Airwaves is an album released by Badfinger in 1979 on the Elektra label (a sister label to Warner Bros. Records, their previous label), the seventh album released that was credited to Badfinger. Anticipated as a comeback album for the group at the time, expectations were not quite realized, as the "group" now consisted of just the duo of Tom Evans and Joey Molland, accompanied by guitarist Joe Tansin and various session musicians.
Following the "hold" placed on the last Badfinger album, Head First, and the suicide of group co-founder Pete Ham in 1975, Badfinger disbanded, and the remaining members joined various other groups or dropped out of music for the next two years.
At the behest of Chicago musicians Joe Tansin (guitar/vocals) and Kenny Harck (drums), the then-unemployed Joey Molland formed a new group with the duo in Los Angeles. Molland later enticed his fellow former Badfinger member Tom Evans to also join the unnamed band.
After the band shopped demonstration records around the L.A. area, they discovered they would have more marketing power if they revived the Badfinger moniker. Although the name helped the group open doors to potential record labels, it also caused an inequality and friction between old and new Badfinger members within the band. As recordings commenced for the album, Harck was released by the band. Former Badfinger drummer Mike Gibbins auditioned for the group but was not hired, and session musician Andy Newmark was finally brought in for the drum tracks. Tansin, whose songs were largely bypassed during production in favour of Evans and Molland tunes, quit the group immediately upon the album's completion.
With a short running time and basically only eight songs, Airwaves did not leave a strong impression on music reviewers upon its release. Critics also complained about the album's "West coast" production and the loss of the famous Badfinger sound. Molland, however, has often defended the album and its production. The band toured frequently in support of the album, but sales figures failed to garner optimism with Elektra and the label passed on issuing a follow up LP.
Two singles were released from the album. "Lost Inside Your Love" did not enter the U.S. charts, "Love Is Gonna Come At Last" managed a peak position at #69 on Billboard. The actual album peaked at #125 in the US charts.
Badfinger were a British rock band consisting originally of Pete Ham, Ron Griffiths, Mike Gibbins and Tom Evans; active from 1968 to 1983, and evolving from The Iveys; formed by Ham, Griffiths and David "Dai" Jenkins in Swansea, Wales, in the early 1960s. Joey Molland joined the group in 1969, following the departure of Griffiths. Signed by the Beatles' Apple label in 1968 as The Iveys, they adopted the name Badfinger in 1969. Badfinger had four consecutive worldwide hits in 1970 and 1971: "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) foundered, 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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