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Procol Harum: A Whiter Shade of Pale

 A l b u m   D e t a i l s

Label: RegalZonophone Records
Released: 1967
Category: Progressive Rock
Producer(s): Denny Cordell
Media type: CD
Web address: www.procolharum.com
Appears with:
Purchase date: 2012
Price in €: 1,00

 S o n g s ,   T r a c k s

[1] A Whiter Shade Of Pale (G.Brooker/K.Reid) - 4:10
[2] Conquistador (G.Brooker/K.Reid) - 2:43
[3] She Wandered Through The Garden Fence (G.Brooker/K.Reid) - 3:27
[4] Something Following Me (G.Brooker/K.Reid) - 3:41
[5] Mabel (G.Brooker/K.Reid) - 1:57
[6] Cerdes [Outside The Gates Of] (G.Brooker/K.Reid) - 5:05
[7] A Christmas Camel (G.Brooker/K.Reid) - 4:50
[8] Kaleidoscope (G.Brooker/K.Reid) - 2:54
[9] Salad Days [Are Here Again] (G.Brooker/K.Reid) - 3:40
[10] Good Captain Clack (G.Brooker/K.Reid) - 1:32
[11] Repent Walpurgis (M-Fisher/K.Reid) - 5:00

 A r t i s t s ,   P e r s o n n e l

Matthew Fisher - Hammond Organ
Dave Knights - Bass Guitar
B.J. Wilson - Drums, Percussion
Robin Trower - Lead Guitar
Gary Brooker - Piano And Vocals
Keith Reid - Lyrics

Ray Royer - Guitar on [1]
Bill Eyden - Drums on [1]

Denny Cordell - Producer

 C o m m e n t s ,   N o t e s

Recorded in June 1967 at London's Olympic Studios.

Track 9 from the Film "Separation".

Procol Harum’s debut album is amazingly engaging, considering that it was rushed out to capitalize on the hit title track. The material was all already written (before the hit, in fact), but the group recorded the LP in just two days, simply to get a long-player out, and came up with one of the more pleasingly straightforward releases in their history. The range of sounds here is the widest ever heard on one of the group’s albums — “A Christmas Camel” isn’t that far from the old Paramounts, the group tackling a sound inspired by Bob Dylan (and derived specifically from his “Ballad of a Thin Man”), while “Salad Days” and “Kaleidoscope” are hard-driven psychedelic rockers, stripped down to the basics, with no pretensions. “Conquistador” was the “lost” single off the album, finally released years later in its live orchestrated version, but much more intense in this original version, which has never gotten the respect it deserves. In between those are pub songs, novelty tunes, and one Matthew Fisher instrumental excursion, “Repent Walpurgis,” that became the finale for the group’s shows for years to come. Originally released under the title “Procol Harum,” the British version of the LP didn’t contain the hit.

Procol Harum will always be remembered best for their classic debut-single "A Whiter Shade of Pale" that became one of the biggest hits that year, and have remained a true classic song ever since. It was also one of the first and (still) best examples of how to base a rock song in a theme from classical music, in this case Bach's Suite No. 3 in D minor. The song also featured most of the trademarks of the Procol-sound: the sweeping, classical-influenced organ of Matthew Fischer, the piano and strong vocals of Gary Brooker, and of course, the mysterious lyrics of Keith Reid. Another single in the form of "Homburg" followed up the song. This was a nice tune, although a little bit strained in its attempt at replicate "A Whiter Shade of Pale". The label put a lot of pressure on the band to make an album before they really were ready for it, and as a result of this, their self-titled debut-album became a rushed and poorly produced work that didn't even feature "A Whiter Shade of Pale". But the material on the album was still good enough to show the band's potential. The opening-track "Conquistador" must be considered to be classic Procol Harum, and it actually became their second greatest hit when they released it in an orchestrated version 5 years later. Fischer's style and sound on the organ can be heard best on tracks like "She Wandered Through the Garden Fence", "Kaleidoscope" and not at least on the instrumental "Repent Walpurgis". "Something Following Me" was Brooker in typical, soulful ballad-mood where Robin Trower also delivered some fine guitar-work. "A Christmas Camel" has a piano-riff that proves that a theme doesn't have to be complex to still sound mighty. There are also a few throwaways here, like "Mabel" and "Good Captain Clack", but most of the record consists of well-written and memorable songs.

 L y r i c s

Currently no Lyrics available!

 M P 3   S a m p l e s

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