Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Sixties Players

Funny how the wheel of life turns. Or the CD on the record player of life. Putting the finishing touchs to my cigarette book (blogs passim) I was reminded that Procol Harum made an album in 1969 called A Salty Dog. And that the album sleeve was a primitive pastiche of the original Player's Navy Cut cigarette packet. I'd never heard the album, even though A Whiter Shade of Pale transcends genres and time to still be one of the best pop songs to make the Hit Parade; and I do have an obscure album of theirs called Exotic Birds & Fruit which I bought just for the still life on the cover. So needing a pristine example of A Salty Dog to scan in for the book, I sent off for what I think is a 40th anniversary edition. It arrived yesterday, so I can now tell you that the cover was painted by Dickinson, who, surprisingly, is a lady and married (at least at the time) to the lyricist in the band Keith Reid. I popped it into the player in the car this morning, and have to tell you I had to stop the car in a field gateway and stare out over the wet fields of Leicestershire as the eponymous first track swept over me. I thought it simply brilliant. Which is a good job, after forty two years.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Never too late to come to Procol Harum ... but if you liked them on record, you'll be astounded to hear them live. They're playing at the weekend, in Copenhagen, but I fear the three evening shows – with symphony orchestra and chorus – are all sold out now. Watch www.procolharum.com for subsequent performance dates. It would be very surprising if they didn't play the eponymous title track at any gig.

Phil said...

Gary Brooker, keyboard player with Procul Harum, sometimes tours with Bill Wyman's Rhythm Kings, along with a bunch of brilliant musicians like Albert Lee. If you haven't seen them, try to catch them on one of their pension fund top-up tours, before the Grim Reaper gets to them...

Anonymous said...

Brooker toured and recorded with Wyman's outfit quite a bit between 1997 and 2001 but has made only a couple of guest Rhythm King appearances since that time.

Hels said...

40 years? Is it that long? I was living in Swinging London back then and remember every word of every beloved song, even now in my dotage :)

I think even after we lose the gift of coherent speech, we will still remember seminal 1960s songs.

Bertman316 said...

Ahhh, Procol Harum! Ahhhh, A Salty Dog!! Ahhhh, Gary Brooker!!!! By all means, try to get to see this wonderful band, which still tours and plays wonderfully. Although the personnel has changed, the wonderful voice is better than ever and the touring band today is a solid, reliable band of merry men. A Whiter Shade of Pale was just the tip of the ice-burg....

Jon Dudley said...

'Heroes', then.

Looking forward to the new book with great anticipation.

Philip Wilkinson said...

Heroes indeed.

Funnily enough, when I looked at this artwork I realised that I didn't really remember exactly what the original Player's packet looked like, so I've just had a pleasant few minutes on the web comparing the lettering, the rope around the life belt/ring/thing, what's on either side of the central head, and so on and on. Ah, the hours of idleness, sorry, of web-based research in comparative graphics, that your blog inspires!

Circe said...

Oh, wow-- my highschool boyfriend had this album! (In the eighties) This really takes me back. Excellent cover art aside, I need to revisit Procol Harem!

Thanks & Happy New Year, Peter.

Roland said...

Philip Wilkinson ... web-based research in comparative graphics ... see www.procolharum.com/phalbum3_players.htm

Anonymous said...

three weeks ago i ran into a problem which is popular of all of us ! what should do and how to go on living, I cant understood ((I stopped smiling at ALL!!!! :( yes!!,i have bad looking teeth because of heredity ... why it so? Teeth is the first thing you see when chat everybody,or doing smth like that, I have found a solution in putting lumineers ! and i must say it has guaranteed 100% result,also i think its a good decision

Bucks Retronaut said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bucks Retronaut said...

Presumably Anon is now able to "Shine on Brightly "....ref:Track 1,Side 2, "A Salty Dog" Album (Procol Harum 1969). Boom Boom !