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Joey Molland - After The Pearl (CD)

Genre: Pop/Rock
Release Date: 24th November 2014

Label: Gonzo
Catalogue Number: HST238CD
Price: £7.99
Available: In stock

Joey Molland - After The Pearl

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 that remain obscure they also decided to change their guitarist. 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.   

This is Joey Molland's debut solo album, following the final demise of Badfinger. This also marked his first release following the suicide of Tom Evans (with whom Molland had reformed the band in 1979). Perhaps that is the reason for the overall sadness of the album. Yes, Molland's strong, pretty melodies are there, but lyrically this is album of loss and longing, and this is what the artist does best. His plaintive vocals mixed with the melancholic music makes for a heart wrenching and captivating listening experience. Musically, the band is tight, and the music is well arranged and well produced. Fans will note the inclusion of "Mean Jemima," which was originally recorded by Badfinger for the No Dice album (known as "Mean Mean Jemima"). This version does not differ in arrangement and lacks the energy of the original. Still, it is a solid effort. What brings the album down somewhat is the lack of variety throughout the album. It plods along with pretty much the same style. Although the style is played well, the format exhausts itself quickly. Fans of Badfinger will love this; fans of mid-'80s pop/rock will also find something of interest with this album.

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. 

  1. Here Comes Heartache
  2. Too Late To Cry
  3. Moolah Rey
  4. In My Heart
  5. All Your Lovin
  6. Life Song
  7. What Happened
  8. Mean Jemima
  9. Dreams of Thunder


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