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Groundhogs Blues Obituary album cover
3.07 | 23 ratings | 2 reviews | 48% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1969

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. B.D.D. (5:15)
2. Daze of the Weak (3:45)
3. Times (5:15)
4. Mistreated (4:00)
5. Express Man (3:55)
6. Natchez Burning (4:35)
7. Light Was the Day (6:50)

Total Time 33:35

Line-up / Musicians

- Tony McPhee / guitar, Mellotron, harmonium, vocals
- Pete Cruikshank / bass
- Ken Pustelnik / drums

Releases information

Vinyl LP Liberty 85253
1969 Blues Obituary [33 rpm] Vinyl LP Imperial LP-12452
1969 Blues Obituary [33 rpm] Vinyl LP
1987 Blues Obituary [Reissue] Vinyl LP BGO BGOLP 6
1997 Blues Obituary CD BGO BGOCD6
1998 Blues Obituary [180 gram], [Reissue], [Remastered] Vinyl LP Akarma AK 039

Thanks to alberto muñoz for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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GROUNDHOGS Blues Obituary ratings distribution

(23 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(48%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(13%)
Good, but non-essential (30%)
Collectors/fans only (9%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

GROUNDHOGS Blues Obituary reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Not dead yet!

The Groundhogs" second album, "Blues obituary" is a bit of a strange beast. While the début ("Scratching the surface") had been a decent if unremarkable 40 minute set of blues variations, "Blues obituary" find them beginning their quest to find a style of their own. Harmonica player Steve Rye left after just one album, leaving a trio boasting a line up of just guitar, bass and drums.

The opening "BDD" (which apparently stands for "Blind, Deaf, Dumb") immediately demonstrates that Tony McPhee is intent on leading the band on a journey away from blues. The refined guitar sound and smoother nature of the song offer something which, while still relatively basic, is more than simply a variant on basic blues structures. The following "Daze of the weak" at first sounds like a retreat back to the blues of the first album, but the track develops well within the confines of the one dimensional line up, the lead guitar driving things along at varying speeds.

The echo on the singing on "Times" helps to vary the vocals, an aspect often cited as the weak point of the Groundhogs output. It is though McPhee's prowess on lead guitar which is the track's strength. Even "Mistreated" (not the Deep Purple song) which does feature a blues structure to the vocal part, is more swamp rock than blues as such. "Express man" has a good feel to it, the lead guitar here being slightly more precise and considered.

"Natchez Burning" also heads south for its inspiration, the track being a slower piece with some spooky vocal sounds. There are once again strong similarities with the path being followed around the same time by John Fogerty and Creedence Clearwater Revival (CCR). The closing "Light was the day" is the most experimental of the tracks here, with freeform guitar being backed by improvised drumming. Goood use is made of then still novel stereo effects, McPhee demonstrating that he can make it up as he goes along too.

With a running time of around 33 minutes, "Blues obituary" is as brief as CCR album too. It does though offer the first signs that the Groundhogs would be more than a late to the party blues band, and that Tony McPhee had a desire to take the band into uncharted waters.

A mono single edit of "BDD" can found on some subsequent releases of the album, such as the fine "Thank Christ for the Groundhogs" collection.

Review by DangHeck
2 stars Better Seasoned and Better Reasoned Blues Rock Here!

This is the 1969 sophomore release by this, to me at first, sophomoric British Blues Rock band. The first thing I want to say, the first thing that comes to mind, is thank God this album is shorter than their debut. I just don't have time for bullsh*t that offers me nothing anymore. Hedonism utterly and unabashedly embraced. Do things you love, Familie.

And from the start, I do have some optimism with the first few bars of "B.D.D." Now, is this Blues Rock, as I've been expecting since listening to their debut? Yeah. Is it better so far? Also yes. Good start. I think, for one thing, this album is mixed a bit better than their debut. This is noticeable to me on the next song, "Daze of the Weak" [I'm honestly a little slow this morning and I only now caught that wordplay haha]. Though, to me, it was a bit weak (ironic). I will say, despite the fact that this is very of the time Blues Rock (to me, to a fault, at times), it is, ultimately, in the grand scheme of things, a clear creative progression for the band. [Editing this later on, I only have one thought. How many comma-separated segments can one man use in one sentence? haha.]

Speaking of progression, and I'm not sure exactly what it is (the rhythmic sonic choices, perhaps?), but "Times" feels ahead of its time in a way. But also, I guess it reminds me of, maybe, "Lemon Song", to go back to my previous comparisons to Led Zeppelin. I mean, that does grant a judgement of "progressive" in my mind. I really don't search this sort of thing out in general... So, I mean, I don't need to hear it again haha. But it's really pretty alright. Continuing in this sort of Led Zep familiarity, but to a greater strength is the driving "Mistreated". Despite using a cleaner guitar tone, this song is heavy. For me, this was the sure highlight of the album.

"Express Man" is a pretty decent tune, but didn't offer me much that we haven't heard from the Groundhogs already. "Natchez Burning" starts off and ends off very traditionally. I didn't need it. The sure lowlight of the whole release. We are back into something very interesting, I assume because Psychedelia, on "Light was the Day". This track slowly rises with a bass-driven drone over pounding toms and crashing cymbals. Perhaps with greater purpose, there's also something, aside from Psych-Blues Rock, goin' on that makes me think Space Rock. Very likely. I think the only weakness in this, if you would consider it likewise, is that it crescendos and rises and rises, but doesn't arrive anywhere. Regardless, I feel it was a solid closer. Good bookends.

True Rate: 2.5/5.0

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