Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography

PROCOL HARUM

Crossover Prog • United Kingdom


From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Procol Harum picture
Procol Harum biography
PROCOL HARUM came out of the ashes from a band called the PARAMOUNTS that had its roots back in 59 (!!) and had split in early 66. Gary Brooker meet lyricist Keith Reid and began writing songs and by 1967, it became clear that they would need the help from their old colleagues from PARAMOUNTS days to form their new band to be called PROCOL HARUM. They developed a really new sound with two KB (piano for Brooker and Hammond organ for Fisher) and a guitarist extraordinaire called Robin Trower who was greatly influenced by JIMI HENDRIX EXPERIENCE. They quickly became one of the precursor of progressive rock (along the MOODY BLUES and The NICE) and mixed in some classical influences (BACH in "Whiter Shade of Pale") and sold millions of singles but also albums.

They became the first band to build a multi-movement suite that lasted a whole side and this was in early 68 in their second album called "Shine on Brightly" and became a real influence for all progressive groups to come. By their fourth album "Home", the sound had evolved to an almost hard-rock but by the following one, the guitarist Robin Trower left for a long and successful solo career, leaving Brooker alone at the driving wheel. From their "Grand Hotel" album, the sound will be tamer but still explosive but all of the succeeding album would follow suit, the band still enjoyed many hit singles. Until they folded in 77, victim of the punk wave. They sporadically reform around the Brooker-Reid duo and Fisher to record a new album and small tour, the most recent being in 2003.

PROCOL HARUM is highly recommended for all the progheads who are interested in the birth of prog and its roots as well as its inventive use of an symphonic orchestra often used a real instrument in their music.

: : : Hugues Chantraine, BELGIUM : : :

Procol Harum official website

PROCOL HARUM MP3, Free Download (music stream)


Open extended player in a new pop-up window | Random Playlist (50) | How to submit new MP3s

PROCOL HARUM forum topics / tours, shows & news


PROCOL HARUM forum topics Create a topic now
PROCOL HARUM tours, shows & news Post an entries now

PROCOL HARUM Videos (YouTube and more)


Showing only random 3 | Show all PROCOL HARUM videos (5) | Search and add more videos to PROCOL HARUM

