Badfinger’s Joey Molland, “Walk Out in the Rain” from Return to Memphis (2013): Exclusive stream

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Joey Molland returns for his first solo album since 2001’s This Way Up, and it’s unlike anything from the guitarist’s seminal power pop work with Badfinger. Check out the album’s opening cut here!

“Walk Out in the Rain” hails a series of simmering sides on Return to Memphis, recorded in that city’s Royal Studios and produced for Gonzo Media by Stax veteran Carl “Blue” Wise. That positions Molland in a lengthy line of Wise collaborators that includes local legends like Eddie Floyd, Rufus Thomas and the Bar-Keys, as well as Bruce Springsteen and longtime bandmate Steven Van Zandt, among others.

Molland joined Badfinger in 1969, just as this star-crossed band seemed to be on the verge of the big time. They’d signed with the Beatles’ boutique imprint Apple, and even recorded a Paul McCartney song. Between 1970-72, an amazing string of three Top 10 hits would follow, including “No Matter What,” “Baby Blue” and “Day After Day.”

Two of Badfinger’s co-founders, however, ultimately committed suicide — Pete Ham in 1975 and Tom Evans in 1983, both by hanging. Drummer Mike Gibbins then died in his sleep in 2005, leaving Molland — who continue through a series of lineups through 1974, then helped jump start the band again into the 1980s — to carry on Badfinger’s legacy.

The timing of this soulful new solo album (which Joey Molland says realizes a childhood dream for someone who grew up on a steady diet of American R&B) couldn’t be more fortuitous: The inclusion of Badfinger’s “Baby Blue” in the blockbuster finale of TV’s Breaking Bad has hurtled the group back into the public consciousness.

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