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Golders Green - Pete Ham

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1 Review

Genre: Rock - Pop Rock / Artist: Pete Ham / Audio CD released 1999-07-26 at Rykodisc

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      07.05.2010 19:25
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      Unearthed treasures.

      The story of Pete Ham is a tragic one. Initially heralded as a possible replacement for The Beatles, Badfinger started promisingly and then through no fault of their own took a tragic course of self-destruction. Hampered by poor management and terrible decisions by record labels they persevered and made some fantastic music but at the cost of Tom Evans and Pete Ham who both committed suicide. At the age of 27, Ham hanged himself in the garage of his Surrey home. It was 1975.

      Golders Green collects together demo material that Ham recorded on a two-track tape machine between the years 1968 right up until his death in 1975. Nearly all the tracks have Ham playing all of the instruments and include songs both contained on Badfinger albums, but also a number of songs that are given a first airing here.

      One of the most successful Pete Ham songs is shown here in its infancy. 'Without You' has the verse, but no chorus - this is obviously written before he and Tom Evans got together to fuse his chorus and Ham's verse. It's so interesting to hear Ham's music here like this and gives us a glimpse, like the Beatles' Anthology a few years back, how songs develop over time. Don't expect a great sound quality to these songs either, they are certainly listenable, but far from being sonically amazing.

      Ham has such a frailty and melancholia in his voice its impossible not to feel moved by the songs and the man who wrote them. It's such a tragic sound that you can't help empathising with the guy and what difficulties he had. It's also a shame that these songs didn't actually get recorded properly by the band or by Ham as a solo release as there are some gems here. The songs are also pretty short, with twenty songs crammed into forty minutes or so.

      Hurry On Father and Goodbye John Frost are really great down to earth songs that aren't too dissimilar to The Kinks and there are so many different and disparate elements to the album with many different styles and sounds on the album to please everyone.

      I would say that anyone who is a fan of Badfinger will enjoy this second offering of Pete Ham demos. I actually haven't heard the first album, so I will be doing that one soon. This album only goes to show how brilliant Ham was and what a waste his eventual suicide was.

      1. "Makes Me Feel Good" - 1:47
      2. "A Lonely Day" - 1:59
      3. "Dawn" - 3:18
      4. "Without You" - 2:16
      5. "Pete's Walk" - 1:27
      6. "Hurry on Father" - 1:38
      7. "Goodbye John Frost" - 1:59
      8. "I'll Kiss You Goodnight" - 2:37
      9. "When the Feeling" :55
      10. "Shine On" :39
      11. "Gonna Do It" :22
      12. "Whiskey Man" - 1:34
      13. "Keyhole Street" - 2:27
      14. "I've Waited So Long to Be Free" - 1:41
      15. "Richard" - 3:10
      16. "Midnight Caller" - 2:42
      17. "Helping Hand" - 3:52
      18. "Where Will You Be" - 1:58
      19. "I'm So Lonely" - 3:13
      20. "Makes Me Feel Good" - 2:04

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    • Product Details

      Disc #1 Tracklisting
      1 Makes Me Feel Good
      2 Lonely Day
      3 Dawn
      4 Without You
      5 Pete's Walk
      6 Hurry On Father
      7 Goodbye John Frost
      8 I'll Kiss You Goodnight
      9 When The Feeling
      10 Shine On
      11 Gonna Do It
      12 Whiskey Man
      13 Keyhole Street
      14 I've Waited So Long To Be Free
      15 Richard
      16 Midnight Caller
      17 Helpin' Hand
      18 Where Will You Be
      19 I'm So Lonely
      20 Makes Me Feel Good (2)