Sunday, February 26, 2006

Procol Harum - A Salty Dog

When most people hear the name Procol Harum they think of the classic single, A Whiter Shade Of Pale, if they have any association with the name at all. It is a real shame that this band is not as well known as The Kinks, The Who, The Rolling Stones or Beatles as one of the best bands to come out of England in the 60’s. They put out some great records which unfortunately have been overshadowed by one song by most music fans.

The group at this time was an intriguing mix of blues, r & b and classical influences backing the superb lyrics of Keith Reid, with this album highlighting them all from the orchestral title song A Salty Dog, the acoustic guitars and recorder of Boredom to the country blues of Juicy John Pink.

Soulful lead singer Gary Brooker, blues blasting guitarist Robin Trower and classically influenced organist Matthew Fisher were the masterminds of the wonderful music of this band. Drummer BJ Wilson was very, very good as well. The material holds up very well four decades later because it is simply and effectively recorded and arranged without any gimmicks. Always the best way.

It was hard to pick just two songs but I finally decided on the atmospheric orchestral beauty of A Salty Dog and The Devil Came From Kansas with its wonderfully obscure lyrics.

" I am not a humble pilgrim
there's no need to scrape and squeeze
and don't beg for silver paper
when I'm trying to sell you cheese"

Buy it here.

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