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


Procol Harum


Crossover Prog

3.92 | 322 ratings

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3 stars The debut album from Procol Harum was released in 1967 and is rightly praised as one of the most important proto prog albums. The inclusion of both a piano ( Gary Brooker) and an organ player ( Matthew Fisher) were something totally new at the time.

The music is as a consequence dominated by piano and especially the omnipresent organ. The distorted guitars from Robin Trower is also a great addition to Procol Harumīs sound. The vocals from Gary Brooker are really strong. He has a beautiful and powerful voice. This is not music with much challenging instrumentation, but the strong and memorable vocal lines really keeps me interested throughout the whole album. Songs like Kaleidoscope, the instrumental Repent Walpurgis and the pop/ rock evergreen A Whiter Shade of Pale all has lots of progressive promise ( I think I hear a couple of hints towards Genesis), but thereīs generally a will here to make original music that is really honourable when viewed in retrospect. Note that A Whiter Shade of Pale wasnīt on the original European version of the LP which is such a shame. Later CD reissues all include the song though.

The musicianship is great. Such passion is always impressive. The organ playing from Matthew Fisher is hard not to notice but I really enjoy some of the piano parts from Gary Brooker as well. This is not the tightest interplay between musicians I have heard, but they probably didnīt have much time in the studio in those days.

The production is not very good. The drums and the bass drown most of the time because of the loud organ. This is a 1967 recording so itīs excusable. Iīm a bit annoyed but it doesnīt ruin my listening experience.

This album helped build the progressive rock genre I donīt doubt that. But personally this only gives me average enjoyment. Itīs good but not excellent music. If you rate after importance for the progressive music genre I would rate this album 4 or 5 stars but for my personal enjoyment this is a 3 star album. But this is a must hear for anyone even slightly interested in progressive rock music.

UMUR | 3/5 |


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