Top Ten Songs by Three Dog Night

During a 5 year span from 1969-1974 there was a group who practically owned every radio station’s airtime. It seemed you couldn’t go more than an hour without hearing a Three Dog Night song playing on the radio.

Three Dog Night had more top 10 hits, sold more records and concert tickets, and had more success during that five year period than anyone in pop music history. Here is a rundown of some of their success:

21 consecutive Top 40 hits
18 straight Top 20 hits
11 Top 10 hits
3 number 1’s
7 different million selling singles
12 consecutive Gold Records
Over 50 million records sold

Formed in 1968, Three Dog Night was made up Danny Hutton, Cory Wells, Chuck Negron, Jimmy Greenspoon, Michael Alsup, Joe Schermie and Floyd Sneed. Three Dog Night was unique in its setup as a band. The group didn’t have one lead vocalist, they had three! Danny, Chuck and Cory were all lead singers for the group.

When the band first formed, they were named “Redwood”. Of course, later on the name changed. How did the group come to being known as Three Dog Night? They got the name from Australian aborigines who would sleep with their dogs on cold winter nights in order to stay warm. On the nights that were the coldest, they were known as “three dog nights”.

At the time, many people were critical of the group for not writing all of their own songs. They recorded the music of many of the best new songwriters of the early 70’s including the likes of Leo Sayer, Randy Newman, Harry Nilsson, Hoyt Axton and Laura Nyro. Obviously, it worked out very well for everyone involved.

Top 10 Three Dog Night Songs

10. “The Show Must Go On” – Written by Leo Sayer and loosely based on the Ringling Brothers Circus, “The Show Must Go On” rose to #4 in February, 1974. It would go on to be Three Dog Night’s final top ten hit.

9. “Celebrate” – This is a favorite of many people. “Celebrate” went to #15 in February, 1970.

8. “Liar” – This unique rock song went to #7 in June, 1971. What makes “Liar” so unique was the fact that it was recorded in a rest room. The band wanted to give the song an eerie sort of feel to it. With its lyrics about an unfaithful lover, “Liar” definitely got your attention.

7. “Joy To The World” – Is there anyone who was around in the early 70’s that hasn’t heard “Joy To The World”? This was Three Dog Night’s all-time hit. Reaching #1 in February, 1971, “Joy To The World” spent six straight weeks at the top position, and was the biggest hit song for the entire year.

6. “Mama Told Me Not To Come” – This song was the band’s first #1, going to the top of Billboard’s charts in May, 1970. Written by Randy Newman, “Mama Told Me Not To Come” is the song that put Three Dog Night front and center in the music world.

5. “An Old Fashioned Love Song” – This ultra-popular love song was a favorite among all music lovers. Going as high as #4 in October, 1971, “An Old Fashioned Love Song” was a soft rock smash hit for the group. It still receives airplay on soft rock stations to this day and lets you pause and think back to those younger days.

4. “Never Been To Spain” – Another smash hit for Three Dog Night, “Never Been To Spain” went all the way to #5 on the Billboard charts in December, 1971.

3. “One” – This was Three Dog Night’s first smash hit, reaching #5 on the Billboard charts in April, 1969. “One” was also the name for the group’s first album. It had limited success, with “Try A Little Tenderness” going to #29 on the charts. The hit song “One” was really overlooked at the time. In fact, the band was just about to begin recording their second album when Chuck Negron said to wait a minute. He was totally convinced that the song should be released as a single. He put some pressure on the record company who finally caved in and released it. Well, it proved later to be a great decision.

2. “Shambala” – In May, 1973, “Shambala” peaked at #3 on the charts, becoming yet another big hit for the group. Oddly, “Shambala” was originally recorded by B.W. Stevenson. His version never became a hit though since he was an unknown artist at the time.

1. “Black and White” – This song was the final #1 hit for the band, reaching the top spot in July, 1972. “Black and White” was written by Hoyt Axton and was extremely popular among school aged kids. It attempted to bring a sense of togetherness among all people no matter what their skin color.

Unfortunately, drug abuse and dissension would later hit the group. By 1977, Three Dog Night had officially disbanded. Chuck Negron vividly tells his personal story of heroin addiction in his book, “Three Dog Nightmare”. Sadly, he wasted his entire fortune on drugs, even to the point of selling one of his Gold Records for drugs.

In 1981, the band came together for a reunion and even began playing together again at concert venues around the world. Currently, Three Dog Night continues to travel and do shows throughout the country with Cory Wells and Danny Hutton leading the group.

With their unique style and energy, Three Dog Night was a favorite of just about everyone’s in the early 70’s. For many of the band’s loyal fans, it continues to this day.

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