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Prog Related • United Kingdom

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Budgie biography
Originating from Cardiff, Wales, UK, Budgie first formed in 1967 under the guise of ' Hills Contemporary Grass'. This name was shortlived however and by 1968 they had renamed themselves Budgie, which still remains this to the current day, although line ups have changed from time to time. The original members were Burke Shelley (b.1947) on bass and vocals, Tony Bourge (b.1948) on guitars and vocals and Ray Phillips (b.1949)on drums.

As was often the case with debut albums from the late sixties and early seventies, "Budgie" 1971 was a mixed bag of hard rock combined with a strong dose of blues. Produced by Black Sabbath producer Roger Bain. " Squawk" 1972 and " Never Turn Your Back On A Friend" 1973 were further studio albums following in quick succession. The latter probably being the most well known of Budgie work." In For The Kill" followed in 1974 and by now the line up changes began with Ray Phillips departure and replacement by the soon departing Pete Boot. The band experienced further membership changes and in 1978 Tony Bourge moved on and in stepped John Thomas who also later worked with Glenn Hughes.

Classifying Budgie is no easy feat hence it being in the Prog related category but the blues rock influences are ever present especially up to the close of the 70's.Sometimes described as pioneers in metal, Burke Shelley's voice often compared to Geddy Lee of Rush and the progressive influences are particularly evident in " Squawk", " Never Turn Your Back On a Friend" and 1975's " Bandolier". Budgie became less active in the latter parts of the 80's and ceased live tours in 1988. The 90's saw a revival of the band and further studio albums ensued, the last being in 2006 called " Your'e All Living In Cuckoo Land". Line up changes remained unabbated but one thing remains is that Budgie continue to play high energy rock, progressive at times, bluesy and plain solid metal to a high standard. Metallica have had notable success doing versions of their work " Breadfan" being one song and " Crash Course In Brain Surgery" the other, Judas Priest being another band influenced by the outfit from Wales.

Two live shows of note were in 1982 when Budgie headlined the Reading festival and Live In San Antonio ( 2002).Recommended albums would be 1972's " Squawk", " Never Turn Your Back On a Friend" from 1973 and 1978's "Impeckable". Founder member and drummer Ray Phillips is scheduled to release his first solo album in the first half of 2009.

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Mca Albums 1973-1975Mca Albums 1973-1975
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BUDGIE discography

Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help to complete the discography and add albums

BUDGIE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.73 | 114 ratings
3.30 | 110 ratings
4.17 | 180 ratings
Never Turn Your Back On A Friend
3.73 | 123 ratings
In For The Kill !
3.22 | 121 ratings
3.18 | 77 ratings
If I Were Brittania I'd Waive The Rules
3.19 | 66 ratings
2.43 | 62 ratings
Power Supply
3.58 | 57 ratings
3.10 | 52 ratings
Deliver Us From Evil
2.62 | 39 ratings
You're All Living In Cuckooland

BUDGIE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.28 | 9 ratings
Heavier than air - Rarest eggs
2.75 | 4 ratings
Life in San Antonio

BUDGIE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

BUDGIE Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.33 | 11 ratings
The Best of Budgie
4.03 | 10 ratings
An Ecstasy of Fumbling: The Definitive Anthology
4.07 | 14 ratings
The Best of Budgie
2.80 | 5 ratings
The Last Stage

BUDGIE Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.50 | 2 ratings
Crash Course In Brain Surgery
3.36 | 11 ratings
If Swallowed Do Not Induce Vomiting

BUDGIE Reviews

Showing last 10 reviews only
 Never Turn Your Back On A Friend by BUDGIE album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.17 | 180 ratings

