At The Sound of the Bell

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Joe Viglione
Pavlov's Dog lead singer David Surkamp was everything that was wrong with the band's Columbia debut Pampered Menial. Tempered here by Blue Oyster Cult producers Murray Krugman and Sandy Pearlman, who also recorded the first disc, the sound is more appealing to the ear. The question is, where was it going? Too pop for progressive rock, and too progressive for Top 40, the music is driving and more focused the second time around. There are some heavy guests to add to the festivities, Roxy Music's sax player Andy Mackay along with drummer William Bruford and Arista sax player Michael Brecker, though the tracks they appear on are not designated. "Valkerie" has a great hook, of ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Joe Viglione
Pavlov's Dog lead singer David Surkamp was everything that was wrong with the band's Columbia debut Pampered Menial. Tempered here by Blue Oyster Cult producers Murray Krugman and Sandy Pearlman, who also recorded the first disc, the sound is more appealing to the ear. The question is, where was it going? Too pop for progressive rock, and too progressive for Top 40, the music is driving and more focused the second time around. There are some heavy guests to add to the festivities, Roxy Music's sax player Andy Mackay along with drummer William Bruford and Arista sax player Michael Brecker, though the tracks they appear on are not designated. "Valkerie" has a great hook, of "bring back the good old days," and the production here is cleaner than the first time around, but there is something very left field about this group, extremely non-commercial, even on a pretty ballad like "Standing Here With You Megan's Song." The music isn't as artsy as the Mothers of Invention, and certainly not as on target as Blue Oyster Cult, making one wonder if A&R man Mark Spector was just being courteous to producers Krugman and Pearlman? Mark Spector had produced Bob Segarini's 1975 effort with Dudes on Columbia, and went on to manage 38 Special, his pop leanings make this signing all the more mysterious. That being said, this outing is actually more pop oriented, or at least as poppy as this style and singer may want to be. "Try to Hang On" is light and listener friendly, one of the best tracks on the album; it is followed by "Gold Nuggets" which is almost a continuation of "Try to Hang On." "She Breaks Like Morning Sky" interrupts the flow a bit, driving a little harder, but the performance is still light years beyond the previous album. The producers have brought the music up in the mix, and the skillful playing of Pampered Meniel is brought a few notches up. "Early Morning On" is a superior track, musically, and though Surkamp is more subdued, it is still his voice which throws the monkey wrench into this affair. The cover concept with model Michael Mantel dressed as the Hunchback of Notre Dame and swinging upside down from bells is very cool, while the mascot from the previous album's cover, the 1849 artwork/engravings by Robert Vernon, appears again on the record sleeve/lyric sheet. At the risk of sounding cruel to the lead vocalist/writer/co-writer of all the songs, both albums would work better as instrumentals -- David Surkamp's voice a little too grating for the elegant and complex music inside these grooves. Adventurous and meaningful, The Sound of the Bell is a great concept and musical experience that falls short. Have to give them A for effort, though.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/16/1992
  • Label: Sony Australia
  • EAN: 5099703240528
  • Catalog Number: 032405
  • Sales rank: 44,228

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Pavlov's Dog Primary Artist
Bill Bruford Drums, Guest Appearance
Michael Brecker Saxophone, Guest Appearance
Dave Hamilton Keyboards
Elliott Randall Bass, Guitar
Michael Abene Organ
George Gench Organ
Andy Mackay Saxophone
Mountain Fjord Orchestra Strings
Tom Nickeson Guitar, Vocals, Vocal Harmony
Les Nicol Guitar, Guest Appearance
Paul Prestopino Mandolin, Guest Appearance
Doug Rayburn Bass, Flute, Percussion, Keyboards, Mellotron
Steve Scorfina Guitar
Richard Stockton Bass, Electric Bass
David Surkamp Acoustic Guitar, Guitar, Vocals
Gavyn Wright Violin, Guest Appearance
George Gerich Organ, Guest Appearance
High Wycombe Boys Choir Vocals
David Hamilton Keyboards
Mike Abene Organ, Guest Appearance
Elliot Randall Guitar, Guest Appearance
Technical Credits
Pavlov's Dog Composer
John Jansen Engineer
Murray Krugman Producer
Sandy Pearlman Producer
Ron Powell Management
David Surkamp Composer
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