Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Procol Harum - (You Can't) Turn Back the Page CD (album) cover


Procol Harum

Crossover Prog

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Bookmark and Share
3 stars It was 14 years since their [in my opinion rather weak] 1977 farewell album Something Magic, when Procol Harum made a return to the music business. And it wasn't one of those comebacks in which the band's lead figure - in this case, vocalist-pianist- composer Gary Brooker - recruits a bunch of musicians who have hardly ever been involved with the band's past, no, this was a "real" comeback as a band. Lyricist Keith Reid was in, and so were organist Matthew Fisher and guitarist Robin Trower, both key figures in the Procol saga. Drummer B. J. Wilson died before the realization of this comeback. Expectations were probably high among the old fans. Sadly the comeback album The Prodigal Stranger is generally regarded as a disappointment: professionally done, but without particularily strong song material, not to speak of once-so-fascinating lyrics from Reid, now playing with worn-out clichés even on the titles such as 'One More Time' and 'You Can't Turn Back the Page'. But let's have a closer look at this CD single's three songs.

'(You Can't) Turn Back the Page' has a big production typical for the era, or rather the late 80's. The drums are loud and clinical- sounding, and there's a choir reminiscent of the one in the Foreigner hit 'I Want to Know What Love Is'. As a whole the arrangement is dynamic, ie. at the beginning and on other quieter moments Brooker's digital piano is on the front and Fisher's organ makes nice appearances too. The song itself is quite good AOR with emotion and good melodies, but a bit over-produced, after all.

'One More Time' is pure Foreigner-type AOR with a rockier approach compared to the single's title song. Those choirs are present again... :( The sound features the Procol trademark of piano & organ combination but the big, commercial production is all around. The electric guitar solo is OK. 'Perpetual Motion', together with the slow-tempo song 'The Pursuit of Happiness', was my favourite song on The Prodigal Stranger. Its powerful chorus is among the finest in the whole Procol catalogue, and the more delicate parts leave room for the beautifully soft organ sound. The lyrics have a reference to the song 'Grand Hotel', which 1973 album actually is a good comparison to 'Perpetual Motion'. Unlike the two other songs here, it's not over-produced in my opinion. Needless to say this single won't score high from the prog's point of view, but it's not bad at all as a pop product of its time.

Report this review (#1918428)
Posted Monday, April 30, 2018 | Review Permalink

PROCOL HARUM (You Can't) Turn Back the Page ratings only

chronological order | showing rating only No rating for the moment | Submit a review

Post a review of PROCOL HARUM (You Can't) Turn Back the Page

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.