Re-assessing Badfinger
by Jim Smith (Toronto)
from New Musical Express (U.K.), July 15, 1972

A couple of years ago, a representative of Apple Records here insisted I listen to his latest album. On the basis of that album, I came to the conclusion that The Beatles had found just the group to carry on that Beatles' tradition.

The album was "Magic Christian Music" by Badfinger and, even today, I think my favourable impression of that album was totally justified.

But, I have also learned that it is one thing to have a fine record and something entirely different to have a fine group. On the basis of a Toronto concert this week, I have had to re-assess my opinion.

Right off, it should be made clear that Badfinger were not unenjoyable. In places, the band almost met my high expectations. Still, at no point did I get the impression that what we were hearing was a top-flight rock band. Instead, I came away with the picture of a fairly competent, occasionally stimulating band.

Problems are basically a strangely inconsistent repertoire and consistently flat vocals. Instrumental work varied in quality, at least in part because of troubles with Joe Molland's rhythm guitar.

Eventually Molland cut the group's set short and, in a fit of rather juvenile pique, threw his guitar across the stage.

The set was strongest during old rock and roll numbers, where the band displayed a genuine talent for rhythms. And of course, their more popular original songs have already proven their worth. Some of the less familiar numbers would have been better suited -- to inferior groups, though. Worst of all, the tedious pieces were dragged out -- or seemed that way, at least.