according to legend, danny hutton is the person who is most responsible for the formation of 3 dog night. he had just had a hit song that was big in california, but didn't go far beyond that area. still, he had cash and a name locally. he was a regular performer at the whiskey-a-go-go and was party buddies with 2 other regular singers at the whiskey: chuck negron and cory wells. danny was doing coke with chuck at a party when he told chuck he needed a few back-up singers for a project he was planning and had already recruited cory. chuck said he'd only met cory in passing but liked his singing at the whiskey-a-go-go....and chuck also said "sure, why not....as long as you got coke, danny, i'll be there." danny also invited a neighbor and party buddy, keyboardist jimmy greenspoon. at first taping, they discovered the 3 singers sounded so good and strong together, they decided to start a band that would feature all 3 dynamic voices. thus, these 4 men went on a journey that would become 3 dog night......a group that would release 8 smash top-10 albums including over 20 top-40 hit songs between 1968 - 1974. after that, the music biz and numerous drug problems brought the group to a fiery nasty end after a few more poor albums that went nowhere (and didn't deserve to go anywhere).
but these are their first 2 albums.....the beginning of the dream! 3dn were finding themselves, defining themselves and taking the world by storm! the first album opens with their huge hit 'one' and goes on with a strong, rocking album that is pure 1968! at the time, the hot sounds were jimi, janis, the doors, the jefferson airplane, the guess who, etc......and 3dn's first album fit right in! although not as ground-breaking as jimi or the doors, their style of rock featuring 3 great singers brandished them well-deserved attention! there was great song selection on this album, spanning from mellow ballads to a few pop tunes and a lot of good, hard-hitting rock & roll! the band is well featured with guitar solos by michael allsup and jimmy on keyboards and you are left with the perfect, groovy 1968 experience!
the second album 'suitable for framing' was released in the spring of 1969. it had a continuity with the first album, good song selection, and a strange, unexplained eerie mood that followed thru the whole album. i don't know how they did it or even if it was intentional.....but it is there......and it's a good thing. it gives the album purpose! when they chose to open this second album with their version of the relatively unknown dave mason tune 'feeling alright', they had no way of knowing that just a few months later, joe cocker would coincidentally choose to perform his own version of this tune at a concert in Woodstock, NY. consequently, this would lead joe to tear up the pop charts with this song. it was the first time fate would deal 3dn an unfair hand. still 3dn's version of the song is fresh, original and deserves to be heard. the rest of the album is a strong mix of pop, soul and heavy rock sounds. the short instrumental on side 2 of the album featuring drummer floyd sneed, 'king solomon's mines' is a fascinating addition to the album that gives the record as a whole a stronger individual personality. it was a brave and very worthwhile choice by the band. and although there is overall good song choices on this album, there are not as many guitar or keyboard solos on this album as there are on the first......as evidenced by the 3 big hits that came from this disc: 'eli's coming', 'easy to be hard' and 'celebrate', and although this downside was remedied on future albums......and though i wish they had remedied this problem on this album.......this is still a worthy album that i loved at the time.........and i love owning this album again now! it should also be noted that twice while going to the studio to record this album, 3dn accidentally ran into members of a new band named 'Chicago transit authority' (this group would soon shorten their name to 'Chicago'). 3 members of Chicago's horn section agreed to join 3dn for an impromptu jam. the result was an unrehearsed, spur-of-the-moment appearance of background horn jams during the songs 'feeling alright' and 'celebrate'. Chicago members got very little mention on the album and no payment for their contributions...but many musicians didn't mind volunteering to help friends on albums in those days. unfortunately, the friendship between 3dn and Chicago didn't last long when it was discovered that 3dn singer chuck Negron was sleeping with the wife of Chicago guitarist, terry kath. oh well. it's all part of the madcap world of sex, drugs and rock & roll! (a few years later, chuck married the ex-wife of the doors' drummer john densmore.) again, there is that certain mood that is maintained thoughout the album 'suitable for framing'.....and when coupled with the first album on one cd, this is a 5-star musical experience that is a pure delight! as a long-time 3dn fan and a fan of the late '60s music scene, i am very happy i have this disc with these 2 far out, groovy albums........and i think if you remember those days, you'll agree that these albums are out of sight, baby!!! long live 3dn!!