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Pavlov's Dog: Live And Unleashed

The road that Pavlov's Dog has taken over their 36 year career has indeed been a long and winding one. Releasing their debut album Pampered Menial after have accepted what is rumoured to have been the largest signing on fee ever offered at the time, the band almost immediately moved label and actually had that debut out in 1975 with two different covers (one from each label) at the same time. By the time that second album At The Sound Of The Bell was put out a year later, half the band had departed, with session musicians completing much of the recording. That however was plain sailing compared to album number three, aptly titled Third (although it is also known as Has Anyone Here Seen Sigried?, after the band's original violin player who had left the band by this stage), which was actually released by members of the band as a bootleg in 1977, as they were desperate to recoup some money from the band. Amazingly thirteen years would pass before a another Pavlov's Dog album Lost In America would see the light of day, with mainstays David Surkamp and Doug Rayburn leading another completely altered line up and with that it seems that the Pavlov's Dog story was finished.

Then in 2006 Surkamp released a solo album Dancing On The Edge Of A Teacup, which led him to start to play regular shows again under the Pavlov's Dog banner. One thing it would appear has slowly led to another with the band's fifth album, the wonderful Echo & Boo being released last year. Hot on the heels of that excellent album which mixes together rock, prog, folk and traditional American themes comes the first Pavolv's Dog live album, Live And Unleashed. Surkamp is still leading the band, but a welcome addition to the line up is drummer Mike Saffron, who was instrumental in forming the group all those years ago.

Considering that the songs on this album range from being 36 years old, to less than a year in age, the set list, which covers every Pavlov's release, as well as Surkamp's solo album and the HIFI effort which he worked on with Ian Matthews gels remarkably well. The long standing duo have surrounded themselves with a wonderful group of musicians who bring fresh life to the older songs like "Standing Here With You (Megan's Song)", "Gold Nuggets", "Of Once And Future Kings" and "Late Novemeber" which are culled from the band's first two albums, but also manage to bring the same vibrancy and vitality to the brand new songs. Of those recent tracks, the pairing of "Angeline" and "Angel's Twilight Jump" which close the show illustrate perfectly just what a rich vein of form the band are currently in.

Surkamp's voice is still a required taste (he was rumoured to have died many years ago due to inhaling helium to attain his trademark high pitched warble), however if ever a singer was made to fit a band, then it is Surkamp and Pavlov's Dog. Live And Unleashed is a must buy for long time Dog fans and a wonderful introduction to the unique violin infused folk/prog/rock that Pavlov's Dog have long been famous for.

Track Listing
1. Preludin
2. Of Once And Future Kings
3. Breaking Ice
4. I Don't Need Magic Anymore
5. Heat Of Mine
6. Late November
7. Not By My Side
8. Theme From Subway Sue
9. Episode
10. I Love You Still
11. Gold Nuggets
12. Looking For My Shadow
13. Wrong
14. Standing Here With You (Megan's Song)
15. Angeline
16. Angel's Twilight Jump

Added: February 22nd 2011
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Pavlov's Dog
Hits: 2803
Language: english

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