CB in Disc, 6 May 1972
Of all the rock-orchestral fusions this one really does work primarily because Procol have used the technique before, and because they use it with arrogance, assurance, and don't set out to compromise.
From the very beginning when the guitar and strings play together on Conquistador with perfect balance, this is a success. This album brings home just how good Procol really are on sea songs. Whaling Stories makes brilliant use of the orchestra to heighten the effect of a sea battle with a whale, working up from just string-backed vocals to a terrific crescendo.
A Salty Dog is also impressive in its grandeur, complete with quadraphonic seagull noises. In contrast, 'Twas Teatime at the Circus from the long In Held 'Twas in I on side two, captures all the rumbustious humph of the circus, and then plunges into the eerie thunder-opening of In the Autumn of my Madness, a chilling number with good use of flute and organ.
A very complete and highly talented album which should help dispel this group's image of the 1967 one-hit wonders.
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