Budgie to end the working week. Okay – I know what you’re thinking – what am I doing running heavy Metal bands as part of the Soundbooth. Well first off, Budgie weren’t your average run-of-the-mill Heavy Metal band. In fact, when Budgie got started, as a hard rock band in Cardiff, Wales in 1967, there was no such thing as Heavy Metal – it was a term William Burroughs used in his novel Naked Lunch. No – Budgie were sometimes referred to as Headbangers; Hard rock with the emphasis on Hard. But they were more than that. Believe it or not, Budgie had a lot of appeal with the Progrock crowd – partly because their album covers were done by Roger Dean (who did all the Yes covers) and that Budgie didn’t rely on riffs or Spandex – because Spandex didn’t exist when they got started either.
Budgie were louder than god and a band you could wrap your head around (minus the banging part). I first heard them in 1972, when they released their second album, Squawk – and my friend Barbara Birdfeather used to play Hot As A Docker’s Armpit on her radio show at least once a week. Surprisingly, they were the perfect compliment to Van der Graaf Generator and often wound up as one of the two albums on rotation on my turntable during those years.
Sadly, Budgie didn’t achieve any wide popularity in the U.S. during the early 70s. Much of their reputation over here was word-of-mouth and imports – I don’t think they toured the States during that time, but I could be wrong (the 70s were hazy, at best).
But despite not getting the commercial mainstream success in the U.S., what they did get was recognition as a seminal element in what became Heavy Metal (officially), and a huge influence on everyone from Metallica to Megadeth over the years – even to the point of covering some of their early material as a sort of homage to one of the originators.
So – before you decide to skip the session tonight and head for something else, check this one out. If you aren’t familiar, they were an important band for a lot of reasons – and were far from being pigeon-holed as loud and made up of riffs and screaming vocals.
I never run anything on this site that I haven’t played myself and gotten something out of. So trust me on this one.
Now crank it up and enjoy the hell out of it.