The last studio album from Three Dog Night to crack the Top 20, Hard Labor shows the growing cracks in the band's armor. Where on previous albums they had selected songs that highlighted their harmonic prowess, most of the tracks on Hard Labor are essentially solo efforts with group backing vocals. As a result, the band loses much of their soul and spirit. The lightweight hits, "Sure As I'm Sittin' Here" and "Play Something Sweet (Brickyard Blues)," both with Cory Wells singing lead, are most representative of the record. However, the highlights are the Chuck Negron-sung "The Show Must Go On" (written and originally performed by Leo Sayer) and the dramatic, emotional ballad "I'd Be So Happy" (penned by Skip Prokop of Lighthouse fame). More a compilation of individual tracks than a true band effort, Hard Labor is an inconsequential entry in the Three Dog Night catalog.
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AllMusic Review by Joseph McCombs