#29: Rod Stewart – Day After Day
Badfinger seemed to have it all. They were one of the first bands to be signed to the the Beatles‘ Apple Records Label . Their name was the working title of what became “With a Little Help from My Friends“. Their first hit was written and produced by Paul McCartney. George Harrison and Todd Rundgren, produced them. And Harry Nilsson‘s most recognizable hit, 1970’s “Without You“” was originally a Badfinger track.
But a dark cloud seemed to over over the band. When Apple folded and they transferred to Warner Brothers, questionable practices by their manager, Stan Polley, lead to lawsuits that tied up their assets. Their lead singer and the heart of the band, Pete Ham, became despondent and committed suicide. Today only two of the original quartet survive.
And yet, the group is considered a major influence in the music as the decade turned from the 1960s to the 1970s. So when Rod Stewart decided to record covers some of his favorite artists of that era on “Still the Same… Great Rock Classics of Our Time“, released in October of 2006, Badfinger’s “Day After Day” was among them.
I was a huge fan of the original. It’s a well constructed love song with great lyrics with contributions in studio and at the control board from both Harrison and Rundgren. That’s George, on slide guitar in both the opening and during the instrumental breaks.
It turns out that the tune is also a natural for Rod’s unique voice. The album had all the hallmarks that ensured success. Clive Davis co-produced with John Shanks. Some of the best studio musicians of the present day contributed their talents. And “Day After Day” re-imagined, benefits from the state of the art recording technology, mixed with backing track arrangements that almost emulate the original, note for note.
The collection debuted at number one, Rod’s fifth Top 5 and second #1 debut in three years, and became a worldwide hit, proving that the then 61 year old Stewart still had his chops. I include it at Number 29 in my 31 Days of Faves as a tribute to both the man and the star-crossed band who’s legacy continues to inspire imitation.