Rediscovered after 41 years
The forgotten 1st Pavlov's Dog album from 1973
Barely anybody knows that by the time Pavlov's Dog's iconic debut album “Pampered Menial“ was released in 1975, the band had already recorded a full album nearly two years earlier. The untitled album, therefor just called the “Pekin Tapes“, was recorded in just three days in October 1973 at Golden Voice Stodio in Pekin/IL and was originally designated to become the band's debut album. But destiny had a different plan.
When ABC Records listened to the “Pekin Tapes“, they signed the band for no less than $650.000 and made Pavlov's Dog the highest signed newcomer artist ever since. But instead of releasing the “Pekin Tapes“, ABC sent the band back to the studio. The production team Pearlman/Krugman handled the production of “Pampered Menial“: Released in 1975, it became the band's much cherished official debut album, voted by Mojo among the most important Progressive Rock albums of all times.
The “Pekin Tapes“ comprised 10 songs of 53 minutes duration. The production was handled by the band themselfes. Listening to the “Pekin Tapes“, one gets an impression of the early Pavlov's Dog's origin, with no external producers to answer to and no label or management limiting the freedom of their musical creativity.
For Pavlov's Dog the historical significance of the “Pekin Tapes” is crucial in multiple respects: 1) it enabled them to sign the historical record deal, 2) it's the rough diamond the iconic “Pampered Menial“ was created from, and 3) it's the key moment when times changed and a young, hungry, carefree band became the record industrie's cue ball. Bass player Rick Stockton: “That recording exhibited the pure energy that the band produced and was famous for before the record executives got a hold of us and toned it down some. In my opinion, the “Pekin Tapes“ were awesome.”
In retrospect, the contrast to “Pampered Menial” is endlessly facinating: The “Pekin Tapes” include the original versions of five tracks later included on “Pampered Menial” in much different, re-recorded versions. The other five songs were not respected for “Pampered Menial” (incl. two tracks sung by D. Surkamp, two sung by D. Hamilton and one by S. Scorfina). The 8-minute masterpiece “Preludin & Fellacio in E minor“ was shortened to just a 1.5 minute intro “Preludin” on “Pampered Menial”.
The “Pekin Tapes“ were never used. Their track is lost as Golden Voice Studio burned down in 1977, taking with it the masters of the “Pekin Tapes“. Since then they were believed lost forever and finally forgotten. No bootleg version ever found its way to the day of light. Unexpectedly, in 2014 a copy of the “Pekin Tapes“ was discovered in a private inheritance. After going to extensive lengths to restore the tape as close as possible to its initial beauty, the “Pekin Tapes“ will be officially released by Rockville Music / Soulfood on November 28th 2014, with a delay of some 41 years after its recording.
Additionally, the release includes four bonus tracks of early demo recordings from March 1973. These are the earliest Pavlov's Dog signs of life ever discovered.
Tracklist (tracks 1-10: The Pekin Tapes)
01 Subway Sue
02 Natchez Trace
04 Stomp Water Magic
05 It’s All For You
06 Song Dance
08 Clipper Ship
09 Fast Gun
10 Preludin & Fellacio in E minor
(tracks 11-14: Early demo versions, rec. 3/1973)
11 Brand New Day
02 Natchez Trace
03 Fast Gun
04 I Wish It Would Rain
Format: 4 page digipak cardboard sleeve, 8 page booklet
Duration: 70 minutes total; 53 minutes The Pekin Tapes; 17 minutes bonus tracks
Price: 15,99 EUR