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segunda-feira, 20 de março de 2017

PAVLOV'S DOG - Crossover Prog • United States


PAVLOV'S DOG is the kind of band you love or you hate, everything is black or white, there are no tones of gray, especially because of the peculiar voice of their lead singer David Surkamp, who sounds almost like Geddy Lee with extra helium singing in the style of Edith Piaff (he has the typical trembling voice of French singers). It took me a couple of months to get used to their vocals, but once I did, became a fan.

There are two versions about the birth of the band, according to Mike Safron, he and Siegfried Carver decided to create PAVLOV'S DOG, but the best known version is that they started from the ashes of a small band named "HIGH ON A SMALL HILL" where David Surkamp and Rick Stockton played. But the important thing is that the original lineup was formed in St. Louis Missouri by David Surkamp (vocals and guitar), David Hamilton (keyboards), Doug Rayburn (mellotron and flute), Mike Safron (drums and percussion), Rick Stockton (bass guitar), Siegfried Carver (violin) and Steve Scorfina (lead guitar) between 1972 and 1973.


Before they released their first album, the band recorded some tracks at a studio in Pekin Illinois which in opinion of the members of the band were really good, only a few tracks from the Pekin Tapes reached their first album but caught the attention of the executives of ABC Dunhill Records who gave them an incredible advance of US$ 650,000.00 in 1974. "Pampered Menial" saw the light in 1975 and the first thing that gained attention was the incredible art cover that featured engravings by Sir Edwin Landseer who had died almost 100 years before the band was formed. The music is simply amazing, as most USA bands they mixed Symphonic Progressive with Hard Rock, with excellent tracks as the instrumental Preludin, Julia and Late November. In some moment after the recording of the album, PAVLOV'S DOG signed with Columbia Records (there are many versions to choose), so Pampered Menial was released twice, almost simultaneously. The reaction of the people was diverse, hey loved or hated the band, specially David Surkamp's voice but the album reached a moderate success.

Almost immediately they went back to the studio (this time in New York and England) and recorded their second album "At the Sound of the Bell" in clear reference to PAVLOV's experiments with dogs, this time with Tom Nickeson playing acoustic guitar. Siegfried Carver left shortly after the release of this album. According to most fans "At the Sound of the Bell" is PAVLOV'S DOG magnum opus, but I stay with "Pampered Menial", which is less progressive than the second release but much more innovative and original.

The third album of the band is called "Third" which was released as bootleg versions after Columbia cut their link with the band and gave copies of this release to the members, being the most famous one with a different band name "The St. Louis Hounds" and the picture of PAVLOV'S DOG. The band officially split after a successful farewell concert at a St. Louis riverboat known as The Admiral, where they managed to reunite all the original members including Siegfried Carver, sadly there are no tapes of that reunion which in words of Rick Stockton was their best show ever. The fourth album "Lost in America" was released in 1990 (CD format) by a small St. Louis label as an attempt to reunite the band with only two members of the original line (David Surkamp and Dog Rayburn), but that was the last album released by them.

Despite their short and strange story, PAVLOV'S DOG is still one of the most influential progressive bands from USA. I read in their web page that they reunited for a concert in June 27 at The Pageant Night Club in St. Louis but don't have any news about it, hope they release a fifth album for the joy of their fans.

: : : Iván Melgar Morey, PERU : : :






'House Broken Live 2015' is the first ever Pavlov's Dog live document in both audio & video format. It has been recorded and filmed on October 26th 2015 in Nuernberg/Germany. Included is the full concert of 132 minutes (24 songs) on 2 CDs plus DVD. The setlist comprehends songs of all Pavlov's Dog albums, plus two songs of David Surkamp's solo album, one of David's 80s band HiFi, plus three previously unreleased tracks. No overdubs were made. Announcements were just left as they actually occurred on stage. Enjoy a pure and authentic live experience!


From Magal, The Fisherman

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