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Pavlov's Dog

Crossover Prog

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Pavlov's Dog At the Sound of the Bell album cover
3.09 | 166 ratings | 21 reviews | 20% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1976

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. She Came Shining (4:24)
2. Standing Here with You (Megan's Song) (3:47)
3. Mersey (3:03)
4. Valkerie (5:22)
5. Try to Hang On (2:08)
6. Gold Nuggets (3:25)
7. She Breaks Like a Morning Sky (2:22)
8. Early Morning On (3:21)
9. Did You See Him Cry (5:36)

Total Time 33:28

Bonus tracks on 2010 remaster:
10. Gold Nuggets (live Burg Herzberg Festival 2007)
11. Standing Here with You (Megan's Song) (live Ford Auditorium, Detroit 1976)
12. Try to Hang On (live Ford Auditorium, Detroit 1976)

Line-up / Musicians

- David Surkamp / lead vocals, Veleno & acoustic guitars
- Steve Scorfina / lead guitar
- Tom Nickeson / acoustic guitar, backing vocals
- David Hamilon / keyboards
- Doug Rayburn / Mellotron, bass, percussion
- Rick Stockton / bass

- Martyn Ford Orchestra / strings
- High Wycombe Parish Boys Choir / chorus vocals
- Elliot Randall / guitar
- Les Nicol / guitar
- Paul Prestopino / mandolin
- George Gerich / organ
- Mike Abene / organ
- Andy Mackay / saxophone
- Michael Brecker / saxophone
- Gavin Wright / violin
- Bill Bruford / drums

Releases information

Artwork: Jerry Abramowitz (photo) with Andy Engel & John Berg (design)

LP CBS ‎- CBS 81163 (1976, UK)

CD Rockville Music ‎- 4018996212679 (2007, Germany)
CD Rockville Music ‎- 884860015127 (2010, Germany) Remastered with 3 bonus Live tracks

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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PAVLOV'S DOG At the Sound of the Bell ratings distribution

(166 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(20%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(31%)
Good, but non-essential (33%)
Collectors/fans only (14%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

PAVLOV'S DOG At the Sound of the Bell reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by TRoTZ
3 stars The second album of Pavlov's Dog is considered their finest masterpiece by many, but in my opinion that is not as clear as water. In fact, comparatively to their first release "Pampered Menial", there is some evolution in their progressive playing showed by longer instrumental passages, particularly in the beginning of the album. It was added also some chorus passages. But, in my view, it has not so many memorable songs like the debut album, not saying however that they are bad songs. No, they are good songs, but in general not at same level as those from the previous work.

The structure is different from the previous album. This is less dependent in Hard Rock's guitar riffs (the guitar here is mainly solo work and some acoustic like in the melancholic Standing Here With You or in Valkerie) and much more sustained in piano background. In fact, good piano arrangements are constant on the album. There is also much more blues and jazz inspiration.

The first track, Did You See Him Cry, undoubtedly the highest highlight, shows a very progressive introduction with several instrumental arrangements and transitions leading to a memorable melody with a great instrumental bridge. The sad Standing Here With You and specially Valkerie are also good tracks, with ELTON JOHN's inspired piano. From these two, the last has strange epic organ riff with speedy acoustic guitars and good melody with chorus in the refrain, upgrading the emotional tension. Try To Hang On is a funny song with blues bass as well as the track She Breaks Like a Morning Sky, with its jazzy saxes. Gold Nuggets, explores very well the emotional side of the unique voice of David Surkamp's (which you can hate or adore) and the last song, Early Morning One gives a decent ending to the record!

This is a nice album. Comparatively to the first, it has the best song which is the first, Did You See Him Cry, and some as good like Valkerie, or Early Morning On, but mainly the songs, beyond nice, not as catchy or emotional as the first record songs.

My Rate: 6,5/10

Review by Trotsky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars At first glance, one would think that At The Sound Of The Bell, Pavlov's Dog sophomore album, would see them make the step up to greatness. After all the core members ... lead singer/songwriter David Surkamp, lead guitarist Scott Scorfina, keyboardist David Hamilton, melltronist/flautist Doug Rayburn and bassist Richard Stockton ... are joined by none other than master drummer Mr. William Bruford, fresh from adorning King Crimson's seminal album Red. Throw in new member Thomas Nickeson and no less than eight guest musicians (including saxophonists Andy Mackay and Michael Brecker) and you'd bet on a winner right? Well, you'd lose.

