Straight Up is the third album by power pop band Badfinger, released on 13 December 1971. It is widely regarded as Badfinger's best album, spawning two Top 20 singles in the US and being commercially successful in its own right. The album was released on the The Beatles' Apple Records label and was unavailable for many years after the label folded.
Badfinger was a British rock band that originally consisted of Pete Ham, Mike Gibbins, Tom Evans and Joey Molland. The band evolved from an earlier group called The Iveys that was formed by Ham, Ron Griffiths and David "Dai" Jenkins in Swansea, Wales during the early 1960s. They were signed by the Beatles' Apple label in 1968 as The Iveys and in 1969 there were a number of changes with the group. They changed the band name to Badfinger along with Joey Molland joining the group following the departure of Ron Griffiths.
Badfinger had four consecutive worldwide hits from 1970 to 1972: "Come and Get It" (written and produced by Paul McCartney), "No Matter What", "Day After Day", and "Baby Blue". The Ham/Evans-penned Badfinger song "Without You" became a Billboard number one hit for Harry Nilsson. In 1970, the band engaged American businessman Stan Polley to manage their commercial affairs. Over the next five years the band recorded several albums for Apple and toured extensively, but became embroiled in the chaos of Apple Records' dissolution. They signed to Warner Bros., but Polley's financial machinations resulted in a lawsuit by Warner Bros., over missing escrow account money. Warner's consequent withdrawal from market of the 1974 album, Wish You Were Here (seven weeks after its release), cut off the band's income. Three days before his 28th birthday, on 24 April 1975, Ham committed suicide by hanging himself, leaving a note that included damning comments about Polley.
The next three years saw surviving members trying to rebuild their personal and professional lives against a backdrop of lawsuits. The albums Airwaves (1978) and Say No More (1981) floundered, as Molland and Evans see-sawed between cooperation and struggle in attempts to revive and capitalise on the Badfinger legacy. Having seen Ham's body after Ham's wife had called him, Evans reportedly never got over his friend's suicide, and was quoted as saying in darker moments, "I wanna be where he is." On 19 November 1983, Evans also took his own life by hanging.
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