March 1998

Badfinger - No Dice
DCC Compact Classics GZS-1095
Originally Released: 1970
Remastered Released: 1997

by Greg Smith

Sound Quality **1/2

[Reviewed on Gold CD]

Comparison Release:

No Dice
Capitol CDP 7 98698 2, 1992

Sound Quality ****1/2

When I first started investigating remastered CDs, one noticeable trend was that older music seemed to benefit more from the treatment than newer recordings did. The reasons for that are numerous. Most obviously, it's the old releases that tended to come out early in the cycle of CD releases, so they got to suffer through primitive digital technology. The regular version of Badfinger's No Dice currently available doesn't suffer from that sort of problem. It was just remastered by the record company in 1992, and it sounds about as good as you'd expect an album from 1970 to be. When you get a new release from DCC, though, there's more to the higher quality than just a modern digital conversion. They use very refined analog gear to get as clean a read off the original as possible, combined with top-notch electronics. So even if their A/D process wasn't any better than Capitol's, they'd still have some room for improvement.

"I Can't Take It" gains a little bit from the remastering. There's slightly better bass, and vocals are more clearly defined in space. "I Don't Mind" gains a quieter background, with better resolution on the cymbals. The mixing between the main and harmony vocals is considerably easy to discern.

The hit single "No Matter What" already sounds very dynamic and full, significantly better than most of the tracks on the original. While there's not much to improve on, you do get a bit more of the distortion sound from the guitars. "Without You", a Badfinger original many think Harry Nilsson wrote, also sounds fairly good. DCC's version does significantly improve the texture of the guitar strings.

While not a stunning improvement, DCC does give you a cleaner window into Badfinger. If you're a big enough fan to justify paying extra for it, this remastered version will provide you with more enjoyable playback of this music.