Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
7 Park Avenue
Genres: Folk, Pop, Rock
Badfinger leader Pete Ham hanged himself in 1975 three days before his 28th birthday, leaving behind six albums, a note declaring the group's manager a "soulless bastard," and the demos collected here. Most of these songs ... more »
Badfinger leader Pete Ham hanged himself in 1975 three days before his 28th birthday, leaving behind six albums, a note declaring the group's manager a "soulless bastard," and the demos collected here. Most of these songs didn't make it to Badfinger's records, a circumstance 7 Park Avenue's liner notes put down to a glut of material. A couple of tracks contain bits that Ham would later adapt for "Day After Day" (a verse from "Matted Spam") and "Baby Blue" (a melodic fragment in "I Know That You Should"); that both those hit singles are more distinctive pieces is a hint to why some of these numbers were rejected. Ham's homemade music has some of the same fragile quality of another Rykodisc reclamation project, Big Star cofounder Chris Bell's I Am the Cosmos, but often lacks the bite of both Bell's record and the finest Badfinger studio cuts. It is, however, somewhere between sad and appalling to hear Ham sing "Just How Lucky We Are" only months before his death. Much closer to that reality is the closing "Ringside," with its resigned passages about being bid on. Happiness prevails on a few cuts (an acoustic "No Matter What," "Hand in Hand," "Catherine Cares"), but even if Ham had merely faded into obscurity, this disc's overall effect would be that of a thoughtful, downbeat craftsman at work--not always at the height of his powers, though filled with emotion. --Rickey Wright
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Pete Ham - Pure Genius
Mark R. Garner | New Orleans, LA USA | 06/16/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"After purchasing both CD's of Pete's unreleased demos I am left with one overriding impression - the man was amazing. He wrote lovely melodies that even Gershwin would have admired. He was an above average guitarist and blessed with a beautiful voice. Such a rare jewel deserves a better epitaph than "wrote hit songs and died penniless due to a rogue manager." If you are a Badfinger fan then I would strongly recommend buying these two CD's."
As Good As Any Badfinger Album
GDS | 09/05/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
""7 Park Avenue," along with "Golders Green," is a must-have collection of homemade demos by the late Pete Ham. This beautiful assortment of songs shows just what a talent Ham was and makes his 1975 suicide seem all the more tragic--if indeed that is possible. Highlights include "Coppertone Blues" and "No Matter What" featuring Pete and his acoustic guitar; the rollicking "Matted Spam" and "Leaving On A Midnight Train; and the haunting "No More" and "Ringside," both recored just days before Pete's death. Thanks to producer/author Dan Matovina for resucing these demos from obscurity and for succeeding in making them available to all of us. Pete Ham's music, lyrics, and voice are what seperated Badfinger from their power-pop brethren of the 1970's. Pete Ham made Badfinger special. This compact disc of lost gems shows why."
A preview into genius
Jeff Harris | NY, NY United States | 03/20/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"One of the Badfinger reviewers somewhere stated something to the effect of Pete Ham "grabbed his melodies directly from heaven." I can't agree more. Although some of the tracks on this compilation are sparce, short, and mono, the insight these cuts give to his power pop genius help solidify that his songwriting talent may never be surpassed. Thank you Pete, in heaven, for the melodies you found there for us!The only reason I take a star away, is for the unfortunate snippets and pieces of songs that keep you longing for more, rather than full length tunes, and of course, is for no ones fault,that make up this album."