Buy PROCOL HARUM Music


Procol Harum - Greatest HitsProcol Harum - Greatest Hits
Remastered
A&M 1996
Audio CD$9.69
$4.48 (used)
Live In Concert With The Edmonton Symphony Orchestra - Procol HarumLive In Concert With The Edmonton Symphony Orchestra - Procol Harum
Import · Remastered
Salvo 2015
Audio CD$5.10
$5.09 (used)
Broken Barricades - Procol HarumBroken Barricades - Procol Harum
Import
Salvo 2015
Audio CD$5.10
$5.09 (used)
A Salty DogA Salty Dog
EP · Extra tracks · Import · Remastered
Esoteric Antenna 2015
Audio CD$11.66
$9.99 (used)
Procol HarumProcol Harum
Esoteric Antenna 2015
Audio CD$11.57
$13.06 (used)
Shine on BrightlyShine on Brightly
Esoteric Antenna 2015
Audio CD$19.85
$29.97 (used)
Grand Hotel - Procol HarumGrand Hotel - Procol Harum
Import · Remastered
Salvo 2015
Audio CD$5.10
$5.09 (used)
INSIDEOUTSIDE The Very Best of Live & In The StudioINSIDEOUTSIDE The Very Best of Live & In The Studio
Import
Imports 2014
Audio CD$3.51
$3.57 (used)
Prodigal StrangerProdigal Stranger
Bmg Music 1991
Audio CD$27.99
$3.24 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
Gary Brooker (Procol Harum) vinyl LP album ECHOES IN THE NIGHT (1985) Used/Good USD $12.95 [0 bids]
56m 48s
PROCOL HARUM LIME STREET BLUES DW1063 EP ww2955 USD $4.99 [0 bids]
1h 5m
PROCOL HARUM "GRAND HOTEL" LP 1973 GATEFOLD LP W/ RARE 24 PAGE BOOKLET W/ LYRIC USD $14.39 Buy It Now 1h 15m
PROCOL HARUM VINYL live with edmonton symphony orchestra LP 1972 NmNm IN PLASTIC USD $19.99 Buy It Now 1h 55m
NM- Original US pressing A&M LP PROCOL HARUM "Broken Barricades" GREAT COPY USD $24.83 Buy It Now 2h 2m
Procol Harum "Exotic Birds and Fruit" record Excellent Free Ship USD $9.99 Buy It Now 2h 11m
PROCOL HARUM Japan Original 1970 Ex LP HOME USD $89.99 Buy It Now 2h 13m
Procol Harum - Greatest Hits, New Music USD $18.47 Buy It Now 2h 20m
Procol harum *** the best of vinyl record *** original pressing *** vg+ USD $15.99 Buy It Now 2h 21m
PROCOL HARUM lp on A&M 4151 "Shine On Brightly" USD $6.99 [0 bids]
2h 25m
PROCOL HARUM LIME STREET BLUES D1012 EP ww1964 USD $4.99 [0 bids]
2h 29m
PROCOL HARUM LIME STREET BLUES DW1063 EP ww6851 USD $7.99 [0 bids]
2h 29m
Procol Harum - A Whiter Shade Of Pale 8 Track Rare Misprint Rock HTF Eagle Music USD $0.99 [0 bids]
3h 33m
ORIGINAL 1967 PROCOL HARUM S/T SELF TITLED STEREO LP DERAM RECORDS DES 18008 USD $2.81 [3 bids]
4h 2m
PROCOL HARUM LIVE WITH EDMONTON SYMPHONY LP 1972 ORIG GREAT COND! VG++/VG++!! USD $10.99 Buy It Now 4h 12m
procol harum lp historia de la musica rock spanish imp vg+/m- USD $5.99 Buy It Now 4h 45m
PROCOL HARUM - BEST OF - FLY LABEL - U.K. PRESSING USD $13.45 Buy It Now 4h 53m
Freedom - Self Titled LP - Gatefold PROMO LP (ex-Procol Harum) 1970 ABC VG+ USD $25.00 Buy It Now 7h 31m
Procol Harum - BBC LIVE IN CONCERT CD - 1974 Hippodrome, London - 2000 - EX!! USD $8.00 Buy It Now 7h 33m
Procol Harum + Edmonton Symphony Orchestra In Concert 180gm Vinyl LP USD $26.03 Buy It Now 7h 46m
PROCOL HARUM The Well's On Fire RED VINYL 2xLP Limited Edition Sealed/New USD $29.99 Buy It Now 8h 53m
REPLAY LABEL CASSETTE TAPE-PROCOL HARUM-A WHITER SHADE OF PALE-COMPILATION USD $3.86 Buy It Now 10h 38m
PROCOL HARUM Something Magic BLUE COLORED VINYL 2xLP Sealed/New Gatefold USD $29.99 Buy It Now 10h 47m
Procol Harum Home Japanese CD album (CDLP) VICP-61312 CUBE 2006 USD $42.52 Buy It Now 11h 2m
Procol Harum Procol's Ninth CD album (CDLP) Japanese VICP-64106 VICTOR USD $42.52 Buy It Now 11h 2m
Procol Harum CD album (CDLP) Something Magic Japanese VICP-64107 VICTOR USD $42.52 Buy It Now 11h 3m
PROCOL HARUM 1991 The Prodigal stranger USD $23.00 Buy It Now 11h 8m
