Procol Harum

the Pale 

PH on stage | PH on record | PH in print | BtP features | What's new | Interact with BtP | For sale | Site search | Home

Procol Harum • The Salvo re-issues 

Comment by John Ferrari

Order from Amazon UK or from The BtP Store where there are lots of other Procol goodies as well


These new releases from Salvo (along with the previous ones) are really a treat, somewhat to my surprise, I confess.

"Remasters" in my experience have typically been little more than some minor sound mods, a bit of previously-unreleased material and some new packaging and notes ... these, however, fall into a different category to my ear. They pretty much amount, in sum, to "new product," which is what they ought to be.

I don't find them to be sonically "flawless" or "pristine" but they do offer a new perspective, and I don't mean intellectually ... it's all quite visceral; to my ears the band sounds far more powerful in most of the songs and, perhaps more importantly, the music is more transparent: you can hear quite a bit more of what each of the players is doing than on the original releases, which now, in a way, tend to sound actually a little bit muddy. The sense is quite a bit closer to a live recording than a typical layered studio production pieced together over time. How it actually was done is of little concern to me.

One of the striking things about the recordings is how well they show off Procol as a performing band; no matter how many times I've heard them in live performance I've never gotten as good a sense of how "tight" the band is until now ... and at the same time you hear a remarkable flexibility in the musicianship. Although I think all the players sound better here, BJ really shines ... you don't miss much of what he's doing and what he's doing is incredible; I don't think anyone plays like he did.

One disappointment: there are some tracks where somehow Gary's vocal seems to have been mixed down for no apparent reason ... but that's a minor complaint.

Don't miss this stuff; it's powerful; it's "audio veritas"


Thanks, John

 More from Salvo records | More Salvo reviews

PH on stage | PH on record | PH in print | BtP features | What's new | Interact with BtP | For sale | Site search | Home