A Salty Dog

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A Salty Dog
Studio album by Procol Harum
Released June 1969
Recorded March 1969
Genre Progressive rock, blues rock, art rock
Length 40:18
Label Regal Zonophone, A&M
Producer Matthew Fisher
Procol Harum chronology
Shine On Brightly
(1968)
A Salty Dog
(1969)
Home
(1970)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[1]
Robert Christgau (A+)[2]
Rolling Stone (not rated)[3]

A Salty Dog is the third studio album by English band Procol Harum, released in June 1969. Having an ostensibly nautical theme, as indicated by its cover (a pastiche of the famous Player's Navy Cut cigarette pack), interspersed with straight rock, blues and pop items A Salty Dog showed a slight change of direction from its predecessors, being thematically less obscure. The title track itself was the first Procol track to use an orchestra, as would be referred to in the live album performance some three years later.

The album was the first record produced by Matthew Fisher, who quit the band soon after its release. This was also the last Procol Harum album to feature bass guitarist Dave Knights.

Background[edit]

The musical tensions between the group and Robin Trower were beginning to show in this album, and although his guitar sound remains integral to most of the tracks, Crucifiction Lane (featuring a rare Trower vocal), in retrospect, shows that Trower was already moving in a different direction from the rest of the band. Still this album is much more musically varied than the two previous albums, with 3 Fisher vocals and 1 by Trower. The title track, backed with "Long Gone Geek", reached number 44 in the UK singles chart in 1969 and the album itself number 27 in the album chart.[4] When Gary Brooker first played "A Salty Dog" at the piano for B.J. Wilson, a sunbeam illumined Wilson's face and he told Brooker he thought it was the most beautiful song he had ever heard.[5]

Track listing[edit]

Side one
No. Title Lead vocals Length
1. "A Salty Dog" (Gary Brooker, Keith Reid) Brooker 4:41
2. "The Milk of Human Kindness" (Gary Brooker, Keith Reid) Brooker 3:47
3. "Too Much Between Us" (Gary Brooker, Robin Trower, Keith Reid) Brooker 3:45
4. "The Devil Came from Kansas" (Gary Brooker, Keith Reid) Brooker 4:38
5. "Boredom" (Matthew Fisher, Gary Brooker, Keith Reid) Fisher 4:34
Side two
No. Title Lead vocals Length
1. "Juicy John Pink" (Robin Trower, Keith Reid) Brooker 2:08
2. "Wreck of the Hesperus" (Matthew Fisher, Keith Reid) Fisher 3:49
3. "All This and More" (Gary Brooker, Keith Reid) Brooker 3:52
4. "Crucifiction Lane" (Robin Trower, Keith Reid) Trower 5:03
5. "Pilgrim's Progress" (Matthew Fisher, Keith Reid) Fisher 4:32
The following bonus tracks were included on a 1999 reissue by Westside (cat# WESM 534)
  1. "Long Gone Geek" – B-Side of the single release of "A Salty Dog"[6]
  2. "All This And More"
  3. "The Milk Of Human Kindness" (instrumental version)
  4. "Pilgrim's Progress" (instrumental version)
  5. "McGreggor" – previously unreleased track, originally intended for "Shine On Brightly"[7]
  6. "Still There'll Be More"
The 2009 released CD (SALVOCD020) version has different bonus tracks ;
  1. "Long Gone Geek" (Reid/Brooker/Fisher)
  2. "Goin' Down Slow" (James B. Oden) (live in the USA, April 1969)
  3. "Juicy John Pink" (Trower/Reid) (live in the USA, April 1969)
  4. "Crucification Lane" (Trower/Reid)(live in the USA, April 1969)
  5. "Skip Softly (My Moonbeams) / Also Sprach Zarathustra" (Brooker/Reid)/(Richard Strauss)(live in the USA, April 1969)
  6. "The Milk of Human Kindness" (Brooker/Reid)(take 1; raw track)

Musicians and production[edit]

  • Orchestral arrangements: Gary Brooker (tracks 1, 8), Matthew Fisher (track 7)
  • Produced by Matthew Fisher
  • Engineered by Ken Scott (tracks 1–5, 8–10), Ian Stuart (track 6) and Henry Lewy (track 7)

Legacy[edit]

The song "A Salty Dog" was featured in the 1983 film Purple Haze.

This song was also covered by Transatlantic, on the 2-disc Special Edition of The Whirlwind. It is sung by drummer Mike Portnoy.

The title song appears on the 2005 Styx cover album Big Bang Theory with Lawrence Gowan on lead vocals.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Eder, Bruce (2011). "A Salty Dog – Procol Harum | AllMusic". allmusic.com. Retrieved 12 August 2011. 
  2. ^ Robert Christgau review
  3. ^ Mendelsohn, John (2011). "Procol Harum: A Salty Dog : Music Reviews : Rolling Stone". web.archive.org. Archived from the original on 13 October 2008. Retrieved 12 August 2011. 
  4. ^ UK Chart Stats
  5. ^ "'ASD' anecdote spotted in 'The Scotsman' by Charlie Allison". Procolharum.com. Retrieved 2012-01-07. 
  6. ^ This was listed as an album main track on the re-release despite not having appeared on the original album
  7. ^ A story of a soldier who was hanged for shooting a senior officer; provenance of this story is unknown Procol Harum site

External links[edit]