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4.7 out of 5 stars
Bandolier
Format: Audio CDChange
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on May 4, 1999
Released in 1975, this was the last album to stick to the sound of the previous four, although the sound quality had greatly improved. The songs are really tight due to a change in drummers, and feature some really interesting song structures. If you are a fan of 70's hard rock this is a must for your collection. Although Budgie never achieved the success of bands such as Black Sabbath, their riff driven tunes equally stand the test of time. Budgie was one of those bands that had various influences but remained totally unique.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on February 4, 2004
Growing up in the Heavy Metal mecca of San Antonio, Texas in the late 70's and early 80's, I had the opportunity to hear Budgie on 99.5 KISS (remember DJ's Joe Anthony and Lou Roney?) in addition to the mainstream bands of the time (Moxy, Rush, Lone Star, UFO, Riot, etc). To this day, Bandolier still remains the best Budgie recording. I recently obtained it on CD and it absolutely blew me away the same way it did when I was a kid. Tony Bourge's guitar playing is as fresh and original today as it was almost 30 years ago. Bourge has been imitated by many but matched by none. The title track "Breaking all the House Rules" simply rocks, especially when it transitions to Burke Shelly's bass line with Bourge's guitar in the background. Slipaway is a melodic masterpiece. Who Do You Want For Love set the standard for the grunge bands style of the early 90's, starting soft and then injecting fast and furious guitar work. I Can't See My Feelings: Try not playing your air guitar to this one! I Ain't No Mountain got tons of airplay in SA, listen and you'll know why. Finally, we come down to Napoleon Bona-Parts 1 and 2. The opening acoustic guitar works spellbinds you, only to be brought back crashing to earth by Bourge's electric guitar as the song transitions to Part 2. Only downside to this fine recording is the playing time, clocking in at a little over 36 minutes. Nevertheless, the quality simply outweighs the quantity. Don't waste your money on any Budgie recordings after 1978's Impeckable. If you purchase only one Budgie title, make it Bandolier. You will not be disappointed.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on June 26, 2001
Budgie's peculiar yet seminal 1970's British metal generated much more influence (acknowledged to this day by bands like Metallica) than actual record sales. Import geeks like yours truly used to rejoice whenever we "scored" one of Budgie's obscure LP's, salivating over the Roger Dean cover art like a Sotheby's bidder ogling a rare Picasso; whilst the general record buying public remained (at best) blissfully oblivious. For the neophyte, the excellent "Bandolier" is a good place to start, showcasing everything "Budgie"-from simple but effective crunchy metal riffs to curiously jazzy, sometimes acoustic melodic passages (frequently within the same song!) It is not unusual for a number to run on for 10+ minutes (witness only 6 songs on "Bandolier"!). Despite this leisurely approach to song structure, Budgie manage to pull it off without sounding boring or self-indulgent (like many of thier close cousins, the 70's Prog-Rockers). If you like "Bandolier", and have no problems acclimating to lead singer Burke Shelly's unique helium-huffer vocals, I predict you'll be hooked!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on December 1, 2000
Budgie is just one of those underrated influential bands of the 70's. This CD captures their finest moments in creativeness and power. Their hooks and bluesy influence come together into one awesome sound throughout 'Bandolier'. They weren't really into a primarily 'riff rock' thing - they just had a great command of combining some killer riffs into a well-constructed song, which ranged from balladesque to blues, however the hard rock undercurrent was always there...thus their influence to so many rock bands, even today. That, in and of itself, deserves 5 stars! They were never a Zep or anything popularity-wise, however one can tell by listening to them that they were in the ears of many up and coming rock bands of the same era - and many more to come.
Budgie is a 'stayer' in my books - a band worth listening to today - not just because they are 'classic rock' or something as worn out as that - but because their stuff still sounds fresh and exciting today as it did then (in other words, not the dreaded 'dated'). Mind you, the later Budgie lapsed into the 80's destruction of hard rock as we know it...however this is one CD that replays their talent pre-80's that captured them at their best. 'Breaking all the house rules' is worth the price of admission alone!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on June 7, 2007
This is Budgie's fifth album and is part of the recently remastered Noteworthy edition. As of 6/10/07, this edition includes all the original albums through 'If I Were Brittania I'd Waive the Rules' (1971-1976). It was remastered by the same guys who did the first, and excellent, Uriah Heep remasters, Robert M. Corich and Mike Brown. The redesign and artwork are by the guy who did the first, and somewhat problematic, Black Sabbath remasters, Hugh Gilmour. (Actually, his work was excellent; it was the music remastering that had problems.) The bonus tracks were remastered by Martin Giles and Robert M. Corich. This edition has been done with the cooperation of the band and its management.

