Procol Harum: Salty Dog (1969)

July 12, 2007

“Salty Dog” has one of the most sophisticated and powerful chord progressions in rock n roll history. The progression has very little to do with rock, blues, country, gospel, or soul, but seems more neo-Baroque than anything. The shape carved in my mind by the melody climbs ever upward. The sound of the voice is itself “salty.” To me, his tone evokes that of someone who survived to tell the tale. There is a passionate insanity in his delivery.

And then, suddenly, in the middle, it’s as if a little fairy appears and flutters with a little lydian intermezzo, an interruptive reverie. And then back to the tale. And then the lydian bit returns at the end, and the final chord is that juicy C# F G chord that set the song in motion.

The drummer has beautiful moves; the kinetic energy of his stick work is magical.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Brad Wood July 12, 2007 at 3:31 pm

Wow. That really is beautiful and most unusual, and I’m sure I’d never heard it before. A song worthy of revival I should say.

I’m always a sucker for those resolving tritone intervals anyway, but what they do with it after that is magical.

The video is a mite hokey in places, but then it was a long time ago.

This more than makes up for the pain of Yoko, Roger 😉

Brad Wood July 17, 2007 at 10:32 pm

Followup: The eponymous halite-laden album is on its way.

Brad Wood July 23, 2007 at 11:02 pm

Album arrived today! No time to listen yet but I’m expecting to be most pleased.

Roger Bourland July 24, 2007 at 5:12 am

It’s a great album, I know you’ll like it!

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