Three Dog Night – “Out in the Country”

Whenever I need to leave it all behind
Or feel the need to get away
I find a quiet place, far from the human race
Out in the country

Before the breathin’ air is gone
Before the sun is just a bright spot in the nighttime
Out where the rivers like to run
I stand alone and take back somethin’ worth rememberin’

“Out in the Country” reached #15 in 1970.

Three Dog Night gets almost no respect from critics and other arrogant know-it-alls, but this band had pretty good instincts for songwriters and material, and made a lot of really good rock/pop music, of which this is a good example.

Check out the great rhythm guitar throughout, and the instrumental break at 1:50 in. Check out the great lyrics. Check out the way the band rocks out during the chorus. This is a band and a producer that knew exactly what they were trying to do, and did it well. It’s one of those many times during the 60s and into the 70s when the desire to make great music meshed with talent, song, and lyrics to make a piece of timeless art — that is also easily consumed.

From 1968 to 1974, Three Dog Night had eleven Top 10 hit singles and seven more that made that top 20, plus eight consecutive Gold or Platinum albums. Most artists would be ecstatic with half of that level of achievement.

via THREE DOG NIGHT- “OUT IN THE COUNTRY” – YouTube. Lyrics at threedognight.com

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2 comments
  1. CGHill said:

    But by then, it was considered de rigueur to write your own material, which Three Dog Night did not do – though I’m sure you can think of several bands of that era which did write their own material, but shouldn’t have.

    (And the one hit 3DN did write – “Celebrate” – is not among their best.)

  2. True enough – and this is the point I hinted at but didn’t state explicitly. Three Dog Night didn’t write anything (good), but their taste in songwriters was pretty good, and the combination of good production, good singing and playing, and good material built up a pretty compelling legacy.

    The emphasis on artists writing their own material was misplaced. Not everybody is Bob Dylan or Lennon/McCartney – and like you say, they shouldn’t try to be. Most great songwriters are not great performers, and most great performers are not great songwriters. Generally, performers should focus on performing and rely on those who are great at writing to supply them with material. It’s a proven system that creates highly listenable, durable music, just like “Out in the Country”.