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PAVLOV'S DOG

Crossover Prog • United States


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Pavlov's Dog biography
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...
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Pampered MenialPampered Menial
Import
Sony Australia 2006
Audio CD$5.79
$4.75 (used)
Has Anyone Here Seen Sigfreid?Has Anyone Here Seen Sigfreid?
Import
Imports 2014
Audio CD$15.53
$17.91 (used)
Lost in AmericaLost in America
Remastered
Rockville Music 2009
Audio CD$11.33
$9.50 (used)
At The Sound of the BellAt The Sound of the Bell
Import
Sony Australia 1992
Audio CD$4.74
$2.87 (used)
Live & UnleashedLive & Unleashed
Rockville Music 2011
Audio CD$11.64
$9.99 (used)
At the Sound of the Bell/Pampered MenialAt the Sound of the Bell/Pampered Menial
Import
Sony Music 2004
Audio CD$24.26
$11.50 (used)
Has Anyone Here Seen SiegfriedHas Anyone Here Seen Siegfried
Remastered
Rockville Music 2009
Audio CD$13.58
$9.54 (used)
ThirdThird
Import
TRC
Audio CD$17.99
$7.77 (used)
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PAVLOV'S DOG discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

PAVLOV'S DOG top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.11 | 248 ratings
Pampered Menial
1974
2.95 | 99 ratings
At the Sound of the Bell
1976
2.72 | 39 ratings
Third
1977
2.04 | 29 ratings
Lost in America
1990
2.13 | 28 ratings
Echo & Boo
2010

PAVLOV'S DOG Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.19 | 7 ratings
Live and Unleashed
2011

PAVLOV'S DOG Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

PAVLOV'S DOG Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.61 | 14 ratings
Has Anyone Here Seen Sigfried?
2007

PAVLOV'S DOG Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

PAVLOV'S DOG Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Pampered Menial by PAVLOV'S DOG album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.11 | 248 ratings

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Pampered Menial
Pavlov's Dog Crossover Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Prog Reviewer

5 stars A surprisingly extraordinary album that I have heard about for eons but it frankly just didn't appeal to me but after finally hearing this debut album I am blown away! Many things are a surprise about this band. First off, they are from St. Louis, MO right here in the USA. I always assumed them to be another English band. Secondly, this band has in the form David Surkamp one of the few (if not the only) singers who sounds like Geddy Lee.

Not really too much to say about this album. On paper it sounds dull and uninspired. It is only mildly progressive, it is a short album clocking in at only a mere half hour, it adds little or nothing to music history. What this album excels at are extremely well-crafted songs that are powerful and catchy. This band like Supertramp, David Bowie, Queen and many others of the day learned how to craft beautiful and interesting songs that added just a touch of progginess as a seasoning. The effect is that it is simple enough to be instantly likable and complex enough to make it stand out more than simple pop music.

In effect, it is simply an album that must be heard to be appreciated because all the magic is in how all the notes go together. The conspiring effects of Surkamp's vocals, David Hamilton's sailing keyboards, Steve Scorfina's tasty bluesy guitar riffs and solos mixed in with the lushness of the violin, vitar and viola, mellotron and flute give a unique snapshot into a sound that captures some of the prog rock that came before and at the same time the simpler hard rock and AOR sounds that would dominate the late 70s. A melodic masterpiece.

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 Echo & Boo by PAVLOV'S DOG album cover Studio Album, 2010
2.13 | 28 ratings

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Echo & Boo
Pavlov's Dog Crossover Prog

Review by Rune2000
Special Collaborator Prog Metal Team

1 stars This album release went pretty much unnoticed by the progressive rock community, which is quite a surprise considering the attention and praise that the band's debut album Pampered Menial has received over the years... oh, did I mention that this is the first official Pavlov's Dog record in nearly 20 years?

