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Procol Harum - Shine On Brightly CD (album) cover


Procol Harum


Crossover Prog

4.05 | 247 ratings

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5 stars As prog as it got in 1968. Gary Brooker's soulful delivery and songwriting, Robin Trower's searing lead guitar, withMatthew Fisher's quasi-classical organ flourishes, and Keith Reid's offbeat lyrics all combine in Procol's best overall album. Not merely a curiosity for the prog fan interested in prog's roots, this album is undeniably strong on its own merits.

The shorter songs on side one offer a strange blend of warped music hall, blues rock, and piano-based pop. "Quite Rightly So" takes the stately march of "Whiter Shade" and betters it; "Shine on Brightly" is a proud ode to madness with screaming lead guitar; "Skip Softly" is a bizarre merry-go-round of a song; "Wish Me Well" is earthy blues; and finally, "Rambling On" is an amusing tale of a man who decides he can fly.

Side two begins with a brief hymn, "Magdalene (My Regal Zonophone)", which sets the stage for the album's centerpiece. The 19 minute suite that follows, "In Held 'Twas in I", is a spooky, multifaceted epic, incorporating several shorter "songs" to build an overall whole (in retrospect, it seems to be the template for things like "Supper's Ready" years later) that seems to tell a story of a man's quest for meaning ("the Dalai Lama smiled and said, well my son, life is like a beanstalk, isn't it?" being the most famous phrase in the song) and battle against personal demons.

File with the "best of 1968" and give this puppy 5 stars.

HolyMoly | 5/5 |


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