Procol Harum Grand Hotel Japanese vinyl LP album record WWS-71001 CHRYSALIS USD $50.96 Buy It Now 11h 56m
Procol Harum Homburg Original 1967 45rpm VG++ USD $6.99 Buy It Now 12h 20m
PROCOL HARUM live in concert with the lso CHR 1004 A2U/B2U uk 1972 LP EX/EX- USD $21.31 Buy It Now 12h 39m
Robin Trower JAPAN 5 titles Mini LP SHM-CD SS + PROMO BOX SET Procol Harum USD $219.99 Buy It Now 12h 39m
ROBIN TROWER (OF PROCOL HARUM) for earth below CHR 1073 A1U/B1U 1st uk LP EX/VG USD $13.15 Buy It Now 12h 43m
PROCOL HARUM.PANDORA'S BOX 7'' VINYL USD $2.60 Buy It Now 12h 44m
RECORD PROCOL HARUM LIVE IN CONCERT 12", 1972, A&M Records, Pop, (VG) LP USD $9.99 Buy It Now 14h 42m
Procol Harum Homburg EP 7" Record Store Day RSD 2015 NEW LIMITED USD $10.99 Buy It Now 14h 55m
Procol Harum-Grand Hotel CD NEW USD $14.10 Buy It Now 14h 56m
ROBIN TROWER CD SIGNED BRIDGE OF SIGHS AUTOGRAPHED ROCK & ROLL - PROCOL HARUM USD $104.95 Buy It Now 15h 42m
PROCOL HARUM Live In Concert With The Edmonton Symphony Orchestra LP 5 Track (51 USD $10.26 Buy It Now 15h 44m
PROCOL HARUM Exotic Birds And Fruit LP 9 Track Laminated Sleeve With A3/b2 Matri USD $19.87 Buy It Now 15h 44m
Salty Dog - Procol Harum New & Sealed CD-JEWEL CASE Free Shipping USD $21.66 Buy It Now 15h 50m
PROCOL HARUM Treasure Album Greatest Hits LP 14 Track (qlp2691) DUTCH Qualitel 1 USD $14.38 Buy It Now 15h 50m
A WHITER SHADE Various LP 12 Track Stereo Pressing Featuring Procol Harum,dave B USD $11.63 Buy It Now 15h 51m
Procol Harum, Wess,King Curtis & The Kingpins,R.B Greaves A WHITER SHADE OF PALE USD $7.99 Buy It Now 16h 2m
Procol Harum The Prodigal stranger cassette tape new & sealed USD $0.99 [0 bids]
16h 14m
33LP - PROCOL HARUM - A WHITER SHADE OF PALE USD $29.99 Buy It Now 16h 24m
PROCOL HARUM A whiter shade of pale French 45 "Flashback - Blue PS" 60s Pop Hear USD $4.99 Buy It Now 16h 50m
PROCOL HARUM A whiter shade of pale French 45 Flashback - Yellow PS 60s Pop Hear USD $6.99 Buy It Now 16h 50m
RS#134P33 PROCOL HARUM GRAND HOTEL ALBUM REVIEW & PICTURE USD $7.85 Buy It Now 17h
ROBIN TROWER B.L.T. LP ORIGINAL US press ex-PROCOL HARUM MINT-/MINT !!!! USD $8.99 Buy It Now 17h 22m
Procol Harum, Broken Barricades,8 Track Tape,Tested,Simple Sister,Memorial Drive USD $9.99 Buy It Now 18h 12m
Matthew Fisher Journey's End SEALED procol harum soft psych USD $8.00 [0 bids]
18h 24m
PROCOL HARUM Pandora's Box 7" B/w The Piper's Tune (6155048) Pic Sleeve BELGIAN USD $6.53 Buy It Now 18h 42m
PROCOL HARUM Pandora's Box 7" 4 Pronged Push Out Centre Label Design B/w Pipers USD $4.11 Buy It Now 18h 42m
PROCOL HARUM A Whiter Shade Of Pale 7" Reissue B/w Homburg (og9225) Pic Sleeve U USD $6.53 Buy It Now 19h 20m
PROCOL HARUM A Whiter Shade Of Pale 7" B/w Lime Street Blues (dm126) Pic Sleeve USD $13.01 Buy It Now 19h 20m
PROCOL HARUM Souvenir Of London 7" B/w Toujours L'amour (6155012) Pic Sleeve GER USD $21.25 Buy It Now 19h 21m
PROCOL HARUM Homburg 7" B/w Good Captain Clack But Has Sticker On Label (rz3003) USD $6.53 Buy It Now 19h 21m
PROCOL HARUM Quite Rightly So 7" B/w Rambling On (59175) SCANDANAVIAN Polydor 19 USD $10.26 Buy It Now 19h 21m
PROCOL HARUM: Procol's Ninth (40th Anniversary Series) new and sealed USD $8.83 Buy It Now 19h 24m
PROCOL HARUM Conquistador 7" Original B/w Luskus Delph (chs2003) UK Chrysalis 19 USD $2.73 Buy It Now 20h 8m
Rare Procol Harum 2-LP Fly TOOFA 7/8 Whiter Shade of Pale/Salty Dog NM UK USD $45.00 Buy It Now 20h 16m
PROCOL HARUM LIVE LP 259 USD $9.99 Buy It Now 20h 27m
Procol Harum " Greatest Hits " (Brand New Original recording remastered CD) USD $18.00 Buy It Now 20h 30m
Procol Harum?7"?A WHITER SHADE OF PALE?japan?EX?!! USD $9.99 Buy It Now 21h 12m
