Originally an all-Welsh group, they played the legendary Cavern in the mid-'60s with a line-up comprising Pete Ham (b.
Not surprisingly for a group who had taken their name in imitation of the Hollies, they were vocally tight and very melodic. During 1967, they became backing group to operatic pop singer David Garrick before leaving him to try their luck on the Beatles' enterprising new label Apple. By this time, Jenkins had been replaced by Liverpudlian Tom Evans, who wrote their debut for the label, "Maybe Tomorrow," produced by Tony Visconti.
The single passed unnoticed, so the group decided to bury the Iveys and re-invent themselves as Badfinger. By the time their next record was completed their original bassist left and was replaced by Joey Molland.
The new line-up enjoyed an immediate hit on both sides of the
which starred Peter Sellers and Ringo Starr. The Beatles patronage, which the press were quick to latch on to, was reinforced by the group'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. By the beginning of the '70s, Badfinger were something of an Apple houseband and even appeared on three solo Beatle recordings (
The obvious songwriting talent that existed in the group was not fully revealed until 1972 when Nilsson enjoyed a huge transatlantic chart topper with the Ham/Evans' ballad, "Without You." From that point onwards, however, the group failed to exploit their potential to the fullest. By the time of their final Apple recording ASS,
Molland was writing over half of their songs, but he chose to leave soon after, clearly weary of the financial and business wranglings that were now dominating proceedings. Worse was to follow the next year when Pete Ham took his own life, after a long period of personal and professional worries. At that point the band split. Nearly four years later, Joey Molland and Tom Evans reformed the group, changing the subsidiary members frequently over the next few years. Commercial success proved elusive and in November 1983, history repeated itself in the most bizarre scenario possible when Tom Evans committed suicide at his
1979 - Airwaves
1981 - Say No More
1990 - Day After Day
1993 - Over You
1996 - The Best of Badfinger Featuring Joey Molland
1997 - BBC in Concert 1972-3
2000 - Head First