There are two major factors that drag this album down. Firstly Pavlov's Dog had lost its greatest instrumentalist in violin/viola player Siegfried Carver. As if that weren't enough, Surkamp's songwriting made a transisition from dramatic minor key ballads to breezy light pop. Frankly the first three songs on At The Sound Of The Bell, She Came Shining, Standing Here With You (Megan's Song) and Mersey could have been lifted off a Jackson Browne or even a Judy Collins album (and both their voices would have been far more appropriate for this sort of easy listening music that Surkamp's helium-affected pipes!).

It's only on the fourth track Valkerie that one remembers that Pavlov's Dog are a progressive rock band, although I have no idea if Surkamp's plea for someone to "bring back the good old days" is meant to be as ironic as it ultimately is. Certainly the trademark sweeping strings, lush keys and melancholia return with a vengeance, bolstered by some tasty saxophone contributions. Valkerie is also, if you can believe it, the first time that it hits me that Mr. Bruford is playing the drums!

The rockabilly-meets-jazz track Try To Hang On is another filler before Gold Nuggets gives us a tantalising hint of what Pavlov's Dog's strengths really are ... as you might guess, it's another sweeping ballad. Lest you think that's a sign of better things to come, She Breaks Like A Morning Sky proves to be the lowest point of all, a singalong farce that is closer to Wham than Wigwam. Yet another ballad Early Morning Onwards preceeds what is by far the best song on the album ... and undoubtedly the group's greatest progressive moment ... the lilting, off-kilter Did You See Him Cry has it all, albeit in tiny doses ... woven into Surkamp's tragic tale there are Wakeman-esque piano runs, a brief organ fanfare and even Brufordesque drumming from the real deal. But it is far too little, far too late to save this record from being a flop. Overall, it barely qualifies as a progressive album and has to be one of the worst things Bill Bruford put his name to. ... 36% on the MPV scale

Review by Sean Trane
2 stars As their debut album had struck a chord in most proghead's heart (and not just the progheads, too as we can see by the sales figure) , most fans will claim this second album as good as the first one. Alas! Not true at all!

Most of the songs on here are of non-prog caliber , hovering sometimes between soft rock (Bread , America ) , country rock (Eagles) and AOR. True thay this album as well as the first are very radio-friendly , but let's face it, not much on this album is prog bar the last track on each vinyl side. Yes , Did You See Him Cry is a full-blown prog tracks with superb Mellotrons, excellent drumming (thanks Bill!) and a shining example of what these St Louis residents could do! Valkyrie pales a bit compared to that track but is still progressive albeit with that catchy hook line "Bring Back The Good Old Days", one must be careful not to link it with the rest of the album.

Because the rest of the album is simply sub-par and not progressive , although flawlessly played , these could've been on Bread albums. Really even a star-studded guest list can't help this album from sinking.......

Review by clarke2001
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars PAVLOV'S DOG album are difficult to rate, and this one is not an exception. It is impossible to compare it to the predecessor, "Pampered Menial". Those two albums are of the same quality.

Actually, no, they're not. Bot while the debut is coherent and homogeneous, "At The Sound Of The Bell" is generally weaker, but the highlights are much higher...when you do some math with the ratio and the balance, it turns the same.

The album opens with catchy "She Came Shining", which is nothing special really, but I just love 70s mainstream AOR rock sound. However, "Standing Here With You (Megan's Song)" is another lovely, high-quality ballad cooked with the same recipe like the ballads from the debut. I can hear some similarities with Elton John and Rod Stewart's THE FACES. Don't run away, I'm just trying to make some rough guidelines. But I guess it's impossible.

"She Breaks Like A Morning Sky" is silly uptempo jazz-pop-rock, with saxophone solo that slightly reminds me of BLOOD, SWEAT & TEARS similar works.

