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PAVLOV'S DOG

Crossover Prog • United States


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Pavlov's Dog picture
Pavlov's Dog biography
Founded in 1973 in St. Louis, Missouri, USA - Disbanded in 1977 - Reformed in 1990 and are stil active as of 2015

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 a...
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Pampered MenialPampered Menial
Import
Sony Australia 2006
Audio CD$5.59
$5.58 (used)
At The Sound of the BellAt The Sound of the Bell
Import
Sony Australia 1992
Audio CD$6.44
$5.43 (used)
Lost in AmericaLost in America
Remastered
Rockville Music 2009
Audio CD$12.95
$6.58 (used)
The Pekin TapesThe Pekin Tapes
Import
ROCKVILLE 2015
Audio CD$21.28
$19.57 (used)
Has Anyone Here Seen Sigfried (original master tapes + bonus)Has Anyone Here Seen Sigfried (original master tapes + bonus)
Extra tracks · Import
Rockville 2015
Audio CD$29.91
House Broken - Live 2015 [ 2CD / DVD ]House Broken - Live 2015 [ 2CD / DVD ]
Import
ROCKVILLE 2016
Audio CD$27.99
$34.70 (used)
At the Sound of the Bell/Pampered MenialAt the Sound of the Bell/Pampered Menial
Import
Sony Music 2004
Audio CD$17.40 (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)

4.07 | 323 ratings
Pampered Menial
1975
3.04 | 128 ratings
At The Sound Of The Bell
1976
2.17 | 40 ratings
Lost In America
1990
2.78 | 51 ratings
Has Anyone Here Seen Sigfried?
2007
2.32 | 37 ratings
Echo & Boo
2010
3.96 | 17 ratings
The Pekin Tapes
2014

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

2.36 | 9 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)

5.00 | 1 ratings
Pampered Menial & At The Sound Of The Bell
1992
3.47 | 19 ratings
Has Anyone Here Seen Sigfried?
2007

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

5.00 | 1 ratings
Julia
1975
4.00 | 5 ratings
End Of The World
1995

PAVLOV'S DOG Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Pampered Menial by PAVLOV'S DOG album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.07 | 323 ratings

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Pampered Menial
Pavlov's Dog Crossover Prog

Review by VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Review Nş 150

Pavlov's Dog is an American progressive rock band formed in 1972 in Saint Louis, Missouri, out of the ashes of a local cover band called High On A Small Hill, formerly of the minor folk-rock act Touch. Originally Pavlov's Dog was composed by David Surkamp, Steve Levin, Mike Safron, Rick Stockton, David Hamilton, Doug Rayburn and Siegfried Carver, who was born Richard Nadler. Levin left the group and was replaced by another Steve, this time Steve Scorfina.

For those who aren't familiar with this group, one of the most important characteristics on the Pavlov's Dog sound is their vocals. Their front man Surkamp owns a very peculiar and strange voice usually compared with Geddy Lee's voice from Rush. So, for those who don't know the band yet and don't like Lee's voice, compared by many as a sound of strangling a cat, certainly Pavlov's Dog isn't the best band that they are looking for. Anyway, their music style was very song based and actually not all that far from some British bands but still with an American touch into their sound.

"Pampered Menial" is their debut studio album and was released in 1974. The line up on the album is David Surkamp (vocals and rhythm guitar), Steve Scorfina (lead guitar), Rick Stockton (bass guitar), David Hamilton (organ and piano), Doug Rayburn (mellotron and flute), Mike Safron (drums and percussion) and Siegfried Carver (violin, viola and vitar, a cross between a guitar and a violin). However, Carver left Pavlov's Dog soon after the album was released.

Here it's an interesting story about the release of "Pampered Menial". When the album was released, it was briefly released on ABC Records and quickly re-issued by Columbia Records. The final result was that both versions of the album appeared at the same time in the same stores, which became a little bit confused for many people in those times.

