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Badger One Live Badger album cover
3.29 | 110 ratings | 26 reviews | 16% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Live, released in 1973

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Wheel of Fortune (7:04)
2. Fountain (7:12)
3. Wind of Change (7:00)
4. River (7:00)
5. The Preacher (3:35)
6. On the Way Home (7:10)

Total Time 39:01

Line-up / Musicians

- Brian Parrish / electric guitar, lead vocals (1,4-6)
- Tony Kaye / keyboards, Mellotron
- Dave Foster / bass, lead vocals (2,3)
- Roy Dyke / drums

Releases information

Recorded at the Rainbow Theatre, London, 15/16 December, 1972
Produced by Geoffrey Haslam, Badger and Jon Anderson
Cover art by Roger Dean

LP Atlantic K 40473 (1973, UK)
LP Atco SD 7022 (1973, US)

CD Repertoire REP 4373WY (1993)
CD Wounded Bird Records, WOU-7022 (2003)
Numerous reissues

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to NotAProghead for the last updates
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BADGER One Live Badger ratings distribution

(110 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(16%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(31%)
Good, but non-essential (40%)
Collectors/fans only (11%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

BADGER One Live Badger reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
4 stars That the nucleus of Yes got rid of Peter Banks on guitar to make space for Steve Howe was not really a beautyful gesture , but to get rid of Tony Kaye was even worse ( they will invite him back during the eighties and those mediocre albums - feeling guilty Mr Anderson?) especially for the second most pompous KB player around (behind Keith) , Rick Wakeman . Of course this paid of incredibly well, as Fragile outsold all previous albums together, but the Yes Album is still my Yes fave album and Tony Kaye was really excellent.

So Kaye will first join Banks in a group called Flash (unlike most proghead , I never really enjoyed that openly commercial semi-hard-prog . Commercial ? look at the covers to see how hard they tried ) and after one album Kaye , obviously not pleased with this band , left to form the much better Badger. Most people think Highly of this album and I do too but just barely making the fourth star ( your life will not be affected if you own it or not or even if you never hear this while you are alive , you will not have missed that much) . But I do give this album four star because Kaye really got a bum deal from Yes and to a lesser Extent frm Flash , and here he shows what he can do. Releasing your first album as a live is rather odd choice , but why not ? It was probably cheaper than a full-blown studio album. I think the drummer was from Ashton Gardner and Dyke who made a few good almost prog albums .

If Kaye does not develop by himself the masterful songwriting from Yes (Anderson getting too much credit IMO for the composer part as he developped the idea and heard jingles and all the other four musicians ) but it is clear with this album that He held his share of the creation in his former group. This was of course very raw sounding and I would've like to hear the studio versions, but alas this never came to be as some of the members left after this and the following album sounds nothing like this , especially with Lomax singing. Give it a try , but I tell you there are better bands still to be discovered before this one. Worth a spin .

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars Badgers can't sing

For their first album, Badger's unusually decided on a live release. Interest in the band was fuelled by the presence of former Yes keyboard player Tony Kaye. The Yes connection was strengthened by the presence of Dave Foster who had played in the Warriors with Jon Anderson. The pair also wrote two of the tracks on "Time and a word" together and Jon Anderson co-produced this album.

"One live Badger" was recorded at the Rainbow theatre in London in December 1972. Badger were supporting Yes on this part of the tour which also produced the "Yessongs" album. As the equipment had been set up for recording Yes at the Rainbow for that album, Atlantic records, to whom both Yes and Badger were signed, decided to record Badger's performance. Thus the album was recorded in front on a much larger yet sympathetic audience than they might otherwise have attracted.

"Wheel of fortune" opens the album, Kaye immediately switching on the mellotron on a fairly funky track which includes an early burst of Parrish's lead guitar work. Kaye also slips in a fine Hammond solo. "Fountain" is slightly slower, but in a similar vein, with an interesting synthesiser solo to finish. The vocals, which are generally the weak point of the album, have similarities to Peter Frampton on his "Frampton comes alive" album.

By the time "The river" appears at the start of side 2, the limited repertoire of the band is starting to show quite clearly. It's not that's it's bad, anonymous is probably a good word. It could be any of a thousand bands which played in pubs week in week out, in the hope of being spotted.

