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on January 31, 2009
Budgie were a Welsh trio consisting of bassist/vocalist Burke Shelly, guitarist Tony Bourge, and drummer Ray Phillips. And the music they make is easily some of the best heavy metal/hard rock ever put to tape. Produced by Black Sabbath producer Roger Bain, the band's first album released in 1971 is one of their top works, the first in a line of highly inspired and truly rocking classic records that influenced everyone from Van Halen, Judas Priest to Iron Maiden, Soungarden, Metallica to all the slow/stoner metal of the 90s. Opening up with Guts, a molten heavy riff and steady pace might instantly reveal Sabbath influences and for that matter, most of Budgie's sound does that. It's without a doubt, Budgie are the missing 4th godfather of metal, alongside Sabbath, Zeppelin, and Deep Purple. Sabbath were the most stripped down of the three, but Budgie might actually be even more raw and "underground". In 1971 this sound was so abrasive and heavy, like some of their respected peers Sabbath this sound was so ahead of it's time, it's hard for future generations to grasp it. Of course now, the "retro" 70s sound is celebrated in heavy metal and when many current bands play this type of throwback rock it it's always given the critical nod. Musically, Bourge's thick and crunch guitars are all over the place and Burke Shelley's bass is tremendous, covering a lot of midsection grooves. This is really it here, the beginning of heavy metal, Guts is a savage track that just like Sabbath's debut was way ahead of it's time. Even though Breadfan is hailed as the band's best song because it implied the evolution of speed metal, Guts downtuned bass/guitar sound is one of the heaviest songs of all time and it might even be the band's best.

One of the bands trademarks was incorporating brief acoustic folk pieces in their albums, usually 2 per record. They are a little under developed on this debut, here they serve their purpose to balance the pace out where as on the 2nd album and following they became just as memorable as the rockers. Everything In My Heart is only about a minute long and it's an adequate way for the band to ease you in with the slow building proggy opening of The Author, before blasting it into a full blown epic rocker. Nude Disintegrating Parachutist Woman is another classic. 8 and a half minutes of multiple rocking sections which might remind you of How Many More Times from Zep, and definitely inspired thrash of the 80s with all its changes. Rape Of The Locks packs a nice punch along with All Night Petrol. These songs cook and have a nice dirty unpolished sound, in other words, this is how heavy metal is supposed to sound. The band returns to the 2nd acoustic breath catcher this time the more melodic You And I before jetting into Homicidal Suicidal, the closing rocker and another key Budgie cut that wraps things up with a monstrous ending that was later covered by Soundgarden.

This album marked the beginning of a great career of groundbreaking ear shattering rock music and the band would further refine the formula over the course of the next 8 years in a string of all must hear early metal diamonds. The debut is a little dated in comparison to their other albums but if you're looking for a good rare band you haven't heard yet, Budgie are one of the best. They easily deserved the fame and fortune Sabbath and Zeppelin have received. Their music is right on par with such. Whether youre after some great rock music, or heavy metal, or interested in hard rock's formative years, Budgie's early 70's albums offer an excellent lesson on how its done. They are purely essential.
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on April 18, 2008
This is a dirty little gem of a debut. You can listen to all of Budgie's output, all the great variety. But this baby always wails. Yes right from the beginning riff to the screams and screeches of Burke Shelly you can not help your self from feeling that surge that rock is all about. This is heavy and does remind you of all your favorite hard rock heroes. Budgie were contemporaries with all our heroes. They were right there since 1970. This is the beginning and a great introduction to this band, The follow up SQUAWK is on the dirty side too, worth checking out !
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on March 5, 2009
Wow, only 7 other reviews besides mine for Budgie's debut? This album is seriously a hard rock classic. Most people only think a classic can be called so when everyone knows and loves an album, but NOT to me. An album is a classic to me when every single second feels like it's totally kicking in the right gear, and that's the case with Budgie's debut.

Do you like the classic period of Black Sabbath in the early to mid 70's?
Do you like Led Zeppelin's second and third albums?
Do you like the sound of early Rush?

If you like all those things, there's absolutely no doubt in my mind you will LOVE Budgie's debut. I'm extremely shocked and pleased how good their debut album is. It's not just typical guitar soloing that feels meaningless and doesn't go anywhere- no, this is some *very* tight songwriting, and the guitar riffs are excellent. The vocal melodies are easily a step above most bands.

