29 June 2008

Only in Oz (9) Bulldog - No (1972)

Another in my series of posts about tracks that were more popular in Australia than in their countries of origin. See also: Only in Melbourne.

9. Bulldog - No
(Billy Hocher - John Turi)
USA 1972
Decca single (USA) #32996
MCA album
MCA single (Australia) #MCA1302
Australian charts: #2 Melbourne #7 Adelaide #13 Brisbane #5 Perth (#22 Australia)
New Zealand charts: #17 NZ

No, the opening track from Bulldog's self-titled debut album, did chart in parts of the US, but it appears to have been a minor hit on some regional charts, not enough to push it onto a national Top 40. On the radio surveys posted to ARSA (which probably reflect station playlists more than sales) it shows up 27 times: the best is a #3 at WIXY Cleveland. In parts of Australia it was a genuine hit: #2 in Melbourne ain't bad.

No is a muscular but melodic piece of early 70s pop-rock, with that gruff style of white soul singing that was common at the time. It can sound mannered or forced coming from some singers, especially at this distance, but Billy Hocher pulls it off. Hocher wrote the song with Bulldog keyboardist John Turi, who would later be associated with Cyndi Lauper in the band Blue Angel and on sessions for her Night To Remember (1989).

Also in Bulldog were Dino Danelli and Gene Cornish, former members of The Rascals (earlier, The Young Rascals), one of the top American bands of the 60s that had a dozen or so Top 40 hits in the US 1966-1969, including three at #1: Good Lovin' (1966), Groovin' (1967) and People Got To Be Free (1968).

Promising credentials, but there was no follow-up with Decca/MCA after the first Bulldog album. Before breaking up, Bulldog did release a second album in 1974, Smasher, this time on Buddah. This July 2007 post at Robots For Ronnie has some hard-to-find background on this rarity, but sadly the downloadable file has expired.

Update 2022: The whole first album, including No, can now be heard at Youtube [LINK].

Red herrings
1. This is not the Australian band Bulldog, from Melbourne, also active in the early 70s.
2. For more than you'll ever need to know about songs called No No No or No No No No or even No No No No No,
see this page at my website

Chart positions from Gavin Ryan's Australian chart books and Dean Scapolo's NZ chart data.
Further reading: Joe Viglione's review of the album Bulldog at All Music Guide.



Anonymous said...

hey guys, a friend of mine had the bulldog song on a single way back in the 70's. haven't heard it since then but been looking for it for AGES. typed in bulldog - no.mp3 and your site came up first, with a link, :D many thanks

AJ Evans said...

What a great find! My mother had this on a K-Tel album called "Believe in Music" and the album is so shot it is unplayable. I have been on an active search for a good 30 years trying to find her a copy of this tune. Thanks so much!!!!

AJ Evans

Anonymous said...

Ditto, as above - Been looking for this song for quite a while & also have it from my own ancient copy of K-Tel's "Believe In Music". Am thrilled to now have it in my digital music collection. Thank you very much!

Anonymous said...

I saw Bulldog in either Little Rock, Arkansas or Shreveport, LA in the early 70's. They were opening either for Grand Funk, Bloodrock, Steppenwolf or BTO.

I remember them doing "No" and it being a great song. I had it at one time on an 8-track tape, but can't find a copy now anywhere.

Thanks for the memory.

Anonymous said...

They also had a great version of Rockin Robin on the same album which was being played on Melbourne Radio in late '75. Viscious Sloth Collectables in Malvern has a mint copy.

Richard said...

I s there a downloadable file available of the song (ie No by Bulldog) - Thanks

Lyn Nuttall said...

Yes, Richard. Click on the green words in the post that say Bulldog - No.mp3. It's an mp3.

Anonymous said...

We have also been looking for any info on this album so it is fantastic to finally get 'No'. Can we get any more songs from this album? There was another song about closed doors? or behind the door? or something about a door, it was an awesome song, would love to download that one too, any info?

phil said...

Many hours listening to this album in the 70's..it has slipped through my fingers but would also like a copy of the full album

Author said...

Thanks for the info on Bulldog and "No". Just played my vinyl copy and was wondering if there was an album. "No" was a minor hit on local Buffalo, New York radio back in the day. It still sounds great.

Kurt from Brasil said...

yeah... I bought the first Bulldog album in 72 in a countryside town called Canoas, State of Rio Grande do Sul, Southern Brazil, imagine THAT! never ever again I heard of it, even being in the music biz all those years... thank you for the memories!

Lyn Nuttall said...

Kurt that is great. And now I have heard of Canaos!

Micko said...

I too adored 'No' & it was one of the first singles I bought with my own money & soon after I bought the album after hearing another track "Juicin' With Lucy' on Melbourne Radio. But I'd forgotten about "Rockin' Robin"..thanks for the memories. I wonder if I can find a good quality FLAC rip of the whole album on the web? I bloody well hope so now :-)

Unknown said...

I know Bulldog for "Man of Constant Sorrow"which I absolutely love. I have it on vinyl with "Inner Spring"on the other side.I saw them on a TV show back then and bought it soon afterwards !

Lyn Nuttall said...

The mp3 file was no longer working so It's replaced with a YouTube video.