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Articles Home » 1977 Articles » No Dice - 1977 No Dice (UK version)
No Dice - 1977 No Dice (UK version)

ALBUM: No Dice (UK version)
YEAR: 1977


LINEUP: Roger Ferris - vocals * Dave Martin - guitars * Gary Strange - bass * Chris Wyles - drums
Additional Musicians: Dave Moore - keyboards * Jimmy Jewel - alto sax * Stevie Smith - harmonica

TRACK LISTING: 01 Why Sugar * 02 Happy In The Skoolyard * 03 You Can't Help Yourself * 04 People That Make The Music * 05 Fooling * 06 So Why I * 07 Murder In The Rain * 08 Silly Girl * 09 Counting On A Good Sign * 10 Down And Dry * 11 Shadows

Can't give you much bio information on these British hot shots who released albums on both sides of the Atlantic, but here's what I know - as limited as it is. No Dice released two albums on EMI and one harder to find LP on an independent label matched by a brace of non-LP singles. The British version of the debut which we'll review here contains eleven tracks, six of which are not found on the U.S. issue (Capitol). With its very 'punk' looking graphics the American version featured four cuts not found on the UK platter. Why do record companies do these things? Anyway, No Dice toured England's clubs as well as a few dates with UFO and supported both Rainbow and Judas Priest in the States, so it was clear they had some heavy hitters at EMI headquarters going to bat for 'em. Still, the punk image no doubt fostered by said label might have hurt the band, especially in the hinterlands of the U.S. where spiky hair and dirty looks were still very much misunderstood. The inside sleeve of the British version shows the band looking like The Jam in mod suits and skinny ties which I am sure confused both critics and record buyers alike since No Dice were as far removed from that scene as a band could get in 1977.

The Songs
Indeed, this one great hard rock record very much in the style of The Babys underappreciated debut, Mott The Hoople and related one-off British Lions as well as The Faces and The Rolling Stones 'Black And Blue' album. Vocalist Roger Ferris has a classic rock voice with plenty of rasp and power to carry the material which is both raunchy as on the opener 'Why Sugar' and the slip and slide of 'Fooling' to woozy -cry in your drink- pop with 'People That Make the Music' and 'So Why I'. As good as side one is, in my mind the best cut is saved for the flip with the surprising 'Murder In The Rain'. Disregarding the references cited above, No Dice cast aside the good time rock for a Manfred Mann's Earth Band influenced piece proudly rooted in prog that's both delicate and driving with special mention for guest keyboardist Dave Moore who pulls out all the stops on this must-hear jewel. Finally, 'Shadows' moves slow and steady with plenty of almost power pop-like drama as the album fades out with guitarist Dave Martin's sizzling solo screaming to the very end while vocalist Ferris belts out one last whiskey soaked cry as the streetlight dims..

In Summary
Where these guys are now is anyone's guess and none of their material has appeared on CD to my knowledge. Long overdue and a compilation of the No Dice EMI albums with some of those elusive singles tacked on would make for nice package don't you think?

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#1 | Harvey Mettle on September 28 2009 16:35:13
A great band early on. I have a single on DJM from 1975 which is very much traditional hard rock. I saw the "third" album in Tewkesbury(I think) in the 80's and always regret not buying it, never seen it since!
And I don't believe the 1976 LP is by the same band at all. I think it's a US group on a US label
#2 | Eric on September 28 2009 17:09:41
1976 LP??
#3 | Harvey Mettle on September 30 2009 15:50:54
There's been talk of an independant release from 1976 on Hemisphere Records, there was a thread on Melodic Rock a few years ago. As far as I can tell, the release is actually on Western Hemisphere Records, something to do with the tax scam label Tiger Lily (Stonewall etc) This No Dice is something to do with Steve Drake, but is apparently just tracks stolen from Nutz 2!
#4 | Eric on September 30 2009 16:42:20
Wow! Thanks for the info Harvey!Thumbs Up
#5 | Harvey Mettle on September 30 2009 17:46:44
NP mate. When I finally get my record deck sorted, I'll rip the single I have for you mate.
#6 | gdazegod on January 19 2010 14:20:40
Harvey, you still up for ripping that single? worthy
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