Baby Blue (Badfinger song)

"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. As a single in the US in 1972, it went to #14. In 2013, the song was prominently 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 #73.

"Baby Blue"
Baby blue sleeve.jpg
Single by Badfinger
from the album Straight Up
B-side"Flying"
Released6 March 1972 (US)
Genre
Length3:37
LabelApple
Songwriter(s)Pete Ham
Producer(s)Todd Rundgren
Badfinger singles chronology
"Day After Day"
(1971)
"Baby Blue"
(1972)
"Apple of My Eye"
(1973)
Music video
"Baby Blue" on YouTube
Clip
"Breaking Bad Final Scene" on YouTube

WritingEdit

Ham wrote the song about a woman named Dixie Armstrong, whom he had dated during Badfinger's last US tour.[3] Guitarist Joey Molland recalled, "She came to one of the shows, they got talking and Pete really liked her. I don’t know whether they fell in love straight away, but he invited her on the road with us and she came along."[4] Ham ultimately ended the relationship, partially as a result of Armstrong's lack of interest in Badfinger's recording and touring activities.

Ham composed the song on acoustic guitar and Molland claims to have helped streamline the song's linking parts.

ReleaseEdit

"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.[3] It was the group's last Top 20 single, peaking at #14 on the Billboard Pop Singles chart.[5] It also reached #18 in South Africa.[6]

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), and had a scheduled release date of 10 March 1972, "Baby Blue" was never actually released as a single in the UK.[3]

Resurgence of popularityEdit

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.[7] Online streams increased in popularity immediately following the broadcast. According to Nielsen Soundscan, 5,300 downloads were purchased the night of the broadcast,[8] and the song appeared on the Billboard Digital Songs chart at #32 the week ending October 19, 2013.[9] 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[10] 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 #73. It also charted at #35 in Ireland.[11]

PersonnelEdit

Cover versions and other usesEdit

Aimee Mann covered the song as the B-side to her 1993 single "I Should've Known". Singer-songwriter Barbara Manning covered the song with her band, S.F. Seals, on the 1994 album Nowhere.

The song was briefly featured in the 2006 movie The Departed, directed by Martin Scorsese. The Song was also briefly used in the 2019 movie Annabelle Comes Home, which is a part of The Conjuring Universe.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Badfinger - Straight Up". Allmusic. Archived from the original on 28 December 2014. Retrieved 20 January 2015.
  2. ^ Joe, Bosso (21 November 2010). "Badfinger's Joey Molland on The Beatles, Apple Records reissues and tragedy". MusicRadar. Archived from the original on 30 April 2019. Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  3. ^ a b c Matovina, Dan. Without You: The Tragic Story of Badfinger. Archived 5 April 2007 at the Wayback Machine ISBN 0-9657122-2-2.
  4. ^ November 2018, Rob Hughes28 (28 November 2018). "The Story Behind The Song: Baby Blue By Badfinger". Classic Rock Magazine. Archived from the original on 21 January 2021. Retrieved 15 January 2021.
  5. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits: Eighth Edition. Record Research. p. 42.
  6. ^ "Springbok SA Top 20". Archived from the original on 8 November 2003. Retrieved 27 February 2018.
  7. ^ Knopper, Steve (1 October 2013). "Why 'Breaking Bad' Chose Badfinger's 'Baby Blue'". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 19 December 2021. Retrieved 16 March 2022.
  8. ^ Kafka, Peter (3 October 2013). "How to Sell Songs on iTunes If You're Not Miley Cyrus or Katy Perry". All Things Digital. Archived from the original on 5 October 2013. Retrieved 4 October 2013.
  9. ^ Caulfield, Keith (30 September 2013). "'Breaking Bad' Finale's Last Song Surges With 3,000% Sales Gain". Billboard. Archived from the original on 30 September 2013. Retrieved 1 October 2013.
  10. ^ 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. Archived from the original on 6 October 2013. Retrieved 2 October 2013.
  11. ^ Suddath, Claire (4 October 2013). "Breaking Badfinger: Who's Getting the Baby Blue Money?". Bloomberg Businessweek. Archived from the original on 4 July 2014. Retrieved 20 June 2014.

External linksEdit