The packaging is fine, though I really wish Noteworthy had gone to the trouble of hiring a proofreader: the liner notes have errors galore. The credits seem thorough, which is nice, and the interview quotes provide some meaningful information. The bonus tracks are acceptably annotated as well.

This edition sounds better than the first Repertoire CD edition--sharper, clearer, broader, deeper--but not better enough for me to want to invest in a whole new edition.

What make the Noteworthys noteworthy are the bonus tracks. But even there I'm not sure they're worth the investment. Some of the bonus tracks do seem very enticing, especially the ones with Tony Bourge.

Such as "Honey"! Although not listed in the amazon description, it is the first bonus track on 'Bandolier.' "Honey" is mentioned in the Repertoire discography accompanying some of their Budgie CDs, but unfortunately Repertoire didn't include it in their otherwise great 2CD Budgie compilation, 'An Ecstasy of Fumbling.' To give potential customers an idea of the value of the Noteworthy edition and one of its problems, here's the note to this track:

"First released as the B-side to the 'I Ain't No Mountain' A rare and much sought after Budgie acoustic number. Great track and it's a joy to have it added to the remaster."

Inept copyediting aside, it really is "a joy" to finally have this track available.

But the bonus tracks on the Noteworthy edition of the Budgie albums present another, more significant problem for me. I don't like the rationale behind their inclusion. Many are rerecordings by the current version of the band, with Simon Lees on guitar. Some were recently rerecorded with the involvement of Tony Bourge. Some are previously unreleased live recordings from the John Thomas version of the band.

For example, the band on 'Bandolier' is Burke Shelley, Tony Bourge, and Steve Williams. The album was released in 1975. Two of the bonus tracks are from 1975, but the other two are not. "Breaking All The House Rules" and "Napoleon Bona-Part 1 and 2" (this title is written three different ways in this edition) were recorded live at Chatham Town Hall in 1980 by the John Thomas version of the band. The note to "Napoleon . . . " points out "how very different he was from his predecessor Tony Bourge."

So why attach these two songs to 'Bandolier'? Especially when the first bonus track, "Honey," and the last bonus track, "Who Do You Want For Love" (sic), are both contemporary? ("Who . . . " was recorded live in 1975 for The Old Grey Whistle Test.)

Moreover, the John Thomas bonus tracks are of bootleg quality, in mono and with significant distortion. They sound good, as bootlegs go, and I certainly understand the value of any Budgie archival material, given how very little there has been. But the difference in sound quality, along with the difference in sound, detracts from the unity that was the original 'Bandolier.'

"Who Do You Want For Love" (actually, "Who Do You Want for Your Love"--another proofreading error) also suffers sound problems, such as tics and then a skip from what I suspect was a BBC transcription disc, but at least it's a 1975 recording by the Budgie that recorded 'Bandolier.'

I wish that the non-contemporary bonus tracks had been compiled separately as an album. I don't think they would have held together as an album any better than they hold together on the individual albums; still, the original albums would have retained their unity, and Budgie collectors would have more to listen to, in a convenient package, from this band.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on April 2, 2001
This was the second Budgie album I've ever heard, after buying the '71 debut and it's great too. Production wise they vastly improved, with a great multi-textured electric and acoustic guitar sound. Obviously they were influential on other heavy Brits of their day; sounds like Priest copped a riff or two from "....House Rules...." on their first couple of albums. Really a shame that Budgie never gained the popularity of say Rush or the Scorpions, they deserved it, maybe more.Great players!!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 17, 2001
Stationed in Scotland, I was fortunate to see these guys live. You can only imagine a true garage band crankin' out some of the best rock you've ever heard. It is unfortunate that Budgie never received much airplay in the U.S. with the exception of college stations. There is no doubt about it, Budgie rocks, and their sound will continue for generations. You won't be satisfied until you have this CD in your collection!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on October 28, 2004
Bandolier by Budgie is one of the best hard rock lp's/cd's during the 70's.This band is one of the founding fathers of NWOBHM baNds and very influential.(ask Metallica)

on 'Bandolier' the production is first-rate and a cut above the earlier releases (In for the kill,Never turn yourn back...)

