Badger: Brian Parrish (guitar); Tony Kaye (keyboards); Dave Foster (bass);
Roy Dyke (drums).
Producers: Jon Anderson, Geoffrey Haslam, Badger.
Recorded live at the Rainbow Theatre, London, England on December 15-16, 1972.
One Live Badger is the easier Badger album to find, and the one worth having anyway. As the album's title indicates, the band also took the unusual step of making their first album a live recording of original songs. It has aged very well -- with all the energy of live performance, there's none of the usual studio excesses or noodling of the era. The Yes connection via Tony Kaye is abundantly evident; the album was co-produced by Yes singer Jon Anderson, uses long instrumental breaks and prominent Hammond organ solos, and features the obligatory Roger Dean cover art. Nonetheless, the brooding lyrics and soulful harmonies make comparisons to Traffic and Blind Faith a much closer musical match. The first half of the album is excellent, kicking off with the pleasingly hoarse vocals of David Foster on the full-tilt rocker "Wheel of Fortune" and the pensive "Fountain." There's an especially tight rhythm section underlying the restrained guitar work of "Wind of Change," combining to produce the album's best song. But the second half of the album, with rather mopy numbers like "The Preacher," doesn't quite keep up this momentum. Reissued as a CD in 1993 by Repertoire Records. ~ Paul Collins