Dog of Two Head is the fourth studio album by the English rock band Status Quo released by Pye Records. At the time of recording, the band consisted of Francis Rossi (credited on the sleeve as Mike Rossi), Rick Parfitt (credited as Ritchie Parfitt), Alan Lancaster and John Coghlan (credited as John Coughlan).
March 1971 saw the new four-man lineup of the band release another non-album single: a Rossi/Young song called “Tune to the Music”. The single was not a hit. The band then set to work writing and recording a new album. A couple of the songs, such as the opening track “Umleitung” (German for ‘diversion’) had been written as far back as 1970.
In November 1971 the album was released.
A single from the album, Rossi and Young’s “Mean Girl”, was to become a UK #20 hit some time later, in April 1973, after they had their third top ten British hit single with “Paper Plane”, from their next album Piledriver.
When “Mean Girl” charted, the record company decided to release another single from the album: a rerecording of “Gerdundula”, the B-side to their 1970 single “In My Chair”. This was released in July 1973, and failed to chart. The B-side to this single was Rossi and Parfitt’s “Lakky Lady”, taken from the band’s previous album Ma Kelly’s Greasy Spoon. (by wikipedia)
The change was going on. In 1971, while Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, and Black Sabbath were competing to be considered the genuine pioneers of the hard rock genre, Status Quo was involved in an inner struggle to find themselves and their own sound. Nobody would have said then that a few years later, Francis Rossi, Rick Parfitt, Alan Lancaster, and John Coghlan would be fighting in the peak of European charts with the groups before mentioned. Dog of Two Head was going to be their first step, a very powerful one, in being considered a serious and significant rock band and not another easy-come, easy-go psychedelic group. This was their first record where the basic wall of sound formed by mighty guitar-bass-drums won the game to the more flavored sound of their beginnings. The band forsook psychedelic experimentation and delved into more blues-oriented rock rhythms.
The record contained the revision of the Arabesque “Gerdundula,” one of their most intriguing tunes and a favorite in the concerts of years to come. They began to show that year their love for boogie rock in the long and powerful “Umleitung” and in “Someone’s Learning,” which proved to be one of the rare occasions the band touched on political issues (Irish terrorist quarrels, in this case). The album also contains the intimate ballad “Na Na Na,” a two-minute résumé of the composition techniques and humble philosophy of Status Quo (“Writing words that I feel I should change/It’s all right if they sound just like other songs/Making sounds that can go on and on/It’s all right if you stay right on to the end”). Finally, Dog of Two Head includes one of the most brilliant compositions of the band, the stunning “Railroad.” Maybe the record is not as representative of Status Quo’s sound as Hello! or On the Level, but it keeps being one of the band’s more unusual and inspired achievements. They were going to find their characteristic sound in their posterior effort, Piledriver, but never again were they going to sound as innovative and inventive as they sound here. (by Robert Aniento)
John Coghlan (drums, percussion)
Alan Lancaster (bass, guitar)
Rick Parfitt (guitar, piano, vocals on 07., background vocals)
Francis Rossi (guitar, vocals)
Bruce Foster (piano)
Grass (background vocals on 02.)
Bob Young (harmonica)
01. Umleitung (Lancaster/Lynes) 7.11
02. Nanana (Extraction I) (Rossi/Young) 0.53
03. Something’s Going On In My Head (Lancaster) 4.45
04. Mean Girl (Rossi/Young) 3.54
05. Nanana (Extraction II) (Rossi/Young) 1.13
06. Gerdundula (Manston/James) 3.51
07. Railroad (Rossi/Young) 5.29
08. Someone’s Learning (Lancaster) 7.09
09. Nanana (Rossi/Young) 2.30
10. Tune To The Music (previously unreleased version (Rossi/Young) 3.36
11. Good Thinking (previously unreleased version) (Rossi/Parfitt/Coghlan/Young) 3.41
12. Time To Fly (Lancaster) 4.18
13. Nanana (previously unreleased version) (Rossi/Young) 2.59
14. Mean Girl (previously unreleased version) (Rossi/Young) 3.58