Never Turn Your Back On A Friend
Budgie Prog Related

Review by Bluforce777

4 stars As has been stated by others, this is not progressive rock, but it is infused with a progressive attitude and a wealth of instrumental excellence that sets it above most hard rock releases of the time. This is a wonderful recording, fusing Tony Bourge's Bourge's blazing guitar riffs, Burke Shelley's strident bass playing and vocals, and Ray Phillips' sharp, effective drumming. Recorded at the legendary Rockfield Studios in Monmouth, Wales, it also features a suitably otherworldly cover designed by Roger Dean (another prog-rock link, I guess). There are some superb hard rock moments across this recording, notably the blistering Breadfan, with it's molten, propulsive guitar riffs that literally crackle in your speakers. This exhilarating song showcases a trademark change of tempo, with a lilting summery acoustic mid-section creating a respite, before that snarling main riff charges through again. Bourge remains one of the great underrated rock guitarists, sadly unknown to the wider public, but a huge influence on many other players of the hard rock / metal genre. His swaggering riffs sprawl across In The Grip Of A Tyre Fitter's Hand with genuine panache and skill, and his guitar tone takes on a formidable substance and weight. Credit must also go to the subtle cross rhythms created by Shelley's intricate bass playing, again sorely underrated. His vocals have never been outstanding, but he can carry the heavier songs with a ragged flair and soothe out silky melodies on the slower ballads. You Know I'll Always Love You is a lilting poignant short song which bravely opened the cassette version of this album back in 1973. It is shimmering and beautiful, extremely well constructed despite it's brief length, showing how effortless the band was with softer material. Parents makes use of the light and shade approach that set Budgie apart from many other hard rock bands of the time. It's emotionally soaked guitar melody reappears throughout the song, punctuated by soft jazzier verses which reflect on the wisdom of parents. This is a beautiful, expressive and powerful song, later even covered by Shirley Bassey. Surely the most progressive track on the album is the three-part You Are The Biggest Thing Since Powdered Milk, which starts out as a sonically spiralling drum solo by Ray Phillips, played through a flange filter and panned across the speaker channels. It morphs into the song's main convoluted riff, and finally evolves into the galloping third section, sung by Bourge. The expansive riffs and shifting rhythms are much more inspired and intricate than those that appeared on the group's next album (the tired and lacklustre In For The Kill). The band snakes through a bubbling version of Baby, Please Don't Go, which brims with a playful abandon, especially in the solos. It gets the job done. The weakest track on this excellent album, and the reason this is not a 5 star review, is Riding My Nightmare, which carries both a mundane melody and a hackneyed chorus, incapable of lifting it from it's mediocre status. Otherwise, this is easily one of the top 10 hard rock recordings of 1973. If you have never heard Budgie's music, this is the perfect place to start.
 In For The Kill ! by BUDGIE album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.73 | 123 ratings

In For The Kill !
Budgie Prog Related

Review by Groucho Barks

4 stars We all have an album that we picked up for pennies off a market stall that sets us off on a journey and a devotion to something deeply unfashionable, even with the then long haired alternative music scene.....Ladeezz and genllmen I give you Wales finest power trio Budgie and their 4th album, 1974's In For The Kill! It was my first introduction and yes I eventually owned the lot...and it may not be their best...but it will always mean something to me. A line up change had introduced a new drummer who to me was more powerful if a tad less busy than Ray Phillips who was replaced. Maybe this was why we got perhaps the heaviest Budgie album ...yes IMHO...and it is none the worse for that. We can argue how 'prog' a classic power trio can be (Rush sort of step outside the box on that one) but to me this was filed under heavy as hell prog and still should be. The opening title track is a rumbling riff mirrored by guitar and bass and it chugs along at a fair lick...with a vocal/guitar twin line that underpins the verse. It also allows one of my favourite guitarists, Tony Bourge to show his prowess both as lead and riff player. Apparently Van Halen used to do a version of this before they 'broke through' but don't let that put you off! Next came the inclusion of an earlier single, 'Crash Course In Brain Surgery' (gotta love the title!) which was done and dusted in just over 2 and a half mins (Metallica covered it on their Garage Days Revisited EP). Then the acoustic interlude of 'Wondering What Everyone Knows' which is the breather we all needed before the epic 'Zoom Club'...a slinky riff built up by band dynamics to a crescendo then maintained on the intensity meter...with variations and diversions for 10 marvellous minutes...Bourge using a riff/rhythm/lead technique to cover all bases. If they ever ask me on Desert Island Discs....this track will be played. Side 2 barges in with 'Hammer and Tongs'...a Zeppelinesque blues riff of light and shade and heart wrenching intent...that fills out the start and middle before a more ethereal bridge takes us in to an unexpected straight 12 bar....which solos off in to the faders....It is one of those tracks that is all but cliché yet rises above that with its sheer chutzpah! It sort of keys you in to 'Running From My Soul' which has a swaggering blues based template with the bass (take a bow Burke Shelley) used as a Lemmy style rhythm machine...well before Motorhead! Finally the most complex track 'Living On Your Own'. This one has a measure of Man (fellow Welsh prog heads) thrown in to the mix although they were never this heavy...and it has several contrasting passages that again are built on a great band dynamic in to a satisfying whole to end the album! It even made #29 in the UK LP charts and as was the case back in the day, was a rushed affair between never ending tours, hence its length (short) and rough edges (charm). We can all argue over labels but why this band aren't under the 'Heavy Prog' sub header is beyond my comprehension!
 Bandolier by BUDGIE album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.22 | 121 ratings

Budgie Prog Related

Review by AEProgman

4 stars An under-rated influential band. How can you not like Budgie headed humanoids riding on horses in space suits on the cover!

