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Procol Harum - Procol Harum [Aka: A Whiter Shade Of Pale] CD (album) cover

PROCOL HARUM [AKA: A WHITER SHADE OF PALE]

Procol Harum

 

Crossover Prog

3.92 | 322 ratings

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Guillermo
Prog Reviewer
3 stars In this first album the band still was trying to define in more clear ways their muscial style. I still can find some influences from Blues music in their music, and this album was quickly recorded in a few days (in less than a week, if I remember well), almost recorded "live in the studio", and,.. in Mono (WHY?). With the passing of time, they have released some Stereo versions of some of the songs from this album, but those Stereo versions maybe were recorded with the original line-up of the band (which included drummer Bobby Harrison and guitarist Ray Royer). But it seems this album was recorded after the new members (B.J. Wilson on drums and Robin Trower on guitar, which in fact were Gary Brooker`s old mates from the band "The Paramounts" in the early and mid sixties) joined the band.

I have read in the web that their "A Whiter Shade of Pale" single was liked a lot by many musicians in 1967, including The Beatles and others, who praised it a lot. Without doubt, that song was very influential in the later development of Prog Rock music. So, after promoting this song with several gigs (with the original line-up and then with the new line-up) they quickly recorded this album, but I can`t understand why this album was released until late 1967 (and some sources say it was released until January 1968), and when it was finally released, it did not include that song in the U.K. (but in the U.S. the album included that song). It seems that some management problems and a change of record label in the U.K. were among some of the problems involved in the late release of the album.

Anyway, this album in its original released form had some very good songs, like "Conquistador", "She Wandered Through the Garden Fence" (the best of all, in my opinion) and the funny "Mabel" ( with some British humour). There are also some Psychedelic influences in the music, a very logical thing because this album was recorded in 1967, and Matthew Fisher`s Classical Music arrangements in his organ playing are very good. I think that this album really sounds like it was recorded "in a hurry" and with a low budget, but it is good anyway. Despite being recorded in Mono it sounds good for my taste. But the band was going to record better albums than this debut album.

I think that the cover design is very good too, very much related to the music and the lyrics of the band. It looks to me that it was inspired by the song "She Wandered Through the Garden Fence" or by "A Whiter Shade of Pale", but I could be wrong.

Guillermo | 3/5 |

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