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on 1 August 2010
This collection of the first 5 Groundhogs' albums is brilliant value. So it's a great purchase for anyone who doesn't already have these. Otherwise it will be another useful collection for completists and aficionados of Tony McPhee. In my opinion you can never have enough copies of 'Thank Christ For The Bomb'. However, the title (ie "The Liberty Years") is slightly misleading as only the first 4 LPs were released on the Liberty label. 'Who Will Save The World?' (1972) was issued on United Artists (UA). By the end of 1971 the Liberty label had disappeared, swallowed up by its larger parent company - United Artists.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 21 August 2010
As with the Robin Trower set,packaging and information are minimal and the music is the master,5 original Groundhogs discs spread over 3 discs,once again a decent remaster,a very underated almost forgotten band by all but the die hards,still have a mate that comes over all misty eyed at the mere mention of the 'Hogs.

The classics are here such as 'Split 1-4 ' 'Cherry Red',do yourself a favour invest in this set,see what all the fuss was about,you wont regret it.
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on 20 October 2010
Forged in the white heat of the late sixties British blues boom, Tony McPhee's Groundhogs hitched the Delta to a fusion of punk, metal and progressive rock and this bargain box narrates that transition in a packaging of the band's first five releases for Liberty and United Artists: stepping stones, all, to a career unstalled to the present day.

Spurs won sessioning for touring US performers such as Champion Jack Dupree (citing the pasty power trio the best he had worked with), McPhee was soon splicing the traditional blues of 1968's debut Scratchin' the Surface with a more contemporary styling on the following year's ironically-titled Blues Obituary.

While the roots show in tracks like 'Times', the masterful 'Mistreated' and 'BDD' (a highlight of Liberty's 'Son Of Gutbucket' sampler of the day) are tipping points into the challenging waters of prog. The raw urgency in their playing templated a sound that the band would round in 1970's World War II concept piece Thank Christ For The Bomb with standouts in 'Soldier' and 'Strange Town', and then harden to iron the following year on the mind-bending 'bad trip' of finest hour Split. Each track here fires off with explosive opening chords, notably on the first two of the monster title 'suite' and Hogs' future calling card in the furious sawn-off shotgun that is 'Cherry Red'. With its gritty monochrome cover collage of a fragmenting McPhee, the pace only diminished by the industrial dischord of 'Junkman', this iconic record still ignites.

McPhee and cohorts dodged the 'follow that' in 1972 by returning to the conceptual in a more restrained and progressive effort exploring matters apocalyptic in Who Will Save The World? The Mighty Groundhogs. The presence of harmonium and - inevitably - mellotron give the game away: opener Earth Is Not Room Enough revealing a thoughtful sensitivity and a perfunctory cover of 'Amazing Grace' reverentially subdued, but by the closing sprawl of 'The Grey Maze', the boys are boiling over again.

Whether at full pelt or crawl, this music is menacingly masterful.
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on 14 August 2010
What brilliant value! These five albums on original vinyl would set you back over £200 these days.

Agree with Paul's comments about the fifth being on UA, but like him, I'm not complaining.

If you're an aspiring heavy blues trio, listen to Cherry Red with the volume cranked up. That's what you have to match!
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on 20 December 2010
This triple CD takes me back to my early teen years. Tony McPhee was a hero who I meet at a later date. My first Groundhog experience was the album Split that I bought second hand from an art teacher at school. This was the start of opened up my musical taste to all kinds of music and moving from the musical treadmill to experience some of life's great journeys.The groundhogs were a very underrated band of the later 60s and early 70s that people need to sample at sometime in their life and enjoy as much as I have
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on 29 November 2010
I had all the vinyl albums but wanted the early ones on CD. I only have 'Scratching the surface' on BGO records label.
Am I glad I stumbled upon this issue. The albums of course need no introduction. If you're looking at Groundhogs you probably have an interest. What is impressive is the mastering/sound quality. Don't miss this opportunity at the current price to get all five early albums. Terrific buy.
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on 9 March 2013
Everything worth listening to from the inimitable Tony Mc Phee is on here, The monster twanging Fender sound, Tonys haunting voice, all great sounds from my youth
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on 5 June 2013
Now that I know the Groundhogs, I like the Groundhogs, these CDs are really good blues albums. I like! Hmmm, that's it, enough words.
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on 7 November 2010
The triple CD set showcases the Groundhogs at aguably their peak. The first CD covers the beginnings of the band with Scratching The Surface and Blues Obituary Thank Christ for the Groundhogs: the Liberty Years 1968-1972 both heavily influenced by John Lee Hooker and includes the supreme Thank Christ For The Bomb and the rockier-Split and ends with Who Will Save The World? The Mighty Groundhogs? Highly recommended especially for fans of the bandThank Christ for the Groundhogs: the Liberty Years 1968-1972.
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