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28/10/2015 : PROCOL HARUM - Shine On So Brightly

PROCOL HARUM

Shine On So Brightly

MusicCD
BluesProg RockPsychedelic

[81/100]   

Cherry Red Records
28/10/2015, Didier BECU

EN

A year after Procol Harum’s debut, Shine On Brightly was released on Regal Zonophone and A & M. Although today, the record is considered as one of the main founders of the progressive rock, the words of critics in 1968 were not very favorable. It was too complicated, probably because there was no hit included on the album (the B-side was a song of 17 minutes, divided into five pieces). Today some music experts go as far as to say that Gary Brooker, Robin Trower, David Knights, BJ Wilson and Matthew Fisher have rewritten the history of music with this album.

With their colorful outfits, the five had the image of a psychedelic rock band (something you hear on the title track or Quite Rightly So, that had all the qualities to become as big a hit as A Whiter Shade Of Pale), but most songs (just like on their first record) had a completely different sound. The raw guitar sounds of Robin Trowers nearly made Procol Harum sound like a mod rock band (Rambling On and Wish Me Well sounds a bit like The Who with a dash of blues rock). At other times, they sounded experimental, Skip Softly is fine British psychedelics as we later would hear a lot from Genesis.

But of course, the tour de force was the seventeen-minute opus In Held 'Twas In I. But what was once unacceptable, becomes years later (rightly) something genius, although it was back then a commercial suicide (although the group already refused to obey the rules on their debut).

Shine On Brightly is now re-released by Cherry Red, and the consumers can choose between a single disc (featuring three bonus tracks including the Italian version of Shine On Brightly and the A- and B-side of Quite Rightly So (that was released in March 1968) or a deluxe version with three CDs. On the latter, you find 20 bonus tracks, including nine previously unreleased songs, as well as a selection of various radio sessions.

Shine On Brightly is a record on which Procol Harum proved (once again) that they were capable of more than that one worldwide hit.

Didier BECU
28/10/2015


NL

Een jaar na Procol Harums debuut verscheen Shine On Brightly op Regal Zonophone en A&M. Alhoewel de plaat vandaag als één van de belangrijkste grondleggers van de progressieve rock wordt beschouwd, waren de woorden van critici in 1968 niet bijster lovend. Men vond het destijds allemaal te moeilijk, wat wellicht kwam omdat er geen hit op het album stond (de B-kant bestond uit een nummer van 17 minuten dat is opgedeeld in vijf stukken). Vandaag gaan sommige muziekkenners zo ver door te stellen dat Gary Brooker, Robin Trower, David Knights, B.J. Wilson en Matthew Fisher hiermee de muziekgeschiedenis hebben herschreven.

Met hun kleurrijke pakjes hadden de vijf wel het imago van een psychedelische popgroep (iets wat je hoort op de titeltrack of Quite Rightly So, dat trouwens alle kwaliteiten bezat om net zo’n grote hit als A Whiter Shade Of Pale te worden), maar de meeste nummers hadden (net zoals hun eerste plaat) een volledig ander geluid. De rauwe gitaarklanken van Robin Trowers maakte van Procol Harum bijna een modrockband (Rambling On en Wish Me Well klinken een beetje als The Who met een flinke scheut bluesrock). Op andere momenten klonken ze dan weer Brits experimenteel, zo is Skip Softly heerlijke Britse psychedelica zoals we dat later van Genesis nog vaak zouden horen.

Maar de tour de force was natuurlijk het zeventien minuten durende opus In Held ’T Was In I. Maar wat vroeger onaanvaardbaar was, wordt jaren later (terecht) als geniaal beschouwd, ofschoon het toen gelijk stond met commerciële zelfmoord (niettegenstaande de groep dat al had gedaan op hun debuut door te weigeren om toe te geven aan de geldende regels).

Shine On Brightly is nu opnieuw uitgebracht door Cherry Red, en de consument kan kiezen tussen een single disc (met daarop drie bonustracks waaronder de Italiaanse versie van Shine On Brightly en de A- en B-kant van Quite Rightly So (dat in maart 1968 werd uitgebracht) of een luxeversie met 3 cd’s. Op die laatste vind je 20 bonusnummers terug waaronder 9 nooit eerder uitgebrachte songs, alsook een selectie van allerlei radiosessies.

Shine On Brightly is een plaat die vandaag terecht is geherwaardeerd en waarop de groep bewijst dat ze meer in haar mars had dan die ene wereldhit.

Didier BECU
28/10/2015


 

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