Friday, November 27, 2015

Pining for the Fjords

And speaking of the not dead Procol Harum, as we were yesterday, from somewhere in Denmark in 2006, here's the group in concert -- with their orchestra and chorus(!!!) -- with perhaps the most extraordinary performance of "A Salty Dog" ever heard by sentient mammalian ears.

Words, as I am wont to say, fail me, and especially over that chorus ensemble; I don't know what they're singing exactly, perhaps Keith Reid's lyrics in Danish, but whatever it is, it kicks the song into a whole new galaxy. And somewhere, I suspect, the ghost of Carl Nielsen is smiling.

[h/t Peter Spencer]


Anna said...

It's the right of a songwriter/band to let their older output evolve, and I actually quite liked the choral addition...but one of the great things about the original was that it was strictly piano, orchestra, and drums. The guitarist (with the exception of his seagull impression) was really kind of unnecessary.

And I continue to hope against hope that Steven Wilson can get his hands on "A Salty Dog" (and the rest of Procol's catalogue) to work his remix/remastering magicks. A 5.1 mix of the title song, with orchestra and seagulls engulfing you...? I'd die happy.

Anonymous said...

I've always had an iffy relationship with Procol Harum & an orchestra. It can be wonderful but there is also always an element of schmaltz layered on top which ruins the listening experience. This version is no exception but I found Gray Brooker's vocal magnificent, carrying the entire performance along.

May I suggest this performance as a alternate version carried by just the 5 piece band.

God do I miss BJ Wilson, my favorite drummer ever.

Capt. Al

Anonymous said...

Beautiful version. Recorded at Le Bataclan, Paris.

I liked 'em both, but, referring to the Danish version, I have always had a problem with Geoff Whitehorn, no matter who he plays with. I once threw a carrot at him and nailed him when he played the Universal Amphitheater as Paul Rodger's awful jerk-off guitarist. I had a choice between carrot or celery and went with what I thought would hurt him most. That fuckwad played with If for a while too. Not a fan of him whatsoever, despite my love for PH.