Somehow I'm glad that Echo & Boo pretty much flew under the radar of most progressive rock fans because this record has almost nothing to do with the band's notable material from the 70's. The new Pavlov's Dog (e.i. David Surkamp, his wife Sara Surkamp, long time percussionist Mike Safron and a backing band) is a completely different band from the one that most of us are familiar with from the 1974 release Pampered Menial. Yes, the do try to sound vintage but it's almost impossible for David Surkamp to hide that fact that he has aged and that his vocal range is not what it once has been. I also miss prominent guitar and keyboard arrangements, which is probably because Bill Franco and Nick Schlueter sound merely as session musicians who have been hired in order to record this album. Rarely do we hear any notable instrumental arrangements as most of the material is explicitly targeted towards enhancing David Surkamp's performance.

The opening track Angeline felt like it was meant to remind me of Julia, but it lacked all the elements that made that classic composition and performance so great. Most of the vocal arrangement lack melodic hooks that were present all throughout the band's 70's material, this includes their bootlegged version of Third. I also didn't appreciate the re-recorded version of I Love You Still which once again reminded me of the fact that David Surkamp has regrettably passed his prime and the new almost acoustic arrangement of the song made it sound like something from a country record.

The album features a weird mini-suite, starting with We Walk Alone Forever, which just never lifts off the ground and I'm also a bit puzzled by the inclusion of the classic song Oh Susanna (here titled Oh Suzanna). Overall Echo & Boo is a forgettable experience that could only be pleasurable to big fans of the band that would purchase anything with Pavlov's Dog name on it. Avoid this record if you still haven't covered all of the band's superior 70's output.

*** star songs: Angeline (4:35) Angel's Twilight Jump (5:17) I Don't Do So Good Without You (5:18) Echo & Boo (4:29) We Walk Alone Forever (2:06) We Walk Alone Forever Again (1:10) Ava Gardner's Bust (3:48) Calling Out For Mine (4:08) We All Die Alone (5:05) Jubilation (5:36) I Don't Need Magic Anymore (5:37)

** star songs: I Love You Still (3:25) Oh Suzanna (1:00)

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 Has Anyone Here Seen Sigfried? by PAVLOV'S DOG album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2007
2.61 | 14 ratings

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Has Anyone Here Seen Sigfried?
Pavlov's Dog Crossover Prog

Review by Rune2000
Special Collaborator Prog Metal Team

2 stars Has Anyone Here Seen Sigfried? is a reissue of the band's notorious third album that was supposed to have been released in the late 70's but unfortunately didn't see the light of day due to disbandment of the band and label difficulties. The album was in fact released as a bootleg under the name Third and in some cases The St. Louis Hounds, featuring a picture of the actual Pavlov's Dog, but it wasn't until 2007 that the record would get an official release by the German label Rockville Music. Titled Has Anyone Here Seen Sigfried?, this new version of the album is a lot more polished than the previous bootlegs and features additional 10 bonus tracks of unreleased material from the 70's.

I just so happen to own a copy of the bootleg version of the album that was re-released in the 80's and after reading a few positive reviews of this official release finally decided to give it a few spins on Spotify just to see how it compares to the bootleg. My original hypothesis was that Has Anyone Here Seen Sigfried? would be just as disappointing as the bootleg release, since the main problem with this album is the songwriting and not the sound quality. Hence, even the improved mastering won't fix a record that is flawed in the songwriting department.

Unfortunately for me, I didn't manage to disprove my hypothesis and gave up after only two spins. This is pretty much the same album as Third and even the bonus tracks, most of which being alternate versions of tracks from the band's two first releases, aren't enough to make this release worth a purchase. The version that is available on Spotify in Europe is actually very different from the one that is listed here since the track order on the first CD is switched and features a studio outtake titled Stop Short. The second CD is comprised of live renditions of these and other classic Pavlov's Dog tracks from the 2011/2012 reunion gigs. It's definitely nothing that I would recommend, please read my review of the 2011 live album Live And Unleashed if you want to know more.

The only real surprise this time around was the track Painted Ladies. I didn't like it too much on the bootleg version but it does sound much better here due to a much more prominent guitar lead track. I still think that the two minute song Suicide is easily the highlight of the album and it's a pity that this songs was not included on the band's second album since it would have fused so well with the rest of the band's material from 1975-76 era.

