Tony Stewart in NME, 22 April 1972
The front cover of this set just about sums up the appeal of the concert, recorded at Edmonton,. Canada, last year, with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra and the Da Camera Singers. On the left we have a straight, on the right a head. Bringing two diverse audiences together.
The music is some of the finest I've heard. As soon as Conquistador begins it's obvious that every musician is on form. Most of all, Procol.
I much prefer them in this grand context to the way they came over on the Broken Barricades album, mainly because the material, including Whaling Stories, A Salty Dog, All This And More, and an epic In Held 'Twas in I (a collation of four themes) lends itself to the treatment.
Gary Brooker is heavily featured as lead vocalist and pianist, and does a marvellous job. His voice is projected to an outstanding height with the choir on Whaling Stories, an exciting piece greatly enhanced by the strings and brass.
BJ Wilson proves a more than capable drummer on all tracks. He builds the music, eases it down, and guides it through some highly electric passages.
Unfortunately it is organist Chris Copping who loses out most, with the orchestra more or less taking over his part. This does suggest a weakness in the arrangements. But Copping manages some solo work during All This and More, then more dynamically on In The Autumn of My Madness, part of the 19-minute plus second side.
Overall this is a breaktaking [sic] beauty of an album. I feel, though Brooker doesn't agree, that it will put them high in the esteem of the British public.
Many more pages devoted to the Edmonton
More reviews of the Edmonton album
More reviews of other Procol Harum albums