BUDGIE
Hard Rock / Proto-Metal • United Kingdom

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Budgie is a Welsh hard rock, heavy metal band from Cardiff. They are described by author Gary Sharpe-Young as one of the earliest heavy metal bands and a seminal influence to many acts of that scene, with fast, heavy rock (an influence on the New Wave of British Heavy Metal and acts such as Metallica) being played as early as 1971. The band has been noted as among the heaviest metal of its day. Notable Budgie songs include Breadfan, Sky High Percentage, I Can't See My Feelings, Crash Course In Brain Surgery, Parents, I Turned To Stone and Napoleon Bona - Parts 1 & 2.

History

Budgie formed in 1967 in Cardiff, Wales under the name Hills Contemporary Grass. Their original line-up consisted of Burke Shelley on vocals and bass, Tony Bourge on guitar and vocals, and Ray Phillips on drums. After performing several gigs in 1968, the band changed their name
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BUDGIE Discography

BUDGIE albums / top albums

.. Album Cover 3.77 | 25 ratings
Budgie
Proto-Metal 1971
.. Album Cover 3.28 | 17 ratings
Squawk
Proto-Metal 1972
.. Album Cover 3.92 | 22 ratings
Never Turn Your Back On A Friend
Proto-Metal 1973
.. Album Cover 3.49 | 20 ratings
In For The Kill
Proto-Metal 1974
.. Album Cover 3.55 | 21 ratings
Bandolier
Proto-Metal 1975
.. Album Cover 2.89 | 11 ratings
If I Were Brittania I'd Waive The Rules
Hard Rock 1976
.. Album Cover 2.71 | 10 ratings
Impeckable
Hard Rock 1978
.. Album Cover 2.35 | 8 ratings
Power Supply
Hard Rock 1980
.. Album Cover 2.29 | 5 ratings
Nightflight
Hard Rock 1981
.. Album Cover 2.83 | 7 ratings
Deliver Us From Evil
Hard Rock 1982
.. Album Cover 2.07 | 5 ratings
You're All Living In Cuckooland
Hard Rock 2006

BUDGIE EPs & splits

.. Album Cover 2.52 | 2 ratings
If Swallowed, Do Not Induce Vomiting
Hard Rock 1980

BUDGIE live albums

.. Album Cover 2.50 | 1 ratings
We Came, We Saw
Hard Rock 1982
.. Album Cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
Heavier Than Air: Rarest Eggs
Proto-Metal 1998
.. Album Cover 2.50 | 1 ratings
Life In San Antonio
Hard Rock 2002
.. Album Cover 2.50 | 1 ratings
The BBC Recordings
Hard Rock 2006
.. Album Cover 2.50 | 1 ratings
Radio Sessions 1974 & 1978
Hard Rock 2006

BUDGIE demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

BUDGIE boxset & compilations

.. Album Cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Best Of Budgie
Proto-Metal 1975
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Best of Budgie (1981)
Proto-Metal 1981
.. Album Cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
The Definitive Anthology: An Ecstasy Of Fumbling
Proto-Metal 1996
.. Album Cover 4.00 | 2 ratings
The Best Of Budgie
Proto-Metal 1998
.. Album Cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
The Last Stage
Hard Rock 2004

BUDGIE singles (10)

.. Album Cover
2.00 | 1 ratings
Crash Course In Brain Surgery
Proto-Metal 1971
.. Album Cover
2.00 | 1 ratings
Whiskey River
Proto-Metal 1972
.. Album Cover
2.00 | 1 ratings
Zoom Club
Proto-Metal 1974
.. Album Cover
2.00 | 1 ratings
I Ain't No Mountain
Proto-Metal 1975
.. Album Cover
2.00 | 1 ratings
Smile Boy Smile
Hard Rock 1978
.. Album Cover
2.00 | 1 ratings
Crime Against The World
Hard Rock 1980
.. Album Cover
2.00 | 1 ratings
Wildfire
Hard Rock 1980
.. Album Cover
2.00 | 1 ratings
I Turned To Stone
Hard Rock 1981
.. Album Cover
2.00 | 1 ratings
Keeping A Rendezvous / Apparatus
Hard Rock 1981
.. Album Cover
2.00 | 1 ratings
Bored With Russia
Hard Rock 1982

BUDGIE movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

BUDGIE Reviews

BUDGIE In For The Kill

Album · 1974 · Proto-Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
voila_la_scorie
Budgie's fourth album "In for the Kill!" carries on with the sound the band established from the beginning: hard and heavy driving riff-based rock with some strong heavy blues. Drummer Ray Phillips left band after the third album and for this offering of powerhouse rock, Pete Boot took the stool.