The album consists of six tracks in total, all of which are of similar length, and unfortunately all of a similar sound. A bit of variety would have helped enormously. I can't help feeling that if they had released this as a studio album, the results would have been a whole lot better. There are firm indications that Badger had potential, the guitar and keyboard work for example is very good. The vocals are average to poor, and in desperate need of a studio producer to work his magic over them. The overall sound is rather raw and unbalanced.

From a presentation perspective, "One live Badger" benefited from a fine Roger Dean gatefold cover, with a popup section inside.

Despite their credentials, significant success eluded Badger, and after a further studio album with a revised line up, they disbanded. Sadly, Badger need to go down as a missed opportunity.

Review by Eetu Pellonpaa
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The recordings on this album are from Badger's warming-ups for Yes at The Rainbow Theatre gigs, thus forming a nice pair for the "Yessongs" live album. Group's music is guitar and keyboard riff driven, having groovy passages supporting the more dramatic mellotron painted sequences, shimmering with religious gospel positive energies. The raw sound from the stage distributed y the contact of vinyl player syringe to this plastic is also very pleasing to my own ears. Songs "Wheel of Fortune" and "Wind of Change" rise for me as best compositions on this set, though the other tracks are quite nice also, not being musical masterpieces anyhow. The good vibrations on the gig are preserved in the audience's cheer, and Roger Dean's gatefold vinyl design with rising badger figurine in the inner side of the booklet is really fun. Maybe due cover art and my own time of album purchase makes this hope-giving fun little album associate strongly with winter. Recommended for fans of keyboard driven heavy prog, those open to Christian vintage rock and the collectors of solo albums from family of Yes members.
Review by erik neuteboom
3 stars Badger Heavy Prog? After a few listenings sessions I have to say that to me this CD sounds more like R&B (in the vein of The Spencer Davis Group and The Allman Brothers), embellished with an interesting vintage keyboard sound by ex-Yes member Tony Kaye. He has succeeded to colour the 6 compositions (mainly swinging but also bluesy or compelling) very tastefully with varied keyboards: violin- Mellotron in Wheel Of Fortune, The Preacher and On The Way Home, a synthesizer solo in Fountain, electric piano in River and exciting Hammond organ solos in Wind Of Change and On The Way Home. The guitarplayer delivers lots of strong and powerful solos, often fiery (great wah-wah sound in The Preacher) but also sensitive like in the long final song On The Way Home. This is pleasant music with a good singer but I have the idea that the presence of Tony Kaye was the main reason to add Badger to Prog Archives. My rating: 3,5 stars.

Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars I saw "Badger" playing live as opening act of "Purple - Mark III" in December 1973 in Brussels (FN). The only thing that I knew at that time, is that Kaye was an ex-Yes member and I really don't know much more by now.

Tony Kaye was not very vindictive about his sacking from "Yes" since Jon Anderson co-produced this album and it was even recorded during a Yes concert for which "Badger" was the opening act!

I only remind me their performance as being a good one, which is not frequent for a supporting band.

In those remote days of rock music, a live appearance was the occasion of solo efforts which were kind of invading each song. To a certain extent, this feature is also valid here.

Heavy keyboards throughout the album (especially during "Fountain" but not only), some links with soul music as well (during "Wheel Of Fortune" and even more during "The Preacher" which is the weakest song here).

There is not really a highlight on this album although "River" is maybe my favourite. It is "borrowing" some seconds to "Hear Me Calling" from TYA ("Ten Years After"). It features a very good guitar solo which is to be mentioned since most numbers are keyboards oriented.

"On The Way Home" is also a good song. Pleasant vocal harmonies, nice guitar again and excellent work from Tony on the background keys. The rhythm catches up seriously at half time and enters into a great frenzy. But again the soul influence is noticeable during the vocal parts.

This album is a curiosity. A snapshot of an era. A good album. But no more.

Three stars.

