Joey Molland / Joe Molland

Band members                              Related acts

- Joey Molland - vocals, guitar, bass, keyboards


  supporting musicians (1983)

- Neil Andrews - keyboards 
- Vince Andrews - horns 
- John Durzo - bass 
- Rick Hall - drums, percussion
- Joe Kutch - slide guitar 
- Tom Weisend - rhythm guitar


  supporting musicians (1994)

- Randy Anderson -- slide guitar

- Scott Bartel -- keyboards, strings

- Bill Collins -- organ

- Mark Lichey -- lead guitar

- Kathie Molland -- backing vocals

- John Richardson -- drums, percussion

- Ritchie Routledge -- backing vocals


  supporting musicians (2001)

- Randy Anderson --  lead guitar, slide guitar

- Andy Dee -- lap steel guitar

- Tom Lecher -- bass
- Mark Healey -- bass 

- Bob Millea --  drums

- Doug Molland -- acoustic guitar
- Joe Molland III -- lead guitar 
- Harry Pulver -- keyboards





- The Assassins (Joey Molland)

- Badfinger (Joey Molland)

- The Dodgers (Joey Molland)

- The Fruit Eating Bears (Joey Molland)

- The Iveys (Joey Molland)

- The Masterminds (Joey Molland)

- Natural Gas (Joey Molland)




Genre: pop

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  After the Pearl

Company: Earthtone

Catalog: ET-01002

Year: 1983

Country/State: UK

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: includes original custom inner sleeve

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 11782

Price: $40.00


Singer/songwriter Joey Molland's best known as one of early members of the musical tragedy known as Badfinger (and to a lesser degree his subsequent work with the bands The Dodgers and Natural Gas). 


I'm no Badfinger scholar, but from what little I know about the Badfingerr saga, Molland's an extremely polarizing figure with some fans blaming him for all that went wrong with the band (kind of a Yoko Ono reputation), while others peg him as the nice guy who was simply misunderstood.   I can't tell you which is true ...  maybe like most things in life, a little bit of both ?

Released by the small Earthtone label, 1983's self-produced "After the Pearl" found Molland continuing to mine Badfinger/Paul McCartney-styled pop/rock. While his instantly recognizable voice may have lost a touch of it's earlier flexibility, on original material such as 'Here Comes Heartache', 'Too Late To Cry' and 'Moolah Rey' the man still sounded pretty darned good. Always a talented melody writer, Molland's gifts remained intact throughout the set. Now for the bad news ... Unfortunately, in an era of rap and new wave, like the cigarette he was shown holding on the cover photo, his affections for '60s-styled rock were hopelessly outdated. That's unfortunate since in an earlier  timeframe virtually every one of the nine songs would have made a dandy top-40 hit - okay, 'All Your Lovin" and 'Life Song' succumbed to the dreaded sea-of-synthesizers-disease.  Highlights included the rockers 'Here Comes the Heartache' and 'Mean Jemima', and the pretty ballad 'What Happened' (ah, shades of Badfinger).  Was it as good as a Badfinger album ?  No, but for a solo set it was pretty consistent and enjoyable.  Very few copies were printed; with minimal promotion from Earthtone, even fewer actually sold, making the LP a future collectable.

"After the Pearl" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Here Comes Heartache (Joey Molland) -3:38

Complete with what sounded like steel drums (probably a synthesizer), 'Here Comes Heartache' opened the album with a surprisingly enjoyable rocker.   Built on the criminally catchy title refrain and some nice AOR guitar moves, you're hard pressed to figure out why this one wasn't a radio favorite.  Earth Tone actually tapped it as a single.   rating: **** stars 
2.) Too Late To Cry (Joey Molland) - 3:58

Kicked along by pretty strumming guitars, 'Too Late To Cry' has a melody that would have made Pete Ham proud. Seemingly a reflection to lost opportunities and lost band mates, the only downside was a slightly flat Molland vocal.   rating: *** stars   
3.) Moolah Rey (Joey Molland) - 3:12

Decent "pocket rocker" that had some '80s commercial potential, but wasn't particularly original, or memorable.  Nice vocal, though the sax solo wasn't necessary.  rating: *** stars
4.) In My Heart (Joey Molland) - 3:45

