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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
This band just seemed to come out of nowhere and burn up just as fast. I cannot think of another band, though I'm sure someone will, that debuted on a major label with a live album.
Although strong connections to Yes exist---the Roger Dean cover art, Tony Kaye was the original keyboardist in Yes, and Brian Parrish the unacknowledged cowriter of "Yours Is No Disgrace"---it is not fair to expect a Yes clone here. Badger's live sound is stripped down with Kaye's keyboards holding the jams together. When these guys really click, like on "River" or "On the Way Home," you are on a jammin' good joy ride. The sound is OK, not great, and at times the songs sound a bit too much alike.
All in all, though, I do not think this recording willintrigue the average rock fan or folks who are used to getting their music spoon fed to them from the "classic rock" stations that clutter up the FM bandwidth these days.
This newly released version is the same as the earlier, hard-to-find import---just a different label and a more reasonable price for those who revel in retro progressive rock.
One final caution. Do not under any circumstance buy the second Badger album called "White Lady." It was recorded in the studio after major changes in personnel, and I will never forget how horrified I was by how different the band sounded. Think tepid white soul music done poorly. It may be the worst album ever made.
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35 of 41 people found the following review helpful
on July 8, 2004
After `The YES Album', their 3rd, the members of YES cast their beady eyes around and set their designs on the multi-banked keyboards of the Strawbs' keyboard player, a certain Mr. Rick Wakeman. To make room for the new keyboard wizard, the old one had to go. Therefore, with undue haste, founding member Tony Kaye was dumped from the lineup. (YES had once before done that, after their second album, when founding member guitarist Peter Banks was unceremoniously kicked out of the band to be replaced by the more manageable Steve Howe. Not a nice thing to do.)
After two more albums another founding member in the shape of drummer Bill Bruford would leave. However, to be fair, he jumped rather than being pushed. This left YES with an everlasting reputation for having a revolving door style lineup. Very rarely are have two consecutive albums been recorded with the same lineup. At one time in the early nineties there were actually two lineups touring under the YES banner, and then they all (eleven of them to be precise) combined for one ridiculous tour and album.
After being dumped by YES, Tony Kaye first set up his keyboards with old cohort Peter Banks of Flash and helped them record their first album, the self-titled 'Flash' (1972). After the recordings were completed, Tony realized that Flash was actually Peter Bank's band, and perhaps it would be better if he went on to set up his own band under the Badger monicker. After a handshake the pair went their own ways, however, unlike many of the other past members of YES, Tony and Peter have remained friends to this day.
Bassist David Foster was the first to be signed up, having come to Tony Kaye's attention when he was playing with Jon Anderson of YES in a band called the Warriors. Next to join was one of the true warhorses of rock drummers, Roy Dyke. He had previously been with Remo Four; Family; and represented one-third of Ashton, Gardner, and Dyke, who had scored a worldwide smash hit with `Resurrection Shuffle' in 1971.
The fourth member to join was a very young Brian Parrish on lead vocals and guitar. He proved to be a very good addition as he arrived with a bag full of ideas for songs as well as having a guitar style that was vastly different to anything like Kaye's former band styles, therefore lessening the comparisons.
Feeling that the band might be left behind in the fame stakes if they didn't get an album out on the record racks at its earliest opportunity, the Rainbow theatre was booked for two concerts in mid December 1972, both of which were recorded for a live album; a very novel idea for a debut album. When the album was released in early 1973, it came in a gatefold sleeve designed by Roger Dean with pop up badgers when you opened the artwork. With a blaze of publicity from their label Arco Records and the gimmicky artwork, the album broke into the bottom of the top thirty in both America and Great Britain. Unfortunately that is just about the last of the good news for this Badger. After early good sales they soon dropped off.
The music was competent, proficient even, but certainly not startling enough to keep the public's interest, even though some of the guitar/keyboard duels are extremely exciting. There are only six songs on this album, but it still clocks in at a very respectable forty-two minutes. Closing song `On The Way Home' has one of the heaviest organ introductions you are ever likely to be lucky enough to hear.
On the downside, the songs all tend to sound a bit the same, which I believe is due to the band not having had enough time to bond sufficiently before going into a studio, where they could of perhaps worked out some better song structures. At least it would have allowed them to get to know each others strengths before unleashing them on the public. The other huge glaring mistake was the lack of a front man. Although Brian Parrish's singing is not bad, it certainly is not good either.
By the end of the first tour Parrish and Foster were let go to be replaced by ex-Stealers Wheel guitarist Paul Pilnick and Roy Dyke's old band mate Kim Gardner. The search for a front man was settled with the addition of Jackie Lomax, a very charismatic and talented soul singer, but definitely not the man to put into what was supposed to be a rock band. This was definitely a classic case of "wrong man, wrong place".
The band then went into the studio to record the studio album 'White Lady' (1973), with all the songs written by Jackie Lomax. With so many influences within the band - rock, funk, soul, reggae, jazz, pop, and to top it all a progressive rock keyboard player - the music released upon the public was some of the worst ever to be released by a major label. Fortunately for those involved, the band had already disbanded in disarray by the time of its launch, so no embarrassing post mortems had to be endured. What a sad end to a great idea. Even so, the first album has its moments to remember Badger by, but you have been warned about the dreaded 'White Lady'. You don't get the pop up badgers with the CD release either, what a swizz.
Badgered by Mott the Dog
Swizzled by Ella Crew
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on May 18, 2006
Badger was an odd band because they released their debut album as a live album, usually bands would wait until they have a few albums under their belts before they release a live album, and of course their live albums simply include the band performing their hits, fan favorites, and maybe a thing or two not on their albums, and often include additional guitar and drum solos or rearranged differently from the originals. In the case of Badger, their two day performance in December 1972 at the Rainbow Theatre, in London was their debut album (the Swedish progressive jazz/rock band Flasket Brinner, that featured Bo Hansson, is the only other band I can think of their released their debut as a live album).

