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Walk out in the Rain - Badfinger

From 1968 to '73, the Beatles' record label allowed the Fab Four to experiment in their own different directions with an interesting bunch of artists either being produced by them or recording their songs. Curiously, their ability to sniff out quality was true even if the likes of Hot Chocolate and James Taylor did not make it until after they had moved on to other labels. Others who did have hits were the Harrison produced Billy Preston and Radha Krishna Temple and the McCartney produced Mary Hopkin. Badfinger hailed from Swansea, were commonly thought to sound very much like the early Beatles did and had a quartet of hits beginning with the McCartney composition "Come and Get it" from the soundtrack of the movie "The Magic Christian". But forty plus years later the tracks of theirs that linger in the mind are the slower ballads that populated their Apple albums. Most famous among which, of course, is the song "Without You", famously covered by Harry Nilsson and a massive world number one hit for him, and which is widely credited as being the first "power ballad". The main songwriters of the group were Pete Ham and Tom Evans who wrote "Without You" together. In 1975, just four years later, the chorus "I can't live - if living is without you" resonated sadly when Ham hanged himself, believing the band's manager had stolen all of their money. Even more ironically, eight years after that, the other half of the songwriting duo, Tom Evans, hanged himself also, having become depressed due to an argument with another band member over royalties for "Without You".

I used to own their first album "Magic Christian Music" as I did a lot of other early and obscure records on the alternative Apple, Threshold and Vertigo record labels - I confess I used to collect them - but I sold most of them to a record dealer on the Christmas run-in of 2011 in order to buy presents for my kids. The song I most miss putting on the technics is this mellow, bittersweet number written and sung by Pete Ham. Although it's sad, the exquisite acoustic backing guitar and the counterpoint to Ham's sweet singing beginning with a second guitar and building to a vocal climax as Evans and then the rest of the band pitch in, is uplifting every time.

Which is strange, as this is one of he loneliest songs I know.

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