Review by ClemofNazareth
3 stars I had a disagreement with another prog fan a while back about whether or not this album had blues leanings. I still say it does. Sure it features Tony Kaye on mellotron and other keyboards, but the power pair of Brian Parrish on guitar and Dave Foster on bass set an unmistakable bluesy groove right off the bat with the funky and heavy “Wheel of Fortune”. And on vocals Parrish sounds like Michael McDonald in his Doobie Brothers days. Kaye of course is all over the place on keys, but by the time “Fountain” rolls around the prominent guitar and bass belie this being a pure progressive effort.

Not that I’m complaining – this is one great album that still gets played once and a while (like tonight). Much has been made of the band putting out a live album as their debut, but my understanding is this was more a matter of convenience and economics than anything else. The band had a live audience, and a Yes one at that since they were supporting the tour that would become ‘Yessongs’. Kind of hard to go wrong with that, and certainly much less expensive than a proper studio album. The one studio release the band did put out isn’t anywhere near as good as this one either, so maybe this was the best possible legacy they could leave anyway.

“Wind of Change” would make it onto the Yes album ‘Affirmative’, a de facto part of the Yes ‘family’ records (and the best of them in my opinion). A goof choice too, since this is the strongest musical effort with the band sounding very tight and the tempo reflecting confidence in their set that night.

The first half of the album is the better one though, and with “River” the band resorts to a lengthy guitar solo not because it is all that awesome, but probably more for filler to yield them a decent length for their live set. “The Preacher” is decent, but also heavy on Parrish’s guitar forays and a little light on substance.

Finally, “On the Way Home” is the closing number and sounds like it was written to be just that in concert. Kaye takes charge here with copious amounts of freak-out organ, but really this just sounds like a partially improvised jam session. A pretty good one, but a jam session nonetheless.

The Roger Dean cover sort of makes this an official prog album I suppose, but at its heart this is a jam band with one keyboardist who makes them much better than they probably should be. This is an album that I still like to play once and a while, but it is not a classic by any means. Three stars seems proper so that’s what I’ll give it, and a recommendation for heavy prog fans and those who like to sniff at the periphery of the Yes family tree.


Review by Gooner
4 stars This is an album that would appeal to fans of Manfred Mann's Earth Band, especially the albums _Solar Fire_ and _Nightingales and Bombers_. Not surpringly, Manfred Mann mentioned Badger's first LP as a favourite in an interview I once heard and have since read. Oddly, I heard the aforementioned Manfred Mann recordings prior to hearing of Badger. There appears to be a strong influence on Manfred Mann and the direction he would take his Earth Band in the studio. Great organ from Tony Kaye here which leaves me asking many questions, the prominant one being: _Why did Yes get rid of this guy?_...not that Rick Wakeman isn't worthy.

Some great guitar solos here as well. This Badger LP also reminds me a bit of the Paice, Ashton & Lord LP _Malice In Wonderland_(as per the organ playing). A rare sampling of Tony Kaye on the mellotron here (appearently Tony Kaye wasn't big on the use of the mellotron...thought it sounded like cats dying or something?). Recommended for fans of hard progressive R&B Deep Purple, Atomic Rooster and Rare Bird/Fields.

