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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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5 stars After two bluesy and rather underappreciated albums, Budgie come up with the masterpiece of their carreer. The thing that the group ultimately needed was a bit more sophistocated song-writing and an inch of prog and contrast in their music; the latter always present though. The album they created was not only a masterpiece of proto-heavy metal, but a masterpiece of proto-heavy progressive rock, as the band would influence many bands to come.

1.Breadfan - Easily the top cut from the album. The almost thrash riffing in the song is perfectly contrasted by the acoustic and low-key of the middle section. The lyrics stray away from the normal Led Zeppelin "baby, baby" lyrics, but don't add too much to the already perfect song. The main has influenced many, namely Metallica, but it's not only that. The song can rock hard than any of their Heavy Metal piers, and it can be as decadent as the softest of rock bands. Excellent start. (10/10)

2.Baby Please Don't Go - Though not as progressive or as interesting as the opening, it's the perfect follow-up. The heavy blues that churnes out of Tony Bourges guitar is stunning, while Ray Phillips and Burke Shelley add possibly the most rocking rhythm section that you will ever hear. The bass guitar in itself is excellent in tone and in playing, showing the true talents of Shelley. A steady beat makes way for the normal love lyrics that I have grown used to by now, but with an added bit of soul with Shelley's howling voice. (9.5/10)

3.You Know I'll Always Love You - The softest of the tracks. The track isn't really essential listening, but Budgie had crafted a music better and soulful ballad than the predecessors on previous albums. The lyrics are sung with passion from Shelley, and the excellent folky guitar from Burge is still mysterious. (8.5/10)

4.Your the Biggest Thing Since Powdered Milk - After the softness of the previous track, it was time for the band to get real. The opening is like another treat itself, as Ray Phillips slaps down what is possibly the best drum solo I have ever heard from anyone in 1973. His knowledge of hard rock, blues, and swing are all combined into an interesting opening to an intresting cut. After the lenghty minute and a half drum solo, the song turns into a totally rocking and contrasting track. The way the Shelley and Bourge work together to create odd musical landscapes is turely fascinating, especially here. The riffage is totally rocking and essential for any guitar player searching for more obscure work. (10/10)

5.In The Grip Of A Tyrefitter's Hand - Another nearly perfect track. The riff is extremely excellent and can sometimes rival the opening the cut for best riff, but I tend to find them equal or one slightly better than the other. The bass work from Shelley is the best here, as he storms out heavy and picked percision bass, along with soulful wails that he is known for. The grooving drums from Phillips are excellent, and some of the best on the album. Another underappreciated track that deserves to be at the top of the heap. (10/10)

6.Riding My Nightmare - A needed slow-down in pace is actually another folk-influenced track. The song isn't as ballad like as track three, but the song deals with some odd topics as dreams of terror. The song really isn't important, but the vocal harmonies are something to look forward to. (8.5/10)

7.Parents - The epic of all Budgie epics, the group composes one of their all-time great tracks. The song lyrics aren't particularly important, dealing with the troubles within a childs head during the strict rules of a child. The music is really important though. Mid-paced yet hard rocking and acoustic at the same time, the contrasts in the music are the best on any of their other albums. The bass playing and vocals from Shelley are some of his best, with his grooves during the slower sections being extremely neat and well-polished. Bourge's guitar playing on acoustic and electric are some of his best, with the cut having some of his best soloing ever. Ray Phillips keeps the beat well and sets an interesting twist on the song. An excellent closer to one hell of an album. (10/10)

The album really dosen't have much flaws, besides the two folksy ballads that don't do much. The album is well crated and the musicians associated with making of the tracks are at their finest here, with soul, blues, jazz and metal flowing out of them to create this masterpiece of an album. A 5 stars, because it truely is needed in any collection.

Jazzywoman | 5/5 |


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