Album Review: Budgie – Never Turn Your Back On A Friend (1973, 2014 180gr repress)

This week we heard the sad news that Burke Shelley, the bassist/vocalist of Budgie had passed away. Ever since I got a bunch of signed Budgie vinyl albums from my local record store (Encore Records in Kitchener, Ontario) I had planned on reviewing a Budgie album. I’ve mentioned Budgie before in this blog when I reviewed the Metallica Garage Inc. but I’ve never reviewed a Budgie album before. Well now it is finally time to rectify that.

Breadfan – Many of you know this song from the Metallica cover, but you would be missing a ton if you never check out the original. Burke does his best teenage Geddy Lee impression, Tony Bourge shreds like his life depends on it and Ray Phillips pounds the shit out of what looks like a kids beginner drum set, while looking like a young Brank Bjork.

Baby Please Don’t Go – If Big Joe Williams had huffed in a healthy dose of helium and was backed by a wicked 70’s hard rock band that had been transported back to 1935, this would be the result.

You Know I’ll Always Love You – You Know we’ll always love you Burke. R.I.P.

You’re The Greatest Thing Since Powdered Milk – These guys were probably a hoot to hang around with. They always had to have at least one song title that made you either laugh or think wtf. The drum work here is ace. The midsection of this song is wicked to hear the sweet instrumentation of a band that is at the top of their game. The vocal section sung by Tony Bourge is a sweet addition as well. A nice, deeper contrast to Burke’s high pitched wail.

In The Grip Of A Tyre Fitter’s Hand – It has a sort of Faces meets early 70’s hard rock/metal feel to it. The best Britain had to offer at the time, even if they couldn’t spell tire 😉 .

Riding My Nightmare – This acoustic song fits perfectly into the 70’s. If A Foot In Coldwater and some of the Jackson 5 had done a duet, this might have been the result. Weird but great.

Parents – This is a one epic album closer. A heavy, proggy song that has not only squawking seagulls but wicked musicianship. It’s real long, and I like it (cue Aaron).

Thanks for the wicked tunes Burke Shelley. You will be missed.

9.9/10

9 thoughts on “Album Review: Budgie – Never Turn Your Back On A Friend (1973, 2014 180gr repress)

  1. Budgie passed me by in the early 70s, they never really made it to my part of the US. It was my son who first enlightened me to this band and when I first heard them, I thought they sounded a lot like Led Zeppelin, which isn’t a bad thing. They could be one of the best bands of the 1970s not to be given the notice they should have been given.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Another great Welshman joins the great choir in the sky. I love this band unreservedly, so great and just so out there too. Burke was always such an amusing gent when he was interviewed as well. RIP.

    Liked by 1 person

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