Review by stefro
4 stars Aaaah, that feeling you get when you un-cover a gem. And what a feeling it is! And, after listening to the excellent live album entitled merely: ONE LIVE BADGER, that feeling is back! The beauty of prog is the hidden surprises that suddenly appear and whack you over the head with the 'great-new-album' stick. Due to the inter-linking of many bands(with band-members occupying multiple positions in multiple bands), many little-known projects have come and gone, fading as quickly as they formed. BADGER, a band forged around the impressive keyboard-wizard and ex-Yes member Tony Kaye, belong to that 1 album group inhabited by the likes of MAINHORSE and SAMURAI who somehow made a great album and then conspired to disappear and never again produce anything as compelling. And just like the afore-mentioned one(album)-hit wonders, this is one surprising piece. The origins of the band are obscure, but one things is for sure: the album was recorded live because it was cheaper. Had it been a studio-bound affair, then would the powerful, bluesy rhythms and epic, surging feel contained within all seven tracks remained? Who knows. However, what we do know is that we have a truely original piece of work, a piece of work that comes over like a kind of trippy mixture of Cream, Pink Floyd and Yes with a hint of Grateful Dead-ish finger-picking and a little sprinkle Howlin' Wolf and the old- time blues for good measure. Like a lot of prog-albums of the time, the vocals aren't amazing, but that fact can be forgiven due to the dazzing technical proficiency on show. Guitarist Brian Parrish lets rip with a magnificent guitar-solo during 'Fountain', Tony Kaye fills every number with some eclectic keyboard, moog and mellotron work and the band as whole seem tighter than Jose Mourinho defence. Maybe the album's little-known status enhances it's initial impact, but there is no denying that ONE LIVE BADGER is a compelling affair, straddling the void between prog and classic rock whilst still managing to contain the exciting principles of the former. Filled with virtuoso solo's, cryptic lyrics and rollicking jams, everyone from Yes fans to lovers of Dream Theatre should find much to admire. Highly recommended.
Review by Atavachron
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Strong, upbeat debut from Tony Kaye and Dave Foster's progressive rhythm band, bursting with energy at the Rainbow in December,1972 and bringing together the soulful, pulsing beats of Santana and Traffic with the melodic intricacies of the Allmans, Yes and Meddle-period Floyd. Foster had been with Jon Anderson (who co-produced here) in the Warriors, and the trail of bands in Kaye's wake is no secret, making Badger an interesting project with huge potential. And in part they live up to it. 'Wheel of Fortune' is good if a bit too stuck in its era but 'Fountain' is more prog, first-rate bluesman Brian Parrish trading licks with Kaye beautifully, the band oozing with feeling all the way through. A bit of English beat for 'Wind of Change'; catchy bubble rock with some good R'nB jams and a nice classical crescendo, and Blackmore&Lord-like 'River' is fine though the odd preoccupation with religion begins to show, the yearnings of gospel just under the surface. 'The Preacher' aches with soft remorse and evangelic visions, more solid rhythm, Kaye's rich organ throughout and Parrish ripping it up on lead guitar. And heavy prog beast 'On the Way Home' is a powerful number showing how songwriting and progressive rock can coexist. A night of very good music from an ensemble on the edges of A-list Prog, a semi-supergroup that deserves plenty of reexamination.

Review by Tarcisio Moura
3 stars Interesting album from ex original Yes keyboards man Tony Kaye. It was recorded live and showed a lot of potential. The music is quite different from Yes, though. Its harder, simpler but very tasteful and solid. Great keyboards runs (of course) and some fine guitar licks and solos all over. Vocals are average to good. Id like to hear them on the studio, but this line up broke up soon after this LP and their next (and last) release would be the disastrous White Lady.

Well, the production is only adequate, but acceptable for a live record. Highlights are the opening song, Wheel Of Fortune (it could have been a hit a the time, if it was given a little airplay) and the closing number On The Way Home (their most progressive). The remaining tracks are good, but not much. A promising start that was not fulfilled. But if youre into good rock with some prog influences and fine keyboards, you should give this a listen. 3,5 stars.

Review by Guillermo
4 stars This album was recorded in December 1972 at the Rainbow Theatre, London, during a concert on which BADGER supported YES, in one of the concerts which YES recorded for their "Yessongs" album and for their film of the same name. It was also co-produced by BADGER, Jon Anderson, and Geoff Haslam, who also was the recording engineer of the "Yessongs" album. But, curiously, for my ears this live album by BADGER sounds better recorded and mixed than "Yessongs". Particularly the sound of the drums is more clear and better than in "Yessongs". Maybe it also had to be with the different tunings of the drum kits. Roy Dyke`s drum kit sounds better than Alan White`s , particularly in the sound of the snare drum.

BADGER was a band that Tony Kaye, as he has explained in several interviews, formed after he left YES. He was writing songs with David Foster, a former member of THE WARRIORS with Jon Anderson in the mid sixties. Anderson and Foster also wrote some songs, two of which appeared on YES`s second album titled "Time and a Word" in 1970. Apparently Foster also participated uncredited in that album playing a bit of acoustic guitar and singing some backing vocals on the title track (a thing which Peter Banks, YES`s then guitarist, said in one interview that he did not like it very much). Anyway, Kaye and Foster became friends and started writing songs together. By late July 1971, Kaye left YES and formed BADGER with Foster. Kaye was invited by Banks to become FLASH`s keyboard player (a thing which also their record label and producer wanted), but as Kaye was working with BADGER Kaye only appeared on FLASH`s self-titled album as guest (with his name appearing on the credits in that album with "appears by courtesy of Atlantic Records" a thing that maybe indicated that he was signed with that record label with BADGER for a planned album).

