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Badfinger — No Matter What - Revisiting the Hits
(Purple Pyramid CLO 2195, 2021, CD / DL)
by Jon Davis, Published 2021-06-04
No Matter What sees Badfinger remaking ten of their most famous songs with high-profile guests, mostly handling lead vocals. Singers include Mark Stein of Vanilla Fudge, Carl Giammarese of The Buckinghams, Rick Springfield, Matthew Sweet, and Todd Rundgren; there are also appearances from Rick Wakeman, Ian Anderson, Edward Ka-Spel, Sonny Landreth, and Albert Lee on the instruments they’re most famous for. Joey Molland, the band’s original bassist, is the only actual connection to Badfinger here, with other parts handled by Jürgen Engler (guitar) and Adam Hamilton (drums). As an introduction to an outstanding band, No Matter What serves as a decent Best Of, though given the existence of actual Best Of albums, it’s somewhat redundant. None of the performances is sub-par in any way, but we’re dealing with a bunch of classic songs here, so topping the originals is a tough order. By that standard, this album falls short. Considered as a kind of tribute album, it fares better, and most of the tracks are quite enjoyable in their own right. Rick Springfield’s take on “Love Is Gonna Come at Last” is very well done, and the version of “Day after Day” is a lot of fun, with Ian Anderson on flute, Terry Reid singing, and a string quartet. In the end, No Matter What is a kind of novelty — alternative versions of great songs that might entice a few new converts to Badfinger’s impressive body of work, and if that happens, it doesn’t matter if most of the versions don’t add anything new.
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