Various Artists

Come and Get It: A Tribute to Badfinger

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Badfinger deserve a tribute album a lot more than most, because few modern rock fans know them. Their four Top 15 singles for the Beatles' Apple label, from March 1970 to April 1972, all rank in anyone's Top Ten of the greatest post-Beatles, heavy power pop songs. Sing the choruses of "Day After Day" (done here by 20/20), "Baby Blue" (Aimee Mann), "No Matter What" (the Knack), and the Paul McCartney-penned "Come and Get It" (Adrian Belew), and the response invariably is, "I know that song! I love that song! That's Badfinger?" Likewise, their four LPs for Apple (before their two so-so Warner Bros. releases) contain many special moments. But a more loving tribute than Come and Get It: A Tribute to Badfinger would be hard to imagine. All 22 artists exhibit the sort of reverence Badfinger once had for the Beatles! The dais is a bit strange: no quibble with Mann, whose "Baby Blue" is really crisp, the Loud Family, the Rooks, the Salteens (Ken Stringfellow from the Posies in disguise), and a few others. And it's nice to see '60s guru and Zombies' champion Al Kooper, who once sat in with Badfinger in the studio (as he'd already done with Bob Dylan and the Who), take a turn. But the Knack? 20/20? Belew? Dwight Twilley? The re-formed Plimsouls (albeit with hot Blondie drummer Clem Burke)? Can you say '70s new wave party? Completely conversely, too many acts here are no-names with the scent of studio project, a common tribute album disease, however (in this case) enthusiastic. Such baby bands are overmatched by Badfinger's talent and soulful interplay. Where is all the cream of indie talent? Still, whatever attention these too-old and too-new fans draw to Badfinger is welcome, and in the end, miraculously, there isn't a single total stinker!

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