Thursday, July 24, 2014

"Come and Get It" by Badfinger

It was today in 1969 that Paul McCartney recorded a demo at the Abbey Road studio for a song he had written,  "Come and Get It". Ultimately it would be recorded by neither The Beatles nor Paul McCartney, but instead would become the first major hit in the United Kingdom and the United States for the band Badfinger.

Badfinger had originated as The Iveys in Swansea, Wales. It was on 23 July 1968 that the band signed with The Beatles' label, Apple Records. Their first single, "Maybe Tomorrow", was released on 15 November 1968. Unfortunately, while the song did well in the Netherlands (where it went to #1), West Germany, Italy, and Japan, it only went to #67 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States and did not chart at all in the United Kingdom. While several other theories have been put forth, this may have been the reason The Iveys' debut album (also titled Maybe Tomorrow) was only released in Japan, West Germany and Italy.

Fortunately The Iveys' luck would soon change. Paul McCartney had been asked to provide three songs for the motion picture The Magic Christian (1969). It was on 24 July 1969 that he recorded a demo for the song "Come and Get It" for the film. Mr. McCartney played all of the instruments on the demo, with none of the other Beatles taking part. Ultimately Paul McCartney found that his schedule was too busy to provide three songs for The Magic Christian. At the same time Griffiths of The Iveys complained in an interview in the magazine Disc & Music Echo that The Iveys kept submitting songs to Apple as potential singles, only to have them rejected. Reading the interview Paul McCartney decided to accomplish two things at once. He could have The Iveys provide the songs for The Magic Christian, as well as provide the band with their first hit.

Paul McCartney then gave the demo for "Come and Get It" to The Iveys and specified that they must record it exactly like the demo. He then auditioned each member of The Iveys to determine who would sing lead on the song, ultimately choosing the lone Liverpudlian among the Welshmen, Peter Hamm. Mr. McCartney produced the song as well as two other original songs by The Iveys ("Carry On Till Tomorrow" and "Rock of All Ages") that would be included in The Magic Christian.

It was only a few months before the release of the single "Come and Get It" that it was decided The Iveys would have to change their name. Apple wanted a name that would more fit The Iveys' current sound, as well as to avoid confusion with the British band The Ivy League. After a number of names were considered, Apple and the band settled upon a name suggested by Neil Aspinall of Apple Corps. Due to the fact that John Lennon had recorded the demo for "With a Little Help from My Friends" with an injured finger, the song's working title was "Badfinger Boogie". The Iveys then became "Badfinger".
"Come and Get It" was then released on  5 December 1969 in the United Kingdom and on 12 January 1969 in the Untied States, the first single to be released under the name "Badfinger". "Come and Get It" proved to be a hit on both sides of the Pond. It peaked at #4 on the UK singles chart and at #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States. It was the first of several hits Badfinger would have in the early Seventies.

Below are Paul McCartney's original demo for the song "Come and Get It", as well as Badfinger's version.

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