BADGER recorded this debut album in a very atypical way, because this is a live album. They maybe had the support from Jon Anderson, who co-produced the album, and maybe from other sections of YES related personnel, because the cover was designed by Roger Dean.

The album has very good songs, which now unfortuately sound a bit dated. The musical style of the songs are a mixture of Hard Rock, Progressive Rock, Soul Music and Rhythm and Blues. The musical style of the band sounds to me with some similarities with NEKTAR, PALADIN and URIAH HEEP. There are even some Christian Rock influences in the lyrics for the last song titled "On the Way Home". The vocals are good, but it is clear that none of the singers (Foster and Parrish) were more musicians than full time lead singers. As a whole the band sounds very well rehearsed, giving a very good performance as a band and as individual musicians. Tony Kaye shines on keyboards with the use of organ, piano, mellotron and synthesiser, even playing very good solos (a thing which now seems to me that in YES he never had full freedom to do ).His keyboards interact very well with the guitar arrangements.

In my opinion, the best songs in this album are "River", "The Preacher" and "On The Way Home", with the first two that I mentioned having very good Prog Rock arrangements. All the songs in this album were credited as written by BADGER, except "The Preacher" which was only credited to Parrish. As a whole the band sounds as a more balanced band, with all the musicians having a more equal role than in other bands like YES. In my opinion, on which the guitar has a more prominent role. Kaye sounds in this album like playing with more enthusiasm, more confidence and maybe feeling more happy than with YES. It was more his own project, after all.

Review by ghost_of_morphy
3 stars Some comets fade from view. Some roses wither on the vine. Some straights get trumped by a full house. That pretty much describes Badger, a heavy prog project that made it out of the gate in good time but stumbled early.

If you have heard of Badger, you probably came to them in one of two ways.

1. You saw Roger Dean's striking cover art in the record store and bought this album on that basis. 2. You were exploring the amazing amount of projects that ex-Yes members were involved in and followed Tony Kaye to this album from Flash.

So to mention the hoary chestnuts about this album first. Yes, Kaye helped form this group after leaving Flash (which was probably not entirely his own idea, btw.) Yes, this was recorded live, with the same equipment and at more or less the same time that Yes recorded Yessongs. Strikingly, this album actually has a bit better sound quality.

So what does the music soumd like? 'it is most definitely heavy prog belonging to it's era (the early 70's.) Looking at the other reviews on here, i saw two comparisons that seemed cogent to me. The first was to Manfred Mann's Earth Band. While there are not that many similarities to their more progressive stuff, i could definitely hear Badger covering a rocker like Davey's on the Road Again. The other comparison was to Traffic, which is fairly close and which I wish I could claim I had thought of.

For me though, when I think of Badger's sound I think of two more obscure groups, T2 and Fantasy (which is somehow categorized as symophonic here.) These are not earth-shattering, revolutionary bands, but then neither is Badger. The first album is fun though. Live, energetic and interesting it is. I'll give it three stars because it is likeable even though there are many better things worth searching out.

Don't waste your time with Badger's other release, White Lady. This is the one to get.

Review by GruvanDahlman
3 stars The early 70's gave birth to a myriad of prog bands. Some bands grew to stadium acts while others lingered in obscurity. One such group was Badger. Funny enough, Kaye used to be a part of Yes, a band that really grew to immense stature and set the example for many musical aspirations for years and years to come. Still do, even. Badger, on the other hand, failed to make a lasting impression and left only two albums to their name. The first one was the live album "One live Badger" and the other a lacklustre affair called "White lady".

I love "One live Badger". I always have and will continue to do so for the rest of my life, I suppose. The cover is one of those that really intrigues me. Simple yet very beautiful, the badgers on the front seems to hook up just outside their hole in the ground. It is a friendly cover and I think it is one of prog's greater.

