11 December 2013

Barking & Houndsditch Choral Society - Queen of the Alley Dogs/ Dog Rock

Label: Track
Year of Release: 1973

God knows what it is, but the novelty of records consisting of singing dogs never quite wore thin for the music industry.  First there was the infamous Singing Dog novelty hit of 1957, then in the eighties Simon Cowell had a crack with Wonderdog, and between the two was this ridiculous effort on the otherwise highly credible and rockist Track Records label.

Given that Pete Townshend wrote a single called "Dogs" with The Who and apparently toyed with the idea of fleshing out the story of a London dog racing track across a concept album, it would be tempting to try and pretend this was some kind of lost Who off-cut.  With Terence Stamp in the credits here and his brother Chris Stamp responsible for managing The Who, the plot thickens further.  All this  evaporates when you check the rest of the credits and actually hear the damn thing, though - producer Ian Green has previously bothered "Left and to the Back" with the tragic Microbe single "Groovy Baby" and has no connections with the band, mainly working across the pop world.  The rest of the credits are equally unpromising.

From this we can only deduce that Track Records, for reasons known only to themselves, thought it might be a wheeze to hurl this novelty single out into an indifferent world.  As singles of its kind go, it's decently executed.  Technology had certainly moved on significantly since The Singing Dogs, and these canines really sound like they're going for it.  For real, dudes.  Do you need to hear it more than once, though?  No.  And nor am I going to waste an evening dissecting its contents, as that's a bridge too far even for me.  

The B-side, however, could be called an instrumental groover if you're feeling particularly optimistic or happen to be in the mood for getting everyone's hopes up on ebay.  Whatever, woof woof woof.  For now, I'll just file this single under "peculiar music industry anomalies".

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