"Pampered Menial" has nine tracks. The first track "Julia" written by Surkamp is one of my favourite songs on the album and is an excellent track to open it. This is a very simple ballad, very beautiful, with a nice piano work in the starting of the song and it has also an interesting acoustic guitar work. The second track "Late November" written by Scorfina and Surkamp is a very good song, simple, very melodic and melancholic as the month mentioned on it. This is a light rock song perfectly well commanded by the mellotron sound. The third track "Song Dance" written by Safron is a fabulous song and is my favourite track on the album and is also, for me, one of the best compositions made by the group. It's a great rock classic song, very progressive and it has fantastic individual musical performances by all bands' members and where Surkamp's unique voice reaches its maximum. This is a real must for our ears. The fourth track "Fast Gun" written by Surkamp is a beautiful song with good instrumentation commanded by violin. However, it's far from being one of my favourite tracks on the album. The fifth track "Natchez Trace" written by Scorfina is a typical oriented hard rock song and sincerely is probably, from my point of view, the weakest song on the album. The sixth track "Theme From Subway Sue" written by Surkamp is another good and nice song with a fantastic and beautiful piano work. This is a song that sounds like a classic rock song with a very great vocal work. This is really a great track. The seventh track "Episode" written by Surkamp is another good and nice song with a nice piano and violin works, very well commanded by Surkamp's voice, with the mellotron sounding at the background. This is also a great song. The eighth track "Preludin" written by Carver is the shortest song on the album and opens the way to the last track on the album. Despite being a short track, it's, in my humble opinion, one of the best on the album, and is a totally progressive song. It's a song that reminds me Gentle Giant, with classical and medieval musical influences and with great orchestration. This is another fantastic track. The ninth track "Of Once And Future Kings" written by Surkamp is a good and nice track to close this very interesting album. This is a song with very good individual musical performances by all members of the band with the mellotron sound at the background, and as usual, it has also a very good orchestration.

Conclusion: Like most of us know, in the 70's, the progressive rock music was practically a European phenomenon. So, it was with some great expectations that, at the time, I saw the birth of some progressive rock bands out of Europe, such as Kansas, Starcastle, Blue Oyster Cult, Pavlov's Dog and of course Rush. Despite, I only bought this album few years ago, but I know it since 1974, the year it was released, I confess that I always loved this group, and particularly this album, which I always considered a fantastic musical work. But I know this is a band and an album that isn't for everyone. This isn't one of the most progressive albums, but sincerely who cares, when we are faced with an album of great, simple and unpretentious music like "Pampered Menial". Sincerely and for my taste, I think Pavlov's Dog made a very powerful and balanced album which deserves to be discovered and appreciated without any mental reservation and preconceived opinions. It appeals to progressive rock fans that enjoy strong melodies without great complexity.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

 Echo & Boo by PAVLOV'S DOG album cover Studio Album, 2010
2.32 | 37 ratings

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Echo & Boo
Pavlov's Dog Crossover Prog

Review by BigDaddyAEL1964

2 stars So this is the first studio album by Pavlov's Dog in 20 long years... And it's not what we expected.

They try to play mostly acoustic soft rock with prog elements; or more specifically a prog section. The record could be separated in 3/3, with the first and the last being soft rock and the middle being a prog section which reminds me of Jethro Tull's "A Passion Play", but definitely less quality.

I was about to give it 3 stars, but then I was like "Why 3? What's there that you particularly liked? Any special melodies? Any vocal performance? Anything that stands out?" Not really. It's maybe closer to 2,5 stars, but not 3, so I have to go with 2.

If you are a Pavlov's Dog fan give it a try, otherwise you won't miss anything significant.

 The Pekin Tapes by PAVLOV'S DOG album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.96 | 17 ratings

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The Pekin Tapes
Pavlov's Dog Crossover Prog

Review by BigDaddyAEL1964

4 stars What a nice surprise, what a historical document for any Pavlov's Dog fan!

This is the early stuff that earned them their contract, and allowed them to re-record some of it along with new stuff in order to create the fantastic "Pampered Menial".

"Time", "Stomp Water Magic", "It's All For You", "Dreams, and "Clipper Ship" are all very interesting previously unreleased material, while by far the best moment of the album is "Preludin & Felacio In E Minor", which is the most prog thing they ever recorded. It's actually the "full" version of "Preludin" form "Pampered Menial", 6 minutes longer and full of prog greatness.

The album's sound is not perfect, as the Master Tapes were in a very bad condition and it took a great effort to restore them. Non the less, this doesn't make it less magical; I'd dare to say that it adds to the cult status these recordings bare, enhancing the impression that you enter a time-machine by listening to them.

4 stars, and a must for every Pavlov's Dog fan and/or prog explorer.

 End Of The World by PAVLOV'S DOG album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1995
4.00 | 5 ratings

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End Of The World
Pavlov's Dog Crossover Prog

Review by BigDaddyAEL1964

4 stars YES! The second best all-time release by Pavlov's Dog (second to the monumental "Pampered Menial" of course) is this wonderful EP!

