As the leader of Cockney Rebel, Harley conceived several successful albums in the early-mid seventies, including The Human Menagerie, The Best Years of Our Lives, and Psychomodo. Harley continued to release solo material throughout the decade, but was always much more popular in the UK than in the US. Part glam and part pop, Cockney Rebel ensures Harley’s reputation as a lost artist of the classic rock period, and his albums are readily available even though you’ll never hear any of his tunes on US radio.
Rick Roberts got his start replacing Gram Parsons in the Flying Burrito Brothers, continued in the mid seventies as a solo artist, and is best known as the frontman for Firefall, one of the most popular country- rock bands of the late ’70’s. His solo work contains many lovely and intricate songs, and Roberts is an excellent vocalist. Firefall is well known among rock fans, but Rick Roberts is not. His solo albums have been reissued in the US, but it doesn’t seem to have raised his profile at all.
Budgie is a hard rock group from the UK that are contemporaries of Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, and Uriah Heep. They lean more to the Sabbath side because their music is what I call “riff rock” as opposed to Uriah Heep and Deep Purple who used synths to put a prog/psych spin on much of their music during the classic rock period. Budgie never got the acclaim in the US they did in England, and they remain a forgotten group. It’s a shame, because in the eyes of this listener their classic albums are on par with these other groups. If I want to rock, I’m going to throw on “Hot as a Dockers Armpit.” After their classic early 70’s records, the group expanded from a trio to quartet, and this changed their sound measurably. Still, if you are a fan of Black Sabbath, according to AMG, “Budgie’s first three discs are must-haves”.