Mastered and restored by Patrick W. Engel at TEMPLE OF DISHARMONY in Summer 2021.
With guitarist Tony Bourge and drummer Ray Phillips having been founder members of Welsh heavy rockers Budgie, they were priviliged enough to enjoy the glory days of the outfit, although both had departed by the late 1970s. The power trio from Wales, completed by singer/bassist Burkey Shelley, who’s sadly no longer with us, helped to define a new genre, making classic albums on shoestring budgets. Van Halen, Metallica, Iron Maiden, Soundgarden and Megadeth would all cover Budgie numbers, and countless doom bands from the States were also influenced by material on the band’s early albums.
Bourge and Phillips teamed up again in late 1978 under the name of Freeze, and with the help of Pete Dutton on bass and Paul Price on second guitar recorded a demo at Pathway Studios in London (with Tony Bourge also handling vocal duties). Due to legal reasons, Freeze morphed into Storm but their demo was rejected by Phonogram and several other major companies in September 1979.
In 1982, Graham Moloney, former Budgie manager, suggested that Ray and Tony put together another band, which was soon christened Tredegar. “It was Graham’s idea to call the band Tredegar, because he thought it sounded quite Celtic and quite powerful,” Ray Bourge says.
After reuniting, Ray and Tony recorded early Tredegar demos at Ray’s house with Bob Winter on bass and Carl Sentance, from Persian Risk, standing in on vocals. From this early session “Strange Situation”, “Take Me Easy” and “Woman She Is Evil” are to be found in the “demos” section of this anthology. The three songs were all well and truly good enough to have been included on the self-titled Tredegar album, released in 1986 on the band’s own Aries label, but in the end they didn’t make the cut. Legendary Cloven Hoof singer Russ North, who’d just joined Tredegar, recorded the vocals for the song “Which Way To Go”, all the other seven tracks on the “original mix” of the album were performed by Carl Sentance (as a guest musician).
To round off this exhaustive Tredegar anthology, a “re-mix” of the album is included (named “Blend To Perfection” on the original 1994 CD release on Axel Records), as well as twelve additional tracks under the title of “re-birth” (“The Pleasing Sounds”), recorded at the Music Factory in Cardiff in 1991 by the line-up of Ray Phillips (drums, vocals), Jason Marsh (bass) and Sam Lee (guitars).
The strength of the material on this anthology is testament to both the talent and tenacity of ex-Budgie members Ray Phillips and Tony Bourge, and to the many band members who passed through Tredegar’s ranks over the years, from 1982 to 1993.