I'm sure that fans of Pavlov's Dog will purchase this release just so they can own a good sounding copy of the band's third album but that's pretty much everything that this release got going for it.

***** star songs: Suicide (2:03)

**** star songs: Good Bye Trafalger (3:27) I Love You Still (4:06) Painted Ladies (3:19)

*** star songs: Falling In Love (3:24) Only You (4:31) Jenny (4:09) Today (3:05) Stop Short (2:38) It's All For You (3:50) While You Were Out (2:51)

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 At the Sound of the Bell  by PAVLOV'S DOG album cover Studio Album, 1976
2.95 | 99 ratings

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At the Sound of the Bell
Pavlov's Dog Crossover Prog

Review by Matti
Collaborator Neo-Prog Team

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.

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 Pampered Menial by PAVLOV'S DOG album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.11 | 248 ratings

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Pampered Menial
Pavlov's Dog Crossover Prog

Review by Xonty

5 stars Such an underrated album! Pampered Menial has become one of my all-time favourites, possibly even in my top 25. Quite simple (musically) as prog goes, but just the combinations of instruments and even the songs alone are so unique and excellent. Famous for being dismissed by critics, and having the largest advance of any band EVER ($650,000 from ABC records), but seems to have been forgotten through time. For me, just an absolute diamond in the rough.

Lots of people obviously compare David Surkamp to Geddy Lee's voice, but I prefer Surkamp's by quite a long shot. Great vibrato and such an incredible peak (notably heard on "Natchez Trace"). Great guitar playing by the REO Speedwagon guitarist, Steve Scorfina, who is credited with writing my 2 favourite songs on here (I should really check him out more!). I'm also a big fan of the vitarist, Siegfried Carver. Just listen to the solo towards the end of "Song Dance" - mind-blowing!

The pianist (David Hamilton?) is also very good, but in places, the honky-tonky riffs get a bit tiresome. Otherwise, a great fit into the album. Also, displays a great level of variaton (as with the rest of the band) on the opening track "Julia". However, I think it was a mistake to open with this song. Made me stop listening to the album the first time around (and the album cover put me off as well). One more little nit pick would plainly be the song "Fast Gun". While I started off liking it, it doesn't continue giving after multiple listens like the other songs do. If I had to remove one song, it would easily be that and possibly "Preludin" (doesn't entirely fit in, even though it does give a lot of variation). With these omitted, it would be a flawless masterpiece, but it would be missing something I suppose (unless they were replaced with 2 others). Would also be even shorter than 33 minutes, so yeah :P

Lyrically, the album is also brilliant (albeit fairly inconsistent). "Natchez Trace" and "Of Once And Future Kings" in particular show this. "Episode" too has some great lines, and a great lyrical structure, with the reoccuring "Or is it best to go unseen?" Beautiful! :P The chord progressions heard aren't on the whole that adventurous but still provide a thrilling feel, very rocky and would be so great to hear something like this on the radio. That said, Pavlov's Dog do push the boundaries a little with their tritones on that great resolve to F#m to B on "Subway Sue". Also keeps me interested and keeps the power going. "Last November", "Song Dance", and "Natchez Trace" are my favourites, and have some sort of fifth element because they shouldn't really work musically but are just so outstanding and some of my favourite songs of all time really...

A+ - Give it a few listens if you haven't already. In a word (or 2), underrated masterpiece.