The lyrics were a bit pedestrian, but 'In My Heart' was one of the prettier things Molland's written.  Nice multi-tracked vocals gave it a bit of a Badfinger vibe.  rating: *** stars
5.) All Your Lovin' (Joey Molland) - 2:53

Best thing I can say about this synthesizer drenched mid-tempo number was that it was short and forgettable.   rating: ** stars

(side 2)

1.) Life Song (Joey Molland) - 4:00

Pure speculation on my part, but I'm guessing the bouncy, keyboard-powered rocker was a response of Tom Evans and Pete Ham's suicides. (I've heard a couple of interviews with the man where he talks about the need to grasp every minute of life.)  The heavy synthesizer washes gave the tune a distinctive '80s AOR feel which hasn't aged all that well.   rating: *** stars
2.) What Happened (Joey Molland) - 4:16

Another surprisingly thought provoking bittersweet reminiscence, 'What Happened' had one of the album's prettiest melodies; some patented Badfinger-styled slide guitar and was probably the album's best ballad.   rating: **** stars
3.) Mean Jemima (Joey Molland) - 3:53

Molland takes a stab at Foghat-styled boogie rock with credible results ...  'Mean Jemima' actually raced its roots back to some 1971 Badfinger sessions.  Originally intended for the band's "No Dice" follow-on, the song got shelved when the follow-up project collapsed, though a version appearing on a reissued version of "No Dice".  One of the nicer performances on the album, but the Badfinger version is even better   rating: *** stars
4.) Dream of Thunder (Joey Molland) - 3:12

The guitar rocker 'Dream of Thunder' closed the set out with the standout performance.      rating: **** stars


As mentioned, Earthtone tapped the album for an obscure single:



- 1983's 'Here Comes Heartache' b/w 'What Happened' (Earth Tone catalog number ET 7002)


Needless to say, a small label like Earthtone had minimal marketing resources and even though the album picked up some favorable reviews, it sold little.  Not sure it has ever seen a CD re-issue.





Genre: pop

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  The Pilgrim

Company: Ryko

Catalog: RCD 10212

Year: 1992

Country/State: UK

Grade (cover/record): NM/NM

Comments: CD format

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 

Price: $20.00


In 1989 Ryko released a Badfinger live set - "Live Day After Day".   The resulting publicity (good and bad) was apparently enough to get Joey Molland a solo deal with the label.   Released in 1992, the self-produced "The Pilgrim" was a significant improvement over his 1983 "After the Pearl" debut.  Featuring twelve Molland originals, to be honest, with the possible exception of 'No One Likes the Rain' and the slide guitar on 'In My Dream',  little on the set was going to scratch your Badfinger itch.  Instead the collection offered up a mixture of competent ballads, mid-tempo numbers, with an occasional harder rock number thrown in for good measure.  Interestingly, much of the album reflected a true one man show with Molland handling vocals and virtually all of the instrumentation with the exception of drums (credits to John Richardson).  Normally such a one man show would be marked by a raw, under-produced sound.  That certainly wasn't the case here.  In fact, if you didn't pay attention to the performance credits, you'd never have figured most of these tracks were just Molland and Richardson.


"The Pilgrim" track listing

1.) You Make Me Sick   (Joey Molland) - 4:10

Judging by the biting lyrics, something, or someone certainly seems to have pissed Molland off.  A blazing rocker with the kind of snarling lyrics I find highly entertaining (would love to know what inspired the song), this was a great way to start the album.  rating: **** stars

2.) All Caught Up   (Joey Molland) - 5:12

Perhaps due to the fact it followed such a great rocker, the ballad "All Caught Up' came off as a mild disappointment.  Pretty enough, but kind of bland and anonymous.  rating: *** stars

3.) The Party's Over   (Joey Molland) - 4:10

The rocking 'The Party's Over' was a true one man show with Molland playing everything except for the drums (John Richardson).  Musically this one exhibited a nice blend of late era new wave (think Flash In the Pan), Dire Straits, and AOR moves.   That probably didn't sound like a great combination, but Molland turned it into something quite enjoyable.   rating: **** stars

