Following the 2016 release of the 3CD box set The MCA Albums 1973-1975, three of Budgie’s most important albums are now being reissued on standalone vinyl.
After two records (their self-titled 1971 debut and the following year’s Squawk), Never Turn Your Back… saw the group fully come into their own. Recorded by the original classic trio line-up of Burke Shelley (vocals, bass), Tony Bourge (guitar) and Ray Phillips (drums), it also boasted artwork by legendary prog album cover designer Roger Dean (best known for his iconic work for Yes). Helping to build the group’s fanbase, the album set the scene for 1974’s In For The Kill!, which entered the Top 30 in the UK, becoming Budgie’s highest-charting LP. Though it was recorded without founding member Ray Phillips (who had been replaced by drummer Pete Boot), it saw the group build upon their earlier work and notably included a re-recording of their 1971 single ‘Crash Course In Brain Surgery’.
Released the following year, Bandolier introduced another replacement drummer, Steve Williams, into Budgie’s line-up. The remainder of the group’s career would see them shift to the A&M and, subsequently, RCA labels, and undergo a number of line-up changes (with founding member Burke Shelley remaining a mainstay throughout). Taken together, however, these three albums represent some of Budgie’s most essential work.
The Budgie vinyl reissues are due for release on 3 February.