Julia: ***** Late November: ***** Song Dance: ***** Fast Gun: *** Natchez Trace: ***** Theme From Subway Sue: ***** Episode: ***** Preludin: **** Of Once And Future Kings: *****

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 Pampered Menial by PAVLOV'S DOG album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.11 | 248 ratings

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Pampered Menial
Pavlov's Dog Crossover Prog

Review by BrufordFreak

3 stars Great musicians writing an album of seven standard rock tunes plus two short proggy songs totally a mere seven minutes of listening time hardly makes this 'progressive.' There are some engaging atmospheres and emotions particularly on "Julia" (7/10), what could have been a pretty decent radio hit, "Late November" (8/10), and the Southern rock/bluesy "Episode" (7/10). There follows three straight mediocre-at-best rock songs. The most 'proggy' this music gets is on the 1:38 instrumental "Preludin" (8/10) and with the 'medieval' instrumentation plus mellotron used in "Of Once and Future Kings" (8/10). "Kings" has a very odd second movement sounds more like something off of MEAT LOAF's Bat Out of Hell. The third movement returns to the slower, more emotionally engaging first form with some very proggy musicianship before devolving into a brief, softer, folkier section, which then revolves into a pretty decent albeit brief outro jam. Still, as stated in my opening, two somewhat proggy songs on a rock album hardly makes for a prog album. If this is prog then so are Sniff'n'the Tears, Tears for Fears, Led Zeppelin, Bruce Cockburn, Jane's Addiction, Molly Hatchet, and Blue Oyster Cult.

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 Pampered Menial by PAVLOV'S DOG album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.11 | 248 ratings

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Pampered Menial
Pavlov's Dog Crossover Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

5 stars OK, granted, Pampered Menial probably sounded dated even when it came out, back in 1974 - aside from some synth work from David Hamilton, this sounds like it could have come out four or five years earlier on the psych/proto-prog scene. Granted, it's not exactly hugely proggy, mainly adding a prog twist to power ballads. But when the music's this gorgeous I just... don't... care. Pampered Menial is a powerful album which features the exceptional voice of David Surkamp - who's compared to Geddy Lee and is certainly similarly high-pitched, but has a bit more of an operatic style to his vocals - and excellent musicianship from the rest of the band.

From Steve Scorfina's hard rock lead guitar to the more prog-tastic contributions of violinist Siegfried Carver and Mellotron/flute wiz Doug Rayburn, this is one of the most emotionally moving albums you're likely to find. The band expertly decide when a composition calls for some prog complexity, when a bit of hard rock rawness would help, and when the song needs to be stripped down to just a few instruments and Surkamp's wonderful voice. Though the rest of their career didn't exactly set the world on fire, Pavlov's Dog can be satisfied just with this one masterpiece. Brilliant.

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 Pampered Menial by PAVLOV'S DOG album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.11 | 248 ratings

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Pampered Menial
Pavlov's Dog Crossover Prog

Review by ScarRitual

5 stars When at the end of listening to an album you canīt help yourself but to listen to it again and again and again..you know you have a great album. When almost 30 years after discovering said album you realize that you love it as much as you did then, and that you have listened to it on a regular basis ever since, then thereīs no doubt you are in the presence of something very rare: a timeless classic! This is an immaculate masterpiece where every song is perfect...memorable, with wonderful musicianship,sublime vocals that defy description (and belief had i not heard live bootlegs from the era), crisp and ahead of itīs time production and exquisite songwriting. This album would fall on the crossover category of Prog because it includes AOR, symphonics, baroque influences, pop balladry, hard-rock and an above average level of complexity in arrangements and composition. It is incredibly sophisticated considering that it was realeased in 1975 and the sound remains up-to-date. I have only one advice: LISTEN TO IT. And if the vocals donīt suit you at first but you like the music, then give it a few more tries...you may just fall in love with the album!

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 Live and Unleashed by PAVLOV'S DOG album cover Live, 2011
2.19 | 7 ratings

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Live and Unleashed
Pavlov's Dog Crossover Prog

Review by Rune2000
Special Collaborator Prog Metal Team

2 stars I remember being very excited about this release since it marked the first official live document from Pavlov's Dog. The fact that Live And Unleashed is the band's only live album is quite a sad one since Pavlov's Dog was quite an amazing live band back in the '70s. The reason for this statement comes from my experience of the 1976 bootleg recording of the band titled Live In Detroit. Generally I despise anything that looks even remotely like a bootleg but hearing Live In Detroit was a wonderful experience that definitely gave me a craving for more.