We all know about Tony Kaye: he was a member of Yes for their first three albums. He was fired around August 1971, just was Yes was starting to take off. The members of Yes were needing a keyboardist more willing to play other keyboards than just organ (Kaye was apparently reluctant to play Moog on The Yes Album, but you can hear it, buried like on "Yours is No Disgrace"), and Rick Wakeman was their new replacement, and he had no problem playing a multiple keyboard setup. And his presence in Yes, with Anderson, Bruford, Howe, and Squire, produced some of that band's finest albums (Fragile, Close to the Edge). Tony Kaye then went on to Flash, for one album, their self-entitled 1972 debut (the one that had the small hit, "Small Beginnings", one of the few prog rock acts, aside from Focus' "Hocus Pocus" you can find on the Have a Nice Day series of CDs that mainly emphasized AM hits of the 1970s, such as Terry Jacks' "Seasons in the Sun" or Blue Swede's version of "Hooked on a Feeling").

Now on to Badger. Here Kaye assembled a group with bassist Dave Foster, drummer Roy Dyke, and guitarist Brian Parrish. There are vocals on the album, but the album failed to mention who handled the vocals. The one thing that made be a bit sceptical of this band was they were a Christian band (I am not Christian), but surprisingly I don't find the lyrics that intrusive, besides the musical quality would make you forget the Christian nature of this album (I find this so much better than any CCM artist you can think of). What's the big shocker here is the presences of Mellotron on some of the cuts. The reason: Tony Kaye said he always hated the instrument, but he didn't seem to have a problem playing one on this album.

OK, if you're expecting a continuation of the Yes sound, look elsewhere (go for Chris Squire's Fish Out of Water, or if you don't mind a band copying the Yes sound, try the first three albums from Starcastle, their self-entitled debut, Fountains of Light and Citadel). Instead Badger went for their own sound, emphasizing extended jamming, with tons of organ, some Mellotron and synthesizer, but still unmistakably progressive. I really can't say there is a high point because they are of equal quality. I understand their next (and final) album, White Lady is apparently not particularly progressive (I hadn't heard that one), but this one is certainly worth having for the prog rock fan. Just don't expect the Yes sound here.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
This band just seemed to come out of nowhere and burn up just as fast. I cannot think of another band, though I'm sure someone will, that debuted on a major label with a live album. Although strong connections to Yes exist---the Roger Dean cover art, Tony Kaye was the original keyboardist in Yes, and Brian Parrish the unacknowledged cowriter of "Yours Is No Disgrace"---it is not fair to expect a Yes clone here. Badger's live sound is stripped down with Kaye's keyboards holding the jams together. When these guys really click, like on "River" or "On the Way Home," you are on a jammin' good joy ride. The sound is OK, not great, and at times the songs sound a bit too much alike. All in all, though, I do not think this recording is for the average rock fan or for folks who are used to getting their music spoon fed to them from the classic rock stations that clutter up the FM bandwidth these days.
This newly released import is the same as the earlier, hard-to-find import---just a different label.
One final caution. Do not under any circumstance buy the second Badger album called "White Lady." It was recorded in the studio after major changes in personnel, and I will never forget how horrified I was by how different the band sounded. Think tepid white soul music done poorly.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 18, 2008
I bought this album back in the day and I regret I don't have that copy today. The jacket opened revealing Rodger Dean's art work. I remember liking the album and Badger's music, althought I have not listened to it in years. I have had this for a few weeks and every day or so I crank it up on my system. Tony Kay was the original keyboard player for Yes. This is a great album from the yearly 70's, solid songs with a christian tilt and straight ahead Rock an Roll. Recorded live the sound quality on cd is very good for the time of the original recording. Four stars, well it's old 70's music and overall to be fair... I sill love it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 28, 2007
I heard "Fountain" recently and thought it was such a great song that I'd come here and mention it. It's got some progressive rock elements, but it's mostly about the guitar work out in the middle and the pretty vocal melody. It's not like Yes at all. It's more like normal progressive rock. I love it myself.
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Yes has been my favorite band since I first purchased 'Classic Yes' in what must have '89 or '90. I popped the cassette into my stereo and headed for home, only to pull over about 90 seconds later because I was so blown away by Heart Of The Sunrise that I wanted to sit and listen quietly without any outside distractions. Since then, I have been obsessed with British progressive rock-King Crimson, early Genesis, ELP, and early Tull, I slowly obtained their discographies and listened to it all so much that I have literally memorized every note. Then I decided to venture into what are usually called (unfairly I think) the "lesser" prog bands-Caravan, Camel, Gentle Giant and the like. Just because these groups weren't as commercially successful as the "bigger" bands didn't mean they haven't recorded some utterly amazing music over the years. For many, many years I had heard and read about the projects pursued by the ex-Yes men after they were kicked out of the band. I was never overly impressed with Tony Kaye's keyboard work on the first three Yes albums-he was good, and I love his Hammond organ, but he always seemed to me to be merely adequate. I totally understand why he was fired as soon as the guys had a chance to get Rick Wakeman in the band. I had heard good things about Badger's first album, so I finally decided to bite the bullet and make the purchase. Man, am I ever glad I did! This is without question the best recorded work from Tony Kaye that I have ever heard-he was obviously stifled in Yes, because his Hammond and piano work on 'One Live Badger' is head-and-shoulders above even his best work on 'The Yes Album' The others guys in the band are no slouches either, there is plenty of interesting instrumental interplay, great melodies, and powerful vocals. Imagine Kansas without the fiddle and the pomp, but way better in every way. Every progressive rock fan owes it to themselved to pick this album up, and with Amazon offering the download for less than $6.00, you really have nothing to lose. Highly recommended!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on July 19, 2012
This LP made me continue my subscription to Rolling Stone for many years too long. I had never heard of Badger (no one else had either, except those lucky few who saw the shows recorded here) but this live LP got a sensational review, and I bought it. (Going to some physical record store to do so no less....none of that fancy clicking and do-dah.) I loved it first time through, and though my appreciation of much 70s music has diminished dramatically over the years, this held up. Well. I kept waiting for them to find me another unknown diamond, but they never did.

