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Budgie Bandolier album cover
3.23 | 133 ratings | 11 reviews | 27% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1975

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Breaking All The House Rules (7:23)
2. Slipaway (4:02)
3. Who Do You Want For Your Love? (6:09)
4. I Can't See My Feelings (5:54)
5. I Ain't No Mountain (3:36)
6. Napoleon Bona Part 1 & 2 (7:15)

Total time 34:19

Bonus Tracks on 2004 remaster:
7. Honey (Single B-side) (3:21)
8. Breaking All the House Rules (Live *) (6:30)
9. Napoleon Bona, Parts One & Two (Live *) (7:58)
10. Who Do You Want for Love (Live #) (6:22)
Video - Who Do You Want For Love (Live #)

* Recorded at Chatham Town Hall in 1980.
# Recorded for the BBCTV's "The Old Grey Whistle Test" in 1975.

Line-up / Musicians

- Tony Bourge / lead guitar
- Burke Shelley / vocals, bass
- Steve Williams / drums

- John Thomas / guitar (8,9)

Releases information

Artwork: Patrick Woodroffe

LP MCA Records ‎- MAPS 8092 (1975, UK)
LP MCA Records ‎- 5373423 (2017, Europe) Re-mastered from original tapes (for the first time)

CD Repertoire Records ‎- RR 4100-WZ (1990, Germany)
CD Noteworthy Productions ‎- NP6 (2004, UK) Remastered by Mike Brown & Robert Corich with 4 bonus tracks plus a Video

Thanks to chris stacey for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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Extra tracks · Remastered
Noteworthy Prod. Uk 2005
$19.37 (used)
Universal 2016
$39.41 (used)

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BUDGIE Bandolier ratings distribution

(133 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(27%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(44%)
Good, but non-essential (23%)
Collectors/fans only (7%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

BUDGIE Bandolier reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by friso
4 stars Budgie on progarchives. If this is a true nomination I don't realy know, but I do know this is a great album from the English underground rocklegend Budgie. My brother got into this music and so I was thrown into it. I don't know a lot about Budgie's other offerings, this is the only one I own. Maybe this makes the review good for other starters in budgie, for it is objective in a way.

The budgie sound has a lot of elements in it. The startersong 'Breaking the house rules' is an hard rock song, but still quite gentle. You can hear the roots of the bluesrock in it. Also you can see this as an root for the later metal-like recordings. Vocalist Shelly has a voice that is very unique, high in pitch and still a rocking sound. The vocals aren't the main point here though, they flow with the music and the recording gives the vocals a subdued role. The guitars are rocking but still have an sort of artistic feel to it. Great starting song for getting us warmed-up.

Slipaway is a dreamy song in low tempo. The main theme is very melodic and the song has a sort of magical feel, undiscribeble. I like it very much! It makes me calm down in a way only music can. Who do you wan't for your love is another great song with elements of the first two song: It has dreamy parts and is has hardrocking parts with great tempochanges and different moods.

On side two we have I can't see my feelings, wich is an hard rock track with nothing to add. Just good, just '70. I ain't no Mountain is the only weak point IMO on this album. It is too simple, but still it isn't an anoying track so we will see it through the fingers (as the Dutch say when they accept things).

One of the main progressive points of interest is The Napoleon Bonapart one and two suite (I love this joke). Part one is again a good example of a '70 rock band showing some magical themes that make them so much more special then all the others in the genre at the time. Blue Oyster Cult was very good in this. Part one however is an great piece and it makes you want more. This is precisely what you will get with part two! Great guitar riffs, outstanding vocals and great melodic themes. One guitar part with delay is striking, folllowed up by the main riff this gives a great feeling of tension and relaxation following each other up.

Great hard rock, nice melodies, great overall atmosphere and some magical moments, this sound like a four star recording! Just try you heavey proggers and '70 specialists!

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars In need of Trill

Recorded in 1975, "Bandolier" offered the first indications that the inspiration was starting to become harder to find for Budgie. The album as whole remains a solid, guitar driven affair, but there is an underlying feel of going through the motions to a number of the tracks. By this time, the Spinal Tap like challenge of retaining a drummer was becoming a feature of the line up, with "Syco" Steve Williams taking over from Pete Boot (who had lasted for just one album).

The opening "Breaking all the house rules" is an enjoyable but rather anonymous rock and roll number which does not seek to break out of its all too orthodox framework. "Slip away" is the album's now traditional soft acoustic number, the song being rather longer than previous such tracks, perhaps an indication of the band's struggle to come up with new material. "Who do you want for your love" sounds more like a Bad Company song that a Budgie one, the shuffling blues being over-lyrical and rather prosaic.