Let's be honest from the get-go, Live And Unleashed is far from the great live performance from the band's heydays. The album was recorded in 2009 with only a few of the original members still in the band. Yes, David Surkamp is still present but I'll get to his performance in just a little bit.

First off, let's look at this odd looking set list; not only does the it leave out many of the concert favorites from the past but it also just so happens to dismiss the band's staple song Julia. One might argue that it was a strategic move to ignore the classic in favor of the new material or just that Surkamp's voice isn't able to reach the high notes that he liked to show off back in the day. Still, I just find this to be disrespectful of the band's fan base. Let's assume that it was performed during the encore that wasn't added to the album final live album and leave it at that.

We do get five tracks off the debut album, merely two performances from At The Sound Of The Bell plus a quite a few tracks from the new release Echo & Boo. This mix of styles does become quite confusing over the course of the performance especially when the band doesn't even try to recreate the magic of excellent songs like Late November, sounding here almost like a indie cover. The magic is clearly not there, but the song title I Don't Need Magic Anymore clearly marks where the band stands on this issue!

There is clearly a lot hanging on David Surkamp's performance since, let's face it, Pavlov's Dog is primarily known for Surkamp's love it or hate it vocal approach. It's unfortunate to hear that David Surkamp's high-pitched vibrato is just not there anymore, instead he sound like the aging rocker that he is. It's not really a bad thing, since growing old is unavoidable, but is merely an observation on my part. It's especially saddening to hear favorites like Theme From Subway Sue and Of Once And Future Kings being completely stripped of everything that made them great.

The only glimpse of the old days magic comes halfway through the set list when Pavlov's Dog finally decides to go back to basics and delivers a great live version of Gold Nuggets! It actually made me want to see more tracks off At The Sound Of The Bell on the set list, especially Valkerie and Did You See Him Cry. This is of course only wishful thinking which actually makes Live And Unleashed even more of a forgettable experience than it already is.

***** star songs: Gold Nuggets (4:25)

**** star songs: Preludin (2:05) I Don't Need Magic Anymore (5:04) Theme From Subway Sue (5:57) Episode (4:44) I Love You Still (3:22)

*** star songs: Of Once And Future Kings (6:59) Breaking Ice (4:33) Late November (3:24) Angel's Twilight Jump (7:31) Not By My Side (2:54) Looking For My Shadow (3:26) Wrong (4:30) Standing Here With You (Megan's Song) (5:55) Angeline (4:47)

** star songs: Heat Of Mine (6:23)

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 Pampered Menial by PAVLOV'S DOG album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.11 | 248 ratings

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Pampered Menial
Pavlov's Dog Crossover Prog

Review by Seyo
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars I had this album many years ago and although we all liked "Julia" back then in early 1980s, I did not pay much attention to the whole LP. Recently I got it in mp3 format but was suspicious of how it might sound today. I did not expect much.

What a neglect! This is a wonderful album! It strikes me how good it sounds even nowadays. Music on "Pampered Menial" still proves to be inventive and intelligent, moving between the styles of say, CURVED AIR, COCKNEY REBEL and ROXY MUSIC (although slightly less experimental than the latter ones and more melodic in a "symphonic" way). I would surely recommend this album to every serious prog listener.

It is interesting how low this album rates at Allmusic portal, obviously due to the reviewer's dislike of Surkamp's voice. Granted - his singing is really an acquired taste; you love it or hate it. But, it does not bother me. Perhaps I used to listen to "Julia" very often in my teens so I guess, I acquired that strange taste for Surkamp's high pitch timbers. But, that frequent comparison with Geddy Lee of RUSH is pointless in my opinion. Lee's vocal truly is horrible for my ears while RUSH was always too boring for my taste, which I cannot say for PAVLOV'S DOG - at least for this debut LP.

Loads of Mellotron and violins should satisfy most demanding prog experts, while tasteful arrangements make crossover between progressive attitude and pop song format. "Julia", "Late November" and "Song Dance" stand out as sort of hits, but the entire album is extremely tasteful work.

PERSONAL RATING: 4,5/5

P.A. RATING: 5/5

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