..:: audio-music dot info ::..

Main Page      The Desert Island      Copyright Notice
Aa Bb Cc Dd Ee Ff Gg Hh Ii Jj Kk Ll Mm Nn Oo Pp Qq Rr Ss Tt Uu Vv Ww Xx Yy Zz

Procol Harum: Novum

 A l b u m   D e t a i l s

Label: Eagle Rock Entertainment
Released: 2017.04.27
Category: Progressive Rock, Art Rock
Producer(s): Dennis Weinreich
Media type: CD
Web address: www.procolharum.com
Appears with:
Purchase date: 2017
Price in €: 1,00

 S o n g s ,   T r a c k s

[1] I Told on You (Gary Brooker/Pete Brown/Procol Harum/Josh Phillips) - 5:33
[2] Last Chance Motel (Gary Brooker/Pete Brown/Procol Harum/Josh Phillips) - 4:49
[3] Image of the Beast (Gary Brooker/Pete Brown/Procol Harum/Josh Phillips/Geoff Whitehorn) - 4:57
[4] Soldier (Gary Brooker/Procol Harum/Josh Phillips) - 5:29
[5] Don’t Get Caught (Gary Brooker/Pete Brown/Procol Harum/Josh Phillips) - 5:13
[6] Neighbour (Gary Brooker/Pete Brown/Procol Harum/Josh Phillips) - 2:46
[7] Sunday Morning (Gary Brooker/Pete Brown/Procol Harum/Josh Phillips) - 5:29
[8] Businessman (Gary Brooker/Pete Brown/Procol Harum/Josh Phillips/Geoff Whitehorn) - 4:45
[9] Can’t Say That (Gary Brooker/Pete Brown/Procol Harum/Josh Phillips) - 7:13
[10] The Only One (Gary Brooker/Pete Brown/Procol Harum/Josh Phillips) - 6:11
[11] Somewhen (Gary Brooker) - 3:47

 A r t i s t s ,   P e r s o n n e l

Gary Brooker - Piano, Accordion, Vocals
Josh Phillips - Hammond B3 Organ, Vocals
Geoff Whitehorn - Guitar
Matt Pegg - Bass Guitar
Geoff Dunn - Drums
Pete Brown - Lyrics on [1-3,5-10]

Dennis Weinreich - Producer, Mixing
Mo Hausler - Engineer, Mixing
Tim Young - Mastering
Julia Brown - Illustration, Artwork
Stuart Green - Design
Alex Asprey - Photography

 C o m m e n t s ,   N o t e s

Recorded between October - December 2016

From Gary: Special thanks to Chris Cooke for bringing it all together and for having the vision, patience and belief in all of us involved in the making of this album.

Novum is the twelfth studio album by Procol Harum, released on 27 April 2017. It is their first album in 14 years, and their first not to feature lyrics by Keith Reid.

Fifty years after "Whiter Shade of Pale" introduced the concept of progressive rock, Procol Harum roll on, even with singer and pianist Gary Brooker as the only remaining original member. Novum is their first new studio album in 14 years. Their last, 2003's The Well's on Fire, marked the end of the decades-long writing partnership between Brooker and lyricist Keith Reid. Organist Matthew Fisher and drummer Mark Brzezicki left shortly thereafter. Brooker still had guitarist Geoff Whitehorn and bassist Matt Pegg. They recruited organist Josh Phillips and drummer Greg Dunn. This version has been together for a decade.