The last two tracks are the peaks of the album: "Early Morning On" and "Did You See Him Cry". Here's the moment where band really shines: lovely chorus, complex piano passages in irregular time signatures (combined with some nice drum works) and absolutely mind-blowing Mellotron sound...compared to this, GENESIS' "Salmacis" sounds like a poo. I mean, sound-wise, not composing-wise.

Conclusion: no conclusion. I'm perfectly aware that this review is for from a perfect guideline for a potential PAVLOV's DOG listener. All I can say is: try it, if you don't like it, try the first album, if you don't like it neither, forget it.

Review by Angelo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars And the violin went quiet...

This album was suggested to me when I asked for jazzy material to explore after enjoying Gong's Camembert Electrique a while ago. It didn't really fit that purpose, although I can see where the link with Jazz-rock comes from, as amongst others Andy Mackay (saxophones) and Bill Bruford (surprise, on drums....) appear as guests. The sound of the band proved interesting enough to take a liking of this album. Alas, after also listening to it's predecessor Pampered Menial, my love for this album was reduced significantly. Beauty can be cruel to the less handsome ones...

The album contains some decent rock songs, which could be labelled as AOR, like the opener She came Shining which starts quietly with mellotron and vocals, and builds up into sound filled ending. Among the ballads (Mersey, Cold Nuggets), more AOR (Early Morning) and almost plain rock 'n roll (Try to Hang On), only two tracks are slightly more in the vain of Pampered Menial. These are Valkerie (with a very dark mellotron, and ruined by an annoying chorus) and the almost flawless Did You See Him Cry, which also briefly allows a fierce organ to appear.

Although this album does contain quite enjoyable music, it does not reproduce the layered rock magic of the band's debut. Not only has the violin, which did fierce battles with the other instruments before, disappeared, but so has the distinctive, hard rock based, layered sound. Both are dearly missed, and cannot be replaced even by the overall solid piano basis and the organ in Did You See Him Cry.

Review by The Owl
1 stars A classic example of hype gone horribly wrong once again. Back in the day, Pavlov's Dog was touted as a band to watch, but yet, after listening to this and "Pampered Menial", I fail to see what the fuss was all about. Losing a key member or two certainly didn't help either. Part of this album's hype was having one no less than Bill Bruford laying down the drums, you'd think it would've kicked the band into high gear.

Unfortunately, it didn't. The end result sounds like a VERY sleepy Moody Blues album with some OBNOXIOUS singer on a combination of helium, whiskey AND cigarettes. Worse yet, poor Bill sounds like he's fighting to stay awake in the midst f this sleep-inducing mediocrity. I bet the session fee he got was the ONLY thing that kept him going through it.

Honestly, don't bother with this one unless you like really bad Moody Blues wannabes.

Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars "Pampered Menial" must be one of the best debut album a band has released. So, it is rather difficult to match such a masterpiece. And, unfortunately, there is no miracle here. I purchased this CD in '97 and only listened to it twice or so. I opened it again for the purpose of this review...

"Valkerie" is one of my fave. Superb melody like we have been used to before, but a bit repetitive towards the end. "Gold Nuggets" is also a good rock ballad. But what I am missing here is the mood change that one could find in "Pampered". The closing number also stands out : "Did You See Him Cry" is the best song of the whole and the only one that could compete with their previous material. So, one highlight on this work; while there were at least five or six avalable on their debut one).

This album is way behind the reference. Nice and gentle songs like "She Came Shining", "Early Morning On", and "Standing Here With You" or a rocking one like "Try To Hang On" might indicate that some talent is still there but definitely not on par with their debut.

The worse here is a country ballad. I really can't stand "She Came Shining". Neither the jazzy "She Breaks Like A Morning Sky". Did you say poor ?

Even if this album is still good, I'm afraid that magic has already gone. Three stars.

Review by fuxi
2 stars Well, this is just too sad for words. All passion spent, everything that made the Pavlovs' debut album such a success evaporated into thin air. I don't know who got the idea of turning this extraordinary band into a second-rate pop group, but that's precisely what happened. Most of the tracks are too annoying to even write about, but I'll make an exception for the opening and closing tracks, which are pleasant in a non-extraordinary way, and for tracks three and four: both of them ballads which need a brief explication...

