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Golders Green

4.6 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Audio CD, July 13, 1999
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

This CD is an out of print collectible! It is the original 1999 release.

Amazon.com

Badfinger mainstay Pete Ham should have become one of the 1970's brightest singer-songwriters. Instead, he became one of the decade's tragic musical footnotes. Caught in the spiraling financial turmoil spawned by the dissolution of the Beatles' Apple Records (Badfinger's label), Ham took his life at age 27. Among the music Ham left behind was a treasure trove of demo recordings, from which this compelling follow-up to 7 Park Avenue was compiled. Covering a decade of songwriting from the mid-'60s Iveys (Badfinger's original name) to the fading glory of Badfinger, Ham's melodic gift often overshadowed that of his one-time patron, Paul McCartney. The early version here of Badfinger's "Without You" (later a worldwide hit for Harry Nilsson) features a discarded chorus and provides a good snapshot of Badfinger in its prime. But it's in Golders Green's unfamiliar songs that Ham really shines, be they the jazzy ("Dawn"), country-inflected ("Helping Hand"), harmonically haunting ("Where Will You Be") or incandescent ("I'm So Lonely," "Makes Me Feel Good," Goodbye John Frost"). There's even a hilarious song about his manhood, "Richard" ("I hate it when you let me down"). Though it's been revisited by successive tides of New Wave, alternative rock (visit this collection's revealing drums-'n'-vocal fragment, "When the Feeling") and Brit-Pop, Ham's melodic balladry and power-pop has seldom been equaled. --Jerry McCulley

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Makes Me Feel So Good
  2. A Lonely Day
  3. Dawn
  4. Without You
  5. Pete's Walk
  6. Hurray 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. Helping Hand
  18. Where Will You Be
  19. I'm So Lonely
  20. Makes Me Feel So Good


Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 13, 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Rykodisc
  • ASIN: B00000JLJ6
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #116,045 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Amazon's Pete Ham Store

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
This longawaited second collection of Pete Ham demos comes two and a half years after the release of the first, 7 Park Avenue. I hope we don?t have to wait that long for third, because this one certainly lives up to the expectations I had in the light of 7 P.A.

What strikes me after the first listen to Golders Green is the great variety of styles that Pete throws himself into and how brilliantly he does it.

There are pop ballads like "Dawn" and "I`ll Kiss You Goodnight" - Rockers like "Richard" - Pop/rock melodies with hit potential like "Makes Me Feel Good" and "Helping Hand" - mellow folkish songs; "I"ve Waited So Long To Be Free?, "Hurry On Father" and "A Lonely Day". There are demos of well-known Badfinger tunes like "Midnight Caller" and "Without You" ( actually "If It`s Love" - before it was paired with Tom Evans` chorus ). A new new aspect which did not show very much on 7PA is the bluesy side of Pete Ham which here is represented by "Whiskey Man" and "I`m So Lonely". A few tracks are very short fragments or unfinished demos such as "Shine On" and "Pete`s Walk". "When The Feeling" and "Gonna Do It" show Pete having fun and experimenting, when recording.

One thing all tracks have in common is the great sense of melody which is characteristic for Pete`s songwriting and singing. Many tracks are greatly inspired by The Beatles but they never come off just as poor imitations of the Fab. Four`s work. Compared to 7 Park Avenue the sound quality is slightly better - a few tracks are almost in professional studio quality.
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Format: Audio CD
There's that mixture of joy and sadness again, last heard in Bryan McLean's madly-inspired home demos (Ifyoubelievein). This batch of almost-theres and not-quites works wonderfully as a melancholic souvenir of Ham's could-have-been-brilliant career, which was tragically cut short by his suicide. This second collection of private tapes is a trip to a better musical place --- for both Badfinger obsessives and pop lovers who never really cared about the group or its wonderful guitarist/writer. A listen to such beautiful works-in-progress as Dawn, Where Will You Be and Makes Me Feel Good (two versions of which bookend the disc) should convert even skeptics.
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Format: Audio CD
Golders Green, a northern Jewish suburb, is where Badfinger used to live, a place where Ham could record his little songs on a Revox tape. Some of the songs the guy wrote are amazing. He was defiently one of the best songwriters to come out of Britain. His material on Badfinger's "Straight up" and "Wish you were here" are 100% superb. Perfect pop songs. "Golders Green" is a really good album, it shows Ham's songwrting and performance talents. "Dawn" is a beutiful Psych ballad,"Makes me feel so good" could have been easily 'The first Power Pop anthem' if was released at that time. The rest is quite the same, Very Mccartney in total, similar to Mcca's early solo albums, sometimes even better.
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Format: Audio CD
Many heartfelt thanks from fans of Pete Ham and Badfinger are once again due producer Dan Matovina. His efforts and dedication have resulted in the release of "Golders Green," the second disc of home demos (the first being "7 Park Avenue") featuring the heart and soul of Badfinger, the late Peter William Ham. Highlights on this collection are the could-have-would-have-should-have been top forty hit "Makes Me Feel Good," the jazzy and majestic "Dawn," the melancholy "Where Will You Be," and the blues of "Whiskey Man." Also included are two beautiful early versions of future Badfinger classics "Without You" and "Midnight Caller." While "Golders Green" boasts the same highly quality performances and posthumous production of its predecessor it differs in its overall feel and ambience. "Golders Green" is more quick-paced, varied, experimental, and ultimately uplifting than "7 Park Avenue." Both albums, however, are equally indepensible and, if forced to choose, it would be most difficult to select one over the other. The solution? Buy both! You will not be disappointed! Also, those in search of definitive information about Pete Ham and Badfinger should buy the book "Without You: The Tragic Story of Badfinger," also buy Dan Matovina.
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Format: Audio CD
The second offering from Badfinger's leader, whom sadly is no longer with us. These demos really show how great Pete's writing was. Without You's demo is one of two that he made (The other is available with the OOP first issue of Matovina's book). Although the overdubs are clearer than on 7PA cos they were recorded on an ADAT machine, while the 7PA overdubs were taped on an 8 track reel to reel, which is why I gave it a 4 plus I think it shouldve had more completed songs, plus he's singing about his willy ('Why Pete?', i ask)! (Goodbye John Frost and Hurry On Father were edited to make them longer, if you didnt know). But overall, this is almost as good as 7PA, just barely.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
After purchasing both CD's of Pete's unreleased demos I am left with one overriding impression - the man was amazing. He wrote lovely melodies that even Gershwin would have admired. He was an above average guitarist and blessed with a beautiful voice. Such a rare jewel deserves a better epitaph than "wrote hit songs and died penniless due to a rogue manager." If you are a Badfinger fan then I would strongly recommend buying these two CD's.
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