The music is a keyboard driven heavy type of prog. Being a live album it is very well recorded and performed. Every instrument and intricate piece of the music can be clearly heard, even though the music sometimes seems quite raw and intense. There is a clear focus on hard rock making this a hard hitting yet varied slab of prog with great sections of solo parts from both guitar and keyboards.

The songs are really similiar in length, around 7 minutes each, apart from "The preacher" which is the least interesting of the songs. "The river" is not one of the better either. Apart from those two the material is really solid and well written pieces of music with good lyrics.

The opening trio of songs are all very fine and I enjoy them very much. There is not much in ways of epics, prog's most loved expression. It is more in the way of hard rock with prog tendencies, like a Deep Purple less frantic in execution. There is no "Speed King" or "Into the fire", more like their more mellow and mid paced numbers. There is, however, a very potent and clear streak of progressive leanings.

The best track is "On the way home", which holds such a heavy opening with the organ leading the riff alongside guitar. The vocals are very emotional and heartfelt and the instrumentation is superb. I love this track and have always enjoyed it every time I hear it. The soaring guitar at 1.30 is lovely. At 3.30 there is some really nice organ fills as well, followed by a really frantic organ solo at 4.30. Really the best and most engaging of the six tracks.

The end result, though, is an album that really does not manage to uphold my interest all the way through. I skip "The preacher" and "The river", leaving me with only four songs. Now, the ones I skip aren't really worthless but I think they disrupt the flow and they are not as thrilling as the other songs. While "On the way home" is as close to a 5-star rating as it gets and the first three gets 4, the skipped ones are simply OK and that is not enough.

So, even though I love and cherish this strange album (not many bands would go about releasing a live album as their first testament) the end result is an okay album. There is plenty to thrill but in the end it is an album of varied quality, in the vein of early 70's hardrock with a splash of progressive tendencies. Do not travel around the globe in pursuit but do give it a listen, if you can. It is charming and at times really, really good (such as in "On the way home").

Three stars from me and a lot of love.

Review by patrickq
2 stars According to the reviewers here, you'd think this was a R&B-influenced jam band that sounded somewhat like Traffic. And I agree. As to the debate as to whether Badger was really a progressive band, I can see it from two points of view: first of all, if (fill in blank with band) is listed on Prog Archives, Badger should be too. (Maybe Journey or Styx could fit here.) Here's a band that opened for Yes, was co-founded by Yes keyboardist Tony Kaye and Jon Anderson collaborator David Foster, and whose debut album had four 7- minute songs. Roger Dean even painted the cover!

On the other hand, if you had to classify Badger in just one subcategory of rock, it wouldn't be progressive rock. Other bands to which Badger has been compared (fairly, in my view) are the Allman Brothers and the Doobie Brothers. And while comparisons to Traffic are also fair, Badger lacks several elements of Traffic that make Winwood and company progressive, like their instrumental diversity and the subtlety and complexity of their arrangements.

Anyway, like a number of bands, both listed and not listed on Prog Archives, Badger has some prog aspects, and to a large extent these are delivered by Tony Kaye, who sounds better on some of these numbers than he did with Yes. His synthesizer solo on "Fountain" is the highlight here, although several organ solos, such as on "On My Way Home," are nearly as good. But I can only rate this album on its own merits - - it doesn't make sense to me to reduce its rating because it doesn't meet my definition of progressive rock. And on its own merits - - as an early-70s hard-rock live album by a jam band, One Live Badger is OK. If you like this kind of music, though, there are many, many better places to start: the Allman Brothers, Argent, Chicago, the Doobie Brothers, Procol Harem, Santana, Traffic, etc.

So I'm rating this two stars: a nice, though inessential, addition to the collection of a Yes and/or Tony Kaye fan, but probably of little interest to anyone else.

Review by VianaProghead
4 stars Review N 382

Badger was a British progressive rock band formed in the early of the 70's with a very short life. They were co- founded by keyboardist Tony Kaye after he left Yes. Tony Kaye did obviously have some problems with finding out what bands he wanted to play with in the early 70's. After leaving Yes when they really started to get the grip, he formed Flash with former Yes' member Peter Banks. Flash released three albums in the 70's, but after just one album, their eponymous debut, Kaye left Flash, obviously unhappy with the result, and then he formed another progressive rock band, Badger. For some strange reason, probably a cheaper way to make an album, Badger chose to record their album with original tracks, live in concert instead of in the studio. The Yes' connection via Tony Kaye is abundantly evident. The album was co-produced by Yes' singer Jon Anderson and as was usual on Yes' albums it has the obligatory Roger Dean art cover.

