A Salty Dog towered over all competition on its initial release in 1969. Now wholly reconfigured with bonus tracks and B-sides, plus illuminating sleevenotes, the album's stature as one of the progressive rock albums of all time is assured.
The title track cosies up comfortably alongside Whiter Shade ... whilst the band rock out on Devil Came from Kansas and Juicy John Pink. This was Procol in excelsis: Robin Trower's guitar was held in check, Matthew Fisher's brooding Wreck of the Hesperus was solemnly mighty, and Gary Brooker had rarely sung better. The extra tracks include the legendary , only-ever [sic!] take of McGregor and long-gone B-side Long Gone Geek.
Home was the inevitably disappointing follow-up when Procol slipped into a rocker mode - an impression reinforced by the generous 40-odd minutes of bonus tracks. But the intervening years have been kind and the original 1970 album now sounds better than on the initial release.
Procol were one of the great unsung bands of our time; Westside's systematic re-release programme should help restore them to a prominent position.
The author of this piece is a long-standing Procoholic: read his 1995 review of Procol at Cropredy; his 1988 Castle sleevenotes for Home; his 1977 review of Something Magic in NME;