Thursday, May 30, 2013

"Harmony" by Three Dog Night (1971)

Songs you might know from this LP:
Never Been to Spain, An Old Fashioned Love Song, The Family of Man

My Overall Rating of the Tracks Separately:
Above Average (2.5/4 stars)

When I was in college, I went with my parents to a Three Dog Night concert near the small town where I grew up.  My mother had called the box office the minute it opened and scored us front row seats.  As we waited for the show to begin, we began speculating about which song they might open with.  When everything settled down and this particular incarnation of the group finally started playing, turns out it was The Family of Man.  None of us had guessed it, but we all still bopped in our seats and sang along to Sly-Stone-lite for the next four minutes.  That moment represented the culmination of my being educated in the band; the first lesson had started many years earlier.

Three Dog Night was safely funky, so my dad dug 'em.  They could also be pretty bubble-gummy pop, so my mom was on board too.  And if both of my parents were spinning (different) 45s by these guys, they got ingrained really quickly in my psyche.  I learned the tunes everybody knows before I can even remember, but I was also schooled in less AM-friendly cuts.

This usually occurred when my dad would reference some song of theirs and I would frankly admit that I had never heard it.  "You HAVE to have heard that song.  You've heard it, you just don't remember it."  Then I would be treated to a few a capella bars that were as heartfelt as they were tone deaf.  After each one, I was doubly certain that I had absolutely never heard that song before.  And let me tell you, tunes like Eli's Coming and Pieces of April have zero chance of ever living up to that kind of hype once you actually hear the original recordings.

When we migrated to CDs in the late eighties, a Three Dog Night's greatest hits was among the first purchases my dad made.  It stayed in the prestigious "six" slot on the CD changer until... actually, I think it's still in there.

So, is it an album?  No, but it sure kicks the nostalgia filter into high gear.

Up next, if I gotta have Faith, it might as well be George Michael's...

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