Both "Standing here with you" and "Mersey" feature lead vocalist David Surkamp at his most maudlin. I suppose most adult listeners will call this stuff ridiculous, but I've lived with it for decades and must admit I find it oddly affecting - especially "Mersey", which features subtle guitar arpeggios and unforgettable lyrics ("Well I dreamed that I was Bogart / and you were my Bacall / and everything was shattered / by curtain call"). These tunes will be of special interest to Bill Bruford freaks, since no other than the great William was behind the drum kit - and you can immediately tell!

Just don't consider spending a fortune on this largely forgettable album.

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars A couple of gold nuggets. . . plus one or two chicken nuggets

Pavlov's dog returned two years after the release of their well received debut ("Pampered menial") with what is in my opinion a generally superior offering. In outline, the two albums are broadly similar, with nine tracks on each and a paltry 33+ minutes of music. By this time, founding violinist etc. Siegfried Carver had already left the band; while he was not directly replaced, the band did add acoustic guitarist/harmony vocalist Thomas Nickeson. Nickeson would go on to play keyboards too. The album also features a long list of guest artists including Andy Mackay on sax, Javyn Wright on violin plus a boys choir and a string orchestra. Although Mike Saffron was still a member of the band at this stage, he is not credited on the sleeve, and does not actually play on the album. His place on drums is filled on a guest basis by Bill Bruford (credited as William Bruford).

There is a certain maturity to the songs which for me was lacking on the band's debut, but they remain structurally simple, with the fine ballad "Standing here with you" for example failing to realise its full potential. The vocals of David Surkamp are less of an issue for those of us already familiar with the first album, although those picking up the band for the first time with this album will go through the same emotions as the rest of us did.

There are several highlights along the way, especially in the two tracks to breech the 5 minute barrier. "Valkerie" opens with a luscious mellotron sweep introducing something far closer to prog than we have heard from the band so far. It is on the chorus here that we find the boys choir, and though the effect is somewhat corny, it works reasonably well. The closing "Did you see him cry" is the best track on the album. It is based on a fine piano melody which is enhanced by mellotron and an emotive vocal. The arrnagement of the track is even more towards prog than "Valkerie" with the first real extended instrumental break the band have put together.

"Gold nuggets" is a decent organ backed ballad with an emotional vocal delivery telling a good tale well, but once again the track could have been so much more. Elsewhere, we have a couple of throwaway tracks, the 2 minute Queen like "Try to hang on" being the most disposable, but the similarly jaunty "She breaks the morning sky" coming close behind.

In all, while "At the sound of the bell" is rather an inconsistent offering, and a woefully short one, it does contain enough appealing material to make it Pavlov's Dog's best release. If you only hear one of their albums, I would recommend it be this one.

Review by ProgShine
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars 01. She Came Shining Angelic! This is the beginning, with a keyboard light on the background and the voice of David giving leaves. Then the band comes in with a theme mild, almost folk and very beautiful, with well-placed vocal and instrumental unparalleled. Refrain sensational. Venture to say that it is magnificent and the best man for the disc already. 02. Standing Here With You (Megan's Song) Piano and violin a beautiful song, and I love beautiful songs! Beautiful guitars and beautiful vocals, a base of strings in the background. All very nice and behaved.

03. Mersey A work of very good guitar in the band. Another track virtually acoustic (this disc is mostly). To refrain from sensitive and saxophone solo ...! Pearl Pop is not lacking in drive.

04. Valkerie From the beginning of classical piano melody once we are taken by the full band and I would say the beginning of the Progressive Rock of the disc (if not the most progressive). Guitars and guitar give the tone and very well done. While the voice is always highlighted. The aid of the sax in a few moments is essential. In general the melody is different percussion with a strange and enigmatic way, also to highlight the drummer Mike Safron who did a beautiful arrangement for the music. The end in endless refrain is great with the sax.

05. Try To Hang On Low as monitoring? It is always wonderful. This here is one of the coolest, with melody 'party' and a keyboard played very well, the guitars come Rock and Honky Tonk, Jazz, a pinch of everything what's interesting in the musical world. Background vocals (think of coral were when young laughter). Short but wonderful!

