Straight Up is the third album by British rock band Badfinger, released in December 1971 in the United States and February 1972 in Britain. Issued on the Beatles' Apple record label, it includes the hit singles "Day After Day" and "Baby Blue", and the similarly popular "Name of the Game", all of which were written by singer and guitarist Pete Ham. The album marked a departure from the more rock-oriented sound of Badfinger's previous releases, partly as a result of intervention by Apple Records regarding the band's musical direction. Although Straight Up received a mixed response from critics on release, many reviewers now regard it as the band's best album. Rolling Stone critic David Fricke has referred to it as "Badfinger's power-pop apex".
Straight Up is the third album by power pop band Badfinger, released on December 13, 1971. It is widely regarded as Badfinger's best album, spawning two Top 20 singles in the U.S. and being commercially successful in its own right. The album was released on the The Beatles' Apple Records label and was unavailable for many years after it closed. It became a highly sought-after album by collectors until it was finally re-issued on CD in 1993.
This record is an unexpected treat. Bob James has had a lucrative career writing and playing crossover jazz/pop. Although he had actually started his career with a straight-ahead trio date for Mercury in 1962 and also led a bizarre avant-garde session for ESP in 1965, his career since 1974 has offered very little of interest to consumers who prefer to hear inventive jazz as opposed to pleasant background music. But for this session, James returned to the roots few knew he had. Playing in an acoustic trio with bassist Christian McBride and drummer Brian Blade, James contributes five straightforward originals in addition to the standard "Lost April," and interprets tunes by Pat Metheny/Lyle Mays, Horace Silver ("The Jody Grind"), and Denny Zeitlin. While not hinting at all at his usual pop material, James plays quite well, takes plenty of chances, and sounds influenced a bit by Bill Evans. With McBride and Blade contributing consistently stimulating interplay, Bob James has recorded what is certainly the finest jazz album of his career.