Wednesday, March 19, 2008

SOLDIER


Listen to SOLDIER by Groundhogs.

My favorite song of the moment, no question. Heavy, heavy, heavy. It's got a sense of humor (shade: black), a typical English bit of anti-war (anti-Vietnam) sentiment, English because it is set more in The Great War and sardonically calls for that legendary English stiff upper lip on the battlefield.

The Groundhogs were a pretty big deal in the U.K. for a while at the beginning of the Seventies. They were "originally formed circa 1964 (and first known as The Dollar Bills before becoming John Lee's Groundhogs, to reflect their admiration for John Lee Hooker), the group was led by singer/songwriter/lead guitarist Tony (T.S.) McPhee."

The entire album this is taken from, "Thank Christ For The Bomb," by the Groundhogs is a classic by any measure, but especially when you're talking about heavy rock. John Peel like the group, and Soldier in particular:

The album made The Groundhogs a fashionable chart act, helped, interestingly enough by a certain disc jockey: "It did very well. I've got to say that John Peel broke that album because he had that Sunday afternoon radio show, and he did the same for us as he did for 'Sabre Dance', he played that to death and he broke it, and he picked on 'Soldier' as a particular track and he really broke that album".
Scott Seward, a critic we mentioned last week, rates the Groundhogs as the essential Thud Rock band: "Groundhogs are a religion and Tony McPhee is the pope. Every solo and riff is the end of the world as you know it." Amen.

Photo: Justice for 3,000 (7).

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5 comments:

Corbett said...

Cool song, but is it really that different from its peers (e.g., Floyd or something)? It has good guitars and tries to blow minds with its lyrics. Is the record good?

Bill said...

If you're telling me their peers include Pink Floyd, then they're a very good group indeed! The consistency of this album is a strong point--you can tell this band had found something and were working it.

Bill said...

...speaking of floyd, I was seriously thinking of doing The Nile Song in this series. Maybe Friday if Jason isn't available.

Corbett said...

Good choice.

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