Tuesday, 26 March 2013
Classic Albums: Dog of Two Head - Status Quo
Dog of Two Head - This 1971 album is my particular favorite from the band and is perhaps their most effective as a heavy blues band, the follow up, Piledriver may have been the big break through, but it is on Dog of Two Head that they deliver their most inventive and compelling set.
Opening track, Umleitung is a driving blues beat in which the waspish vocals entwine with the back-beat There's some great guitar work on this one from Rossi and Parfitt with Alan Lancaster (the composer of the song) holding it all together with a thumping bass line. The song goes on for seven and a half minutes and it doesn't seem a second too long. This is followed by a 51 second snippet of a song called Nanana, a ballad which crops up several times, though only once in its entirety. Then we have Something Going on in My Head, which is another number penned by Alan Lancaster, and employs a blues rock feel and is one of the most infectious tracks on the album. It's certainly got plenty of hooks. Ending the first side is Mean Girl which is a portentous of the hard rocking, heads down, boogie style Status Quo would come to make their own.
Gerd and Ulla. Then we have another blues rocker, this time using the chugga chugga rhythm the band were so skilled at producing - the track Railroad, uses a rock and roll cliche in its story of being stranded at a railroad after a lover has left - in rock and roll you're either waiting for a train to return your baby (Mystery Train) or pissed off because the train's taken her (One After 909). There's a wonderfully plaintive harmonica in the middle eight and the song rocks . This is followed by another Alan Lancaster penned tune, Someone'e Learning - the lyric examines the situation in Ireland during the period and the political troubles of the time. And then we have the full version of acoustic ballad, Nananna to complete the platter.
The current CD version contains five bonus tracks and among these are a great BBC session of Good Thinking and Railroad, as well an alternative mix of Mean Girl.
Dog of Two Head may not have made Quo superstars, it was their following album, Piledriver that did that, but to my mind Dog of Two Head is a much better album and is certainly more musically adventurous.