Crossover Prog indeed, tight as hell, all the songs of very high quality. If this album was combined with the best songs from "At The Sound Of The Bell" to create an LP, we would have the second essential LP (apart from their debut) that Pavlov's Dog never released.

At first, I assumed that David Surkamp MUST have something to do with this, even though he is not singing; yet, I was wrong! Pavlov's Dog 2000 was a side-project by the then-ex PD percussionist Mike Safron, and judging by the results he was vital to the fantastic original sound of Pavlov's Dog. Thanks to the user ScarRitual for pointing this out to me

Somewhere between the sound of Kansas and their own original, I'd say that this is a 4 star record hands down.

Learn from this, fans: don't underestimate EPs, you may find gems like this among them!

 Lost In America by PAVLOV'S DOG album cover Studio Album, 1990
2.17 | 40 ratings

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Lost In America
Pavlov's Dog Crossover Prog

Review by BigDaddyAEL1964

2 stars The most prog thing about this album is the artwork. Dark, enigmatic, makes you wonder about the complexity of the music contained... But the music is mediocre pop/AOR, in by far the worst studio album Pavlov's Dog ever released.

It was 13 years since the recording of "Has Anyone Here Seen Sigfried?" and 15 since the release of "At the Sound of the Bell". The transformation from the spectacular Crossover Prog of "Pampered Menial" to a mainstream sound completes here, in a manner that reminds me of Genesis.

The self-titled song "Lost In America" has the sing-along feeling that makes it a memorable song, bit the rest of the album is pretty forgettable; especially when you hope to hear something special, after 15 long years of waiting for a new album.

2 stars, as it's indeed for collectors/fans only.

 Has Anyone Here Seen Sigfried? by PAVLOV'S DOG album cover Studio Album, 2007
2.78 | 51 ratings

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

Review by BigDaddyAEL1964

3 stars So, here we have the third album that they ever recorded, back in 1977.

This one sounds even more formal than "At The Sound Of The Bell" (ATSOTB), thus even less prog. Generally it sounds more comprehensive, but it doesn't have any stand-out songs like "Valkirie" or "Did You See Him Cry" from ATSOTB. It's an average album, one that has no weaknesses but no significant strengths too.

Even David Surkamp sounds more "normal" than he sounds in ATSOTB and FAR more "normal" than he sounds at the orgasmic "Pampered Menial", largely lacking special performances like the ones he did 3 years before.

The bonus tracks are interesting non the less, as they largely consist from live recordings, always welcome. Non the less, that 2007 acoustic studio performance of "Julia" doesn't sound that good...

 At The Sound Of The Bell by PAVLOV'S DOG album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.04 | 128 ratings

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At The Sound Of The Bell
Pavlov's Dog Crossover Prog

Review by BigDaddyAEL1964

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. The most prog songs are "Valkerie" and "Did You See Him Cry", which are also the best. DYSHC is probably the only song that stands at the same level with the ones from PM.

Since the album was released only one year after PM, I imagine that some of the material was already written before their debut, they chose the best of it for PM, and the left-overs along with some new stuff went to become ATSOTB. This is not something I know for sure, it's speculation of mine, regarding the sound, the style and the comprehension of the albums (PM is solid as rock, ATSOTB not that much).

3,5 stars maybe was the best, but definitely not 4, so 3.

 Pampered Menial by PAVLOV'S DOG album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.07 | 323 ratings

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Pampered Menial
Pavlov's Dog Crossover Prog

Review by BigDaddyAEL1964

5 stars A fantastic record, one that any true music fan should own, no matter what's his favorite genre.

The A Side of this one if probably one of the best in classic rock, with "Julia", "Late November", "Song Dance", "Fast Gun" and "Natchez Trace"; for the love of God, that's super-human! The B Side is not as flawless, but still spectacular: "Theme From Subway Sue", "Episode" "Preludin" and "Of Once And Future Kings", with the last two being a suite.

All in all, the album sounds like the "Best of" compilation of an incredibly talented band, yet it's only the debut of one of the most unique bands that walked this earth.

Totally 5 stars, and I use this rating only for a selected few.

 Pampered Menial by PAVLOV'S DOG album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.07 | 323 ratings

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Pampered Menial
Pavlov's Dog Crossover Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE & JR/F/Canterbury Teams

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.

 Echo & Boo by PAVLOV'S DOG album cover Studio Album, 2010
2.32 | 37 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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