The second side of the album is somewhat brief, but does end on a high. "I can't see my feelings", which opens the side, is another Wishbone Ash like blues rock song with little to distinguish it from the many other such numbers recorded around the same time. "I ain't no mountain" is a decent cover version of an Andy Fairweather-Lowe (Amen Corner) song, which sees the band venturing into significantly more commercial territories than they would have explored on earlier albums. The two part Napoleon Bona Part 1 & 2 (Bonaparte, get it?) which closes the album is by far the best track here. It sets out as a gentle acoustic number before bursting forth as a driving rock anthem featuring some fine lead guitar soloing. The underlying riff is similar to that on Led Zeppelin's "Immigrant song", the atmosphere of the track being similarly appealing.

In all, a rather disappointing entry in the Budgie discography, but an album which is certainly worthy of investigation for its fine closing song.

Review by Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars The consistently emphatic sound of Budgie continued with this 1975 release. Bandolier points towards an even more riff driven sound, the down side is an expected shortening of the tracks length, this album clocks in at 34 odd minutes, but that was not unnecessarily unusual with LP's for the time. The album starts off with ' Breaking All The House Rules', a catchy song but for me too repetitive for seven minutes.' Slipaway' follows and is another great laid back song from the band. This area of ballads always a strength for Budgie. Shelley's vocals are stretched to the max re pitch and some great guitar work from Bourge. The band returns to some hearty blues on ' What Do You Want For Your Love?' before breaking into some serious metal riffs. A more simply defined angle to their music from 1975 onwards.The final track ' Napoleon..' is probably the highlight on Bandolier but overall I would have to recommend this release for die hards only. Two stars.
Review by Eetu Pellonpaa
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Sadly this album starts to slip away from the fine experiences provided by the earlier records. I am very pleased with the last song, having really funny name for a quite dramatic hard rock suite. The problem with many tunes is the lack of interesting content and sound realm which doesn't appear as neat as the repetition would demand. This problem is in my opinion present in the first song already, and many of the tracks aren't very powerful compositions. Playing dynamics are also weaker than with the previous records line-up's. Maybe enthusiasm was more productive than experience. The album cover is really pretty, have to mention.
Review by SouthSideoftheSky
2 stars Following all the house rules!

Bandolier was a large improvement over the early Budgie albums from the production perspective. Also the vocal and instrumental skills of the band had matured a lot since they begun in the very early 70's. However, while the execution has improved the quality of the songs is much lower here. Only one song here is very good and a further one is decent but the rest are quite forgettable or even worse. Budgie are still very much the Led Zeppelin clone they always were and always will be.

The opening track is a straightforward Blues rocker that rambles on for over seven minutes without anything out of the ordinary happening at all. The second track is a nice acoustically driven ballad with good vocals and a decent melody. I detect a slight jazzy feel in this one! It is nothing too impressive or particularly memorable, but it is actually one of the better songs on this album. Who Do You Want For Your Love is another overlong track with a running time of six minutes. This one is a funky semi-ballad that, again, rambles on without introducing anything particularly interesting over and above a few expected tempo changes. It reminds a bit of the Canadian band Triumph. I Can't See My Feelings is too a pretty straightforward Hard Rock song and I Ain't No Mountain is a Blues standard. There is nothing progressive about these songs.

The only song that is really worth hearing here is the closer Napoleon Bona Part 1 & 2. This is a lovely song with a slightly progressive sound and feel to it. It begins with a lovely acoustic part with strong vocals and a jazzy feel, it then builds and introduces a pretty good and heavy riff. This is clearly the best song on this album.

In general, this is not a very good album and it is certainly not Prog by any means. Don't be fooled by the relatively long tracks as they are pretty basic Blues rockers for the most part. If you are new to Budgie, I would not start with this album. The previous In For The Kill is a much better choice.

Review by Warthur
2 stars 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.

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

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
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.

Latest members reviews

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 S ... (read more)

Report this review (#1484908) | Posted by AEProgman | Tuesday, November 10, 2015 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Unfortunatly, many people don't share the same views of this album as I do. This is really the last one in the Budgie collection that is needed, besides their 2006 comeback. The music here is much more pop oriented than their previous two records, but the Progressive roots are always there a ... (read more)

Report this review (#356068) | Posted by Jazzywoman | Friday, December 17, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars An exciting and balanced record. Bandolier was my first meating with Budgie and is still my favourite '70 hardrock record. The riffs are even more relaxing than in the earlier In For The Kill and Never Turn Your Back To A Friend records. Their sound is very balanced and Burke Shelly's sang gets ... (read more)

Report this review (#199226) | Posted by the philosopher | Thursday, January 15, 2009 | Review Permanlink

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