From the first track, Budgie introduce another classic riff rocker in the title track. It's a longer song that switches to a heavy blues number in the middle before returning to the first part's music. Also here is "Crash Course in Brain Surgery" which was originally recorded as a single earlier in their career and was later covered by Metallica. Some will recall Metallica covering another Budgie song "Breadfan".

Budgie albums ( the ones I know ) include a Burke Shelley acoustic number or two and "Wondering What Everyone Knows" fills that necessity here. I personally find this one more enjoyable than the acoustic songs from my two other Budgie albums, "Budgie" and "Never Turn Your Back on a Friend". The acoustic tracks are usually short anyway.

"Zoom Club" is a hard rocking tribute to a club in Germany and includes a lengthy jam session and a cool hard rock riff. And let's not forget Shelley's high pitched notes after the long solo section!

"Hammer and Tongs" opens side two with a slow beginning of guitar volume dial notes before exploding with a very heavy blues-based eruption of a song. At times it's like the band are trying to make blues rock heavy enough to drop into a crusher in a scrapyard and kick it into a heap of wrecked automobiles. It eases up in the middle and Shelley howls in falsetto. Then it changes to what I always think of as heavy strip tease blues. No doubt guitarist Tony Bourge was pleased with all the soloing he got to do.

"Running from My Soul" takes on another boogieing bluesy heavy number with more of Bourge's six-string explorations. It's the shortest song on the album and doesn't have many lyrics. Just blazing guitar rock & roll.

The final track, "Living on Your Own" is the most progressive song on the album, going through different parts, one part heavy and melodic, another gentle and easy but with a bit of rust, yet another more traditional heavy but still holding on to the melodic side. For Budgie's repertoire up to 1974 this is likely one of their most progressive songs with different musical themes integrated into a single track. Certainly it stands out from the rest of the album which is comprised of mostly heavy rock and heavy blues boogie.

BUDGIE Bandolier

Album · 1975 · Proto-Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
AtomicCrimsonRush
Budgie first came to my ears with their big Box set, the definitive anthology, 'An Ecstasy Of Fumbling', featuring a massive 29 tracks taken from albums during 1971-1982. This lead me to chack out some other Budgie albums and the first on my list was one that was recommended to me by Budgie fans, 'Bandolier'. This is perhaps their most popular album, certainly featuring some of their best songs and coolest guitar riffs, though it is inconsistent in terms of quality songs. The band revel in riffs that lock in with outstanding rhythmic 70s classic rock. 1975 was one of the great years for Prog and 'Bandolier' features the classic incarnation of the band; bassist/singer Burke Shelley and guitarist Tony Bourge, along with drummer Steve "Syco Steve" Williams, arguably their proggiest lineup before they turned to hard rock and AOR.

The album opens with the dynamic 'Breaking all the House Rules', a terrific sledge hammer attack of crashing riffs and very well executed vocals. The structure of the song detours into many directions and even changes feel in the middle sounding like a different song until it returns to the main riff.

'Slipaway' is next with gentle acoustics, followed by Bad Company sounds on 'Who Do You Want For Your Love' with a bluesy shuffle. There is more blues with 'I Can't See My Feelings' that has nice guitar licks but is nothing special really. After these rather lacklustre numbers it hots up with the wonderful cover by Andy Fairweather-Lowe from Amen Corner, 'I Ain't No Mountain'.

They save the best for last with the outstanding 'Napoleon Bona, Pts 1 & 2' that begins very slowly with gentle guitar and ambient swirls. Shelley's vocals are quiet, sounding like a bluesy version of Geddy Lee. When the distorted guitars crunch in with the chugging riff the song really picks up, especially the way the riff descends strangely giving it a dark feel. The lead break is always amazing, and Bourge blasts away with speed trills up and down the scales and high end string breaking bends. At 6 mins in there is a weird effect that muffles the sound and then it releases for more lead work.

