Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Never Turn Your Back On A Friend - Budgie

This is my first review of 2015. Now I didn't know what to do with this month. To finish almost complete reviews from last year, to just do them as I listen, or wait. Well.... This third album by the UK's hard rock group Budgie. This was released in June 1973 on MCA Records and was produced by the group themselves. Immediately when I see the cover I know Roger Dean did it. Another thing I know right off that bat is I'm diggin' these song titles. Whenever I hear that name I think of the line, in the Flight of the Conchord's song Leggy Blonde "I had a budgie, but it died. I like pie". I was asked to review this by a friend, who's blogger is here, back last year. Actually it's been at least a year. I think it was in February he asked me. Regardless, after finally getting a copy to listen to, I bring to you, Never Turn Your Back On A Friend (how fitting a title) by Budgie
  1. Breadfan: This is a track that is probably most famous for being on Garage, Inc., a compilation which was basically a covers double album. It contains B-Sides and newly recorded tracks from '84-'98. That aside let's get to this song. This has the classic, thought not as powerful as on the later higher clearer Metallica cover. The singer actually sounds like a woman singing. It sounds like Janis Joplin singing this. The drum beat in the version I'm listening to is the clearest thing. But it's one solid thing. I'm diggin' the solo and love how it turns into a completely different song with the pretty acoustics. I love the whole entire acoustic section and love the way it sounds with this production. Then it goes back to the head. At over 6 minutes this is a promising opens {7/10}
  2. Baby Please Don't Go: I don't think there is a blues based group that hasn't covered this song. From AC/DC in the 70's to Aerosmith in '04 I could go on and on, and that's off the top of my head. Digging this bass tone, and also the cries in the intro. I also like the gutiar's crunch which would probably be beautiful on vinyl. My only real complaint is it's 5:30 minutes long. If it was 3 it'd be a lot better.
  3. You Know I'll Always Love You: I like the acoustic opening to this album, and it's a very pretty song. It's kinda mesmerizing. This is a great song, but I feel like this could be a better example of a fresh breath of air if the first track didn't  have that acoustic middle section.
  4. You're the Biggest Thing Since Powdered Milk: Killer drum fill opening. This is a pretty rocking track. I do enjoy this, and the other songs, it's just there is music that I've heard like this so many times before this isn't as enjoyable as it could have been. Thought I do really like that change in tempo with the bass "riff" and the part where it sounds like Uriah Heep. Actually I could have just done with that later half of the song.
  5. In the Grip of a Tyrefitter's Hand: Honestly I don't have anything else to say here, solid song, solid playing... it just. It reminds me a little too much of Judas Priest's early stuff to get excited by it. It'd rather listen to a fuller more developed sound vs a trio. Also I think it's kinda long, thought the ending is pretty solid. I really like the drums at that part.
  6. Riding My Nightmare: This song is very very pretty. It almost doesn't fit what was just happening. But again, I feel like they did a "hard rocker, ballad, hard rocker, hard rocker, ballad, hard rocker" and so on. It's very predictable and I've never listened to this before in my life. To be honest, if this is the same singer as the rest of the album, this is what his vocals are fit for most. I'd love this song, it's just I predicted it.
  7. Parents: I'm guessing this to be a hard rocker. But it's 10 minutes long, so don't forget to add in an acoustic or softer part. It starts out rockin', not quite hard rockin', but rockin'. Then goes into a softer more acoustic oriented part for the first verse. It picks up for what appears to be the chorus, but still. To be completely honest, I feel like if Priest were handed this song Rob would sing this thing until it became his submissive. I am digging the squeals in the solo though. This is kind of too long for how mellow it is. I mean the solo doesn't take it out of this mellow ness. Mabye my copy is bad, but if it isn't then ....... Listen to the song The Messiah Will Come Again by Roy Buchanan for a better version of what they were going for in this track, a far better. The 1972 version is probabyl closer in production, but it doesn't really matter.
Overall I have to give this a 7/10. To be honest, beside the hard rocking parts and the acoustic variation parts, there wasn't much else here for me. This wasn't that adventurous of an album for me. It could have been an album that influenced bands like Metallica and possibly to a lesser extent maybe Megadeth but outside of the inner circle, there isn't anything that I would really return to here. To be honest, there was lots of things here I've heard before by Priest, or at least remind me of them. I'd rather listen to their original albums than this.

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