For most Budgie fans the third album is the benchmark. But as far as I'm concerned, this is the one that sends shivers down my ageing back. I never ever tire of listening to this record.
Right from the opening guitar/bass intro riff of Whiskey River to the final chord on Stranded this is an album that has no weak spots and no fillers and never lets up. It's relentless. All the weaknesses of the first album were gone and what was left was raw, ultra heavy rock in its most potent form.
Bass player/vocalist Burke Shelley is one of the truly great but underrated singers to emerge in the 70s. His delivery throughout this album is faultless and his bass playing is magnificent.
Guitarist Tony Bourge really lets rip on this one and I stand in absolute awe at the result. He was, is and always will be a Guitar God. Seriously. The playing here is nothing short of magnificent whether it be the restrained but perfect work on Whiskey River, the blur of notes in Hot As A Dockers Armpit, the folk acoustic playing on Rolling Home Again or the gorgeous lead note choice on Make Me Happy. Go listen. This man seriously ruled in the early 70s.
By no means least drummer Ray Phillips always had an ear for the unusual when it came to drum patterns. This gave early Budgie a sound they sadly slightly lost later on. Ray was never shackled to the snare, bass drum and hi-hat - choosing to lay down patterns over whichever drums he felt suited. Genius.
If you ever wonder why old men with gray hair, large waistlines and dodgy vinyl record collections go misty eyed whenever someone mentions the 70s, buy this record, play it loud and most of all, enjoy.