Why aren't more people aware of such a classic album? I have no idea honestly. Trust me, for all 70's hard rock lovers, THIS is exactly what you're looking for. This stuff may even appeal to you more than Zeppelin and Sabbath's best stuff, it's *that* good.
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on November 5, 2015
Looking back on it, I honestly wonder why it took me a decade and a half to finally get into this band. True, finding their albums in the shops (and finding the shops in general) was difficult but after loving Metallica's covers of their tunes since I was barely a teenager should have kicked me in the backside and picked up a record or 2. Well, it took a trip to Waterloo Records in Austin, TX and a discounted copy of "If I Were Britannia I'd Waive the Rules" to get me into the game. I'm thankful that I did and I then began my journey into the Welsh Wilderness that is Budgie. I picked this up a few months later and I was impressed at their ability to have so much of their distinctive sound already in place so early in the game. Right from the get-go "Guts" has that great Sabbathean riff over that almost funky backbeat and the Geddy Lee-esque vocals from Burke Shelley that the band would become famous for. Many people have gone on about how criminally underrated guitarist Tony Bourge is and it only takes a few minutes on here to see how correct they are. Much like Iommi, his heavy, semi-laconic style has a devastating effect on the band's sound giving it a slow menace that drives songs like "The Author" and "Nude Disintegrating Parachutist Woman". Shelley also would throw in brief acoustic numbers in-between the riffage of the rockers and the first of these would be "Everything In My Heart". This practice would continue through the rest of the decade and I for one like the contrast of the material. I feel that the album really starts cooking on side two with "Rape of the Locks" and the underrated "All Night Petrol" (which Shelley claimed was a filler track no less!) and the brutal "Homicidal Suicidal" with Shelley's howling vocals over a punishing riff. It's a shame that this band remained in the shadows while so many of their contemporaries scaled the heights of stardom. That point is driven home with the alternate mix of the original "Crash Course in Brain Surgery", one of the tracks eventually made famous by Metallica some 16 or so years later. Chances are good that even if you are an ardent hard rock fan, you probably haven't heard this. Change that and get started on this band today. You will be thankful you did.
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on February 4, 2001
If you are an early seventies hard rock afficionado, especially when it comes to the real raw, crusty stuff, you need to check out the debut from this power trio. The style is somewhere in between Sabbath and early Rush. Picture if Tony Iommi and Geddy Lee put a band together circa 1971 and you get the picture,intricate,distinct bass lines and banshee vocals with crushing power riffage from a cranked up Gibson SG. There is not much in the way of production here, leaving this sounding like a really bare bones demo; but the power of the music is the key. These guys were obviously on a very low recording budget and the album was basically cut live, couldn't have been done with more than a four track machine. I remember first hearing "The Author" a couple of years back on the excellent WRNR (Annapolis, MD)one Sunday on the way to band practice. The DJ said he was deviating from the station's usual roots rock type format to play a heavier song that he used to play on another radio station and some listeners may want to cover their ears or turn their radio down, because after the quiet beginning, it would get much heavier than what they were used to. He didn't need to apologize to me!! Thank God an occasional rebel will still take a bold step and expose us to a great obscure album from yesteryear. After hearing "The Author", I had to find this record, and it's a gem. "Crash Course In Brain Surgery", the original version, is here in all it's glory. "Nude Disintigrating Parachutist Woman" is ultra - heavy and perhaps my favorite weird song title of all time."Rape Of The Locks" (it's about a haircut!!) is also a high point. One of the essential albums of early British metal. If you are burned out on your old Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, etc.(that suff is great too!!)try Budgie,you'll like it.
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on December 17, 2013
Though this is their only album I've fully listened to, I daresay Budgie's eponymous album ranks among the best hard-rock acts ever. Its sound is as heavy as any of those Black Sabbath's glorious first productions (with Osborne), but unequivocally original. A solid album in its own right.
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on August 9, 2013
This album starts off w/ a great hook. Some of the slower moments don't always float my boat, but this is overall a great album that I want to listen to more than once. The band has elements of Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and Rush (to my ears).
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on April 19, 2007
This is it.

