GROUNDHOGS - The United Artists Years (1972-1976) 
The Groundhogs are a British rock band founded in late 1963, that toured extensively in the 1960s, achieved prominence in the early 1970s and continued sporadically into the 21st century. Tony McPhee (guitar and vocals) is the sole constant member of the group, which has gone through many personnel changes but usually records and performs as a power trio.
This 3-CD set is a companion to the earlier ‘The Liberty Years 1968-1972' which charted the band’s transformation from blues to proto-heavy rockers. But it was only with ‘Split’ that the band hit proverbial paydirt. It is commemorated here with the inclusion of several tracks in a complete 1972 BBC In Concert. This BBC concert (and one from 1974) have been available on CD before (save for four tracks), originally on Windsong and later on the abbreviated 2002 release ‘BBC Live In Concert’. By 1972's ‘Hogwash’ (the first with Clive Brooks on drums) the band had lost their earlier frenetic blues rock drive as they honed the sound to an altogether more refined and produced situation. This is also evidenced in the “bonus” 7” edit of ‘Live A Little Lady’ from 1976's ‘Crosscut Saw’. This album and the same year’s penultimate UA release, ‘Black Diamond’, are also included here although they didn’t make any real impact at the time and perhaps even less so now on reinvestigation. It seemed then that Groundhogs were sounding less like themselves and more like others as they evidently jostled with changing musical tastes. In a similar way their contemporary Rory Gallagher was also facing an identity crisis at this time. The band will still be remembered for their light that shone bright for a relatively short two or three year window at the dawn of the seventies. And sadly, like Tony McPhee’s ongoing health problems, after several later reunions they never really recovered.
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