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Procol Harum - Live In Concert With The Edmonton Symphony Orchestra CD (album) cover


Procol Harum


Crossover Prog

4.09 | 137 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars A bloated white whale of a record. Procol Harum only has the one song that I'd want to hear in an orchestral setting, and it isn't here. Instead you get a boatload of mediocrity covered in baroque ornament like the side-long "In Held Twas I" or tentative tales like "A Salty Dog." An ELP can get away with this, Crimson too if they wanted, but not Procol Harum. Outside of a few scary moments on "Whaling Stories" or patches of "In Held Twas I," prog's dark chess pieces stay in check. Someone should have told Gary Brooker that he simply doesn't have the voice to offset an orchestra. He treads water some of the time, sinks under the surface others, and is only occasionally rescued by a nice drum fill from B.J. Wilson or guitar solo from Dave Ball. Honestly, prog live albums were as much about spectacle as sound, and there are very few I actually listen to often (ELP, Rush and Yes come to mind). Live In Concert will be going back upon the shelves soon to die a quiet and dusty death. It's not just a bad record, it's laughably bad in spots, a postcard of poor taste from the heights of pretension. When the audience erupts into applause at the end of "In Held Twas I," you wonder whether they're pleased or relieved. All that said, Live In Concert charted remarkably well in the US, sold over a half-million copies and produced a hit single in the live version of "Conquistador." I admire that Procol Harum tried to elevate their medium with an orchestra and chorus, I just don't like the results.
daveconn | 2/5 |


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