Novum is a worthy 50th anniversary offering (though it's not, as Brooker claims, Procol's finest). This is the sound of a working band, not a tired reunion project. Brooker enlisted lyricist Pete Brown - known for his work with Cream and Graham Bond - and in an unusual move, brought the entire band into the songwriting process. What's on offer here is the most rocking sound Procol Harum have delivered since Broken Barricades. There is only one overtly "classical" moment here, and it’s a send up - there's a direct quote from Pachelbel's Canon as a brief intro to the wonderful "Sunday Morning.” Some truly perverse lyric moments are expertly crafted into well-composed songs (would we expect anything less?). Opener “I Told on You” is a forceful prog rocker about professional jealousy, bitterness, and retribution. Its bridge and chorus are classic Brooker (think Home and Grand Hotel). “Last Chance Motel” is a strange and ironic take on the murder ballad that recalls the musical structure of early Elton John and Bernie Taupin tunes. It’s among the many vehicles here for Brooker’s voice, which remains as resonant and expressive as ever - there’s the hint of graininess in it, but his power remains undiminished by time. There are also some atypical, straight-on political swipes at hyper-capitalism, too, as on the bluesy “Soldier” and the meld of mean rock and Baroque pop in “Businessman.” “Don’t Get Caught” commences as a ballad with Brooker’s trademark nearly sepulchral singing, but becomes an anthem offering sage advice for guilt-free living atop blazing guitars and swelling strings. One might hear traces of Queen's extended sense of vocal harmony in the rowdy chorus of the loopy "Neighbor," but Brian May himself would admit that Queen snagged it from Procol Harum in the first place. "Can't Say That" is an angry number and it rocks hard: Brooker's signature piano style runs up hard against Whitehorn's electric blues guitar vamps (think the Doors' "Roadhouse Blues") with a killer Pegg bassline. "The Only One" offers Brooker at his most confessional and melancholy, as he builds himself up and lets himself glide down the poignant lyric. Novum is far better than anyone had any right to expect: It's energetic, hungry, and swaggering. That said, it retains the trademark class and musical sophistication that makes Procol Harum iconic.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Thom Jurek - All Music Guide

To the broadest of demographics, Gary Brooker’s name is umbilically attached to one particular song. So much so that when the time comes, the laziest and least conscientious obituaries will be headlined ‘Whiter Shade Of Pale Man Dies’.

In a 2009 BBC survey, that single, Procol Harum’s debut hit and a worldwide No.1 topped yet another chart: the most played single of the previous 75 years. At the time, it had been six years since the band’s last album, a recording hiatus that’s only coming to an end now with Novum.

Brooker has nonetheless kept busy touring with a relatively settled line-up, including elaborate shows with orchestral accompaniment (later released on DVD) and overseeing the remastering of Procol Harum’s back catalogue.

Despite what could be interpreted as a highfalutin title (novum is a word coined by Croatian writer and academic Darko Suvin to describe scientifically plausible innovations used in science fiction), this set of 11 new songs is decidedly less prog, psych or symphonic than what might be regarded as the group’s signature material.

As inventive and exploratory as their back pages were, it’s somehow sensible and reassuring to hear the band leaving_Pandora’s Box_ unopened and deciding not to take A Salty Dog for another walk. Brooker is 72 this year, and his subject matter is age-appropriate but pleasingly free of fuddy-duddy autumnal wheezing. The love-gone-bad despatch_I Told On You_ is a mid-paced bluesy rocker in a Joe Cocker vein (‘I knew you were plotting for your takeover/The notes you were jotting on the way from Dover’), and fairly typical of former Cream collaborator Pete Brown’s lyrics throughout. Unrequited love for a best friend’s wife drives the country hues of Last Chance Motel, and similarfrownedupon emotions rear their head in the ballad Don’t Get Caught.

Motifs of the past echo loudest on the string-led baroque tropes of Sunday Morning, but for the most part, Novum offers straight-down-the-line AOR of a consistently high quality. The lightness of touch and ready wit are especially evident on Neighbour, a jaunty accordion underpinning a bitchy paean to the bloke down the street with a better life (‘No matter how much I try to catch him up/ He always seems to have a fuller cup’).