For those not familiar with Budgie, the main guys are Burke Shelley on bass and Tony Bourge on guitars with various drummers. They are sometimes credited (along with Sabbath and others) as being at the beginnings or influenced the Metal genre. To me I always thought of them as hard rock (out dated term I guess) and blues with elements of prog along with bits of funk thrown in. They are also compared to Rush quite a bit as they are a heavy power trio with the bass player doing the vocals with a higher pitched range. However, Budgie came along before Rush did.

Now for their fifth studio album, Bandolier.

The first track, Breaking All the House Rules, is a straight forward hard, semi-blues type rocker with a few twists and turns along the way. It sounds like they were having fun with this one.

Next up Slipaway, a ballad that has become somewhat of a staple in Budgie albums and they are always well done with intriguing melodies. Burke's vocals have a nice way of weaving in and out of the song.

Who Do Want for Your Love is next. This song has a rather catchy, slow funky start which transitions into a heavier beat. There is some good guitar work in this along the way. I like this one.

I Can't See My Feelings is another hard rock song with some blues/funk tendencies. Burke and Bourge have a good chemistry of writing where the songs at times can sound or morph into two songs in one. This is evident in most of their albums.

I Ain't No Mountain is song that sounds like something T-Rex could have done, another hard rock blues/funk blend. Still fun to listen to.

Now the prize of the album, Napoleon Bona Part 1 and 2. Budgie also shows humor in most of their albums with some of the song titles and lyrics. This starts off slow and dreamy then turns heavy with some killer riffs. It is not hard to see where Budgie influenced some later bands like Metallica and Judas Priest. The song takes some nice twists along the way. The favorite of the album! Worth the price of admission.

I picked this album to review as it was my only exposure to Budgie back in the 70's (in 8-track no less). I have recently rediscovered them through a co-worker/friend who has a massive album and CD collection. He has them all and with the exception of one or two albums, I like every one of them including their 2006 album, You're All Living in Cuckoo Land (only Shelley from the original line up).

I give this one 3.5 stars, rounded up to 4 (half star for fond memories). For anyone who has not heard Budgie, any of the 70s albums are worth listening to (Bourge would leave on the 80s albums). Never Turn Your Back on a Friend is their most 'proggy' and highest rating here in PA, but most of their albums have some prog tendencies mixed in. Squawk and In For the Kill are also excellent.

Man, I have forgotten how much I like this band! Thanks Wes!

 Budgie by BUDGIE album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.73 | 114 ratings

Budgie Prog Related

Review by sukmytoe

4 stars I adore this band, there is just something about the music that grabs me and holds tight although I can't really decipher what it is - I just go with the flow without trying to analyse the music and what it is that makes me a full on band fan. The vocals, to me, are what a Budgie would sound like if it could sing rock music. Back in 1971 Budgie made up one of the five bands that were the core of what really made my music world start to swing - Budgie, Black Sabbath, Uriah Heep, Grand Funk Railroad and Deep Purple.

"Guts" - A hard rock riff throughout drives a solid track of early head-banging pleasure. Burke Shelley reminds me of a budgie on steroids with his voice.

"Everything in my Heart" - short, nice, soft acoustic interlude from the band.

"The Author" - Starts off softly almost in the vein of the previous track before rocking out a third of the way in. Very "Led Zeppelinish" in places.

"Nude Disintegrating Parachutist Woman" - Slow heavy rock to start before soaring into speedier hard rock pyrotechnic territory just before the halfway mark. I love the Shelley vocal harmonising with the lead guitar section. Very reminiscent of some later Deep Purple live jams. Tony Bourge on lead throughout this track blows my mind.

"Rape of the Locks" - A way of describing an unwanted haircut I suppose. Lead guitar noodling to start before morphing into hard blues rock. At this point in the album I can pick up just how influential Budgie was relating to the rock music scene - maybe almost invisibly influential but massively influential all the same.