06. Gold Nuggets One more sound and beautiful that starts with what I imagine to be a follow-up to the accordion guitar. Amid the battery enter into setback to balance things. Mandolinist! Behold, the boys surprised!

07. She Breaks Like A Morning Sky Sensacional! Jazz total, climate of cabaret, sax and everything else that was necessary so that the song became very nice. Highlight of the entire disk as well. Solo saxophone (found not only the most credit for the fund to know who is playing on the disc.)

08. Early Morning On Progressive! Total, the beginning! Fools, because then change the class (laughs) The synthesizers give the guys in this area very well, the entire track is full of them, especially in the main theme. Coral 'Christmas' in strange sequence. After back 'to normal'.

09. Did You See Him Cry Mice in the beginning, stopped abruptly, classical piano. More changes. This here is the last Progressive Rock, a legacy of Yes Many even keyboards. In a more vocal melody pearl (the band was good at it).

Overall the disc is not at all progressive, but is good and has great influence. The sessions of the piano music are great. A show of good taste in the band, a wonderful view for a short disc, but well above the average without any doubt.

Review by Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars After being totally mesmerized by the band's debut album it wasn't long until I got my hands on their follow up release.

At The Sound of the Bell has a couple of truly great compositions, too bad that the overall material quality is not on par with Pampered Menial. Still this album features two of Pavlov's Dog's most progressive compositions which are also album's biggest highlights. Both Valkerie and Did You See Him Cry start off as beautiful instrumental pieces that eventually transform into mini prog-epics. The rest of the album is just not as spectacular which probably had to do with the transitional phase that the band was going through at the time. In a way, it almost sounds like an early '80s Genesis record where the band have not yet abandoned their progressive tendencies but most of the music is pretty pop-oriented.

This sophomore release by Pavlov's Dog might not be the masterpiece I was expecting it to be but at the same time I feel that the criticism it has received is somewhat unjust. The two progressive compositions are well worth hearing if you're a fan of the debut album.

***** star songs: Valkerie (5:22) Did You See Him Cry (5:36)

**** star songs: She Came Shining (4:24) Standing Here With You (3:47) Mersey (3:03) Try To Hang On (2:08) Gold Nuggets (3:25) She Breaks Like A Morning Sky (2:22)

*** star songs: Early Morning On (3:21)

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars A disappointing lacklustre effort after a stunning debut

After an astounding debut Pavlov's Dog had to follow up with something equally as great but had no hope with this effort. It doesn't hold a candle to the excellent debut though David Surkamp is in full voice and perhaps the best thing about this effort.

The melancholy atmospheres are not a treat as it feels so pop oriented and no guts or glory like the first album. When some of your key personnel scarper and leave you for dead, there is precious little you can do but carry on and hope for the best, and it does not have the magic of essential tracks such as Julia, or November.

None of the tracks jump out and bite my ears, and I had tuned in and out of this album many times and still cannot lock in to a particular favourite as the whole thing merges together like a canvas of oily paints running together. The palette of colours are washed out and the songs are a mediocre batch rather than brilliant and shining jewels.

Still I cannot coomplain as this cost me very little, as it was snapped out of a bargain bin, so nothing ventured nothing gained. The packaging is poor, no booklet and a bland front cover, the band really need to employ some artist or get hold of someone who knows how to package a Cd as this is just plain lazy.

In conlcusion At The Sound of The Bell is okay if you are in the mood for something lightweight but, unlike the glorious first album, and despite Surkamp's high amazing vibrato, this doesn't have enough power to knock the fluff off a peanut!

Review by Matti
2 stars This US band debuted with the excellent Pampered Menial which would have deserved much more attention. It featured great violin/viola playing of Siegfried Carver, plus a lot of mighty Mellotron. David Surkamp's vocals have the high pitch of Geddy Lee (on helium) and the vibrato of Family's Roger Chapman! Also the compositions had interesting variety, trading influences from the British prog such as King Crimson, Genesis and Family. But the group was doomed with bad luck: even though they started with a luxurious deal, the money went elsewhere. The line-up got shaky, Carver left and the original drummer was pushed away too in those sour circumstances. It's the one and only mr. William Bruford from the UK who was brought into the studio, but don't let that fact fool you: really it could have been any average drummer, his talent is mostly wasted here as well as other guests, e.g. saxophonists Andy Mackay and Mike Brecker.

