The release in 1973, of
“Never Turn Your Back On A Friend” was
the band’s third studio L.P. It proved
to be a major mile stone in the long,
hard gigging career of Welsh rockers Budgie.
It also established their hard rocking
style with the drums and bass thumping
along together and Tony Bourge’s lead
guitar work ruffling even the largest
The first song off the perch was to become
Budgie’s standard bearer, “Breadfan”.
It opened with Tony Bourge’s rocking guitar,
then the bass and drums come thundering
in with the fuzzy crunch of twelve thousand
banging heads. Add to this Burke Shelley’s
very high pitched, quintessential 70’s
metal singing (reminiscent of Geddy Lee
of Rush but much sharper) and this heavy
metal bird takes flight.
Metallica tried to cover this song on
their “Garage Inc”. This revealed them
to be the rather sad ‘covers’ band that
However, Budgie deliver it all in true
hard rock style, pacing the album nicely
with two acoustic songs to break up the
heavy metal bluster. I’ll even forgive
the one minute thirty eight second drum
solo at the beginning of the fourth song
as it’s so short, sharp and heavy.
It’s the final song “Parents”, which is
a supersonic power rock ballad that elevates
you through the stratosphere. A song very
similar in structure to “Led Zeppelins”
“Stairway To Heaven”, Burke Shelley sings
of the torment of turning from child to
parent, hitting the heart fair and square
with Mott who has a few puppies of his
own. This song alone makes this album
worth hunting down.
The parents tell their children, “Wash
your hands & up to bed, mind your
manners or you’re dead, watch the cars
‘cos you got school on Monday”. Haven’t
all parents at sometimes spoken in these
jumbled spurts of love and warning?
Though they never reached the dizzy heights
of success like Deep Purple, Black Sabbath
or Cream, Budgie did leave behind 10 hard
rocking studio albums. Really, this is
a million heavy metal dreams from their
wild concerts attended by their substantial
Budgie also specialized in wonderful album
and song titles. As well as the ones on
this album, there was also “If I was Britannia
I’d waive the rules”, “Impeckable”, “Nude
disintegrating parachutist woman” and
“Hot as a docker’s armpit”. This, at least,
proves that the boys from the valleys
had a sense of humour. Well, you try fitting
those words in a chorus!
Add to this Roger Dream’s stunning artwork
and you always got the complete package
with this bird.
This is one Budgie this Dog will never
Pawed by Mott The Dog
Remastered by Ella Crew