"All Night Petrol" - Interesting hard rock number. Shelley on bass is very prominent throughout.

"You and I" - Ballad from the band, beautifully done. The acoustic guitar and the vocals shine on this one.

" Homicidal Suicidal" - The hardest rock edged track on the album.

I'm really torn as to how to rate this album - if it were for pure love purposes I would give it a solid 5 however there are stronger Budgie albums after this one and this is the first studio release from the band. As this is a prog music site I am disposed towards a 3 rating but that would also not really be fair as although these guys aren't progressive here as I understand progressive to be they were obviously extremely influential. Settling on a 4 rating is the answer I guess being a 3.5 rated up to 4 however prog purists be warned this is not necessarily an album for you - it is an album for anyone who loved the early 70's Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Grand Funk, Uriah Heep, Deep Purple musical whirlwind.

 Deliver Us From Evil by BUDGIE album cover Studio Album, 1982
3.10 | 52 ratings

Deliver Us From Evil
Budgie Prog Related

Review by DeepPurplePL

3 stars Budgie. One of the most underrated among hard rocking and heavy metal bands on this planet. "Deliver Us from Evil" had been their last effort before the project was on hiatus for more than two decades? The album starts with a solid rocker "Bored With Russia" and this is a promising opener. Unfortunately next three tracks are of very poor musical quality. The band seem to try to follow NWOBHM standards, however, they are far behind Iron Maiden, Leppard and Saxon (to name a few) abilities to produce at least decent tracks. I would say, a relegation zone of the second division regarding NWOBHM at that time. The last song of the 1st side of the Lp is much better though; "Flowers in the Attic", a nice tune, comparable to "Bored With Russia". The second side of the vinyl is somewhat better. "N.O.R.A.D.", one of my favourite ones on the album. "Give Me The Truth" and "Finger On The Button" are poor again and easily forgotten. "Alison" is a quite controversial one for Budgie, more a pop song than a power ballad. Personally, I like it, and, surprise, surprise? I can hear a bit of John Lennon in it (hence his name at the back of the cover?). And finally, another Budgie classic and absolutely epic one ? "Hold On To Love". Fast pace reminds me a bit "Hard Loving Man" of Deep Purple. I hesitated between two and three stars for the album. Eventually for I am a fan of the Welsh trio I tipped the scale toward three stars. I am very pleased to add, that there is a short text at the back of the cover in Polish. "We would like to thank veeeeeeeery much to those in poland who came to see us live. You are the best audience we have ever played for. Budgie." The band was nearly as popular as Black Sabbath in my country (Yes, I am Polish). Why? There was no regular record market behind the iron curtain and courtesy of Piotr Kaczkowski, a radio DJ, me and legions of rock fans are familiar with the impressing flight of Welsh budgies.
 Bandolier by BUDGIE album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.22 | 121 ratings

Budgie Prog Related

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

3 stars 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.

 Never Turn Your Back On A Friend by BUDGIE album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.17 | 180 ratings

Never Turn Your Back On A Friend
Budgie Prog Related

Review by stefro
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Budgie's inclusion in the annals of ProgArchives may well raise a few eyebrows(not least by the group themselves who have on at least one occasional included the phrase 'We're not progressive' on their album notes) and their subsequent post-seventies career showcases a rather straight, proto-metal outfit more in love with sharp riffing than complex instrumental arrangements. However, whilst the bulk of their material tends to eschew progressive aesthetics, this 1974 album goes gloriously against the grain. Undoubtedly the high watermark of the Welsh power-trio's lengthy career, 'Never Turn Your Back On A Friend' is the group's most expansive, inventive and eclectic work, featuring a selection of crisp rockers, a charming ballad and the superlative Budgie signature piece 'Parents'. A fan favourite, 'Parents' finds Budgie taking rare strides into progressive territory as lead vocalist Burke Shelley gently recounts a bittersweet tale of parental guidance. Its a marvellous ten-minute epic with a strangely maudlin tone, featuring cleverly used acoustic guitars and some poignant lyrical statements regarding how the people who bring us up usually know best, even if we doubt it at the time of our growing up. Yet whilst 'Parents' may well be the album's stand-out number, elsewhere on the album you have the muscular 'Breadfan' - a track famously covered by Metallica no less - the groovy, steel- riffed funk-rock number 'In The Grip Of A Tyrefitters Hand' and the dreamy acoustic ballad 'You Know I'll Always Love You', three very different tracks that help make 'Never Turn Your Back On A Friend' a truly remarkable album. They may not be a genuine progressive rock outfit, yet for a brief moment Budgie's star shone super bright with this prog-tinged proto-metal classic. A real surprise; a fantastic album. STEFAN TURNER, STOKE NEWINGTON, 2012
 Bandolier by BUDGIE album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.22 | 121 ratings