OK, even under hard times they could have delivered another strong album with more maturity, but this is terribly diluted and toothless compared to the debut. Prog attitude is very scarce, best represented on 'Valkerie' and 'Did You See Him Cry' that are the relatively modest highlights. The album is dominated by mediocre, ballad-oriented pop. Surkamp is still a unique vocalist but he can't save these songs from being just harmless and maybe nice, nothing more. As Trotsky put it, Jackson Browne would fit better into these songs. Running times are between 2:08 and 5:36, the whole album being only about 33 minutes long. Quite listenable, totally forgettable.

PS. I regret how I didn't make a clear distinction between the first two albums (they were both referred as classics compared to even worse that followed) in the short band introduction in my prog book. At the time of writing I hadn't heard enough to be more precise. To my amazement this album has also very favourable reviews.

Review by VianaProghead
3 stars Review Nš 151

Pavlov's Dog is an American band often compared to Rush, not so much for their style of music, which is more art rock and less progressive than Rush's music, which is also more heavy, but because the voice of their vocalist. The unique voice of David Surkamp often is compared to the voice of Geddy Lee, the lead vocalist and bassist of Rush. Despite I accept that there are many similarities with both voices, I sincerely think they are two substantially different voices.

'At The Sound Of The Bell' is their second studio album and was released in 1975. Their second and last album in the 70's, was a lighter and less powerful effort then their excellent debut album 'Pampered Menial'. But, anyway, 'At The Sound Of The Bell' is saved, generally, by strong songwritting and tasty arrangements, in the vein of their debut album.

The line up on the album is David Surkamp (lead vocals, acoustic and veleno guitars), Steve Scorfina (lead guitar), Rick Stockton (bass guitar), David Hamilton (keyboards), Doug Rayburn (mellotron, bass and percussion), Thomas Nickeson (acoustic guitar and harmonies) and Mike Safron (percussion). In relation to the line up of the first album, Siegfried Carver (violin, viola and vitar) left the group. In addition to this band's change, a handful of guest artists were invited to participate on the album, of which deserve special mention the jazz saxophonist Michael Brecker, the King Crimson's drummer Bill Bruford and the Roxy Music's saxophonist Andy MacKay.

'At The Sound Of The Bell' has nine tracks. The first track 'She Came Shining' written by Surkamp and Rayburn is a very pretty melodic song that shows a more progressive musical instrumental arrangements than the most of the songs of their debut previous studio album. This is a good song but it doesn't add anything special or new to the album. The second track 'Standing Here With You (Megan's Song)' written by Surkamp is a very calm and pretty ballad with good musical quality. It's an acoustic song with beautiful piano, violin and acoustic guitar works, very well sung by Surkamp. The third track 'Mersey' written by Surkamp and Scorfina represents another calm and pretty ballad. This is almost an acoustic track. It has a good guitar work and it has also a good saxophone solo. It's also a good song but as happened with the first track, I can't see anything special on it. The fourth track 'Valkerie' written by Surkamp is a very good song. Finally, we have on the album a really great song in the vein of many of the songs of their debut album. It has nice piano, flute and mellotron works, and it has also a very interesting chorus. This is one of my three favourite songs on the album. The fifth track 'Try To Hang On' written by Surkamp is a very short song and like some of other tracks on the album it has nothing special to mention on it. This is a song with some musical mixture of rock and jazz. The final result is, undoubtedly, a well played song. The sixth track 'Gold Nuggets' written by Surkamp represents the second best song on the album. It's also a song in the same vein of 'Pampered Menial', but, for me, is even better than 'Valkerie'. This is a fantastic melodic song that could have been part, like 'Valkerie', of their debut studio work. It deserves special mention the surprising use of a mandolin on the song. The seventh track 'She Breaks Like A Morning Sky' written by Surkamp and Rayburn is another song with some jazz influence, basically because how the use of the bass and the saxophone on it. The final result is a very pretty and nice song. The eighth track 'Early Morning On' written by Surkamp and Rayburn is, at my taste, a very beautiful and enjoyable song. It has some very interesting musical arrangements too. Despite be a vulgar song without anything special, the final effect on me, is a nice track with gentle music to listen to. The ninth track 'Did You See Him Cry' written by Surkamp and Rayburn is, in my humble opinion, the best song on the album and represents also the only truly progressive track on it. This is a fantastic song with abrupt musical passages, very melodic and with several rhythm changes all over the track. It has also a fantastic mellotron work. This is, for me, the best and the most perfect way to Pavlov's Dog finish their second studio album.

