BUDGIE (1971–85). Classic lineup: Burke Shelley (vocals, bass), Tony Bourge (guitar), Raymond Phillips (drums).
Welsh proto-metal group Budgie enjoyed success in the UK but never really hit international stardom, though they influenced many groups that would follow, due to their riff-ready songs and singer/bassist Burke Shelley’s piercing vocals. Coming together in Cardiff, Wales, in 1967, the band, consisting of Shelley, guitarist Tony Bourge, and drummer Raymond Phillips, released their self-titled debut in 1971 on MCA records. Along with their two follow-up recordings, 1972’s Squawk and 1973’s Never Turn Your Back on a Friend, the band purveyed a Sabbath-like set of riff-oriented songs that soon built them a sizeable European following.
With Phillips leaving in 1974, a series of lineup changes occurred over the years, with Shelley the only remaining original. The band would continue under Shelley’s leadership, releasing albums regularly until the mid-eighties when it finally split up.
Discography: Budgie (Roadrunner, 1971); Squawk (Roadrunner, 1972); Never Turn Your Back on a Friend (MCA, 1973); In for the Kill! (Repertoire, 1974); Bandolier (A&M, 1975); If I Were Brittania I’d Waive the Rules (Repertoire, 1976); Impeckable (Repertoire, 1978); Power Supply (Active, 1980); Nightflight (RCA, 1981); Deliver Us from Evil (RCA, 1982); Life in San Antonio [Live (Noteworthy, 2002); You’re All Living in Cuckooland (Noteworthy, 2006); Definitive Anthology (Alex, 1996); An Ecstasy of Fumbling: The Definitive Anthology (Repertoire, 1996); The Very Best of Budgie (MCA International, 1998); Heavier Than Air: Live on the BBC (Griffin, 1998); We Came We Saw (Live on the BBC) (Pilot, 1998); The Last Stage (Noteworthy, 2004); Out of the Cage into the Vault (Pilot, 2004); Radio Sessions 1974 & 1978 (Noteworthy, 2006); The BBC Recordings [Live] (Noteworthy, 2006).