Key To Music Grades

A - You will never be whole without it
B - Highly recommended
C - Flawed, but still pretty good
D - It's your money, not mine
F - Why couldn't this have been burned in Fahrenheit 451?

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Budgie - Never Turn Your Back On A Friend (1973)

Tony Bourge. Perhaps better known as the other Tony. While Tony Iommi from Sabbath was churning away some of the most tasty riffs of his era, Tony Bourge was quietly displaying his own sense of awesomeness. Of course, who knew? Within music circles -- which is to say, among respected musicians and fervent fans -- Budgie was just as vital to the influence of the burgeoning metal movement as Sabbath was. Most notably, Metallica and Soundgarden recorded cover versions of Budgie's songs. It's a shame, really, that these guys never made it.

Whatever. Do your part and listen to them. This matters much more than the stupid charts or how many albums they've sold or the fact that they probably won't ever be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum™. Fuck them. Fuck Cleveland. Fuck Clive Davis, LLC. Budgie embodies more of rock and roll than the combined efforts of Bob Seger or Grandmaster Flash or Bonnie Raitt. (That pairing of musicians was purposeful, by the way.) Since when did it become so important to institutionalize music anyway? Just ask Johnny Rotten what he thinks about that. Moving on...

Never Turn Your Back On A Friend is Budgie's finest album. Clocking in with just seven (but moderately long) songs, it begins with their most memorable tune "Breadfan" -- a nasty guitar riff if you've ever heard one.

If you like the blues standard "Baby Please Don't Go," you'll love the (ahem) slightly faster version here; it's not exactly samey like other versions and features vintage Burke Shelley thumping bass. (Think Geddy Lee before Geddy Lee existed.) "Riding My Nightmare" continues their tradition of having a great acoustic song amidst the rest of the thunder. "You're The Biggest Thing Since Powdered Milk" is a great title. So is "In The Grip Of A Tyrefitter's Hand." Oh, and they're great songs too, especially the former, which gradually builds from a warped psychedelic drum sequence to a heavy-laden bass funk and shifts to a rocking jam with some nice Bourge riffage.

Oh so tasty. I love this album. Stop relying on the stale recycled word-of-mouth from your friends, stupid best-of lists, Rolling Stone© magazine, FM radio anywhere, and especially, don't validate that artificial monument by adhering strictly to its tastes. Long live Budgie. Long live rock. A-

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