Pavlov’s Dog – Pampered Menial (1974)

Artist Credit
Mike Abebe Organ
Siegfried Carver Composer, Viola, Violin
Tim Geelan Engineer
Dave Hamilton Keyboards
David Hamilton Keyboards
Murray Krugman Producer
Pavlov’s Dog Composer, Primary Artist
Sandy Pearlman Producer
Doug Rayburn Bass, Flute, Keyboards, Mellotron
Mike Safron Composer, Drums, Percussion
Lou Schlossberg Engineer
Steve Scorfina Composer, Guitar
Ed Sprigg Mixing
Richard Stockton Bass, Guitar (Bass)
David Surkamp Composer, Guitar, Vocals

Pampered Menial was the first album from Pavlov’s Dog, a band produced by Murray Krugman and Sandy Pearlman, the duo behind Blue Oyster Cult. The seven men in this group are revealed in the gatefold holding “Horace,” a dog, while three engravings from 1849 by artist Robert Vernon make up the front, back, and inside cover. Those paintings are striking, and though the music — mostly written by vocalist David Surkamp — tries hard, it just isn’t as captivating as the package that surrounds it. With song titles like “Theme from Subway Sue” and “Of Once and Future Kings,” the identity that Blue Oyster Cult maintained was missing here. The band itself isn’t half bad. “Episode”‘s Mellotron, courtesy of Doug Rayburn, and Siegfried Carver’s violin provide more than adequate sounds. Carver’s sole composition, “Preludin,” comes off as one of the best tracks, perhaps because it is an instrumental version of progressive rock that Triumvirat and early Journey were exploring. Lead guitarist Steve Scorfina co-writes a beautiful piece with vocalist Surkamp in “Late November, while drummer Michael Safron’s “Song Dance” is another highly creative number. Pavlov’s Dog provide elegant rock, with majestic drums by Safron, additional keyboards by David Hamilton augmenting Rayburn’s Mellotron and flute, and solid ’70s production from Krugman and Pearlman.

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