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Beggars Opera

Symphonic Prog

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Beggars Opera Get Your Dog Off Me ! album cover
2.50 | 75 ratings | 5 reviews | 5% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1973

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Get your Dog off Me! (3:40)
2. Freestyle Ladies (4:20)
3. Open Letter (4:32)
4. Morning Day (4:32)
5. Requiem (2:18)
6. Classical Gas (4:28)
7. Sweet Blossom Woman (4:08)
8. Turn your Money Green (4:08)
9. La-di-da (2:53)
10. Working Man (4:33)

Total Time: 39:52

Bonus Tracks on CD reissues:
11. Two Timing Woman (3:44)
12. Lady Of Hell Fire (3:43)

Line-up / Musicians

- Linnie Paterson / lead vocals
- Ricky Gardiner / electric & acoustic guitars, vocals
- Alan Park / organ, piano, harpsichord, Mellotron, Moog
- Gordon Sellar / bass, vocals
- Colin Fairley / drums, percussion, vocals

- Raymond Wilson / drums (1, 2, 4, 7, 8, 10)

Releases information

Artwork: Brian Adams, Pete Brown

LP Vertigo ‎- 6360 090 (1973, UK)

CD Living In The Past ‎- LITP 1973-005 (2001, Germany) With 2 bonus tracks (1973 single)
CD Repertoire Records ‎- REPUK 1001 (2003, UK) Remastered by Eroc with 2 bonus tracks

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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BEGGARS OPERA Get Your Dog Off Me ! ratings distribution

(75 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(5%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(16%)
Good, but non-essential (37%)
Collectors/fans only (31%)
Poor. Only for completionists (11%)

BEGGARS OPERA Get Your Dog Off Me ! reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars It's ruff!

Suddenly with this album, the innovation and experimentation which had made Beggars Opera such an original and appealing band, had evaporated.

All that was left was a collection of average pop rock songs, devoid of any great instrumental work. The contrast between the wonderful classically based improvisations of "Act one" and this album could not be more stark. Even the lush mellotron based symphonic prog of "Waters of change" and "Pathfinder" has been set aside with undue haste . This might have been a more acceptable route to take had the band had definite ideas about the direction they did wish follow. Unfortunately though, it is all too obvious that the inspiration which had brought them to this point had simply vanished.

The sole exception is the reworking of Mason Williams' "Classical Gas", which is an excellent interpretation of the 60's classic. This instrumental stands however as a single beacon in a wilderness of mediocrity.

The album as a whole is not worthy of bearing the same band name as that which made such magnificent previous albums.

Review by ZowieZiggy
2 stars I can't really understand what pushed the band in delivering such a weak release. So far, they were quite consistent and offered two good and one very good (their debut) album. Symphonic music with a good dose of heavier sounds was quite a fine mix.

This album is no such work. It is filled with easy listening music. Some might seem OK like the boogie Freestyle Ladies or the rock ballad Open Letter but other ones are of the poorest vein. But some other ones are on the minus side really: the straight forward pop music oriented Morning Day for instance. It holds passionless vocals, a simple structure but at least a fine guitar solo to close (there won't be many).

While the band is proposing the awful country style Sweet Blossom Woman, the trouble is pretty serious amongst earlier hour fans. It ends up in some jazzy jam. Press next of course.

The bluesy style is not forgotten either with Turn Your Money Green: it could have been a Procol Harum song; vocals are close to Brooker. But alas, the song writing is not on par.

It seems that Beggars Opera did exactly what Strawbs will do some years later with Nomadness and Deep Cuts: to produce a rock album for American audiences and radio-friendly music. It is not the type of music that I like.

There are actually only two song that deserve a mention: the instrumental and enjoyable Classical Gas and the heavy-rock closing track Working Man. Frenetic keyboards, strong beat, solid bass play and aggressive guitar. At least a song with a good texture!

Beggars Opera is even flirting with pure hard-rock on Lady Of Hell Fire (one of the CD bonus tracks) and it sounds superior to most songs from the original album. Two stars.

