No Matter What

Composed by Badfinger / Pete Ham

Song Review by

Badfinger's first hit, "Come and Get It," was an excellent single. But because it had been written by Paul McCartney and sounded like the Beatles, Badfinger had to fend off accusations of being little more than a Beatles charity case at the beginning of the band's career. Badfinger's subsequent single, "No Matter What," also a Top Ten hit, undeniably did also sound like the Beatles, and like Paul McCartney in particular. However, it did a lot to establish the band's credibility, as the song was not a Beatles castoff but an original composition, by Pete Ham. In those days when the Beatles' breakup was still fresh in the minds of the public, there were more than a couple of listeners who, upon hearing "No Matter What" for the first time, thought that perhaps the Beatles had gotten together again and issued a new song. Or, at the very least, there were many wondering if it was the new Paul McCartney single, since "No Matter What" boasted a strong McCartney-esque melody and very Beatlesque harmonies and guitars. Derivative of McCartney it might have been, yet "No Matter What" rocked a darn sight better than most of the songs McCartney himself put out in the early '70s. The song opened with exceptionally thick, crunchy guitar chords, not exactly hard rock and certainly not heavy metal, but dense and gripping. The verses are little more than a pledge of eternal love lyrically, but sung with great infectious lilting cheer, pioneering the "power pop" style years before that was named by critics. Especially ingratiating were the harmonized "ooh girl" exultations near the end of the verses, and a very nice bridge with catchy descending harmonies. As a further Beatlesque device, the melody goes through a few different chord changes on the final line of the bridge than it does in the first half of the bridge, though retaining a similar progression. A semi-false ending before a final reprise of the "ooh girl" bit was also a nice touch. There is a skeletal version of "No Matter What" on the 7 Park Avenue collection of Pete Ham demos, which is recommended to all Badfinger fans.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
No Dice 1970 Apple Records / Capitol 3:00
Apple Box Set 2010
Various Artists
Apple Records / Capitol / EMI / EMI Music Distribution 3:00