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Badger - White Lady CD (album) cover

WHITE LADY

Badger

 

Heavy Prog

1.67 | 26 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Guillermo
Prog Reviewer
2 stars In late 1993, I bought Jackie Lomax`s first solo album from 1969 called "Is This What You Want?" (which was produced by George Harrison and released by Apple Records). I found it in a supermarket in the records section being sold at a very cheap price with also other albums by other artists from the Apple Records label (Mary Hopkin, Billy Preston, Badfinger, James Taylor, etc.) that were re-issued in 1991 on CD with bonus tracks. In fact the price was so cheap that I bought some of these Apple Records` CDs from these artists. I had the curiosity to listen to Lomax`s album because it was produced by Harrison and also because it has two tracks recorded with an all- star line-up (with three Beatles: Harrison, Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney; Eric Clapton; Nicky Hopkins) and with one song composed by Harrison. Lomax was a friend from The Beatles and he was also managed briefly as a soloist by Brian Epstein, and when Epstein died and The Beatles founded Apple Records in 1968, Lomax was given then a recording contract with the label. He recorded only one album for Apple Records and several singles, all of which unfortunately for him were not very successful. He later recorded other 4 solo albums for other record labels during the seventies and a final solo album in 2004, without having much success, before his death in 2013. His only solo album for Apple Records is a mixture of Rock songs, Ballads, Pop Rock music from the sixties, with some psychedelic influences, and also with some Rhythm and Blues, Soul and Motown music influences. He was a good singer and composer.

BADGER`s first album ("One Live Badger", released in 1973) was recorded live in December 1972 and was produced by Jon Anderson. That first album is a good Prog Rock album well played and produced. But unfortunately that album was unsuccessful. I don`t know the full details, but for this second album from BADGER called "White Lady" from 1974, only keyboard player Tony Kaye and drummer Roy Dyke remained from their first line-up and their first album. The band also changed record label, and had Jackie Lomax as their new lead singer and rhythm guitarist, plus new bassist Kim Gardner and new lead guitarist Paul Pilnick . This, their second album, was produced by Allen Toussaint, who also plays some congas, piano and organ on some tracks. There is also a horns section added to most songs. The band also changed their original Prog Rock style to a new style which is a mixture of Rhythm and Blues, Soul, Rock Pop music, with even some Funky influences. With Lomax being the composer of all the songs in this album, it is not really unexpected that the songs sound influenced a lot from his work as soloist. It really sounds like BADGER became a vehicle for Lomax as a composer and singer, not really sounding very different from his first solo album (which is the only one album that I have listened from him as soloist), but with only updating his songwriting in sound for the commercial music of the mid-seventies. Jeff Beck plays a guitar solo on the title track, doing a good job. There are also some female backing vocals in some songs. The songs all sound in a similar style. As a whole the album is not bad. But this album is not a Prog Rock album. The musicians are good and they did a very professional job. Tony Kaye`s keyboard playing is good, adding some good organ and mellotron parts, but in some songs his keyboards really sound distant and more in the background. With this album, it seems that the BADGER`s band name was only used to give a commercial connection to a previous band with the same name and with a previous album in the market, but this new line-up really sounds very far from the original Prog Rock style the band had in their first album. There is not a real connection between both albums and line-ups apart from having Kaye and Dyke. Maybe they should have changed the name of the band for this second album. Maybe this album was even more unsuccessful than their first, so they did not record another album. Kaye later formed a new band in the mid- seventies called DETECTIVE which recorded three albums for LED ZEPPELIN`s Swan Song records label, with a more Hard Rock musical style, before they split in the late seventies, also without having much success.

A curious thing: apart from playing with Jackie Lomax in BADGER, Tony Kaye also played with another Apple Records` former band called Badfinger. But it was with a reformed Badfinger, playing with them between 1979 and 1981, and in fact recording with them their last album as a band called "Say No More", which was released in 1981. In 1983, while recording the "90125" album with YES, Kaye left YES for some months due to some problems with producer Trevor Horn and re-joined Badfinger for their last months as a band, returning to YES when he was asked to do it in late 1983. Kaye also played with Alan White in YES, a drummer who also had connections with The Beatles thanks to his work with John Lennon and George Harrison in some of their solo albums.

Guillermo | 2/5 |

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