Three Dog Night
5-29-08 Three Dog Night
CD BEST OF MCA
1982 20 TRK Collection
LP GOLDEN BISQUITS PROBE DE 1C062-92167
1972? 10 TRK collection
LP IT AIN'T EASY DUNHILL
1971? 9 TRKS 3rd album, 2nd cover
LP MAMA TOLD ME STATESIDE ES 1J062-91403
1970 9 TRKS It Ain't Easy, completely different packaging
CD MILLENNIUM COLLECTION MCA
2000 12 TRK Collection (70's recordings)
LP SUITABLE FOR FRAMING DUNHILL
1970? 10 TRKS 2nd, G.T.O.'s
LP THREE DOG NIGHT ("ONE") DUNHILL
1970 11 TRKS 1st
Pop music on the chart, for a change!
Well, if you were alive and listening to the radio in 1969 or so – you definitely heard Three Dog Night. I even remember hearing the solo 45 by Danny Hutton – “Roses and Rainbows and You” (or thereabouts)! Took a while for me (as a youth) to understand that they were a band that made almost exclusively ‘cover versions’ – albeit some pretty good ones (I mean…Spooky Tooth???)
And after The Beatles infamous ‘butcher cover’, what were they thinking for that first US cover of “It Ain’t Easy”? The orange cover where they’re all sitting there…nude! Did they graft the heads on? I think even (black) drummer Floyd Sneed had a white guy’s body on ‘im!
So, the charting singles come and go, with varying degrees of annoyance. I never kept any of their records from the time. In the 80’s, I began a project wherein I tried to find and real all of the rock music autobiographies that I could find. In time, I discovered the Jimmy Greenspoon book, about his life with TDN. Drugs, arrests etc. Tough stuff, for the time (this was well before the “Papa John” John Phillips (Mamas & Papas) ‘tell-all’ book). Another member of TDN wrote an “autobiography” (a guitarist?) – and there was strangely no mention of the drugs or arrests in that book.
So it’s 2008, and I can get a laugh by dropping TDN tracks into playlists. “Out In The Country”, their cover of a venerable Paul Williams ‘sunshine pop’ track, is very charming, indeed. I found a $3 CD of their “Best Of” – but it was from something like 1986, and it has real low audio level, so I went for a $3 copy of “Millennium Collection” – less songs, but hopefully a much improved audio level.
So, they got hits with cover versions. Their big time popularity didn’t last very long – but they sure have a lot of songs that nearly everybody can recognize without too much effort. I remember their mid-70’s PBS special. I totally didn’t care at the time – but when we found a Japanese laser disc of it, I confess to watching it with some chart-bound nostalgia. Funny how some stuff shakes out earlier than others.