THIS is what rock 'n' roll is all about. This is rock in it's most raw and primal form. This is Budgie's debut album. Forget about the overplayed, so called "classic" corporate garbage FM rock radio shovels down your throats, just get this. Radio never gave Budgie a chance, ever, which is a shame, though maybe i should be thankful at the same time. Budgie's debut is heavily Cream/Sabbath/Blue Cheer influenced, and it's evident in Burke's evil sounding sludge-fuzz bass tones. God, at points i though it was Jack Bruce playing! Tony Bourge, obviously taking more then a few pages out of the "How to sound like Tony Iommi" manual, bombards your ears with a veritable riff-fest. Ray Philip's Jazz/hippie rock goat skin bashing ows a debt to Blue Cheer. It all comes together to make an essential early "proto-metal" album.

I was totally won over by this album and band. People who are into 70ies rock but want something else besides the standard Zeppelin/AC/DC/Aerosmith/Rush "Radio HiTz" rock should check this one out.

These Birds rock!
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on April 10, 2001
AFTER BEING BURNED OUT ON MY ZEP,SAB AND PURPLE,I WANTED TO GO BEYOND THOSE ROOTS OF METAL AND LO AND BEHOLD,I FOUND SUCH A BAND IN BUDGIE(ALONG WITH HEEP AND LIZZY,LATER ON).AT FIRST I WAS'NT TOO SURE MAINLY BECAUSE OF THE SONG TITLES,I THOUGHT THIS WOULD BE A SPOOKS N'CASTLE TYPE OF BAND.WHAT I FOUND INSIDE OF IT WAS A GOOD,JAMMY TYPE OF FIRST ALBUM(REMINDING ME OF THE FIRST BLACK SAB ALBUM,WHICH WAS A GREAT THING).THE FIRST TRACK"GUTS"IS A SIMPLE TO THE POINT ROCKER EVEN THOUGH IT MAY BE A BIT TO REGULAR TO THE FIRST TIME LISTENER,BUT I LOVE IT NOW AND HAS SOME GOOD TONY BOURGE SOLOS.I WAS ANNOYED BY THE SINGERS VOICE,BUT GIVE IT A CHANCE IT WILL EVENTUALLY WIN YOU OVER.PICTURE A CROSS BETWEEN GEDDY LEE AND JON ANDERSON OF YES.LIKE I SAID LOTS OF JAMMING BUT IT KEEPS ATTENTION FAIRLY WELL AND WHEN LAUNCHING INTO SONGS LIKE CRASH COURSE YOU CAN FEEL WHERE THE BAND IS HEADED IN THE COMING YEARS.FAVS WOULD BE RAPE OF THE LOCKS,HOMICIDAL SUICIDAL(LATER COVERED BY SOUNDGARDEN),DISENTIGRATING NUDE PARACHUTIST AND THE AFOREMENTIONED GUTS.IF YOU WERE TO GET INTO BUDGIE DEFINETELY BUY THIS ONE FIRST AND GET USED TO THEIR FRAME OF MIND FOR YOU WILL BE REWARDED BY THEIR LATER ALBUMS.BUY IT!
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on January 8, 2006
For a few years I've seen CDs of this band while browsing through the B section of local record stores (they can still be called "record stores" right?). I had no idea who they were or what they sounded like...in fact, with all the garage rock revival that has happened, I thought they might be a modern band. I looked them up here on Amazon and found out they were another early metal band from England at the time of Zeppelin, Purple, Sabbath, Heep, etc. I checked out the sample of "Homicidal Suicidal" and was knocked out (much like I was by Sir Lord Baltimore a month earlier...check out my review for them). Good crunchy Sabbath-like guitar riffs with a Geddy Lee like vocal on top...sounded good to me!

I ordered the 2004 remastered version on Noteworthy...not the inferior Repertoire release some years back. This band is really good...not awesome because it can't really compare to Zeppelin, Purple, or even Grand Funk Railroad for that matter. However this album does not sound like it came out in 1971, it's loud, heavy, and packs one hell of a wallop...just check out the opening guitar chords for first song "Guts." Tony Bourge was another good guitarist for this time...a little Tony Iommi and Ritchie Blackmore mixed together. Burke Shellys lead vocals were most definitely unique..like I said think Geddy Lee of Rush only with a bit more gusto and emotion poured into them. If you want to check out Budgie, start at the beginning with this album. Oh by the way did I mention Metallica covered two of their songs...."Crash Course In Brain Surgery" and "Breadfan." Obviously James Hetfield and co. were listening!
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