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WHO WILL SAVE THE WORLD? - THE MIGHTY GROUNDHOGS!

Groundhogs

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Groundhogs Who Will Save The World? - The Mighty Groundhogs! album cover
3.49 | 28 ratings | 3 reviews | 7% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential


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Studio Album, released in 1972

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Earth is not Room Enough 4.49
2. Wages of Peace 4.37
3. Body in Mind 3.50
4. Music is the Food of Thought 4.38
5. Bog Roll Blues 3.09
6. Death of the Sun 2.52
7. Amazing Grace (Trad arr.Tony McPhee) 2.24
8. The Grey Maze 10.09

Line-up / Musicians

Tony McPhee - Guitar, Mellotron, Harmonium, Vocals
Pete Cruikshank - Bass Guitar
Ken Pustelnik - Drums

Produced by Tony McPhee for Zak Productions Ltd.
Published by Zak Music Ltd.
Artwork - The Nefarious Neal Adams
Photographs - Chris Richardson
Recorded at the De Lane Lea Studios, Wembley, January 1972
Engineers - Martin Birch, Louie Austin

Releases information

LP UA UAG 29237 (1972)
CD EMI 584815 (Digital Remaster 2003)

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GROUNDHOGS Who Will Save The World? - The Mighty Groundhogs! ratings distribution


3.49
(28 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(7%)
7%
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(44%)
44%
Good, but non-essential (48%)
48%
Collectors/fans only (0%)
0%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

GROUNDHOGS Who Will Save The World? - The Mighty Groundhogs! reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by mystic fred
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "I don't play other people's songs" -TS

"Who Will Save The World?- The Mighty Groundhogs!" pressed home the message that The Groundhogs were pursuing more controversial themes in their music - though on the face of it things seemed fairly light-hearted, even tongue-in-cheek ; the cartoon cover designed by comics illustrator Neal Adams (incidentally the bass drum artwork in the band photo above was designed by Genesis album cover illustrator Paul Whitehead) told the story of our three protagonists challenging the three main forces of evil - Pollution, Overpopulation and War - through music (and the odd right hook!).

Partly inspired by the spirited artwork produced by Adams, some interesting sounds were brought in to add to the overall effect. The album again engineered by Martin Birch at De Lane Lea's newly located studios in Wembley contains an eclectic collection of songs littered with word-play and considered by many as the band's Proggiest , and the band's most difficult work to date. Some have dark ecological sci-fi messages (which belie the frivolous story on the cover) such as "Earth Is Not Room Enough" (featuring Mellotron for the first time), "Wages of Peace" and "Death of the Sun" intermingled with such follies as "Bog Roll Blues" and "Amazing Grace" played on a rather clackety Harmonium - all typical fare for most Prog albums of the time and littered with those odd time signatures and withone ten minute distorted guitar freakout "The Grey Maze." "Cyanide pills dropped in an acid bath, Froth forms a cloud as deadly as death's own staff, Lungs start to burst trying to hold your breath, But have the last laugh 'cos Earth is just a cage seven thousand miles wide! " The second song on Side One continues the ecology theme with "Wages of Peace" , bemoaning the ways nature can counter and have harmful effects on mankind. "Body In Mind" again reflects on pollution and on how people's minds can be infected, and "Music is the Food of Thought" concludes how mankind has the power to save itself.

"To save the race we need to trace The source of power and fuse it! Enlightened minds all seem to find The vehicle is music."

Though successful in the UK the album's promotion tour in the USA was hampered by Hurricane Agnes and Tony's accident.the band returned home.

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars .. but we won't tell you how!

The Groundhogs 1971 follow up to their enormously successful "Split" album sees Tony McPhee continuing with his determination to explore new styles and sounds. For the first time, he introduces keyboards to the mix, playing both mellotron and harmonium himself. It is though his lead guitar prowess which is of course the mainstay of the album.

Once again based around a concept, "Who will save the world.." boasts a wonderful cartoon based sleeve designed by Neal Adams. This cartoon element disguises a serious message, where McPhee bemoans the evils of the world then (and indeed now). The album was not quite as successful as "Split", but still made the UK top 10.

The opening "Earth Is Not Room Enough" catches us unaware straight away, the track swimming in the band's newly acquired mellotron. The lead guitar is still there, but the dominance of the mellotron immediately gives the song (and the album) a softer feel. "Wages of peace" is more orthodox Groundhogs, with a marching riff and McPhee's familiar vocals being the main features of the song. The laid back nature of the lead guitar break is notable though.

"Body in Mind" continues the ecology theme, but it is interesting to note that the Mighty Groundhogs do not actually spend much time saying how they will "Save the world"! The track features some nicely distorted lead guitar, which fries the brain if listened to on headphones as it dances around in the stereo. "Music Be the Food of Thought" focuses heavily on the lyrical message, but does feature some nice brass like keyboard sounds.

If side one of the original LP was an interesting if slightly flawed set from the band, side two has the sound of a trio struggling for ideas. Things start off well enough with "Bog roll blues", a song with some good dramatics on the keyboards. The track's promise though is not fully developed. "Death of the sun" is a jangly throwaway, pleasant enough but a bit poppy and uninspired. The cover of the standard "Amazing grace" is nice, but a number of bands and artists were doing the same thing around the same time, indeed a Scottish Pipe band took the tune to the top of the UK singles chart.

The album closes with the 10 minute "The grey maze". Prog fans should not get too excited though, as this is essentially just an extended boogie jam. On the plus side, the track does feature a lengthy lead guitar improvisation, but it does tend to drag after a while.

Overall, while it is good to see the Groundhogs diversifying their sound through the introduction of keyboards, there is an inherent weakness to this album when compared to its predecessors. The album lacks a killer track, and rather has the feel of a band putting something out sooner than they would have wished.

Latest members reviews

3 stars You've really got to see TS McPhee live to appreciate what a great guitarist he is - doesn't even use a plectrum! He was voted 5th best in the world by NME or melody maker. Unfortunately, this album doesn't do the great man justice. too much experimentation with synthesisors and melletrons, not ... (read more)

Report this review (#202256) | Posted by DAVE M | Tuesday, February 10, 2009 | Review Permanlink

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