3/29/15

Groundhogs - Singles As and Bs (1968-76)

I'm beginning to read Eccentric Man, the definitive biography about Tony McPhee written by Paul Freestone (great name) that I encourage any visitor to buy (eg. here) since it's more than only the musical life of a man, but the description of how a little English boy falls in love with blues (the roughest one, the one played in particular by John Lee Hooker or Howling Wolf) and travels through the muddy and changing musical fashions of UK, trying to stay true to his passion and creative. This is the occasion to compile all the A and B sides of the singles that Tony McPhee (or sometimes some bosses in his label) released under the band name during its glorious days. Sad that neither Who Will Save The World or Hogwash provided any single, since there were some possible standards on it. But it's true Groundhogs were not a singles band. Sometimes, solo Tony McPhee tracks were thrown on the B side. Not a good idea to help the singles buyers, unfamiliar with the band, to discover the musical universe of this unusual trio. Last, I can't help to think that Tony McPhee could have touched stardom with "Pastoral Future", his last single in 1976. Totally different from all the band's repertoire, it sounds as a crossover between "Europa"'s Santana (released in 1976) and Dire Strait (whose 1st album was not released in 1976). Tony McPhee's life would have been totally changed if this instrumental had been a hit. But not sure it would have been for the better since he surely would have some difficulty to adopt definitively this style. So, no regret. Catch this fantastic collection here. PS. I did the cover sleeve with a picture from the French photographer Jonathan Abbou (a post about him here).


6 comments:

Mike said...

Tks for this awesome collection. I was privileged to see the Groundhogs live at the Paris theater when John Peel had them on. This band was always so original and so unusual, a joy to see live. I was an immediate fan, gr8 to hear Mcphee sing and play again. Thanks again. Mike

Mike said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
gledix said...

I already know. I would like to listen. Where is the link ??

gledix said...

It. Catch this fantastic collection here.OK!

Audrey Songeval said...

Merci de m'avoir fait découvrir ce groupe si à part et pourtant si peu evoqué. Je crois que la seule fois où j'ai rencontré ce nom ailleurs que sous ta plume, ce devait vie Mark E Smith... Et ce fut pour moi une trés belle et précieuse découverte.

Anonymous said...

Just came across this one. Interesting way to look at the Groundhogs. Aired out the Crosscut Saw / Black Diamond discs in the car recently, figured "Body Talk" would have sneaked out on a 45 ..... somewhere!