Blind Dog at St. Dunstans

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Blind Dog at St. Dunstans
Studio album by Caravan
Released 23 April 1976
Genre Progressive rock, Canterbury Scene
Length 46:20
Label BTM (UK)
Arista (US)
Producer David Hitchcock
Caravan chronology
Cunning Stunts
(1975)
Blind Dog at St. Dunstans
(1976)
Better by Far
(1977)

Blind Dog at St. Dunstans is the 7th studio album by Canterbury Scene rock band Caravan. It was released in 1976.

This album has a lighter feel than Caravan's previous releases, shifting toward shorter "poppier" songs. This is in part because Pye Hastings became the major force on the album, writing and singing on 8 out of 9 songs and also because Jan Schelhaas replaced Dave Sinclair on keyboards, moving away from lengthy organ-based instrumentals toward piano and synthesizer.

Album cover and title[edit]

The cover art and title bring together several elements relating to Canterbury.

St Dunstan was Archbishop of Canterbury and patron saint of the blind, after whom a home for the blind was named. The title comes from a Noël Coward explanation to a child for why one dog had mounted another: one dog was blind and the other was pushing him to St. Dunstan's. At the end of the song Jack and Jill can be heard two speaking voices amongst dogs barking:

First voice: "What are those two doggies doing over there?" Second voice "Well, the doggie in front is blind and his friend behind is pushing him all the way to St Dunstan's"

The album cover shows St. Dunstan’s Street leading to the old West Gate in Canterbury. Members of Caravan used to frequent the pubs near the St Dunstan area. The cover notes gives special thanks to Noël Coward.

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 1.5/5 stars[1]

Allmusic described it as "'A major turn for the worse'" and said the album was detrimental to Caravan's career.[1]

Track listing[edit]

All songs composed by Pye Hastings, except where noted.

Side one
No. Title Length
1. "Here Am I"   6:19
2. "Chiefs and Indians" (Mike Wedgwood) 5:13
3. "A Very Smelly, Grubby Little Oik"   4:15
4. "Bobbing Wide"   1:13
5. "Come on Back"   4:50
6. "Oik (reprise)"   2:26
Side two
No. Title Length
1. "Jack and Jill"   6:26
2. "Can You Hear Me?"   6:17
3. "All the Way (with John Wayne's single-handed liberation of Paris)"   9:03

Personnel[edit]

Additional personnel
  • Jimmy Hastings – flute, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, clarinet
  • David Hitchcock – producer
  • Chanter Sisters – backing vocalist, backing vocals
Credits
  • Lead vocals on all songs by Pye Hastings, except track 2, by Mike Wedgwood.
  • Here Am I – lead guitar – P Hastings
  • Chiefs and Indians – lead guitar – Richardson
  • Bobbing Wide – flutes – Richardson
  • Come on Back – lead guitar & flute – Richardson; tenor sax and clarinet – J Hastings
  • Oik (reprise) – lead guitar & flute – Richardson; tenor sax and clarinet – J Hastings
  • Jack and Jill – lead guitar – P Hastings
  • All the Way (with John Wayne's single-handed liberation of Paris) – flute, alto sax – J Hastings

Live recordings[edit]

Surprise Supplies (later renamed Here Am I) is a live album featuring all the Blind Dog at St. Dunstans songs, except for Jack and Jill, recorded at a concert of 4 May 1976.

The next day, 5 May, Caravan played on the John Peel show for BBC radio, recordings of this show appear on the 1998 release Ether Way: BBC Sessions, 1975–1977, these are : All The Way, A Very Smelly Grubby Little Oik / Bobbing Wide / Come On Back / Grubby Oik Reprise.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Foss, Richard (2011). "Blind Dog at St. Dunstan's – Caravan | AllMusic". allmusic.com. Retrieved 23 June 2011. 

External links[edit]

"Calyx, the Canterbury website". Retrieved 15 July 2007. 

Eric, Grey. "Where But For Caravan Would I? No. 6" (PDF). Archived from the original on 17 August 2007. Retrieved 15 July 2007. 

Eric, Grey. "Where But For Caravan Would I? No. 16" (PDF). Archived from the original on 17 August 2007. Retrieved 15 July 2007. 

Sleeve notes: CD, Blind Dog at St Dunstans'