L. Hunt | Citizen Of The World | 09/08/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Maybe not their best album (Like "Live w/ The Edmonton Symphony Orchestra", but, still Excellent, one of my favorites, right up there with "A Salty Dog". The only weak Procol albums in my humble opinion are "Tropical Birds & Fruit", "The Prodigal Stranger", and that horrible "other" orchestral album w/Tom Jones singing "Simple Sister" on it. All other P.H. albums are GREAT ! Also, check out Gary Brooker's first solo album "No More Fear of Flying" - very good/fun also and produced by none other than The Beatles' genius producer George Martin."
Procol's Nadir Revisited
Kurt Harding | Boerne TX | 06/02/2010
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Having been a rabid fan of Procol Harum ever since they burst on the music scene in the late 1960s, I am committed to acquiring every piece of music they record. But that doesn't mean that each and every record is worthy of the same high praise. Something Magic is a record that sparked strong feelings in many fans at the time of its release and is widely considered to be Procol's nadir, that proverbial straw that broke the camel's back as far as fan loyalty was concerned. But if you revisit it on this Salvo reissue, you may well find that its not nearly as bad as you remember. There are some great songs here that hold their own when compared to some of what is generally considered to be the band's best.
Even though I already own Something Magic on vinyl and on an earlier CD release, I was willing to hear what Salvo had done with it. And as with previous Salvo remasters, it turns out to be an aural improvement. Here's what I like: the stately, stirring title cut; the gliding waltz of Skating On Thin Ice; the classic Procol sound embedded in The Mark of the Claw; and the appropriately spacey Strangers In Space. Of the bonus tracks, only the jazzy instrumental Backgammon is worthy of a second listen.
The problem that most fans had/have with this album is the sometime astounding, yet often atrocious ditty The Worm And the Tree. This could be a masterpiece if properly redone, but in its present form suffers most from the puerile poetry pawned off as art. Granted, the music at the beginning is often soaring and inspired but it never manages to overcome the snicker-inducing vapidity of the lyrics.
As with other Salvo releases, this one comes with a handsome and informative booklet that tries to explain the album in the context of its time. That goes a long way in mitigating the damage done by The Worm and the Tree in the eyes of this fan. So if you like Procol Harum and have not heard Something Magic, give it a listen while it is cheap and available."