During their 8-year run,Three Dog Night were one of the biggest selling bands of the early 70’s, arguably their best albums came from the late 60’s including this one.
Written by: Eric
ARTIST: Three Dog Night
ALBUM: Suitable For Framing
SERIAL: DS 50058
CD REISSUE: 2009, BGO Records, BGOCD865 (2 on 1 with Three Dog Night)
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
LINEUP: Danny Hutton, Chuck Negron, Cory Wells – vocals * Jimmy Greenspoon – keyboards * Michael Allsup – guitars * Joe Schermie – bass * Floyd Sneed – drums, percussion
Additional Musicians: James Pankow – trombone * Lee Loughnane – trumpet * Walter Parazaider – saxophone
TRACK LISTING: 01 Feelin’ Alright * 02 Lady Samantha * 03 Dreaming Isn’t Good For You * 04 A Change Is Gonna Come * 05 Eli’s Coming * 06 Easy To Be Hard * 07 Ain’t That A Lot Of Love * 08 King Solomon’s Mine * 09 Circle Of A Landing * 10 Celebrate
WEBLINKS: Site Link
Three Dog Night Background
Three Dog Night were originally under the tutelage of The Beach Boys Brian Wilson as Redwood, They then became one of the biggest selling bands of the early 70’s.
With 13 gold albums and an amazing 21 top 40 singles, the group set the groundwork for the AOR movement to come. But by 1976 Three Dog Night had run its course.
Vocalist Chuck Negron’s eye-opening 1999 autobiography ‘Three Dog Nightmare’ painted a less than complimentary picture of the band. Though a big influence on this reviewer, I’m hardly a fan boy. Especially when it came to pop tripe like ‘Joy To The World’ and the unbearable ‘Mama Told Me Not To Come’.
‘Suitable For Framing’ was the band’s second album and I think it’s their best. This album comes off their superb 1968 debut. It featured the massive selling Harry Nilsson penned single ‘One’. Following on, this record features three top 10 singles.
The achingly gorgeous ‘Easy to Be Hard’, gritty ‘Eli’s Coming’ and perennial crowd pleaser ‘Celebrate’ continue to be pop staples. The latter featured Chicago‘s brass section. All three tracks are over 40 years old.
Suitable For Framing’ is mostly an album comprised of material from outside writers. This might lead some to believe the band were less than authentic. I find Three Dog Night’s arrangements wonderfully creative. I’d rather have an album of good cover versions than a stack filled with crappy originals.
It’s a solid album from start to finish although there are a couple stand-outs beyond the singles. This includes their cover of Traffic‘s ‘Feelin’ Alright’ which gives Joe Cocker‘s popular version a serious run for his money.
But the creme d la creme is ‘Lady Samantha’. Originally released the same year by Elton John as his second single, Three Dog Night’s take on the song is altogether different. It’s a baroque beauty with a dark and deliciously moody edge.
Paired with the debut on BGO, ‘Suitable For Framing’ is a CD worth owning as is any ‘best of’ package. Not forgetting the two pop albums ‘Ahead Of The Storm’ and Touch Me’ from Cory Wells, both released in 1978.
Three Dog Night reunited for an out of character Ska influenced 1981 EP ‘It’s A Jungle’ but their better days were over and the oldies circuit was just around the corner.