Sunday, September 02, 2007

Three Dog Night

Suitable For Framing


by Jim Newsom
Suitable For Framing followed Three Dog Night's debut disc by only a few months, sharing the charts with its predecessor for a while. This second release contained two Top Ten chartmakers: "Easy to Be Hard," and from the rock musical Hair, and "Eli's Coming," written by quirky songwriter Laura Nyro (who also wrote "And When I Die," a hit for Blood, Sweat and Tears the same year). It also introduced the songwriting team of Elton John and Bernie Taupin to American audiences with a version of "Lady Samantha," from Elton's British-only first album release, that was also a hit single for Three Dog Night. Another popular song from this album was the classic "Celebrate," with its blaring horn lines and easily sung, "Celebrate, celebrate, dance to the music" chorus and coda. Suitable For Framing also included a soulful take on Sam Cooke's "A Change is Gonna Come," and provided the first popular cover version of Dave Mason's soon-to-be-oft-recorded "Feeling Alright." Although the hit singles were plentiful, the album only reached number 16, showing the gap between the singles-buying audience and those that purchased albums. Nonetheless, Suitable For Framing confirmed the group's musical strength with the AM radio audience while appealing to more "hip" listeners as well.