"Break all the house rules", "Napoleon Bona-Part 1", and the gem of this set "I can't see my feelings" was the pre-cursor of the power metal trio's of the day.Burke Shelley's bass playing and high pitched vocals influened bands afterward who had even more sucess than Budgie.Can you say Geddy Lee and Rush? Tony Bourge's guitar playing is outstanding, and compares to Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath's, but with more of a melodic feel.

This band has had many great releases during their career, and still occasionally play the states, as well as their homeland of Wales and Great Britian.

This is one of the essentials to any hard rock collection....
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on March 12, 2001
This is Bugie's best music, if you had to own only one CD by Budgie, if would have to be this one, "Napoleon" is the best Budgie tune ever, the hair in the back of my neck still crawls when I hear the switch from "Part One" to "Part Two". Every single song is great. As a guitar player I always found Tony Burge's style so unique and different, sometimes bordering on amaturish/pioneerish to genuisly heavy and as I have repeated unique. To this day, although I listen to the likes of Malmsteen, Satriani, Vai and Schenker, I just can't seem to forget (nor do I want to) to include Bourge's name since in his own way he paved the road for many future guitar players, (including this one) but nobody could ever copy or generate his style and flair.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on April 10, 2001
THIS ALBUM PAIRED WITH"IN FOR THE KILL"ARE BUDGIE'S CROWNING ACHIEVEMENTS.THE WHOLE CATALOGUE IS A MUST-OWN BUT THESE TWO ARE THE MOST ESSENTIAL LISTENING IF YOU DON'T WANT TO SPEND MONEY FOR THE WHOLE CATALOGUE.STARTING WITH BREAKING ALL THE HOUSE RULES,BOURGE SHOWS HIS CREATIVITY WAS UNLIMITED,HE AND TONY I0MMI ARE THE GREATEST EVER GUITARISTS ON GOD'S GREEN(FORGET THE OVERRATED HENDRIX,PAGE,BECK AND CLAPTON'S OF THE WORLD.)I FORGOT TO MENTION RITCHIE BLACKMORE AS ANOTHER FAVE GUITARIST.ENOUGH BLABBING HOWEVER,ONTO THE ALBUM AT HAND.SLIPAWAY IS A NICE MELLOW TUNE,REMINDS ME OF A LENNY KRAVITZ SONG FOR SOME REASON,IN A POSITIVE FRAME OF MIND OF COURSE.WHO DO YOU WAN'T FOR YOUR LOVE IS MY FAVE SONG,JUST CREATIVITY BEYOND THE LIMITS AGAIN BY MR.BOURGE.A REGGAISH-HARD ROCKER WITH A COOL ENDING AND ANOTHER SOUL-CLEANSING SOLO FROM THE MAN AT THE HELM.I CAN'T SEE MY FEELING IS NOTHING MORE THAN QUALITY FILLER TO THESE EARS.NOTHING WORTH MENTIONING HERE EXCEPT THAT IT WAS COVERED BY MAIDEN YEARS LATER.I AIN'T NO MOUNTAIN IS A COVERSONG BUT AGAIN YOU WOULD NEVER NOW IT AS BUDGIE MAKES IT THEIR OWN SONG AGAIN.A NICE SINGALONG TUNE.SECOND FAVE SONG IS THE LAST"NAPOLEAN BONA PTS 1-2",AWESOME RIFFS AND SOLOS FROM BOURGE AS HE ALWAYS STUNS THESE EARS.NEW DRUMMER STEVE WILLIAMS DOES A FINE JOB THROUGHOUT THIS FINE ALBUM AND SHELLEY'S VOICE IS IMPROVING DRATICALLY ALSO.A DESERT-ISLAND DISK FOR SURE!!!!.
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