Not many would disagree that the best Budgie stems from the early 70s years with "Squawk," "In for the Kill", "If I Were Britannia" and of course 'Bandolier'. These are the proggy innovative Budgie years, and 'Bandolier' is certainly one to hunt down for sheer hard rock riffing excellence with prog elements sprinkled thereabout.

BUDGIE Bandolier

Album · 1975 · Proto-Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Warthur
Opening with the barnstorming Breaking All the House Rules, Bandolier kicks off well, but unfortunately Budgie were never the most consistent of bands and this is only underlined by Slipaway (A Parrot Fashion Ball), a horrible experiment in mixing acoustic soft rock with a little bit of blue-eyed soul. This is followed up with a similarly limp track in the form of What Do You Want For Your Love, which captures Burke Shelley doing an unconvincing Robert Plant impersonation in a horrible funk-tinged soft rock piece, reminiscent of a bad cover of The Crunge from Led Zep's Houses of the Holy with only a rather generic guitar solo or two to remind us that we're still at the edge of metal territory.

The album perks up on the second side with I Can't See My Feelings (featuring some honest to goodness cowbell), but slumps again with the simplistic singalong I Ain't No Mountain. The closing Napoleon Bona Parts 1 and 2 is padded out with uninteresting acoustic filler (such as the overlong intro) and doesn't stand up to Budgie epics from previous albums.

The bottom line is that on this album Budgie watered down their distinctive proto-speed metal sound with all the other influences third-string hard rock groups from the mid-1970s were dabbling in, with the result that the album ends up sounding anonymous, cliched, and at points downright dull. By the end of the decade Budgie would be regularly blown out of the water by far heavier and far more distinctive groups like Judas Priest and Iron Maiden; they should be remembered for more influential and important albums than this one.

BUDGIE In For The Kill

Album · 1974 · Proto-Metal
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Warthur
Budgie's fourth album, whilst not quite so groundbreaking as their debut or Never Turn Your Back On A Friend, sees the band continuing to be at the forefront of the early heavy metal scene. The power trio seem more confident than in previous outings, which makes the diverse range of styles they play an engaging listen. Running From My Soul, for example, is a heavy take on fairly traditional rock and roll, whilst thunderous album closer Living On Your Own is a slower, doomier, Sabbath-inspired number.

The album also includes an updated version of Crash Course in Brain Surgery, a track the group had previously released as a single - a pounding piece of proto-speed metal which particularly showcases the skills of Burke Shelley, the group's bassist and vocalist. Shelley's bass style for this album is harder and heavier than ever, at points reaching hypnotic intensities comparable to the sort of performances Lemmy was dishing out in Hawkwind at the time.

At the same time, the album doesn't quite hang together as well as Never Turn Your Back On a Friend. It was churned out rapidly in the space between two intense tours, and whilst the process of touring had clearly made Budgie a tighter unit, they also feel a little bit more conventional - like they're beginnign to compromise here and there to conform to the expectations of a 1970s hard rock audience rather than producing any novelties to match their earlier work. Budgie's career to this point had provided ample proof that Budgie do not deserve the comparative obscurity they've faded away into, but ought to join Sabbath and Judas Priest in the early metal pantheon. In For the Kill isn't a classic that will convince doubters by itself, but it is further evidence in support of that position.

BUDGIE Never Turn Your Back On A Friend

Album · 1973 · Proto-Metal
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Warthur
Another high-class album from Budgie, this one is a marked improvement from Squawk and opens with the classic Breadfan, which not only influenced Metallica but sounds an awful lot like early Rush - partly due to the power trio instrumentation, partly because singer Burke Shelley's singing voice had at this point developed a falsetto highly reminiscent of Geddy Lee's. Or maybe, since this came out before Rush's debut, it would be more appropriate to say Geddy Lee's falsetto sounds like Burke Shelley's?

Another touchpoint to early Rush is the Led Zeppelin love - see the cover of blues standard Baby Please Don't Go - but Budgie also show the influence of the other giant of early 1970s proto-metal, Black Sabbath, with the doomy In the Grip of a Tyrefitter's Hand. The album isn't quite perfect - in particular, the slow dirge Parents is about two to three times longer than it really needs to be, with its whining vocals and its laid-back, uninspiring classic rock musical backing. Still, on the whole the album is a more than creditable slice of proto-metal with a good claim, considering Breadfan's insane pace, to be a foundational document of speed metal.

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