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Procol Harum - A Salty Dog CD (album) cover


Procol Harum


Crossover Prog

3.58 | 233 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
3 stars The nautical thematic content on this third Procol Harum album is prevalent beginning with seagulls on the beach and a captain's musings on his sexual exploits in A Salty Dog; or is it double innuendo about a mutiny on a sailing vessel? The title track has become a quintessential part of the band's catalogue as have many on this rather uneven album. The Milk of Human Kindness is an interesting throwaway for the band. It works okay rhythmically but not an outstanding track. Too Much Between Us has a melancholy tranquillity with Brooker's more gentler falsetto on vocals. This leads to a more upbeat sound on The Devil Came from Kansas, with Trower exceptional on guitar. This one grew on me over time especially the crashing two notes in the verses building to an infectious chorus. Boredom, a flute and glockenspiel driven whimsical song, and the ultra bluesy Juicy John Pink, are weaker tracks suffering from poor production quality, but they lead to the wonderful Wreck of the Hesperus, one of the great Procol Harum tracks sung by Fisher. The piano is a dominant instrument and the song is strengthened by a back beat of percussion shapes and a melodic guitar. The brass permeates the instrumental break giving a majestic feel. It ends with the shipwreck sounds lending an effective atmosphere.

All This and More is Brooker on vocals and more driving piano and Trower's everpresent guitar licks. Crucifiction Lane is very slow and bluesy with a melancholic melody line. The album ends with Pilgrims Progress finalising the nautical themes of alienation or loneliness on an open sea and searching for answers. The organ sound on this last track is more familiar to those who know the Whiter Shade of Pale sound, especially the tempo and overall feel.

The album is inconsistent in terms of quality but this is still a good album showing the development of prog rock in its early phase.

AtomicCrimsonRush | 3/5 |


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