4.) No One Likes the Rain   (Joey Molland) - 4:09

With one of those '60s flavored melodies that simply reeked nostalgia, 'No One Likes the Rain' was a track that I found irresistible.  Probably something to do with my beat ears, but the song's always reminded me a bit of The Ronnettes 'Be My Baby'.  Wonderful multi-tracked harmony vocals coupled with plenty of strumming guitars made this one another album highlight.  rating: **** stars

5.) Vampire Wedding   (Joey Molland) -  4:05

Kind of a goofy, pub rocker, 'Vampire Wedding' sounded like something Dave Edmunds might have recorded.   Very English and fun through and through.  Would have made a nice mid-'90s single.   rating: **** stars

6.) The Magic of Love   (Joey Molland) - 6:19

A breezy ballad, 'The Magic of Love' demonstrated Molland could churn out a highly commercial number with a pretty melody.   With a beautiful lead guitar solo, the song also demonstrated Molland's skill on lead guitar.  The only problem with this one is that it was way too long and after you hit the four minute mark it simply began to drag and drag and drag.   rating: *** stars

7.) Hard Times   (Joey Molland) - 3:26

Initially 'Hard Times' struck me as a throwaway rocker.   Bland and forgettable ...   and then one day I discovered it was actually a killer rock tune with a great bass pattern, nice lead guitar, and some of Molland's best singing.   rating: **** stars

8.) Long, Long Way Back Home   (Joey Molland) - 4:59

With an insidiously catchy jittery new wave-ish hook (the little keyboard flourish was classic), 'Long, Long Way Back Home' was easily one of my favorites performances.  Should have been a hit for Molland.   rating: **** stars

9.) In My Dream   (Joey Molland) - 4:12

Another ballad, 'In My Dream' sounded like an unfinished demo.  The song certainly had the bones of a good song with some dreamy vocals and nice Badfinger-ish slide guitar, but the track just never shifted into gear.   rating: ** stars

10.) Your Eyes   (Joey Molland) - 4:20

'Your Eyes' offered up another slice of Dave Edmunds-styled slice of rockabilly.   Didn't do a great deal for me.   rating: *** stars

11.) This 'n That   (Joey Molland) - 3:32

Admittedly it didn't sound exactly like a Badfinger song, but the bouncy melody, sweet harmonies, and carefree, summer-ish aura came close to capturing the formers wonderful spirit.   rating: **** stars

12.) All the Way   (Joey Molland) - 5:57

With a slow, vaguely exotic melody that reminded me a bit of a cross between Rick Ocasek and the Cars and Tears For Fears' Roland Orzabel, 'All the Way' was the album's strangest song.  It was also a true Molland solo effort (he even played the syn-drums).   rating: **** stars


Ryko did little to promote the set (I didn't know if existed until a decade after it was released) and sales were pretty much non-existent.   Shame since the album's actually quite enjoyable in a low-keyed, easy-going fashion.  The good news is you can still find cheap copies so don't wait.





Genre: pop

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  This Way Up

Company: Independent Artists Records

Catalog: CD 1013

Year: 2001

Country/State: UK

Grade (cover/record): NM/NM

Comments: CD format

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 

Price: $20.00



Released in 2001, "This Way Up" was Joe (no longer Joey) Molland's first release in three years.  Self-produced and released on his own Minnesota-based Independent Artists label,  the collection featured thirteen original songs and backing from some of the folks who'd been in his touring band.  Interestingly the first couple of times I played the album I couldn't help but  notice the changes to Molland's voice.   By my calculations he was in his mid-50s when this album was recorded and time had clearly taken a toll on his vocal agility.  Mind you, Molland was still a talented singer, but with the album his voice came off much deeper and rawer than on earlier releases.  The change was most noticeable on ballads such as 'This Must Be Love' and 'What Else (Nothing)'.   Otherwise  you quickly acclimated to his "new" voice and thanks to the high caliber of most of these tunes, it really wasn't a deal breaker.  My opinion (worth nothing), but musically I'd argue this wasn't quite as goof as "The Pilgrim".  Up-tempo numbers like 'Happy', 'A Way To Be', and 'Three Minute Warning' were uniformly strong, but towards the second half, the collection lost steam and points on ballads like 'This Must Be Love' and the country-tinged 'Tell Me'.   It wasn't the lost Badfinger classic some folks would have you believe, but at least half of the tracks were worth multiple spins.   

