If Budgie isn’t at the top of your listening list, we can’t image why. This Welsh hard rock band had enough experimental integrity to keep any Krautrocker glued to their speakers. Heavy, fast, diverse, Budgie took the blues-based hard rock formula and pulled it inside out and then hung it upside down. Started in 1971, the trio’s lineup featured Burke Shelley, Tony Bourge and Ray Phillips reinvented the ultra-cool vide of Led Zeppelin and merging it with the loser-sludge of Black Sabbath. Adding just a dash of nerdy, lunch-room reject intellictualism. Perfectly destroying any chance at mass appeal. Perfectly.
So, before we let you plunge into the big ten featured below, let’s explore two additional records that any self-respecting Budgie fan should consider. The Honorable Mentions, if you like; Absolutely no Budgie collection is complete with their E.P from 1980, If Sallowed, Do Not Induce Vomiting. Everything on the disc is worth hearing but Panzer Division Destroyed is the single best track the band recorded after the classic period. The song has everything that makes Budgie important; complex, hard-rock fun. Secondly, if you are onboard with all ten of the albums mentioned on our list, then you should seek out a copy of the band’s 2006 reunion album, You’re All Living in Cuckooland. It’s not great or even good but there are a few moments. Vocalist and bass-player, Burke Shelley is the only original member but he assemble a team that help recapture a bit of glory almost be mistake. Now, without wasting anymore words…
Once again, the Vinyl Dreamscape has gone all out with this assignment from the head-office. A series of intense and unpleasant team sessions were established. All of them degenrating into ugly and often violent, drug fueled arguments and fights. However, at the end of the day, the hospital bills will be worth the extra cost. The Vinyl Dreamscape managing the near impossible. Below is our final, definitive, Ultimate Top Ten Budgie Albums. Merging the two distinct periods for Budgie; 1) the classic first six albums from 71-76 and 2) the often slandered NWOBHM era from 78-82. Let the controversy begin;
The Vinyl Dreamscape’s Ultimate Top Ten Budgie Albums.
10) Deliver Us From Evil (1982)is a difficult album for many Budgie fans. It’s an understandable feeling. The born-again concept and the abundance of lack-luster songs prevent Deliver from being anything but an after-thought. Still, their are moments of the old black magic.
09) Lots of traditional Budgie fans look the other ways when we go on about the treasures to be found on 1980‘s Power Supply album. The bands taking a major turn toward simpler and heavier song. And it actually works on occasion. If Panzer Division Destroyed from the band’s If Swallowed E.P, also from 1980, had been include, then history would have been much kinder to this record. (The CD reissue includes the track).
08) In 1976 the guys gave us the last truly classic period Budgie album. If I Were Brittania I’d Waive the Rules showing signs of fatigue and weakness. It doesn’t matter, the album still overflows with ideas and personality. Look at it this way; Budgie benefits from the changes happening around then in much the same way that In Through The Out Door forced Percy and company out of their 70’s cool-guy riffs and into intersting record.
07) Another pick from the band’s NWOBHW period. And another testimonial to the artistry of this important band. 1981‘s Nightflight is filled with the kind of hard-rock that would have kept an army of jean-jacket wearing long-hairs happy in after-school detention. This is time well spent. I Turn To Stone is a brillant single and a personal favorite on the late-period Budgie catalog.
06) The band begins flight with their self-titled debut in 1971. A fully formed unit. With song titles like, Nude Disintegrating Parachutist Woman, what could go wrong? Budgie is a monster and no other band has come close to replicating their unique sound and style; the hard rock band that didn’t like hard-rock! Best of all, this album is the home of the massive circluar groove called, Guts. Taking the hypnotic power of repetition to a stoner rock high.
05)How can any album with this much fun and complexity not be in the top three? Napoleon Bona-Part One & Two is says it all. 1975‘s Bandolier album bringing a new funkiness to the elegtic mix. You can hear the influence of Maggot Brain sprinckle throughout the record. Black Sabbath, Funkadelic and Krautrock. What are you waiting for?
04) Squawk was Budgie‘s second album origianlly release in 1971. This is perhaps the band at their most metalic. Hard and heavy in a way most 70s band avoided. The music shaded by short, folk-ish interludes that keep everything interesting. The guitar and rythmns invoking a slight psychedelic quality. Hot as a Docker’s Armpit?
03)Some will lose faith with our team of experts over this choice from 1978. Two years after the “classic” era, Impeckable turns up the funkiness factor ten-fold. Taking songs that easily could have made the top three albums on this list. Here is an album less intersted in sludge and more intested in songs to carry the day. Don’t Dilute the Water ia the gem of the bunch. Enjoy.
02) In For The Kill (1974). There was little disagreement between the Vinyl Dreamscape team on the top 3 albums. Crash Course in Brain Surgery was covered by Metallica to great effect on their Garage Days E.P. in 1987. Did Budgie invent Trash? The song punching me in the head repeatedly as a teen. All the while I had a big smile on my face. Can’t image a better endorsement.
01) Originally released in 1973 on the MCA record label, Never Turn Your Back on a Friend mixes the band molten hot guitar riffs with the Burke Shelley’s Geddy Lee-ish vocals. Only Lee never sounded this good. The high-energy album is topped-off with the beautiful eleganance of the track Parents. Fully cinematic in scope. Who knows? This song may even help you forget a lost love. You haven’t heard? Why?