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Budgie: Proto Heavy Metal from the early 70s

ROCKING at my house today! Gorgeous 180gr repress of the second album by Budgie (“Bandolier“) arrived in the mail today courtesy of Amazon.co.uk

Still waiting for delivery of their first album 🙂

I know… I know… who the HELL are these people?
Well, in a nutshell, they are a hard rock band from the very early 70s.

To paraphrase Wikipedia:
Budgie were a heavy metal band from Cardiff in Wales (UK). They are are among the earliest of heavy metal bands. They feature fast, heavy rock that was influential to later bands such as Metallica, yet Budgie was doing it as early as 1971.

I don’t hear the Metallica influence personally, but I do hear a poor-man’s Led Zeppelin, haha! I’ve never heard Metallica‘s later albums so maybe it’s something that came later.

Budgie‘s earlier albums, which are the ones I remember (and recently bought), remind me of late 70s, early 80s hard rock (before it devolved into “hair metal”). There is definitely some Nazareth on there, as well as some Led Zeppelin, Dio, Heart, Rainbow, Ozzy Osbourne, maybe even some Motley Crue before they became completely ridiculous.

The band has been noted as “among the heaviest metal of its day” and I concur. I remember having my mind blown when I first heard them back when I was in high school. At that time I counted Black Sabbath among my favourite artists at the time (still do!) and some of the stuff Budgie was releasing just blew them out of the water. Though, Black Sabbath did have a deeper sound (and more sinister) due to the way they tuned their guitars, Budgie were every bit as heavy!

Of course, time marches on, and their earlier output seems pretty tame by today’s standards, but it still rocks. It is worth checking them out if you like your rock on the heavier side. I hear a lot of now taken-for-granted sounds/styles on this album. they were all new at the time. And check out the covers!! Definitely of their time… and I sense a little of what inspired Spinal Tap in them….

Had Budgie began recording a few years later, instead of being avant-guard and obscure, they would have likely been very mainstream. Their second album, “Bandolier” is not on Spotify it seems, but their first album (which I also ordered on 180gr vinyl, though it hasn’t arrived yet!) is available for streaming! Here are a few highlights! Enjoy!!  🤟

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