Procol Harum: “A Salty Dog/Conquistador (live)” (1972)

The ornate rock of Procol Harum plus an orchestra proves to be a double-edged, jewel-encrusted sword.

Kronomyth 6.1: The great night worth.

The Procol Harum/Deep Purple connection got a bit deeper when Procol Harum released the orchestral live album, Live in Concert with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. (I have no idea what the connection was between Procol Harum and Canada.) The evening featured some of the group’s more ambitious works, including “Conquistador” from their first elpee and “A Salty Dog.” With the extra players, “Conquistador” comes across a lot hornier than I remember, but “A Salty Dog” is tastefully seasoned by the orchestra.

In the UK, a live version of “Luskus Delph” from the same concert was included as the B side. It was originally left off the album, but later included for the expanded compact disc reissues. I’m not completely sold on the idea of Procol Harum with an orchestra; Gary Brooker’s voice tends to get lost in the mix, although drummer B.J. Wilson holds his own against them and then some. Generally, the songs that already featured strings (“A Salty Dog,” “Luskus Delph”) suffer the least at the hands of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra.

Original 7-inch single version

A1. Conquistador (live) (Gary Brooker/Keith Reid) (4:20)
B1. Luskus Delph (live) (Gary Brooker/Keith Reid) (3:40)

Original 7-inch single version (US/CAN)
A1. A Salty Dog (live) (Gary Brooker/Keith Reid) (5:37)
B1. Conquistador (live) (Gary Brooker/Keith Reid) (4:16)

7-inch single reissue (A&M Forget Me Nots)
A1. A Whiter Shade of Pale (Keith Reid/Gary Brooker) (4:10)
B1. Conquistador (live) (Gary Brooker/Keith Reid) (4:16)

The Plastic

Released on 7-inch single in April 1972 in the US and Canada (A&M, AM-1347-S) and France (Chrysalis, CHA 105) and on August 4, 1972 in the UK (Chrysalis, CHS 2003), with regional picture sleeve. French version features A and B sides switched. Reached #16 on the US charts (charted on May 27, 1972 for 13 weeks) and #22 on the UK charts.

  1. Re-packaged with “A Whiter Shade of Pale” on back-to-back hits 7-inch single in the US and Canada (A&M Forget Me Nots, 8559-S).
Conquistador B2B hits reissue
A&M 8559-S picture sleeve

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