass outtakes:
The last five tracks are of special importance. These originated from the missing Apple reel from the first part of Ass sessions recorded in 1972 and produced by Todd Rundgren. However these five tracks can by no means be regarded as completed or mixed down ( although "Do You Mind" comes close ) given that the vocals are mixed to one channel of the stereo picture and that very little "production" has been applied to the vocal tracks. What they are more than likely is a dub of the "work in progress", up to that point in the recording sessions.

Featured here are two new tracks "Dreaming" and "Rock´n Roll". These tapes have circulated for some time, but not in this quality. "Dreaming" is a blues rocker by Joey which compares favorably with much of his relased studio material. "Rock´n Roll" is a track that is similar in vein to The Who´s "Long Live Rock". Had a little more time been put into this track, Badfinger could have their own rock anthem suitable for closing a concert. Alas, it would appear that the band thought this was a throw away track, and relegated it to the archieves until now.

The three remaining tracks are an upgrade for material that has been released before. "Piano Red" ( sometimes called "Pete´s Mambo" because noone knew the title ) and "Regular" ( sometimes called "He´s a Regular" ) have never before been released in such high fidelity sound quality. "Do You Mind" was featured on the European Ass reissue in the late 1990´s. However the Ass reissue took several liberties with the song, and it is here featured as originally recorded. Kickin´ Ass

My favourites:

Do You Mind, We´re For The Dark (both versions),

Other good tracks:
Midnight Sun, Blodwyn, Feelin´Alright, I Can´t Take It ( both ), No Matter What

Of 10 possible stars I would give this album: 4

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