Budgie Prog Related

Review by Gatot
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars I only knew Budgie when they released this album in 1975 as one song from this album (I Ain't No Mountain) was featured in local cassette compilation titled as Rock Vibration. The song really blew me away at first listen as I liked the riffs as well as guitar solo. My first impression was that this band was more into the kind of Led Zeppelin music in its simpler form. But that song really created curiosity to me as I wanted to know who the band was until I finally knew that this song was taken from Bandolier album - the band's fifth album. Pity me, I was not aware there was this band until they produced their fifth album! Looking back finally I salute the band as they released their album every year - it's a very productive. The band itself was already established in 1967 and it reached recording deal with MCA for their first five albums.

The way I see the band's music is somewhat like a power trio with practically simple composition and straight forward in style. So, it's basically not a prog band. 'Breaking All the House Rules' (7:23) opens the album in a style that represents a trade mark of Budgie music where the straight composition of three instruments : bass, guitar and drums featuring vocal. 'Slipaway' (4:02) continues the style of previous track. The fourth track 'I Can't See My Feelings' (5:54) was quite known and covered by Iron Maiden as B side of their single. In fact, I would say that Iron Maiden developed their style heavily influenced by Budgie. Look at the ending track 'Napoleon Bona Part 1 & 2 ' where the rhythm section was then followed by Iron Maiden in most of their songs.

Overall, this is a good album of straight rock music. Keep on proggin' ...!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

 Squawk by BUDGIE album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.30 | 110 ratings

Budgie Prog Related

Review by Gatot
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars This is another seventies band that I rarely paid attention at that time as I always compared it with another rock trio like Triumph, Grand Funk and Rush because in general they were alike in terms of instrument components: drum, guitar and bass. Of course I could not compare with ELP as it's drums - bass - keyboard. At first listen I was associated directly to the kind of Triumph music as the music they made was quite straight forward. I only knew this band when one of their song I Ain't No Mountain was one of rock favorites in my city of Madiun, Indonesia. Later I knew their other popular track like Breadfan.

This album offers similar in term of style what the band has typically made, i.e power rock trio that rely in itself in guitar solo backed with basslines and drumming. The second track Rocking Man is an interesting rock instrumental with good combination of guitar, bass and drums for most part of the track and only having vocal line at the ending part. Hot as a Docker's Armpit is also another good track.

Even though it's not something proggy, this band was one of the rock acts in the seventies that had their own fans base. For some reason I was much liking Triumph than this band. But it's OK for a change - sometimes. Keep on proggin' ...!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

 Power Supply by BUDGIE album cover Studio Album, 1980
2.43 | 62 ratings

Power Supply
Budgie Prog Related

Review by presdoug

3 stars With 1980's heavy metal onslaught Power Supply, Budgie stamp their authority on the new, expansive, highly competitive heavy metal scene of the early to mid eighties in an riveting and exciting way that left a lot of those other bands eating their dust. This album is just about the heaviest the band would ever produce, and leaves no doubt to the listener that this band just wouldn't die, and could still hang tough and create music that still mattered.

From the opening chords of Forearm Smash to the end of Crime Against The World, for me, this record gets to the heart of what made metal something not to be ignored, and must have been great music to hear live, like maybe at Budgie's first headlining gig at the 1980 Reading Festival, where they went down fantastically, and were supporting Power Supply at the time.

At the time of Power Supply's release, as an adolescent living in Canada, i had no way of getting to Reading, but this album has such an almost live sounding freshness and excitement to it, well, it is like being there, really. Alas, things were to change with their subsequent two studio albums, both good efforts, but not quite Power Supply. Well, what really was?

If you are looking for more progressive leanings, try elsewhere, like Impeckable or If I We're Britannia, I'd Waive The Rules, but if you want something heavy and in your face, but refreshingly positive in the same breath, this record is for you. I give it only three stars, because it is not the band's most progressive, and this is PA, after all, but if you want the best of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, this is it.

Thanks to chris stacey for the artist addition. and to easy livin for the last updates

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