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Groundhogs - Thank Christ For The Bomb CD (album) cover

THANK CHRIST FOR THE BOMB

Groundhogs

 

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3.84 | 37 ratings

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mystic fred
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "I hate the glorification of war. I hate how people were duped into fighting. Not much changed between World War 1 and World War 2 for the soldier." - TS

Intending to create something away from the Blues, manager Roy Fisher, thinking of a concept Tony could work on, came up with the phrase "Thank Christ for the Bomb". At the time the cold war with Russia was still deep in the public psyche, "Ban the Bomb" marches occupied the press, the album title statement was an antedote to all this, saying that the nuclear standoff would stop nuclear wars happening in the future - and here we are 39 years later and still no world war three nuclear holocaust. yet!

Completely divorcing himself from the blues, the album "Thank Christ For The Bomb", released in may 1970, consists of nine tracks; the main theme covers both World Wars beginning with the soldiers in the First World War and ending with the nuclear bomb in the Second, but the sympathies in the message carries through to this day...

"I always felt that through the ages, the broadsword must have been the ultimate weapon at one point, because they could chop people's heads off all over the place, and the crossbow and the longbow - there's always been the ultimate weapon, it's just a question of degree, really. -TS

Side One has the group of four war songs "Strange Town.alienness of a community", which features some solid riffs, fast drumming and meandering swirling guitar solos, the music ebbs and flows from one peak to another. "Darkness Is No Friend.alienness of a small room" a shuffle / boogie rhythm on this song interspersed with punctuated time signatures and changes in tempo. "Soldier.alienness of a country" was the song aired by John Peel which resulted in huge sales of the album - "without him it would have been just another album among many. The album wouldn't have made it, no doubt about it." said Tony on the importance of airplay promotion. The song is full of catchy riffs, interweaving double tracked guitars and bass lines. "Thank Christ For The Bomb..alienness.", the song is in two parts developing from just vocals and acoustic guitar.

"Our fathers fell in thousands for the freedom of the rich and poor, believing as we do today that democracy is the only way"

The song fades to the sound of a procession of soldiers marching across the speakers, and builds frenetically towards a crescendo ultimately climaxing in a huge nuclear BOOOOM..!

The album actually boast two concept pieces which would connect somewhere in the middle - " I realised that every song was about the way that, in a world crammed with people, there are levels of alienation, from individuals living isolated in one room through to communities which cannot accept individual differences and countries that are unable to communicate with each other."

"Soldier, fix your bayonet - before the enemy comes, cos you won't have time - when they start to climb the hill y'know. Soldier - when you see 8,000 - climbin' up the hill, Don't see them as men - just see them as enemies of the king, y' know"

The other songs on alienation are on Side Two - "Ship On The Ocean", "Garden", "Status People", " Rich Man, Poor Man", "Eccentric Man..the story of a man who lived in Chelsea all his life ; first in a mansion then on the benches of the embankment".

The album was recorded at De Lane Lea Studios and engineered by in-house Engineer Martin Birch. Tony remembers. "I wanted to use the three-piece band fully, so I wrote the bass parts as well. I didn't really want the usual root notes. I was writing different chord sequences and I wanted everything whirling about."

mystic fred | 4/5 |

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