Straight Up winds up somewhat less dynamic than No Dice, largely because that record alternated its rockers, pop tunes, and ballads. Here, everything is at a similar level, as the ballads are made grander and the rockers have their melodic side emphasized. Consequently, the record sounds more unified than No Dice, which had a bit of a split personality. Todd Rundgren's warm, detailed production makes each songwriter sound as if he was on the same page, although the bonus tracks -- revealing the abandoned original Geoff Emerick productions -- prove that the distinctive voices on No Dice were still present. Frankly, the increased production is for the best, since Badfinger sounds best when there's as much craft in the production as there is in the writing. Here, there's absolutely no filler and everybody is in top form. Pete Ham's "Baby Blue" is textbook power-pop -- irresistibly catchy fuzz riffs and sighing melodies -- and with its Harrison-esque slide guitars, "Day After Day" is so gorgeous it practically aches. "Perfection" is an unheralded gem, while "Name of the Game" and "Take It All" are note-perfect pop ballads. Tom Evans isn't as prolific here, but the one-two punch of "Money" and "Flying" is the closest Straight Up gets to Abbey Road, and "It's Over" is a fine closer. Still, what holds the record together is Joey Molland's emergence as a songwriter. His work on No Dice is enjoyable, but here, he comes into his own with a set of well-constructed songs. This fine songwriting, combined with sharp performances and exquisite studio craft, make Straight Up one of the cornerstones of power-pop, a record that proved that it was possible to make classic guitar-pop after its golden era had passed.
Performance CreditsBadfinger Primary Artist
Technical CreditsGeorge Harrison Producer
Todd Rundgren Producer
Joey Molland Composer
Geoff Emerick Producer
Tom Evans Composer
Mike Gibbins Composer
Pete Ham Composer
Darren Evans Redesign
Mike Heatley Reissue Producer
Andy Davis Liner Notes,Reissue Producer
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Straight Up [2010 Bonus Tracks] based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
One of the 30 best albums of all time. It is a shame that Badfinger's career began to go downhill after this release. Straight Up indicates that the band were poised to become superstars. One of a handful of albums that works well as both a collection of potential hit singles & as an album itself. This record rivals the Beatles' best work and ranks as one of the defining albums of the 70's & of the power pop genre. A must have in any collection that especially showcases Pete Ham's songwriting skills.