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A Salty Dog by Procol Harum

A Salty Dog

by Procol Harum

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Barcode: 8719262002913
Format: Vinyl
Media: Mint (M)
Sleeve: Mint (M)

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“A Salty Dog” stands as the third studio album by the English rock band Procol Harum, initially released in 1969 under the record labels Regal Zonophone and A&M.

The album presents a predominantly nautical theme, evident from its cover design, which mimics the iconic Player’s Navy Cut cigarette pack. Alongside elements of straight rock, blues, and pop, “A Salty Dog” showcases a departure from its predecessors in terms of thematic clarity. Notably, the title track marked Procol Harum’s first foray into orchestral arrangements, a feature later echoed in their live album performances released three years after.

Recorded in March 1969, “A Salty Dog” unveiled emerging musical tensions within the group, particularly noticeable in the divergence of styles between Robin Trower and the rest of the band. While Trower’s guitar work remains integral to most tracks, “Crucifiction Lane” stands out as a departure, featuring a rare vocal performance by Trower. Despite these tensions, the album showcases a rich musical diversity, featuring vocals by Matthew Fisher and Trower, and incorporating instruments previously used by iconic bands like the Beatles and the Shadows.

The piano riff introducing the title track draws inspiration from a train whistle heard by Gary Brooker in Switzerland.

The album debuted in the US in April 1969 under A&M Records, followed by its release in the UK in June 1969 by Regal Zonophone. The title track, coupled with “Long Gone Geek,” achieved moderate success, reaching number 44 on the UK Singles Chart in 1969, with the album itself peaking at number 27 on the Albums Chart. In Canada, the album attained the 25th position.

Initial critical reception of “A Salty Dog” was varied. While Rolling Stone’s John Mendelson labelled it as “confusing” and occasionally “mediocre,” Robert Christgau of The Village Voice offered a more enthusiastic appraisal, awarding it an “A+.” In a retrospective review, Bruce Eder of AllMusic hailed the album as a showcase of Procol Harum’s diverse musical talents, singling out the title track as a standout example of progressive rock at its finest.

Tracklist
A1 A Salty Dog
A2 The Milk Of Human Kindness
A3 Too Much Between Us
A4 The Devil Came From Kansas
A5 Boredom
B1 Juicy John Pink
B2 Wreck Of The Hesperus
B3 All This And More
B4 Crucifiction Lane
B5 Pilgrim's Progress
Catalogue No.: MOVLP1804
Barcode: 8719262002913
Genre: Rock
Style: Psychedelic Rock, Prog Rock
Label: Music On Vinyl
Released: 2017
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album, Reissue, Remastered, Stereo

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