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on 3 June 2013
Hot Damn! I love these albums! About time to finally have remasters. Crosscut Saw and Black Diamond did not seem to have received the acclaim of their previous albums and that is a shame. Perhaps because of the increased FX, electronics etc. The songs are killer , exploding with brain splitting energy so do yourself a favor and dive in headfirst.
Thank Christ for the Hogs!
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on 30 July 2013
Look at that price, for this 3 cd set !
Not in your basket yet? Why?
The quality is simply stunning on the 3 x 2013 remastered studio albums.
You get Hogwash, Crosscut Saw & Black Diamond, plus BBC In Concert, Paris Theatre, London 1972 (split over two discs) plus a BBC In Concert from the Playhouse Theatre, London 1974, both blistering performances and also in top notch quality.
Also included is a thin, but decent 8 page colour booklet.
The music is a natural progression from previous albums, and as with most Groundhogs material takes a little time to get into your system, but once it's there there's no shifting it!
Fantastic music, fantastic value...go for it !
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on 10 July 2013
I previously purchased Thank Christ ...... a 3CD set of the groundhogs earlier work, this is another 3CD set of a follow on from that, including some live material. All remastered what more do you want!
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on 29 March 2016
'GROUNDHOGS: THE UNITED ARTIST YEARS (1972-1976)' is a companion set to the previously released 'THANK CHRIST FOR THE GROUNDHOGS: THE LIBERTY YEARS 1968-1972' a 3CD set that contained their first five studio albums; 'SCRATCHING THE SURFACE,' 'BLUES OBITUARY,' THANK CHRIST FOR THE BOMB,' 'SPLIT' and "WHO WILL SAVE THE WORLD? THE MIGHTY GROUNDHOGS.' This set contains the next three studio albums and some live BBC concerts. Except for five concert tracks and a 7" single edit everything else has been available previously on CD; 'HOGWASH' and a two-fer of 'CROSSCUT SAW' and 'BLACK DIAMOND' on BGO and 'BBC Radio 1 LIVE IN CONCERT' on Strange Fruit, which contained seven tracks from their 1972 concert and two tracks from the 1974. The unreleased tracks available here are "I Love You Miss Ogyny" and "Earth Shanty" from 1972 and "I Love You Miss Ogyny," Spilt I" and "Split II" from 1974.

Led by guitarist and vocalist Tony T.S. McPhee, the early band included brothers Pete and John Cruickshank (bass and drums respectively) and were called THE DOLLAR BILLS before renaming themselves after their hero John Lee Hooker's Chess single "Ground Hog Blues". They were briefly known as JOHN LEE'S GROUNDHOGS, suggested by John Cruickshank after they backed mentor and supporter Hooker on his 1964 UK tour. They also later backed such blues luminaries as Little Walter, Jimmy Reed and Champion Jack Dupree. Their first release was "Shake It" b/w "Rock Me" recorded for the Interphon label in January 1965. On their first album, 'SCRATCHING THE SURFACE' John Cruickshank was replaced by Ken Pustelnik, and Steve Rye joined on harmonica. A 1969 single, "B.D.D." (Blind Deaf Dumb) flopped in the UK but hit number one in Lebanon! Rye left afterwards, and the line-up of McPhee, Cruickshank and Pustelnik remained stable through their next three albums. ' THANK CHRIST FOR THE BOMB,' 'SPLIT' and "WHO WILL SAVE THE WORLD? THE MIGHTY GROUNDHOGS' all went Top 10 in the UK.

Switching labels from Liberty to United Artists, the "HOGS" recorded 'HOGWASH' with drummer Clive Brooks, formerly of progressive/jazz-rockers EGG. The album surprisingly was a chart failure, but the next album with Brooks, 'SOLID' managed to reach #31. Because it was recorded for the short-lived WWA label (also home to GENTLE GIANT's IN A GLASS HOUSE' and 'THE POWER & THE GLORY') it is not included here. This line-up also performs on both BBC concerts. Briefly disbanding in 1975, the next year found McPhee reforming the band with Martin Kent (on 2nd guitar, bass on 'BLACK DIAMOND'), Dave Wellbelove (bass on 'CROSSCUT SAW') and Mike Cook (drums), inking a deal once again for United Artists. Rick Adams later took over 2nd guitar duties on "BLACK DIAMOND.' Disbanding again in 1977, McPhee would front various GROUNDHOG line-ups, including a reunion of the "SPLIT'-era group for their 40th anniversary, on and off from the mid-80's to the present (2013). McPhee also suffered a series of strokes during the '90's but thankfully recovered and was able to resume his career.

