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Budgie - Never Turn Your Back on a Friend CD (album) cover




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4.18 | 247 ratings

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The Quiet One
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Never Turn Your Back On Budgie!

Before the Canadian power trio, there was the Welsh power trio called Budgie, which were one of the true originators of Heavy Prog, and probably also of classic Heavy Metal, sadly they're often forgotten because of more succesful classic Heavy Rock bands of the time like Deep Purple, Rush, Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath.

Budgie at this time was dealing with some proto-heavy prog with their previous album, Squawk, much in the likes of Fly By Night by Rush. With Never Turn Your Back on a Friend, they continue the heavy proggy path, in a bigger extent. By the way, having mentioned Rush, this power trio, Budgie, could easily be the precursors of early Rush style, besides Led Zep's influence on them, there are notable similarities between them, like the front-man of both bands, play the bass and also sing high-pitched vocals, also both relie on heavy guitar riffs and notable bass lines, the only difference would be that Budgie doesn't have a fiercefull drummer. Now to the songs:

Already from the breath-taking opener, Breadfan, you know this will be a damn good album, with it's well-recognised guitar/bass riff, covered later by Metallica, proof of Budgie's influence on Heavy Metal, as well with it's acoustic middle section, simply beautiful, giving a more elaborated view to this Heavy Rock band.

By the way, talking about covers, the next song, Baby Please Don't Go is a cover version of a very old blues song by Big Joe Willians, while this version not being very famous, I'm sure it inspired Ac/Dc to their cover-version which is a bit more recognised. As far as this version goes, you can expect a killer guitar solo, and a very catchy rythm section.

To chill things up, Budgie delivers you the short and gentle acoustic sort-of ballad, You Know I'll Always Love You. With some very sweet vocals, and OK acoustic guitar work.

However, that previous chilling, just prepares you for the awesomeness of the next song, You're The Biggest Thing Since Powdered Milk, with a fiercefull drum solo at the begining, and then aheading to a great heavy riff. From the length of the song, you can imagine some Proggy leanings, which are certainly true, with a resemble to The Return of the Giant Hogweed's intro by Genesis made by Burke's bass, and then changing time completely to even a heavier riff, making the song just excellent.

The next song is the groovy In the Grip of a Tyrefitter's Hand, with a very catchy vocal delivery, as well as bass line, reminding me of the song Freedom by Jimi Hendrix. However, the song does feature some powerful chords every now and then, as well as a great guitar solo.

After 2 very strong songs, Budgie delivers you once again a acoustic tune, called Riding My Nightmare, to chill you a bit, as well as to prepare for a killer ending, this time a bit more catchy, with a bit of resemble to Crosby, Stills and Nash's up-lifting, catchy acoustic songs.

As far as the killer ending goes with Parents, you really couldn't have imagined it. A full blown Prog track, mixing sweet harmonies within acoustic textures, with then 2 soaring guitar solos, with a wonderful bass line and a reliable drum work, just stunning beauty!

Never Turn Your Back on a Friend is one of it's own in the whole Heavy Rock/Hard Rock realm, with killer riffs everywhere, as well as great acoustic tunes. Definitely worth checking to know a bit more of the predecessors of Heavy Prog, as well as for some damn good heavy rock to enjoy.

4 stars.

The Quiet One | 4/5 |


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