Three Dog Night
Back when the world was still recovering from the Age of Aquarius and preparing for the Dawn of Disco, certain social activities called for specific, inescapable soundtracks. For keg parties, it was Black Sabbath and Bad Company. School dances required a solo-heavy round of “Aqualung” and, if it was a senior soiree, “Freebird.” The skating rink and bowling alley ran Dark Side of the Moon on autoplay, and pretty much every make-out party happened to the sounds of Three Dog Night. “Pieces of April,” “Old Fashioned Love Song,” “Shambala,” these were the “Boleros” of the polyester generation, and it’s impressive how well most of the band’s music still holds up, even without the bellbottoms and Farrah hair. Not that they could go too wrong, with songwriting contributors like Hoyt Axton and Paul Williams. Just over a half century since their debut, only Danny Hutton remains from the founding trio of Dogs, though longtime guitarist Michael Allsup has been in the pack off and on since 1968.
The touring ensemble hitting the Belly Up on November 8 is augmented by several classic rock notables, including Frankie Valli & the Four Season keyboardist Howard Laravea and singer David Morgan of the Association. In addition, Paul Kingery has covered multiple positions in the group at various times since 1985, including guitar, bass, and vocals. They’ve been known to go decades at a time without recording new music, though they occasionally do one-offs like orchestral albums, but it’s unlikely anybody is buying tickets to hear their contribution to a Robotech cartoon soundtrack or deep cuts from their ill-advised 1983 ska album It’s a Jungle. There’s not enough room here to list all the hit Three Dog Night songs you can probably sing along with, even without the bellbottoms and Farrah hair to prompt your fading, but oh-so-fond, make-out memories.