Timeless…The Musical Legacy, by Badfinger
I have to say that Badfinger is one of my favorite musical acts of all time. A Welsh power pop group that was mentored by the Beatles (and received some songs and musical assistance from a couple of members of the group during the course of their career) and was once on Apple Records until it fell apart, the group had a great body of work during its heyday in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s but seemed to be absolutely snakebit when it came to issues of business that led in large part to intense conflicts and difficulties that led its two most creative members to commit suicide. Even with that tragic history, the group managed to create some amazing music that has a timeless legacy, even if they are not nearly as well known as they should be. This album serves as a somewhat rare example of a retrospective that does not involve a re-recording that provides a listen to the remastered versions of their timeless hits.
This particular compilation is a beefy one at sixteen tracks. The first half or so of the compilation is made up of songs that many people who are fond of 70’s power pop might be familiar with–including such classics as Day After Day, Without You (remade into a hit by Henry Nilsson and later covered by Mariah Carey), Come And Get It, Maybe Tomorrow, No Matter What, Baby Blue, and Name Of The Game. Interspersed with these songs that the casual listener may be familiar with are lesser known tracks like Rock Of All Ages, I’ll Be The One, Apple Of My Eye, Suitcase, the title track Timeless, Dennis, and Love Is Gonna Come At Last that are focused on the latter part of the album. A mixture of popular and obscure songs, with a variety of sounds, many of them guitar driven but some of them piano-driven, some of them slow and melancholy ballads and others driving rock tunes, this album gives a good picture of the body of work of Badfinger as a whole.
Overall, listening to this compilation in the aftermath of the division and misery suffered by the band and its members over the course of the last few decades casts a heavy feeling of melancholy and sorrow. Knowing how things turned out for the group makes songs like Timeless, Suitcase, Rock Of All Ages, Dennis, and Apple Of My Eye particularly deep in meaning and significance, and mocks the hopes of more optimistic tracks like Maybe Tomorrow and Love Is Gonna Come At Last. Over and over again, the group explored themes of loneliness and isolation, hope and despair, memory, love, and concerns about money and interpersonal conflict. These themes helped define their existence as a band as well as their own lives, and remind us that the timeless of their music came a wellspring of trouble that the group turned into haunting and beautiful music that remains resonant today, even likely among those who do not know this history in detail.