Top positive review
10 people found this helpful
on 3 October 2006
While ELO cashed in big-style on the legacy of The Beatles, it was Badfinger who inherited the spirit. ELO had many good tunes but the Apple proteges, Pete Ham in particular, displayed a natural flair for songcraft. 'No Dice' is no imitation, but it does contain recordings with a similar feel to material such as 'Hey Jude' and the 'Abbey Road' album. Certainly, the main strength here is in the songwriting. There are some great performances, but the arrangements are occasionally erratic. Perhaps the best example of this is their original version of the famous 'Without You'. After hearing Harry Nilsson's version (forget Mariah Carey) you're struck by the weakness of the vocal, yet the lengthy fade-out winds up into something memorable.
Ham's compositions would prove to be the band's best but they were a songwriting democracy and, with the exception of 'Love Me Do' (no relation to the Lennon/McCartney song) the material is impeccable. The hit, 'No Matter What' is one highlight, Ham's touching ode to a prostitute, 'Midnight Caller', is another and 'We're For The Dark' is a suitable ending to an atmospherically-intense album. The five bonus songs all have something to commend them, notably 'I'll Be The One', though they don't hit the bullseye.
'No Dice', like all of Badfinger's albums up to 'Wish You Were Here', hasn't been heard by enough people. Buy it and hear for yourself.