Baker's Dozen

Artists discuss the 13 records that shaped their lives

Groundhogs, to me, again it’s all coming from the same period, so every record on here blew my mind. That collection that you have in front of you, that was like my entire collection. I was buying these records one after the other over maybe a two- or three-year time period, adding them to my collection going, "Holy shit! What’s this?" The Groundhogs were a post-Hendrix blues trio, an electric blues trio that were so much more than that. There was this guy Tony McPhee playing the guitar and he’s amazing, and he was doing his own version of Muddy Waters. It was this British guy trying to sound like an old American black dude, so it’s bizarre. More than that, the sound was frantic. More frantic than most British rock bands. Most British rock bands held it together, you know, there was a studied recording sensibility. Everything was measured, it was finely done. This guy seemed a little bit off the rails. Crazy, flailing wah – more than Hendrix – and blistering solos into too much treble. Too much, but not too much, it’s cool. It’s a wee bit out of control. And the words! I listened to it over and over when I was a kid and finally realised that he was singing about having a nervous breakdown and going into a mental hospital! And that was the whole record! The whole first side of the record Split was about him having a split personality, at least what I could gather from it. ‘Split-Part One’, ‘Split-Part Two’, ‘Split-Part Three’, it’s like he was documenting his insanity. I was completely sold. And it just sounds like nothing else. All of those Groundhogs albums! Nobody sounds like that. That voice! That weird "whirrrrrurrruh", low voice. Really, really cool stuff. If I had my way I would just include the first five years of their career into one album. Split was the first one that I bought.

PreviousNext Record

The Quietus Digest

Sign up for our free Friday email newsletter.

Support The Quietus

Our journalism is funded by our readers. Become a subscriber today to help champion our writing, plus enjoy bonus essays, podcasts, playlists and music downloads.

Support & Subscribe Today