Challenge
This Way Up
Joey Molland

This Way Up

CD | Gonzo | 5060230863443 | HST 164 | 04-14

€ 20.95 Add to cart
About the album

Poor Badfinger; if ever there was a pop group “born under a bad sign” it was them. Things started off quite auspiciously. As The Iveys they signed to The Beatles’ Apple Records and had a hit single. However, they decided that their name, and their image were a little old fashioned and for reasons which remain obscure their guitarist left. Exit Ron Griffiths and enter Joey Molland. Badfinger was born. They had hit singles with the Paul McCartney penned Come and Get It (recorded just as Griffiths was leaving the band) and No Matter What, and perhaps their greatest moment was when Harry Nilsson had a massive worldwide hit with their song Without You in 1972. After that it was all downhill. And downhill very very fast. The band were the last non-Beatles artists to release an album on Apple, and a move to Warner Brothers was not a success. There were grave management issues (which were so contentious that even now it is probably not safe to put in writing) and – probably as a result of these internal pressures – two members of the band (Pete Ham in 1975 and Tom Evans in 1983) committed suicide by hanging. Joey Molland, who had written the vast majority of the group’s later output, remains an immensely under-rated and very talented songwriter, whose career has been blighted by the appalling catalogue of disasters which had overtaken his band. He put out a string over massively under-rated solo albums including this one from 2001 which was originally independently released. CD Universe describes the album as: “…one of the best solo discs that ex-members of the Beatles never made. It bears repeating -- This Way Up contains the essence of what was great about those early solo Beatles albums, not surprising because Molland played on some of them. The surprise is that a sideman from those sessions has created a mini-masterpiece rivaling, and on some songs equaling, those classic and important recordings. As good as Molland's power trio is live, why it doesn't perform originals onstage the way they are presented on this disc is a mystery. Molland is an excellent guitarist, and in concert he can veer off from the hit material and rival Pat Travers. That isn't always what his audience wants -- what his audience wants are the pretty guitar lines and vocals in a song like "The Bust," a slice of the stuff that made everyone into Badfinger fans, still alive and well and current. This is a very, very excellent recording, make no mistake about that. From the opening track, "Mirrors," to the bounce of "Happy," and from the cool John Lennon-ish "This Must Be Love" to the final production, a moody and melancholy "Isn't That a Dream," 13 perfectly constructed songs by Molland do more than just carry on a tradition -- they combine to give proof that this style of music is still so very vital. “ Originally from Liverpool, Molland now lives in America, where he continues to write and perform some beautiful music. Let’s hope, with the re-release of this fantastic record that is star is finally in the ascendant. If so, then there really is some justice in the universe.          

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