At the heart of the album is Brooker’s dextrous keyboard work, his pristine piano-playing embellished in all the right places by Josh Phillips’s Hammond organ. What’s equally impressive is the might of Brooker’s voice, which has lost none of its vigour in the 50 years since he first skipped the light fandango.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Terry Staunton - 27 Mar 2017
© 2017 TeamRock.com

This is Procol Harum’s first studio album since 2003 The Well’s On Fire, and their 12th studio album to date.  Since their debut album in 1967 (the brilliant album  Procol Harum) the band has been through many member changes.  This current version of the band features founding member Gary Brooker and only two others who were part of the band in 2003 (Mike Pegg on bass, and Geoff Whitehorn on guitar).  Really, this album amounts to a solo album by Brooker, but he is smart enough to know that Procol Harum’s name carries much more weight than his own as a solo album.

The other big change since 2003 is the departure of lyricist Keith Reid.  This is the first studio album without him, and his absence is felt.  The lyrics here are mostly handled by Pete Brown (best known for his work with Cream and Jack Bruce), and for the most part fit the music.  But as good as they are in places, Reid is missed.

All that said, Novum is  still a great album.  Brooker’s voice is in fine form, and to my ears he has a ‘Dorian Gray’  thing going for his vocals.  He does not seem to age.  His playing, along with the rest of the band is near perfect and the overall effect of the album is pure enjoyment.

The name  Novum comes from Science Fiction writer/scholar to describe scientifically plausible things used in science fiction writing.  But the word translate in Latin to mean ‘new thing’.  I think this is the definition the band is going for with this album title.

For here, Procol Harum presents new music and the band itself is ‘a new thing’.  The music ranges from straight ahead rock and roll to almost prog/semi classical writing, which is what one has come to expect from Brooker and company.

Going back to the lyrics, for many of the songs, the lyrics tell some stories.  Some dark, “Last Chance Motel”) and some funny, “Neighbour”.  But where Brown shines is in the song “Sunday Morning”, taking a working person’s perspective and doing a brilliant job.  “Always hope the weekend never ends, Work keeps stealing my best days.”  Brooker sings in “Sunday Morning”, surrounded by almost classical music.  Inspirational at times.

The album ends with the heartbreaking, and beautiful “Somewhen”, which, had it been released 40 years ago, would be a standard by now.  Here Brooker shows his lyrical ability and  shines with the lyrics which match his beautiful voice and playing (his piano playing in this one is stunning).  SImply produced, and perhaps one of the most powerful moments on the album.  Perhaps he should take more of a role with the lyrics in the future.

This is a very accomplished work.  An album that deserves attention and deserves to be heard.  Over the years Procol Harum have produced some incredible albums.  This is another one.  It may not be breaking new ground, but who cares.  Brooker is here, and still producing incredible music with very professional players.  Well worth a listen.

Aaron Badgley - The Spill Magazine

Novum is Procol Harum s thirteenth studio album, their first since The Well s On Fire in 2003, and is released in the band s fiftieth anniversary year. Kicking things off with the huge and ongoing success of their debut single A Whiter Shade Of Pale , Procol Harum went on to help define the progressive rock genre in the early seventies whilst at the same time embracing their roots in blues and soul. Novum sees a new lyrical direction for Procol Harum with the songs all featuring words by Pete Brown, most famous for his songwriting collaboration with the members of Cream. This has given a different feel to the songs, retaining the thought provoking content for which the band has always been known but with a different slant and elements of humour. As ever, the music and musicianship within the band is of the highest level and this long-awaited collection of brand new songs is sure to be devoured greedily by Procol Harum s devoted fanbase.


There are plenty of lame excuses for taking 14 years between albums. But Procol Harum's Gary Brooker certainly has some good ones.

The venerable British group behind classic rock smashes like "Conquistador" and "Whiter Shade Of Pale" releases Novum, their first new album in 14 years, on April 21 via Eagle Rock Entertainment, and Brooker spent a chunk of that interim incapacitated. About six years ago, he reckons, the frontman "fell off a log pile in Finland and snapped five ribs, I think. Clean in half. I couldn't hardly breathe let alone sing, for quite a few months." That was followed three years later by an incident in South Africa where he was unwittingly drugged, and wound up with a fractured skull that took a long time to heal.

"Apart from that," he quips, "I started to feel good. I now lock myself up. I don't go hardly anywhere now 'cause they all seem to be dangerous places, everything from a log pile to a quiet South African town to... Well, the stage is always a dangerous place."

And, indeed, last month Brooker injured his hand and nose when he slipped on some steps during a symphonic concert in England, though in admirable "It's just a flesh wound" spirit, he soldiered on to play the second half of the show.

Amidst all this, Brooker and company did manage to make Novum, an 11-song set featuring lyrics by Pete Brown of Cream fame. "We've been playing together for 10 years live, so it was about time we did something in the studio," Brooker says of the process, which began last August. "And we suddenly realized, because people started saying it, [that] we've been going 50 years this year. Fifty years! You can't let that go by. If ever there's a good moment to do something new, fresh, write new songs and get in the studio, it's now."

Procol Harum Reveals Plans for 50th Anniversary; Gary Brooker to Perform at George Martin Tribute
Novum is a true collaborative effort, according to Brooker, with songs written together by the group in the studio. "Somebody started something, me or somebody else, and if somebody else thought that was good they would jump in and we'd continue until it got to the end of its natural thing," Brooker recalls. "It was very much everybody working together and working off each other's ideas and also having a lot of respect and allowing freedom, not being, 'Oh, this is MY song!' There was none of that feeling about it at all."

Brown, meanwhile, had offered to work with Procol Harum over the years, and after seeing the lyricist again a couple of years ago, Brooker decided to throw some of the Novum songs Brown's way to see what he came up with.

"He was a very amenable person to work with, and able to change something if that was necessary," Brooker says. And Brown's work on Novum is notably more straightforward than some of his psychedelic world trips of the past. "They're more real, more about real things and not fantasy or anything like that," Brooker notes. "But I've had a lot of experience singing what you might call out-there lyrics, you know? 'We skipped the light fandango,' remember?"

Procol Harum begins a U.K. tour on May 6 in Edinburgh, Scotland, with European dates in the fall and more shows likely to be added to the list. Brooker isn't talking about another album yet, but he's as happy with the current state of Procol Harum as he's been with any other lineup in the group's history.

"I think I've got a soft spot for it somewhere," he says. "I still like singing and I like doing all the Procol songs, from 1967 right through to now. And it's always been people that enjoyed each other's company for the most part, and therefore it's a social club as well as a band. And we don't fall out anymore. We don't have arguments. We don't fight each other. It's become what I've always thought a band is supposed to be."

Gary Graff - 4/20/2017
© 2017 Billboard.

Every once in a great while, a band with some history and, usually, no small pedigree, will reignite the chemistry that begat its sound and do so without over-obvious replication of its essential style. Neil Young and Crazy Horse found themselves in such a rarefied space with Ragged Glory (Reprise, 1990) as did the Allman Brothers Band in the early 2000's.

With Novum, Procol Harum is similarly positioned. Cognizance of the fiftieth anniversary of the band's breakthrough with "Whiter Shade of Pale" has led perennial vocalist and keyboardist Gary Brooker to marshal the resources of a lineup that's been stable for some two decades and, as a further catalyst, utilize the distinctive lyric-writing skill of Pete Brown, who collaborated in that role with Cream.

A group more glib than this one might contrive the title of this record—literally defined as "new thing"—into an updated moniker. But it's a healthy detachment from what they do that allows Procol circa 2017 to create in such a way they're free of any self-consciousness on tracks like "I Told On You." Fronting this stable a lineup, Brooker and Co. has the advantage of playing for their audience without playing down to them with this, their first album in fourteen years. The cover art hearkening to, but also modernizing, graphics from their early days is not just symbolic.

In fact, it's a metaphor for music that, at its best on tracks like a stately, uplifting "The Only One," has all the earthy grandeur of its past plus the bond of the current lineup. The quintet's solidarity in the studio is altogether remarkable and it's no coincidence that a fretboard image is almost as prominent on the cover as that of a keyboard: the heavy guitar of Geoff Whitehorn favorably reminds that Robin Trower was an original member of Procol Harum.

But Brooker's piano is even further to the forefront there and on "Last Chance Motel," giving this track a lilt accentuated by group vocal harmonies. The arrangement of "Image of the Beast," in contrast, emphasizes Josh Phillips on Hammond organ, the somewhat ominous tones of which rest easily with brighter chord changes. The following track, "Soldier," has slightly more colorful lyric images, suggesting just how crucial is wordsmith Pete Brown's contributions to the pieces on which he's participates.

The lyrics, however, might not matter so much without the distinctive tones of Gary Brooker's voice. There's a regal bearing to his singing, to be sure, but it also accommodates the whimsy of songs like "Don't Get Caught" (almost) as easily as the wistful tones of "Sunday Morning." Needless to say, the keyboardist/composer excels on "Can't Say That" as well, the cut on Novum that hews most closely to the blues and soul influences at the heart of Procol Harum.

It may be the most literal reference to this storied band's roots, but it's hardly the only one here, which is what makes the record so worthy of attention, as an extension of a worthy legacy as well as a laudable work on its own terms.

Rating 4 out of 5.

DOUG COLLETTE - April 22, 2017
© 2017 All About Jazz

The second half of the 2010's is where the great bands of the '60s and '70s go to die.

For fans of the great bands of the '60s and '70s, these are sad times. Our heroes are dying out. Many of them are literally dying, from old age and/or questionable lifestyle choices. Some are no longer able to sing or play their instruments capably. And for the bands still able to produce marketable music, most are a shadow of their former selves. Just earlier today, I read some good things about the new Deep Purple album, and that's great. But these days, for fans of the musical giants of the last century, we receive each new album with a mixture of excitement and dread; we hope that our former idols still have something left in the tank, but we fear that they'll embarrass themselves. And each release is bittersweet - it could mark their last goodbye.

If I'm being honest, the last true Procol Harum studio album was their 1977 release, Something Magic. It was mediocre at best, but it was legitimate Procol Harum. The Procol I loved was a band that put epic fantasy to music. Wizards and swordplay, and strangers in space, this was the meat of Procol Harum. Although they had some amazing and creative musicians over the years like guitarist Robin Trower and organist Matthew Fisher, the two indispensable band members who made Procol Harum Procol Harum were songwriter/vocalist/pianist Gary Brooker and lyricist Keith Reid. Brooker provided the band's distinctive sound, while Reid brought the poetry. There really wasn't another band like them, and when they broke up in 1977, it was the end of an era.

The band has re-formed for several albums since then, including 1991's The Prodigal Stranger and 2003's The Well's on Fire, but while both Brooker and Reid were present for those albums, as was Fisher (and Trower was also back for Prodigal Stranger), they weren't really Procol Harum albums. The sound was different, and more importantly, the lyrics were mundane. Gone were most of the tall tails of gods, salty dogs and winged horses that gave the band their unique flavor, replaced with commonplace songs about aging and social issues. Don't get me wrong, both of these albums had some fine moments. But although I didn't want to admit it at the time, they weren't really Procol Harum. So now we have Novum.

The most important thing you need to know about Novum is this: Brooker is the last man standing. Gone is Keith Reid, replaced as a lyricist by Pete Brown, best known for his collaborations with Cream and Jack Bruce. Fisher and Trower are also long gone. True, most of the other musicians on the album have been official members of the band for years - just not the classic years. The lyrics here are once again about more earthbound topics than those of the vintage Procol Harum - stories of businessmen and adulterous lovers have replaced those of reanimated corpses and conquistadors. As for the music, it's a pretty basic R&B style of rock, occasionally softened by Brooker's piano. This has always been a part of Procol's sound - just not the best part. If you're a long-time Procol fan, think more along the lines of "Wish Me Well" and "Butterfly Boys" than "In Held 'Twas in Eye" or "Whaling Stories". There are also a variety of other elements mixed in here, including things that sound like Jim Morrison and the Doors, Steely Dan, Sting (instrumentally, not vocally), and even Johann Pachelbel. It's a bit of a hodgepodge.

I've got to be truthful here - the first four or five listens, I couldn't hear anything memorable at all about Novum. The pluses of the LP are these: Brooker is still in amazingly good voice for a man of 72; and the band is definitely proficient - there's nothing lacking in terms of musicianship. The problem is that most of the songs themselves are only average. Initially, I would have even said they were uninspired, although I now believe that's unfair - Brooker is clearly inspired by them. I'm the one who isn't. I was hoping for a true Procol Harum album, and this just isn't it.

I will say, however, that when I listened to Novum on its own terms, there's more there than I initially heard. As a Procol Harum album, it rates no better than 1-1/2 to 2 stars. But as just an album (or as a Gary Brooker solo album, if you like), I'd give it a solid 2-1/2 stars. You might even add an extra 1/2 star if you're more of a fan of R&B than I am.

The two tracks I came to like the best are a lighthearted keeping-up-with-the-Joneses song called "Neighbor" (which features some whimsical accordion), and a more serious number sung from the viewpoint of God called "The Only One". The music on some of the more topical songs like "Soldier" or "Businessman" is pretty good. It's just the lyrics that are a little paint-by-number. The album closes on a poignant note with a track highlighted by Brooker's wistful piano called "Somewhen".

Odds are this will be Procol Harum's last album. Maybe that's for the best. I guess that Novum adds a little extra luster to their legacy, although it's not even in the same stratosphere as albums like Shine on Brightly or A Salty Dog. Clearly, though, the second half of the 2010's is where the musical giants of yesteryear go to die. One can only wish there's some truth to lyrics of Novum's closing song: "And when we're gone/We'll meet again/Some way, somehow, somewhen."

Rating 2.5 out of 5.

Divaman - April 29th, 2017
Copyright 2005-2017 Sputnikmusic.com

I have been a fan of Procol Harum, since first hearing the songs A Whiter Shade of Pale and Conquistador, and the album Shine on Brightly, with its incredible prog epic In Held ‘Twas in I. If you haven’t heard that epic classic, you really should…

The band has always had a diverse ability to play the same rockin’ blues that most of Britain’s seminal rock bands played and grew up with, while at the same time they have generated moments of brilliance with prog classics like the ones mentioned above. So, it was with great interest that I anticipated this latest album, Novum, when I heard that it was on the way a couple of years ago, their twelfth studio album and the first in almost 14 years.

Which way would the album direction flow? Rockin’ blues or progressive rock? This may be their last album, since none of the players are getting any younger, so how do they want to be remembered? Well, the answer was probably already assumed a couple of years ago when the announcement was made that they were going to release another album. Procol Harum, like most other bands of their generation, wanted to go out with what they came in playing. So, this is primarily a rockin’ blues album. In fact, it is as if the prog music which brought them most of their accolades has been left behind.

This album is very bluesy, with the kind of drunken storytelling which brought them many fans during the early years. It is also the first album without the lyrics of Keith Reid. Gary Brooker is the only founding member of the band on board for this album and his piano playing is one of the highlights, such as on the opening song I Told You So, a bluesy rock ballad that opens with wonderful piano from Gary and is full of the kind of melancholy lyrics and real-world stories that the band have been known for over the years.

In fact, many of these tracks are similar to the opener in their stories and rhythms. They, especially the second track Last Chance Motel, sound like pub sing along songs. Not bad, if you are into that type of music but Last Chance Motel is almost like a country song in feel and lyrically. Not my cup of tea.

Gary Brooker’s voice is still powerful and that is what hurts the most when you listen to this album. I think he has at least one more great prog giant left, but we may never hear it.

Image of the Beast and Soldier are excellent lyrically and well played, the guitar, bass and drums are perfect while the organ and piano are simply riveting. They sound a lot like the kind of AOR rock that dominated airwaves in the ’70s. Good, but, yes, you’ve heard this all before.

Don’t Get Caught has some great keyboards and that wonderful piano, with Brooker singing like the salty sailor he is, and Neighbour has a hilarious lyrical story that helps lift the album in the middle. Sunday Morning has a regal beauty to its piano opening. On this track you can almost hear Brooker’s vocals trying to resurrect A Whiter Shade of Pale or Grand Hotel, with accompaniment from strings and organ. This is the closest we get to the album that I would have loved to hear.

The Only One is another standout. Just who Brooker is talking about in the lyric will conjure memories of the world’s fascination with A Whiter Shade of Pale, if enough people hear this album, and it is the best song on the album by a long shot. Wonderful, I only wish there were more of this and Sunday Morning. Somewhen is another golden nugget full of the kind of lyrics that help remind us of how wonderful life used to be before the world’s most recent challenges. It is sung in that melancholy voice that Brooker is so perfect at producing. He takes you there and gives it the feel it needs. Three great songs that I hope they might use for inspiration, if they decide to record another album in the future.

But here we get some fun jibing towards Businessman and others instead. These are good songs no doubt. But they are too tied up in real world situations and everyday happenings, which is O.K. but I want to hear music to take me away from it all. With all the sadness and problems in the world, we don’t need more reminding in our entertainment. Most of this music doesn’t take you away at all.

Working man songs for working people. Good for bars and pubs. Not the kind of magical lyrics and music that take you beyond the pale.

Professor Mark
© 2013-2017 The Progressive Aspect

The brand new studio album "Novum" (on CD and 2LP) by PROCOL HARUM will be released on April 21 via Eagle Records. The band's first studio album in fourteen years, and thirteenth overall, follows 2003's "The Well's On Fire". "Novum" is released as the band celebrates its 50th anniversary, while also undertaking a European tour. The album release is preceded by that of the single "Sunday Morning" on April 7.

Half a century ago, powered by the huge and ongoing success of their debut single "A Whiter Shade Of Pale", PROCOL HARUM went on to help define the progressive rock genre while at the same time embracing their roots in blues and soul. "A Whiter Shade Of Pale" continues to be one of the best-selling singles of all time. The cover artwork of "Novum" by Julia Brown references elements of the sleeve of that album — the band's eponymous debut album in 1967.

PROCOL HARUM has been an evolving musical force from the first performance in '67, but always led by founding member, singer, pianist and composer Gary Brooker. Most of today's lineup has been playing together since the early '90s and it includes bassist Matt Pegg (JETHRO TULL, Ian Brown), drummer Geoff Dunn (Jimmy Page, Dave Stewart, Van Morrison), guitarist Geoff Whitehorn (Roger Chapman, Paul Rodgers, Roger Daltrey) and Hammond organ player Josh Phillips (Pete Townsend and Midge Ure), but to all their fans, they are the real PROCOL HARUM.

"Our last studio album was in 2003, and with 2017 being 50 years of PROCOL HARUM, something special was needed, which has resulted in a new album of new songs with the band as we've stood for the past decade, all contributing with producer Dennis Weinreich to make what I believe to be one of the finest PROCOL HARUM albums ever — 'Novum' — just listen," states Gary Brooker.

"Novum" sees a new direction for PROCOL HARUM, with the songs being written and created by the whole band, with most songs featuring words by Pete Brown, most famous for his songwriting collaboration with the members of CREAM. This has given a different feel to the songs, retaining the thought provoking content for which the band has always been known but with a different slant and elements of humor.

"Novum" marks not only an incredible fifty years of amazing music, but also the next step for this seminal band. This long-awaited collection of brand new songs is sure to be welcomed by PROCOL HARUM's devoted fanbase.


Zu ihrem 50. Band-Geburtstag präsentieren Procol Harum ihr neues Album "Novum". Mit elf neuen Songs ist "Novum" ein modernes, wie auch klassisches Rockalbum. Von Roland Biswurm

Großer Hit „A whiter shade of pale“

"Die Idee dahinter ist  die: ich war stark von  der Musik Bachs beeinflußt. Ich spielte das und dann kam Jacques Loussier mit seinen „Play Bach“ Aufnahmen , da wusste ich : ich muss das auch ausprobieren"
Gary Brooker

Gary Brooker, Londoner, Sohn  des besten britischen Hawaigitarristen  während der fünfziger Jahre, wird  in wenigen Wochen 72. Bereits als Fünfjähriger spielte er mit Daddy lustige Melodien aus Hawaii und eben : Bach Fugen. Berühmt ist er  vor allem wegen dieses einen Hits, der nun auch schon fünfzig Jahre auf dem Buckel hat: „A whiter shade of pale“.

"Die besten Ideen  kommen sehr schnell, vielleicht sogar von oben, wer weiß?  und sie überdauern die Zeit, sie sind zeitlos. Ich käme  nicht auf die Idee, einen Rapsong zu schreiben. Viele der neuen Songs sind ja nun auch schon über zehn Jahre alt, aber sie waren damals schon gut, als ich sie  zuhause auf dem Klavier ausprobiert habe und hoffentlich jetzt auf dem neuen Album eben auch.. Die wirklich guten Sachen  folgen keiner Mode."
Gary Brooker

Diesmal keine Streicher

"Ich bin dein  Manager und ich schreib dir vor , was du singen und sagen sollst und was nicht, kapiert ? Du willst doch Platten verkaufen, nicht wahr ?" singt  Gary Brooker auf der  neuesten, der dreizehnten Studioplatte von Procol Harum. Keine Streicher diesmal, keine üppigen Orgeln, stattdessen : Gitarren und  Klaviere, alte , neue Rocksongs, wie wir sie von Supertramp, Kansas, Toto oder eben von Procol Harum kennen.

"Wenn du früher eine Vinylplatte gekauft hast, dann war der Veröffentlichungstag sehr spannend, weil du selber nicht wusstest, wie die Platte klingen wird. Heute  ist ja  alles ganz anders."
Gary Brooker

So neu ist der Sound nicht

Sonntags geht er immer in die Kirche, aber das macht die Sache nur noch schlimmer, denn er arbeitet bis zum Umfallen, um die paar Kröten zusammen zu kratzen, singt Gary Brooker über den „Businessman“ . Das ist einer von  elf Songs auf der  „Novum“ betitelten  Veröffentlichung von Procol Harum. Nun, so neu ist der Sound nicht, aber, wie Gary Brooker bemerkt, sie sind solide Rock und Popsongs. klingt einfach: zwei, drei Akkorde, eine markante, sofort wiedererkennbare Stimme, die kaum etwas von ihrer Sonorität  verloren hat , aber : Ob ein Hit dabei ist, wie damals : „A whiter shade of Pale“, wird sich zeigen.

Lass Dich nicht unterkriegen

Kein Unterschied zwischen  richtig und falsch, nein, nirgends. Vergiss aber dennoch nicht, was die Alten gesagt haben: Lass dich nicht  unterkriegen, schneller als du glaubst, haben sie dich im Sack… heißt es in „don’t get caught“.

Novum - ein Album, das die Musikwelt überraschen könnte

"Die Leute fragen  mich, weshalb spielst du nicht die  alten Lieder immer  und immer, aber ich mag das nicht.  Ich möchte neue Songs  machen, nicht fürs Publikum, sondern vor allem für mich."
Gary Brooker
Procol Harum existierte  zunächst zehn Jahre, bis 1977 und veröffentlichte etliche Platten, von denen aber die  Popwelt kaum Notiz genommen hat.  Seit Anfang der Neunziger Jahre  ist Procol Harum nun wieder ständig live zu erleben, wovon die Popwelt ebenfalls bislang kaum Notiz genommen hat.  Vielleicht ändert sich das ja  mit dieser Platte.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Roland Biswurm - 20.04.2017
Bayerischer Rundfunk

 L y r i c s

Currently no Lyrics available!

 M P 3   S a m p l e s

Currently no Samples available!