Sunday, August 7, 2016

Dog Days: Atlanta Rhythm Section

We are in the midst of the dog days of summer, and to celebrate (or at least) realize this time of year, our Second Week Special reminds us of this part of the season. The term “dog days” has nothing to do with Fido, Rover, or Lassie – the name came from the time of year when the constellation Canis Major begins to rise in the night sky with Sirius, the Dog Star, becoming visible. Sirius is the brightest star in the sky (sans the sun) and the ancients attributed all kinds of issues with the Dog Star.

For our first song, we feature Atlanta Rhythm Section’s song “Dog Days.” When I began thinking of this topic about three weeks ago, this was the first song to come to mind. The title cut from ARS’ 1975 album of the same name, the single was not released until 1977. Being the album’s only single, it is beyond me why Polydor waited two years to issue it as a single or even at all. In fact, two singles from the next album “Red Tape” were released prior to “Dog Days.”

Atlanta Rhythm Section states that the song “Dog Days” was “[a] classic. Dean Daughtry's keyboard leads [Ronnie] Hammond's vocals through a melody that rises and falls, with lyrics that capture images of life in the South during the heat of summer. At the end of the second chorus, the song suddenly and dramatically changes tempo, and guitarist Barry Bailey takes over, leading the band into a driving musical interlude before returning to a closing keyboard coda.” I couldn’t have said it better.

Written by producer Buddy Buie, drummer Robert Nix, and keyboardist Dean Daugherty, “Dog Days” wasn’t a Top 40 hit. It peaked at #64. The band considers the album “Dog Days,” their fourth, as their “first masterpiece and an album that still stands with their best.” The album was my first from ARS – a band that evolved from the Classics IV and Mylon LeFevre’s Holy Smoke.

No comments:

Post a Comment