It's surprising that 'HOGWASH' didn't make more of an impact. McPhee continues experimenting with the changing prog-rock-like time signatures and sparing use of mellotron and keyboard accents started on the excellent 'WHO WILL SAVE THE WORLD?' The first track alone, "I Love You Miss Ogyny," a sly rumination on his continuing yin and yang relationship with women, should have at least generated some controversy. McPhee also continues to show his concern for the planet with the poetic and pastoral "Earth Shanty." "3744 James Road" is classic HOGS with it's churning rhythms and stinging guitar attack, and "Mr. Hooker, Sir John" is a touching tribute to their long-tine inspiration. "The Ringmaster" wouldn't sound out of place on a HAWKWIND album and "You Had A Lesson's" shifting time-signatures would make most prog-rockers proud. The excellent BBC sessions are also a highlight of this set as the boys burn through cuts from 'THANK CHRIST,' 'SPLIT' and "HOGWASH'....great stuff! It's a shame EMI didn't attempt to license 'SOLID.' Living up to it's title, 'SOLID' finds McPhee getting farther into overdubbing, effects and keyboards, expanding the power trio concept. The album has both a greater rock feel and a more subtle quality that rewards repeated listens, IMHO their last great stab at the ring. 'CROSSCUT SAW' and "BLACK DIAMOND' usually "split" GROUNDHOGS fans, probably because they're closer to standard rock fare then the previous blues-informed releases, but if you chart the musicality from 'THANK CHRIST' to here, they seem a natural, if not totally successful, progression. The second guitarist and keyboardist somewhat dilute the HOGS signature off-kilter nerve-wracking power, but even when he's using a synth-guitar McPhee burns brightly. The music here, when not compared to their past classics, still blows away many of their contemporaries working in the same genre. 'CROSSCUT SAW" is the stronger and best produced of the two, but if there's any one thing that brings both albums down it's the lyrics. McPhee's favorite subject, when not focusing his thoughts on society's mental, political and environmental ills, is women, and usually the unresponsive, cheating, tore-my-heart-out-but-I-can't-stay-away kind. On previous releases the subject was balanced by his other views and causes, but on 'SAW' and "BLACK DIAMOND' it's unabated and becomes tiresome after awhile. Always an acquired taste as a vocalist, McPhee nonetheless has a very expressive voice, but the more straight forward song structures with their abundance of lyrics seem to amplify the issue.

If you're new to GROUNDHOGS it's better to star with 'THE LIBERTY YEARS.' If you like what you hear, you'll probably like this too. The mastering doesn't sound much different than the fairly recent stand alone reissues. The booklet is the usual few pages of info that seems standard on the recent glut of reasonably priced EMI multi-disc reissues, but interestingly the center two-page concert photo spread seems to be from the critically acclaimed 'LIVE AT LEEDS '71,' which is NOT included in either set. If you're a HOGS fan you'll probably have to decide if the five unreleased BBC tracks and the single edit of "Live A Little Lady" are worth the albeit reasonable price......

Disc: 1
1. I Love Miss Ogny - 2013 - Remaster
2. You Had a Lesson - 2013 - Remaster
3. The Ringmaster - 2013 - Remaster
4. 3744 James Road - 2013 - Remaster
5. Sad Is the Hunter - 2013 - Remaster
6. S'one Song - 2013 - Remaster
7. Earth Shanty - 2013 - Remaster
8. Mr Hooker, Sir John - 2013 - Remaster
9. Split I - BBC in Concert/The Paris Theatrer 1972
10. I Love Miss Ogyny - BBC in Concert/The Paris Theatrer 1972
11. You Had a Lesson - BBC in Concert/The Paris Theatrer 1972
12. Earth Shanty - BBC in Concert/The Paris Theatrer 1972
13. 3744 James Road - BBC in Concert/The Paris Theatrer 1972

Disc: 2
1. Sad Is the Hunter - BBC in Concert/The Paris Theatre 1972
2. Split II - BBC in Concert/The Paris Theatre 1972
3. Split IV - BBC in Concert/The Paris Theatre 1972
4. Cherry Red - BBC in Concert/The Paris Theatre 1972
5. Ship on the Ocean - BBC in Concert/The Playhouse Theatre 197
6. I Love Miss Ogyny - BBC in Concert/The Playhouse Theatre 197
7. Split I - BBC in Concert/The Playhouse Theatre 1974
8. Soldier - BBC in Concert/The Playhouse Theatre 1974
9. Split II - BBC in Concert/The Playhouse Theatre 1974
10. Live a Little Lady - 7" Edit 2013 Remaster

Disc: 3
1. Crosscut Saw - 2013 Remaster
2. Promiscuity - 2013 Remaster
3. Boogie with Us - 2013 Remaster
4. Fulfillment - 2013 Remaster
5. Live a Little Lady - 2013 Remaster
6. Three Way Split - 2013 Remaster
7. Mean Mistreater - 2013 Remaster
8. Eleventh Hour - 2013 Remaster
9. Body Talk - 2013 Remaster
10. Fantasy Partner - 2013 Remaster
11. Live Right - 2013 Remaster
12. Country Blues - 2013 Remaster
13. Your Love Keeps Me Alive - 2013 Remaster
14. Friendzy - 2013 Remaster
15. Pastoral Future - 2013 Remaster
16. Black Diamond - 2013 Remaster
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on 18 July 2013
THE TIMES WERE CHANGIN'... AND THE BAND NEEDS NEW HORIZONS. I THINK IT'S A VERY INTERESTING PHASE OF MR. McPHEE & COMPADRES. GOOD PRICE AND BAD CREDITS (OF COURSE...)
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on 29 March 2014
Some of this music I like but not my favourite collection by this band, still for the price it's still good value for money.
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on 24 April 2015
very good only had one album of there's and wanted to see what the rest were like , witch was all great
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on 27 August 2014
good get it
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