Conclusion: As I wrote before when I reviewed 'Pampered Menial', in the distant 70's the progressive rock music was essentially a European phenomenon, mainly a British phenomenon. So, when some American progressive rock bands like Kansas, Starcastle, Blue Oyster Cult and Pavlov's Dog appeared, soon I tried to know them. Curiously, my first purchase of those bands, in those times, was precisely 'At The Sound Of The Bell'. But however and unfortunately, 'At The Sound Of The Bell' is an album much lower, in terms of musical quality, than 'Pampered Menial', their debut. Anyway, we can't really say this is a bad album. Still, I must may say that I became some disappointed with it because almost all the songs on it are somehow vulgar with the exception of 'Valkerie', 'Gold Nuggets' and 'Did You See Him Cry'. However, if you know already and you like 'Pampered Menial', worth buy this album especially because of those three songs, mainly due to 'Did You See Him Cry' which is, in my humble opinion, the best song ever wrote by them on both albums. However, if you don't have any of these albums, the right thing to do is to buy 'Pampered Menial'.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

Latest members reviews

3 stars Unfortunately,"At The Sound Of The Bell" (ATSOTB) has to be compared with it's predecessor, the masterpiece "Pampered Menial" (PM); and the comparison is not favoring this one at all. With a more simplistic approach, the prog elements are very limited and the album sounds much more pop than PM. ... (read more)

Report this review (#1618204) | Posted by BigDaddyAEL1964 | Monday, October 3, 2016 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I'm just teetering on the brink of 5-stars right now, but considering how much I listen to this record and how many both subtle and blatant proggy elements there are on here, "At The Sound Of The Bell" is a progressive masterpiece. Just. Of course, it lacks the rawness of that timeless debut "Pamper ... (read more)

Report this review (#1080931) | Posted by Xonty | Sunday, November 24, 2013 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Pavlov's Dog will probably always be overlooked by prog fans, but for no good reason. The music does tend to fall more on the safe side, almost going into pop like territory, but still remains more progressive than acts such as Supertramp or ELO. At The Sound Of The Bell contains a collection of ... (read more)

Report this review (#76931) | Posted by Equality 7-2521 | Tuesday, May 2, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This was the first Pavlov's Dog album I heard, and that was way back at the beginning of the '80's. Of course I could hear an early Genesis influence, with the interplay of mellotron and acoustic guitar; but, it was the vocals of David Surkamp that made it memorable for me. I immediately thoug ... (read more)

Report this review (#50252) | Posted by oddiyo | Thursday, October 6, 2005 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Well, I'm sorry but this record is not as good as "Pampered Menial", the first (and marvellous) Pavlov's Dog album. From the first song onwards it's obvious that the sound of the band has slightly moved towards a more commercial, poppy, even AOR style. The songs are much shorter than in their ... (read more)

Report this review (#46272) | Posted by DACE | Sunday, September 11, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars pumpered menial had created huge expectations from the fans and pavlov's dog had to record an album that would meet these expectations. they did their miracle with at the sound of the bell. songs like she came shining, standing here with you, valkerie, gold nuggets and did you see him cry (in my ... (read more)

Report this review (#36605) | Posted by | Wednesday, June 15, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Listening to Valkerie, Did You See Him Cry and Early Morning On from this album (granted some certain chums like Michael Brecker and Bill Brufford lent their talents to this album)--is an outworldly experience, to say the least. Pinnacle of David Surcamp's composing genius. Pampered Menial ann ... (read more)

Report this review (#30735) | Posted by lz1dp1 | Monday, July 12, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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