Very few compilations deliver as well as this one but it’s hardly a career-spanning epic, that said the ten songs featured, representing three albums from the mid seventies, clock up an amazing seventy minutes of raw, hard rock from a band sadly overlooked, under-rated and often ignored.
It must be stated that Budgie existed before Led Zep and around the same time as Cream but like many UK regional bands suffered the ignominy of London record companies. Budgie, Taste and Stud all had similar experiences of low profile marketing and low budget recording deals. The comparisons often levelled pale in light of this.
This album kick starts with “Breadfan” and maintains the momentum with “In The Grip of a Tyre-fitter’s Hand”. It’s enough to reel the listener in and apart from an attempt at a single, Andy Fairweather-Low’s ‘I Ain’t No Mountain’, the album offers some truly great moments in arguably Budgie’s best period. All ten minutes of ‘Parents’ and the epic ‘Zoom Club’ too, not to mention Napoleon Bona Parts I & II. Shelly’s vocals may be an aquired taste but they work in this framework along with some amazing guitar from Tony Bourge. Drum duties are split between Ray Phillips and Pete Boot but I defy anyone to spot the difference.
Highly recommended especially to casual listeners, real fans would have all this material already.