"This Way Up" track listing

1.) Mirrors   (Joe Molland) - 4:15

With a wonderful melody, 'Mirrors' opened the album with one of the best things Molland's ever written.  The song was written in 1995 and previously appeared on Molland's 1998 demos collection "Basil".   The song also served to showcase the impact age was having on his voice and trying to obscure the effects with lots of instrumentation, backing vocalists and harmony singers only served to underscore the changes.   Regardless, it was a nice way to start the album.   rating: **** stars.   
2.) Happy   (Joe Molland) - 3:50

'Happy' was a tune that had been in Molland's live repertoire since at least the mid-'90s.   YouTube has a bunch of live performances of the tune in different styles including acoustic singer/songwriter, and full out rocker.   As for the version he finally recorded, geez, how could you not fall in love with a song that so blatantly made us of "Revolver"-styled guitars.   If you ever wanted to hear a good Beatle-esque tune, then go no further than 'Happy'.   By the way, Molland's rugged voice sound wonderful on this blazing rock version.   rating: ***** stars
3.) A Way To Be   (Joe Molland) - 3:59

In spite of a slightly raw and flat lead vocal, 'A Way To Be' may have been the album's most overtly commercial and radio-friendly tune.  The song had one of those melodies that you couldn't help but hum and the lead guitar work was killer.   rating: **** stars
4.) The Bust   (Joe Molland) - 4:07

Anchored by Harry Pulver's pulsating organ fills, the mid-tempo rocker 'The Bust' offered up another catchy melody, one of the album's best arrangements, and some intriguing lyrics - pure speculation on my part, but it appeared Molland was taking a stab at some of his critics.   rating: **** stars
5.) This Must Be Love   (Joe Molland) - 4:03

The album's first disappointment, 'This Must Be Love' was a pretty, but pedestrian ballad.  Nice guitar, but the rest of the song was simply forgettable.   rating: ** stars
6.) Moonlight   (Joe Molland) - 4:15

Bland and forgettable ballad that sounds like it was recorded in an echo chamber.   rating: ** stars
7.) Another Honeymoon   (Joe Molland) - 3:21

'Another Honeymoon' was a strange semi-lounge act number.  It actually sounded like the late Harry Nilsson trying to pull off some sort  of '40s vibe.  Really didn't do much for me.   rating: ** stars

8.) When I Was A Boy   (Joe Molland) - 6:00

Nice, pensive ballad with a dark, slightly lysergic melody and some cool echo effects on the vocals.   Not sure what the end-of-song 'Lights On Broadway' chorus was all about.    rating: *** stars
9.) Angels Like Us   (Joe Molland) - 2:51

With lots of jangle guitar, 'Angels Like Us' quickly won be over ...   Sounding a bit like a Dave Edmunds and Rockpile effort, it was also one of the songs that benefited from Molland's roughed up voice.   rating: **** stars
10.) What Else (Nothing)   (Joe Molland) - 5:33

'What Else (Nothing)' was a dreamy, drifty ballad that highlighted Molland's vocal limitations and didn't make a great impression ...   I'll give it an extra star for the nice guitar solo that kicked in at the end of the tune.   rating: *** stars
11.) Tell Me   (Joe Molland) - 4:03

Country-tinged ballad ...   pass.   rating: ** stars
12.) Three Minute Warning   (Joe Molland) - 4:16

'The Minutes Warning' came off as a first-rate slice of Chuck Berry-styled rock.   Not particularly original, but powered by some nice George Thorogood-styled fuzz lead guitar, this was a great slice of no frills, old-school rock.   Shame Molland didn't ditch a couple of the ballads in favor of more material like tune..  rating: **** stars
13.) Isn't That A Dream?   (Joe Molland) - 4:43

Another album highlight, 'Isn't That A Dream?' had previous appeared on his "Basil' collection.   Molland described it as "A relatively new song about losing your problems. I recorded it at "Echo Boys" in Minneapolis with some friends. Randy Anderson played slide guitar on it."   This offering framed the song as a wonderful folk-rock tune with a sweet lyric, lots of jangle guitar, and one of Molland's most impressive vocals.   Think along the lines of a good Byrds tune.  Nice way to end the album.   rating: **** stars