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Big changes arrived with Scottish band Beggars Opera's fourth album, the absurdly titled `Get Your Dog Off Me!' in 1973! Bass player and flautist Marshall Erskine had departed before the recording of the previous album `Pathfinder', but more crucially, distinctive and charismatic singer Martin Griffiths was gone this time around too, robbing the band of one of their most defining features. In came new vocalist Linnie Paterson, and now their music was mostly stripped of many of the more interesting prog-rock qualities for something definitely aimed at American audiences. It's not quite the total disaster it's often made out to be, but it will certainly be a disappointment for many of those who enjoyed their previous albums.

The opening title track is a fiery pop-rocker that holds some of the playful cheekiness of those breezier Caravan tracks like `Behind You', although Linnie's gutsy vocals are a world away from Martin Griffith's pomp and it really alters the identity of the group, despite the playing from many of the same musicians clearly still being up to scratch. `Freestyle Ladies' is book- ended as a fairly throwaway piano-pounding retro rock n'roller, but it delivers an ambitious chorus and a rip-roaring brief Hammond solo burst in the middle, while `Open Letter' is an angry tirade against critics and reviewers (uh oh!) that boasts a proud and defiant lead vocal, shambling guitars and thick murmuring bass. `Morning Day' is buoyant country-lite pop, but at least teasing instrumental `Requiem' offers searing electric guitars that have just a little taste of early Seventies Pink Floyd to them, although it sounds underdeveloped and like a fragment of something larger cut down to the scant two minute interlude here.

The second side's opener delivers an unexpected highlight with `Classical Gas', but rather than a tired acoustic remake, the band deliver a pimped-out, progged-up version! Throwing in everything from ravishing piano, sparkling harpsichord, spiralling Moog, frantic drumming, red-hot guitar wailing and searing Mellotron veils, it would have been a complete standout on any of the earlier defining Beggars Opera albums. `Sweet Blossom Woman' is an easy-to-enjoy but throwaway country-flecked rocker (lifted by some breakneck Moog and electric piano soloing in the finale), and confident rocker `Turn your Money Green' slides into ballad-like moments of dreamy chiming guitars and ruminative bass. `La-di-da' is a romantic sing-along with a Joe Cocker-like quality with the warmest of humming Hammond organ, and `Working Man' is a final husky R n'B bluesy rocker that may not be a particularly memorable closer, but it at least allows for nice soloing moments from the players.

Recent CD reissues include two bonus tracks of both sides of an exclusive 1973 single - `Two Timing Woman' is a roaring horn- powered grooving scorcher, and `Lady of Hell-Fire' opens as a baffling screeching AC/DC-ish belter before carrying on as an Atomic Rooster-like heavy metal rocker! These two pieces would have probably jarred with the sound of the proper album, but they might actually be stronger than several of the tracks on it!

Despite the arrangements mostly becoming less intricate and the singing being entirely different to what came before, careful listening to the instrumentation means `Get Your Dog Off Me!' is still recognisable as coming from the musicians who delivered those first three classic Beggars Opera discs. Prog purists will want to stick to those first few, but repeated listens of `Dog' at least reveals an undemanding and enjoyable rock album with very strong melodic qualities and great playing, which is more than enough to gently recommend it.

Two stars as a prog album, but three for a perfectly decent rock album.

Latest members reviews

1 stars Having been an avid Beggar Opera fan since day one, this was an album I avoided when it first came out in the 70s based upon negative word of mouth reports. But having recently heard the instrumental 'Classical Gas' for the first time and fallen in love with it, I decided I needed to get this al ... (read more)

Report this review (#156600) | Posted by jonsilence | Tuesday, December 25, 2007 | Review Permanlink

3 stars This is not as good as their 2 first the 3rd the band begin to search a new direction in a more rock way with the band is moving again in folk rock the style of early 70s Poco & Eagles high days... There s nothing wrong in this... If you dont like album as Despe ... (read more)

Report this review (#100348) | Posted by TheRedPlanet | Saturday, November 25, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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