Why? Well, the things that annoy me about much 70s music are not there. Sure, the lyrics can sometimes be Yessishly opaque, but there are no tedious guitar (or worse, drum) solos, no endless noodling that might have been fun if I were there and slightly stoned, but today is self-indulgent tedium. The musicians play well, the keyboards are powerfully present without overpowering, the vocals are sympathetic to the material and engaging. Some great guitar licks battle with the keyboards, and I think the drumming excellent throughout. And though the songs are long, they never bore. In fact, the briefest song, "The Preacher" feels almost rushed among these grander tales.

And, while we're at it, "The Preacher" is a beautiful little portrait that displays amazing empathy. Back then, no self-respecting rock-and-roller would have been able to avoid charging, or at least implying, hypocrisy. But there is none of that here. A troubled man who is owned by alcohol cannot escape its clutches, and now, older and near death, cannot muster the energy to try to fight it. Wonderfully done. As are the rest of the songs. Not gloomy, not self-pitying, not fixated on lost love, but actually upbeat, positive and cheerful. And smart.

Nope, this was a winner in 1973, and now, nearly 40 years later, still is. It has provided me with much more pleasure for more years than nearly everything else from that era.
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This band just seemed to come out of nowhere and burn up just as fast. I cannot think of another band, though I'm sure someone will, that debuted on a major label with a live album.
Although strong connections to Yes exist---the Roger Dean cover art, Tony Kaye was the original keyboardist in Yes, and Brian Parrish the unacknowledged cowriter of "Yours Is No Disgrace"---it is not fair to expect a Yes clone here. Badger's live sound is stripped down with Kaye's keyboards holding the jams together. When these guys really click, like on "River" or "On the Way Home," you are on a jammin' good joy ride. The sound is OK, not great, and at times the songs sound a bit too much alike.

All in all, though, I do not think this recording willintrigue the average rock fan or folks who are used to getting their music spoon fed to them from the "classic rock" stations that clutter up the FM bandwidth these days.

This newly released version is the same as the earlier, hard-to-find import---just a different label and a more reasonable price for those who revel in retro progressive rock.

One final caution. Do not under any circumstance buy the second Badger album called "White Lady." It was recorded in the studio after major changes in personnel, and I will never forget how horrified I was by how different the band sounded. Think tepid white soul music done poorly. It may be the worst album ever made.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on March 23, 2009
I bought the original album in the 70's and loved it then. Found the CD on Ebay years later and still love the disc. The organ/keyboard work is superb by Tony Kaye and the guitar work and solos by Brian Parrish are excellent. All of the songs are excellent with the exception of "The Preacher". Wheel of Fortune, Fountain, and River sound like you're listening live in the theatre-- I can't hear them enough. River remains as one of my all time favorites--"I gotta get across". The intertwined organ and guitar solos are stellar!!
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