Exposé Online banner

Pavlov's Dog — The Pekin Tapes
(Rockville Music (no cat #), 1973/2014, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2015-03-05

The Pekin Tapes Cover art

In 1973, nearly two years before the release of their major label debut Pampered Menial, Pavlov’s Dog from St. Louis, by that time already grown from their beginnings as a quartet of guitar, bass, drums, and violin, to a seven-piece with a full-time Mellotron player, keyboardist, and second guitarist. In October of that year they went into Golden Voice Studios in Pekin, Illinois, to record what they hoped would be their self-produced debut. With no producer or record label to answer to, this is pretty much what the band sounded like on their own terms, before producers got hold of them and toned them down a bit. Of the ten cuts the band recorded here, about half of them would go on to be re-recorded for their major label debut, while the other half – and some of their more progressive tunes like “Time,” “Dreams,” and “Clipper Ship”, would remain unreleased until now. The band’s instantly recognizable sound, even at this early stage, was dominated by the vocals of guitarist and lead singer David Surkamp, a high voice with seemingly excessive vibrato that one either loves or hates, or eventually gets used to. But at this early stage, there were others in the band singing lead on some of the songs, for example guitarist Steve Scorfina’s vocal on the beautiful “It’s All for You,” a song that would eventually find its way to the band’s unreleased third album in 1977 (finally released as Has Anyone Here Seen Sigfried in 1994), as well as some sung by keyboardist David Hamilton. In addition, there are four bonus songs included from the band’s earliest demo in March ’73, including a great early version of “Natchez Trace.” While it’s hard to argue that the production by the time of Pampered Menial in 1975 was much improved, this view into the band’s early repertoire is definitely worthy of a hearing.


Filed under: Archives, 2014 releases, 1973 recordings

Related artist(s): Pavlov's Dog

Latest news

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the ago of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more

2020-07-12
Judy Dyble RIP – Singer-songwriter Judy Dyble, who was a founding member of Fairport Convention and one of the distinctive voices of the 60s folk revival in Britain, has died at the age of 71. Her passing came at the end of a long illness, though which she continued to work. » Read more

2020-07-06
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more

2020-06-14
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more

2020-05-15
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Spaced Out - Live in 2000 – Anyone familiar with this hotshot Canadian fusion quartet (and shouldn’t all Exposé readers be?) knows that they are above all a musicians’ band – one of those outfits that...  (2006) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues