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22/10/2015 : PROCOL HARUM - Procol Harum

PROCOL HARUM

Procol Harum

MusicCD
Prog RockPsychedelicRock

[79/100]   

Cherry Red Records
22/10/2015, Didier BECU

EN

A Whiter Shade of Pale (although it is actually based on Bach's Overture no. 3 in D, BWV 1068) made Procol Harum rich, but as is so often the case, the super hit also was a brake on the further career of this British band. Procol Harum released loads of albums, but they were especially appreciated by music lovers, because they would never be in the charts again, a few exceptions not included.

It's no surprise that today, the albums by Procol Harum are virtually impossible to find, unless you're willing to pay extortionate prices. Their best ones are now re-released on Cherry Red Records, including (as always on this label) a lot of extra tracks.

It sounds strange, but A Whiter Shade of Pale, which appeared a year earlier, is not included on the debut, and neither is the second single Homburg, even though you'll find it on this CD release, including the B-sides. Even though it is one of the greatest classics from the 60s and A Whiter Shade Of Pale perhaps being the most famously slow ever, it was immediately clear that the group wanted to be more than just a chart band. The songs are not as strong, nonetheless they come close to Pink Floyd. We write Pink Floyd, but thanks to the voice of Gary Brooker, Robin Trower's guitar, the bass of David Knights, the drumming of BJ Wilson and especially the Hammond sound of Matthew Fisher, Procol Harum has a very distinctive sound.

The ten tracks on this debut are wonderful examples of genius psychedelic pop with a wide range of influences (from pure pub rock like Mabel to psychedelics like Repent Walpurgis, that could have been written by Syd Barrett). No, Procol Harum is so much more than that one song, and this reissue offers you all the possibilities to discover that!

Didier BECU
22/10/2015


NL

A Whiter Shade of Pale (ofschoon het eigenlijk is gebaseerd op Bachs Ouverture nr. 3 in D, BWV 1068) bracht Procol Harum aardig wat centen op, maar zoals dat vaak het geval is, was deze superhit een rem op de verdere carrière van deze Britse groep. Procol Harum bracht nog tal van platen uit, maar die vielen vooral in de smaak bij muziekfanaten, want de hitparade zouden ze daarna (op een paar kleine uitzonderingen na) nooit meer bereiken.

Het zal niemand verbazen dat tegenwoordig de platen van Procol Harum zo goed als onvindbaar zijn, tenzij je bereid bent om woekerprijzen te betalen. De belangrijkste werken zijn nu door Cherry Red Records heruitgebracht, inclusief (zoals steeds op dit label) een heleboel extra nummers.

Het klinkt vreemd, maar A Whiter Shade of Pale, dat een jaartje eerder verscheen, staat (net als de tweede single Homburg) niet op hun debuut (ook al vind je ze wel op deze cd-versie terug, inclusief de B-kantjes). Ook al gaat het om één van de grootste klassiekers uit de jaren 60 en is A Whiter Shade Of Pale misschien wel de beroemdste slow ooit, werd het toch op de eerste plaat meteen duidelijk dat de groep meer dan een hitparadeband wilde zijn. De songs zijn weliswaar niet zo sterk, desalniettemin komen ze dicht in het vaarwater van Pink Floyd. We schrijven wel Pink Floyd, maar Procol Harum heeft dankzij de stem van Gary Brooker, de gitaar van Robin Trower, de bass van David Knights, het drumwerk van B.J. Wilson en vooral het Hammond-geluid van Matthew Fisher, een zeer eigen geluid.

De tien nummers op dit debuut zijn prachtige voorbeelden van weldoordachte psychedelica pop met een brede waaier van invloeden (van pure pubrock in Mabel tot psychedelica als Repent Walpurgis dat door Syd Barrett kon bedacht zijn). Neen, Procol Harum is zoveel meer dan dat ene nummer en deze heruitgave biedt je alle mogelijkheden om dat te ontdekken!

Didier BECU
22/10/2015


 

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Other reviews from PROCOL HARUM
PROCOL HARUM • Shine On So Brightly

 

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DEBRIS OF TITAN • On the Home Slope

 

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