Baby Blue (Badfinger song)

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"Baby Blue"
Baby blue sleeve.jpg
Single by Badfinger
from the album Straight Up
B-side "Flying"
Released 6 March 1972 (US)
Format 7-inch single
Genre Power pop[1]
Length 3:37
Label Apple
Songwriter(s) Pete Ham
Producer(s) Todd Rundgren
Badfinger singles chronology
"Day After Day"
(1971)
"Baby Blue"
(1972)
"Apple of My Eye"
(1973)

"Day After Day"
(1971)
"Baby Blue"
(1972)
"Apple of My Eye"
(1973)

"Baby Blue" is a song by the Welsh band Badfinger from their 1971 album, Straight Up. The song was written by Pete Ham, produced by Todd Rundgren, and released on Apple Records. In 2013, it was featured in the series finale of the television show Breaking Bad. As a result, the song charted in the UK for the first time, reaching No. 73.

Writing[edit]

Ham wrote the song about a woman named Dixie Armstrong, whom he had dated during Badfinger's last US tour.[2]

Release[edit]

"Baby Blue" was released as a single in the US on 6 March 1972, in a blue-tinted picture sleeve and featuring a new mix. Because Al Steckler, the head of Apple US, felt that it needed a stronger hook in the opening, he remixed the track with engineer Eddie Kramer in February 1972, applying heavy reverb to the snare during the first verse and middle eight.[2] It was the group's last Top 20 single, peaking at number 14 on the Billboard Pop Singles chart.[3] It also reached #18 in South Africa. [4]

However, the chaos that was enveloping the Apple UK operation at the time was strongly evident with regard to this song. While Apple US gave the song a picture sleeve and a remix to ensure that it was a hit, Apple UK remained unaware of its commercial potential. Although the single was assigned a release number for the UK (Apple 42), "Baby Blue" was never actually released as a single in the UK.[2]

Resurgence of popularity[edit]

The song experienced a resurgence of popularity in 2013 when it was featured in the television program Breaking Bad during the closing scene of the series finale.[5] Online streams increased in popularity immediately following the broadcast. According to Nielsen Soundscan, 5,300 downloads were purchased the night of the broadcast,[6] and the song appeared on the Billboard Digital Songs chart at No. 32 the week ending October 19, 2013.[7] Joey Molland, the last surviving member of the classic line-up of Badfinger, took to Twitter to express his excitement at the song's use in the finale[8] and subsequently began to retweet news articles about the song's usage in the finale. It became a top-selling song on iTunes following the broadcast. As a result, the song charted in the UK for the first time, reaching No. 73. It also charted at No. 35 in Ireland.[9]

Personnel[edit]

Cover versions[edit]

Aimee Mann covered the song as the B-side to her 1993 single "I Should've Known".[10]

Singer-songwriter Barbara Manning covered the song with her band, S.F. Seals, on the 1994 album Nowhere.[11]

Phil Keaggy covered the song in his album Blue in 1994.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Badfinger - Straight Up". Allmusic. Retrieved 20 January 2015.
  2. ^ a b c Matovina, Dan. Without You: The Tragic Story of Badfinger. ISBN 0-9657122-2-2.
  3. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits: Eighth Edition. Record Research. p. 42.
  4. ^ "Springbok SA Top 20". Retrieved 27 February 2018.
  5. ^ "Why 'Breaking Bad' Chose Badfinger's 'Baby Blue'", rollingstone.com
  6. ^ Kafka, Peter (3 October 2013). "How to Sell Songs on iTunes If You're Not Miley Cyrus or Katy Perry". All Things Digital. Retrieved 4 October 2013.
  7. ^ Caulfield, Keith (30 September 2013). "'Breaking Bad' Finale's Last Song Surges With 3,000% Sales Gain". Billboard. Retrieved 1 October 2013.
  8. ^ Molland, Joey (29 September 2013). "Thank you #BreakingBad for choosing Badfinger's original recording of BABY BLUE for the final song. First, the Departed film ... now THIS!". Twitter. Retrieved 2 October 2013.
  9. ^ Suddath, Claire (4 October 2013). "Breaking Badfinger: Who's Getting the Baby Blue Money?". Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
  10. ^ Aimee Mann – "I Should've Known", Discogs.
  11. ^ Barbara Manning with the San Francisco Seals – Nowhere, Discogs.

External links[edit]