Procol Harum fuses classical structures, rock motifs, and sweeping melodies
A Salty Dog features intertwined symmetry between piano, organ, guitar, and strings
Mastered from the original tapes for reference-level sound
A call for "all hands on deck" opens Procol Harum's third album, and with the command, an effort that witnesses the band coming into its own as a collective capable of fusing classical structures with rock motifs via an expertise, virtuosity, and style matched by none of its peers is on its way to making history.
A Salty Dog survives as proof no other artist ever sounded like Procol Harum — while also demonstrating few collectives boasted a lineup full of such ace instrumentalists. Stacked with exploratory themes, boundary-crossing directions, and sweeping melodies, A Salty Dog proudly veers off traditional course and ventures to intrepid places forbidden to even the most thrill-seeking groups of the highly experimental era.
The intertwined symmetry between organist Matthew Fisher and pianist Gary Brooker, central to every song on the set, gets revealed with newfound detail, openness, and clarity. Produced by Fisher, A Salty Dog now resonates with a presence and immediacy stunted on prior editions. The full-bodied tones, front-to-back imaging, and grand dynamics inherent on this audiophile edition elevate the 1969 favorite to landmark status. In addition, the evocative cover art, which pays homage to the Player's Navy Cut logo, is reproduced in faithful-to-the-original fashion.
NME wrote shortly after the record's release that "the most exciting facet of this tremendous album is not so much that it contains the Procols' best recorded works to date, but that their potential is still nowhere near being fully spent." Rolling Stone concurred, observing, "‘Too Much Between Us' is the kind of song you can float away on — its background and vocal of marimba and acoustic guitar in a perfectly understated waltz-time are beautifully ethereal."