'One Live Badger' was recorded supporting Yes, another link with Yes, over two nights at the Rainbow, in December 1972. The quartet was exceedingly well rehearsed and played with a functional tightness which only the between songs the applause reveals as live. The drawback is that probably it lacks any of the sparkle some studio magic might have sprinkled. But the most important is that the songs are solid and so-so rather than inspired, and Badger comes across as a competent outfit, but much closer in spirit to blues rock than to the mountains that Yes was moving at that time.

The line up on the album is Brian Parrish (lead vocals and electric guitar), Tony Kaye (keyboards and mellotron), Dave Foster (lead vocals and bass) and Roy Dyke (drums).

On the album, Kaye's flourishes are often striking, and as a fascinating live document, this has a certain charm, really. The material is strong and the band's sound as if they have been playing and writing together for years. As expected, Kaye's signature Hammond organ sound is to the fore on most of the tracks, although the use of other keyboards to add different textures, like the mellotron, the electric piano and the Moog synthesiser, are evident on some tracks too. Guitarist Brian Parrish plays some great solos, although nothing too flash or overburdened with technical virtuosity. The solid and efficient rhythm section are quite prominent in the mix, as one would expect from a live recording, and the sound of Foster's bass is particularly clear and superb and probably that could only be possible on a live recording.

'One Live Badger' can be classified as progressive rock, but not overwhelmingly so. Yes, most of the songs are of an extended length and contain longer instrumental passages, plus Kaye's Hammond is prominently featured throughout. The themes on the album are around two focal points that are quite typical for the time, social issues and spirituality. That said, there is more of a straightforward early 70's rock vibe to be found in Badger. This isn't to imply that it's a bad album by any means. Quite the opposite, 'One Live Badger' is a very entertaining album. It showcases a band that had a lot of promise, which regrettably went unfulfilled. Badger's first and only studio album was released in 1974 with the disappointing 'White Lady'. But, by that time, the band's line up had changed as had their overall musical direction too.

'One Live Badger' opens with 'Wheel Of Fortune', a very energetic track with catchy melody lines and extended solos. It's quite representative for the rest of the album. 'Fountain' impresses with its entertaining instrumental guitar and keyboard solos. It includes some very tasty playing of Moog and synth solos of Kaye. 'Winds Of Change' is probably the most interesting track for a Yes' fan, and definitely the most progressive rock track on the album. It shines through his past on Yes. 'River' is a more basic and rocking track. It also has its progressive instrumental moments and is an infectious rocker. 'The Preacher' borders on blues rock territory. It features some muscular guitar riffs from Parrish and floating atmospheric organ and Mellotron from Kaye. I think 'River' and 'The Preacher' are the least interesting tracks on the album. 'On The Way Home' is one of the best tracks. The first part varies between a heavy riff and a wonderful melodic ballad before the track builds up to a very energetic finale with some Kaye's excellent organ playing.

Conclusion: I wouldn't rank 'One Live Badger' up there with the best of Yes in terms of overall quality, but their debut is nonetheless very good. It's a solid album, beautiful earthy and rocky with pretty jams of organ and guitar. The music is bluesy, partly soulful rock, which is spiced up by elongated guitar and keyboard solos. Prog rok is only available in homeopathic doses, and is then usually contributed by Kaye with his keyboards. What lacked to them was the visionary look ahead. But, they offer solid rock from the safe side. It isn't a classic album by any means, and it loses a few points for the less than perfect sound quality, but it still is a worthwhile addition to any progressive or hard rock collection. Containing great keyboard work from Tony Kaye, ripping guitar work from Brian Parrish, and above average vocals, this is an enjoyable slice of the 70's memorabilia. Plus, having one of the Roger Dean's best covers don't hurt either, really.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

Review by Warthur
2 stars Tony Kaye's post-Yes band took the unusual decision of making their first album a live one, though perhaps this was apt in the long run - for their sole studio album, White Lady, didn't exactly win them much of a following and the fact is that playing as a live support act for Kaye's former bandmates in Yes probably represented the high water mark of their cultural penetration. This album captures them playing a style halfway between the lighter end of prog and jam-heavy blues rock, and gives the impression that whilst they were a decent enough band to nod along to as you buy some drinks at the bar and catch up with your friends, they don't really have material worth giving your full attention to. Bringing them along as a support act feels like an act of charity on the part of Yes, rather than the championing of an act which was exciting in its own right.

