A companion to the 1972 BBC sessions collection, Radio Sessions 74 and 78 is, in fact, a recounting of two live shows, recorded at London's Global Village and somewhere in L.A., respectively, and capturing Budgie initially at something approaching their peak and then some way away from it. Though it's a mere four songs long, the London show is spectacular. With better than expected sound quality, it pinpoints the often manic experimentation with which Budgie approached their music -- that is, titles as long as your arm (shame that only "You're the Biggest Thing Since Powdered Milk" is present here) and solos that extend even further. Neither "Breadfan" nor "Zoom Club" have ever sounded better, and even the less than stellar "Hammer and Tongs" is not to be missed. The L.A. show is more problematic, partly because of a wacky mix, but also because Budgie were clearly sinking when it was taped, and touting a live set that reflected the band's decline in fortunes. "In the Grip of a Tyre-Fitter's Hand" and (arguably) "Breaking All the House Rules" notwithstanding, no true Budgie classics are on display; instead, the band is in solid riff-metal mode, as though volume could begin to replace the old ingenuity. Push aside what you would hope to hear at a Budgie show and there's no denying either the energy on display or the enthusiasm of the audience. Ultimately, however, it's the London show that you'll be buying this for. The rest of the set is simply bonus material.
AllMusic Review by Dave Thompson
Track Listing - Disc 1
Track Listing - Disc 2