1969 Japan 45 single picture sleeve, Polydor, DP-1630
|Single by Cream|
|from the album Goodbye|
|B-side||"What a Bringdown"|
|Released||17 March 1969 (US)
3 April 1969 (UK)
|Genre||Blues rock, hard rock|
|Producer||Felix Pappalardi / RSO|
|Cream singles chronology|
"Badge" is a song performed by Cream, written by Eric Clapton and George Harrison. It was included as a track on Cream's final album, Goodbye. "Badge" was a minor hit in the U.S., peaking at #60 on Billboard's Hot 100 after its release as a single in April 1969. The single was much more successful in the United Kingdom, where it reached #18.
"Badge" was originally an untitled track. During the production transfer for the album Goodbye, the original music sheet was used to produce the liner notes and track listing. The only discernible word on the page was "bridge" (indicating the song's bridge section). Due to Harrison's handwriting, however, Clapton misread it as "badge" — and the song was titled soon thereafter.
Harrison remembered the story differently: "I helped Eric write 'Badge' you know. Each of them had to come up with a song for that Goodbye Cream album and Eric didn't have his written. We were working across from each other and I was writing the lyrics down and we came to the middle part so I wrote 'Bridge.' Eric read it upside down and cracked up laughing-- 'What's BADGE?' he said. After that, Ringo walked in drunk and gave us that line about the swans living in the park."
A common legend or misconception is that the name came about because its chord progression is B-A-D-G-E (it is not), or simply because an anagram of a guitar's standard tuning (E-A-D-G-B-E) can be arranged to spell "Badge".
Clapton can be heard on many live solo recordings performing the song and singing the refrain "where is my badge?" or "love is my badge", incorporating the title into the song.
The arpeggiated guitar part in the song's bridge resembles some of Harrison's contemporaneous Beatles riffs, including "You Never Give Me Your Money", "Here Comes the Sun", and "Carry That Weight". The guitar part also strongly resembles that of Ringo's solo effort "It Don't Come Easy" (credited to Starr, but actually written by Harrison).
In the U.S.A., Atco Records' initial releases of Goodbye and of "Badge" as a single gave the song's writing credit to Eric Clapton alone, with publishing credit to Robert Stigwood's company Casserole (BMI). Atco would correct this later in 1969 with the release of Best of Cream, which lists both Clapton and George Harrison as the song's authors.
The U.K. single of "Badge" released by Polydor Records gave writing credit to both Clapton and Harrison, with publishing credit going to Dratleaf and Harrisongs Ltd. Since the early 1990s the writing credit has been listed as Clapton/Harrison with publishing credit going to E.C. Music, Ltd. and Harrisongs.
Despite his contribution to the song's lyrics, Ringo Starr is not credited as a co-author of "Badge".
Original Goodbye performers
- Eric Clapton – lead guitar and vocals
- Jack Bruce – bass guitar and backing vocals
- Ginger Baker – drums
- Felix Pappalardi – piano and mellotron
- George Harrison (credited, for contractual reasons, as "L'Angelo Misterioso") – rhythm guitar
- "Badge". Richie Unterberger. Retrieved 14 February 2013.
- Castleman, Harry; Podrazik, Walter J. (1977). "1969 – "But If Paul's Alive, How Did He Die?"". All Together Now – The First Complete Beatles Discography 1961–1975 (Second ed.). New York: Ballantine Books. p. 73. ISBN 0-345-25680-8.
- "The Billboard Hot 100 - Chart Listing For The Week Of May 03 1969". Retrieved 18 January 2009.
- Cream: Selections From Cream - Those Were the Days. Hal Leonard. p. 2. ISBN 0-7935-9084-1.
- Atco Records single #45-6668
- Atco Records album #SD 33-291
- Polydor Records single #2058-285
- Cream of Clapton Liner Notes