Latest members reviews

3 stars One Live Badger is one of those albums that as a Yes fan I was vaguely aware of during the pre-internet days. I had probably seen the Roger Dean album cover in one of his album-cover-art books. It definitely is a cool cover, with a simple winter scene with actually existing animals as opposed to ... (read more)

Report this review (#2346898) | Posted by hieronymous | Thursday, April 2, 2020 | Review Permanlink

3 stars After his meteroric passage in Peter Bank's FLASH ( only in Flash's first albun, with a very discreet performance ) , the keyboardist Tony Kaye be formed BADGER and releases only two works White Lady (studio albun) and this live albun One Live Badger. The band's sonority is very close to a ... (read more)

Report this review (#510461) | Posted by maryes | Saturday, August 27, 2011 | Review Permanlink

3 stars One Live Badger was one of the many albums that emerged from the early seventies art rock effusion that owed a lot to the creative talents of Roger Dean. In the early seventies his sureal concepts and paintings began to adorn the covers of albums such as Uriah Heep's Demons & Wizards and Fragile by ... (read more)

Report this review (#265058) | Posted by Vibrationbaby | Tuesday, February 9, 2010 | Review Permanlink

1 stars I was digging through my old LP's of which I have, (no kidding) Thousands, and came across ONE LIVE BADGER and decided to give it a spin. The first thing I realized was that this was not a prog band but more a bar band or a backyard party jam band... there is nothing prog about this album excep ... (read more)

Report this review (#197413) | Posted by Valdez | Monday, January 5, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I actually bought this CD after hearing it mentioned by Manfred Mann who was on a Dallas Classic Rock station about 7 years ago. I love M.Mann and took his recommendion seriously much to my satisfaction! I am quite familiar with YES but wasnt a real fan of the old stuff until hearing Badger, ... (read more)

Report this review (#100720) | Posted by gregknapp | Monday, November 27, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars The red headed step child album, To release a live album as their first effort takes a lot of courage. Give this a chance, and you will find that this album delivers a raw , yet unique feel. The members of this band found a sound that even they could not reproduce in the studio. Thus makin ... (read more)

Report this review (#68772) | Posted by titfortat03 | Wednesday, February 8, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I thought about this one before giving it 5 stars. The only reason I almost selected four was beacuse I really don't consider this to be a typical progressive band unless you can label Joe Cocker as progressive.. Of all my albums this has been the top of the list for energy and inspiration. ... (read more)

Report this review (#31227) | Posted by | Sunday, May 29, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This is a great album. Readers not familiar with the band may see Tony Kaye's name and think this might sound a bit like early Yes, but it's far from the mark. The band is more powerfully driven by the guitar work of Brian Parrish, a sorely under-recognised player, whose fluid solos permeate t ... (read more)

Report this review (#31226) | Posted by | Thursday, May 26, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars A great record! XLNT musicianship coupled with some very solid rock/prog songs. Coupled with Roger Dean's cover art and the blurry bands photos within the gatefold, the listener is transported to a London stage in the early 70's for a quality show (when the territory was still relatively new + ... (read more)

Report this review (#31225) | Posted by | Sunday, February 13, 2005 | Review Permanlink

2 stars The Apotheosis of Mediocrity! - Badger's first Lp is the typical 2 star LP in my view. Collectors/Fans of YES might be interested - but the music is far from a Yes aesthetic, landing itself in a more AOR-Americanised feel. this in itself isnt' a bad thing - but Banks just doesnt' carry if off ... (read more)

Report this review (#31224) | Posted by mandrake2 | Sunday, January 16, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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