The band was co-founded by keyboardist Tony Kaye after he left Yes, with David Foster. Foster had been in The Warriors with Jon Anderson before Anderson co-founded Yes. Foster later worked with the band on Time and a Word. Kaye had worked on a soloproject by Foster that was never released.
The pair found drummer Roy Dyke, formerly of Ashton, Gardner & Dyke, and Dyke suggested Brian Parrish formerly of Parrish & Gurvitz which later became Frampton’s Camel (after Parrish left P&G) on guitar. The new band began rehearsing in September 1972 and signed to Atlantic Records.
Badger’s first release was the live album, One Live Badger, co-produced by Jon Anderson and Geoffrey Haslam, and was taken from a show opening for Yes at London’s Rainbow Theatre. In the progressive rock genre, five of the songs were co-written by the whole band, with a sixth by Parrish (initially written for Parrish & Gurvitz). The cover art was done by Roger Dean, the artist responsible for many of Yes’s album covers, although Kaye left Yes before their partnership with Roger Dean.
One Live Badger is to soul what In the Court of the Crimson King is to jazz. It is a bloody shame what happened next: most of the band had left by 1974, leaving only Kaye and drummer Roy Dyke.
Upon the first listen to the band’s sophomore release, White Lady, released later that year, one will find that this is clearly not the same Badger. The band championed onOne Live Badger was no more by this point, and the new Badger found itself dominated by new singer Jackie Lomax, who transformed their sound into more of a purist’s idea of soul. White Lady is a travesty for prog fans. While it’s not utterly terrible (for a soul record it’s actually fairly decent), there is just nothing progressive about the damn thing. Therefore, I would definitely not recommend the album to anyone reading this to broaden their progressive horizons.
- Release date1972 & Remastered CD May 2016
- CatalogSWBD009 / WECLEC2526
- LabelAtlantic Records / Esoteric Recordings
- FormatVinyl, Digital, CD