Breaking Bad Meets Badfinger
by Justin Farrar | October 7, 2013
The series finale of Breaking Bad has to be one of the most talked-about events in television history. In an era when pop culture has splintered into an infinite number of factions and the amount of entertainment vying for our eyes and ears is downright staggering, the strange and epic tale of unlikely crystal-meth manufacturers Walter White and Jesse Pinkman transfixed the nation. One of the outgrowths of the series finale is our newfound obsession with the gorgeous ballad played over its unforgettable closing scene: Badfinger's "Baby Blue."
Badfinger's story is just as strange and twisted (and sad) as that of Walter and Jesse. Signed to The Beatles' Apple Records in 1968, they immediately were cursed with "The Next Beatles" tag. While the act certainly achieved a modest degree of success over the next few years (in addition to "Baby Blue," they scored hits with ["No Matter What"] and the Paul McCartney-penned "Come and Get It"), Badfinger never could shake the unrealistically lofty expectations set for them. Far worse is the fact that manager Stan Polley, all throughout this time, milked the outfit for everything they were worth. By 1975 Badfinger were broke (as in "selling the guitars to feed the family" broke). The intense misfortune, as well as the dire circumstances they found themselves in, set off a chain of tragic events: First, in spring of 1975, founding member, the wildly talented Pete Ham, committed suicide; then, eight years later, bandmate Tom Evans followed suit.
Despite all the tragedy, Badfinger really did create some of the most inspiring pop music of the '70s. (Mind you, they also composed ["Without You,"] which Harry Nilsson famously rode to the top of the charts.) Along with Big Star and the Raspberries, they are considered pioneers of the power pop genre. Though we can't rewrite history, the fact that Badfinger's music continues to create new fans is, in some small part, vindication of their timeless talent.