Well's On Fire - Procol Harum (CD Used Very Good) USD $11.80 Buy It Now 21h 33m
FLYBACK LP BIG ONES V/A ORIG UK FLY 1971 1ST PRESS NEAR MINT T REX PROCOL HARUM USD $5.22 [0 bids]
21h 41m
PROCOL HARUM GRAND HOTEL LP w Gatefold Jacket & originaI insert Book CHR 1037 NM USD $8.98 Buy It Now 21h 53m
BOBBY HARRISON - SIGNED COPY ANTHOLOGY - PROCOL HARUM FREEDOM 2 CD USD $18.30 Buy It Now 22h 7m
PROCOL HARUM Live w/Edmonton Symphony Orch, original A&M vinyl LP, 1972, VG+/VG USD $4.99 Buy It Now 22h 24m
MATTHEW FISHER, JOURNEY'S END /PROCOL HARUM SOLO/ LP 1973 UK 1ST PRESS EX/EX G/F USD $12.94 Buy It Now 22h 29m
PROCOL HARUM - PANDORA'S BOX / THE PIPER'S TUNE - 1975 CHRYSALIS Single - VG/G USD $1.30 [0 bids]
22h 44m
Procol Harum Live - In Concert With Edmonton Symphony USD $8.62 Buy It Now 23h 3m
PROCOL HARUM ~ Shine On Brightly ~ orig 1968 A&M LP USD $4.77 Buy It Now 23h 18m
PROCOL HARUM "SHINE ON BRIGHTLY" RARE POLYDOR 184 162 STEREO IMPORT GERMANY USD $19.99 [0 bids]
23h 25m
MATTHEW FISHER (Procol Harum) 1980 UK Poster size Press ADVERT 16x12 inches USD $13.02 Buy It Now 23h 29m
THE BIG CHILL MOVIE soundtrack *NEW* LP 6062ML MARVIN GAYE, PROCOL HARUM ARETHA USD $6.98 Buy It Now 23h 29m
PROCOL HARUM WIZARD MAN 45 RECORD PROMO WARNER BROTHERS CRS 2115 VG++ USD $4.50 Buy It Now 23h 41m
Something Magic (40th Anniversary Series) Procol Harum Audio CD USD $18.32 Buy It Now 23h 51m
PROCOL HARUM 1972 LIVE Vinyl lp- A&M # 4335- 1st PRESSING USD $5.00 Buy It Now 1 day
Procol Harum?- The Chrysalis Years 1973-1977(CD 1993)CEMA ?-S21-56907 Brand New USD $7.99 Buy It Now 1 day
PROCOL HARUM A Whiter Shade Of Pale CASSETTE 11 Track Reissue (cfedb5008) UK Sie USD $10.26 Buy It Now 1 day
PROCOL HARUM Live In Moscow POSTER Promo Full Colour Poster Approx 30 X 42 Cm RU USD $6.53 Buy It Now 1 day
PROCOL HARUM Muziekcentrum Vredenburg 13/2/92 TICKET Concert Ticket Stub DUTCH USD $4.11 Buy It Now 1 day
PROCOL HARUM LP SHINE ON BRIGHTLY A&M USD $7.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Procol Harum "Conquistador" Classic Hit Oz 7" USD $7.45 Buy It Now 1 day
Greatest Hits From England Vol 2 LP Parrot PAS 71017 Them/ Zombies/ Procol harum USD $5.79 Buy It Now 1 day
PROCOL HARUM Quite Rightly So - A Salty Dog 7" JAPAN KING A&M AM-136 USD $29.99 Buy It Now 1 day
The Best Of Procol Harum - Progressive Rock-Blues Rock Vinyl LP USD $3.99 [1 bids]
1 day
The Well's on Fire by Procol Harum (CD, Mar-2003, Eagle Records (USA)) USD $5.49 [0 bids]
1 day
MOODY BLUES PROCOL HARUM etc/SPECIAL DIGEST PROMO J... USD $33.00 Buy It Now 1 day
Live at Union Chapel 0698458061720 by Procol Harum, CD with DVD, BRAND NEW USD $20.48 Buy It Now 1 day
Procol Harum Exotic Birds Fruit SEALED New 8 TRACK Tape rock box vintage casette USD $11.00 Buy It Now 1 day
Over The Rainbow Japan Promo White Label Vinyl LP Procol Harum John Martyn Coyne USD $49.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Procol Harum A Salty Dog vinyl record lp USD $19.63 Buy It Now 1 day
Procol Harum 3-disc CD/DVD Set All This And More UK SALVOBX407 SALVO 2009 USD $31.72 Buy It Now 1 day
Procol Harum Greatest Hits Album Cassette Tape Dutch Import 16 Songs USD $22.00 Buy It Now 1 day
Procol Harum-Procol Harum CD NEW USD $18.36 Buy It Now 1 day
PROCOL HARUM - Whiter Shade Of Pale (CD 1990) UK Pressing USD $39.25 Buy It Now 1 day
Procol Harum Conquistador 7" Single - VVG USD $2.73 Buy It Now 1 day
Procol Harum Pandora's Box 7" Single A1U B1U Pressing - VVG USD $3.65 Buy It Now 1 day

More places to buy PROCOL HARUM music online Buy PROCOL HARUM & Prog Rock Digital Music online:
  • AmazonMP3: Search for PROCOL HARUM DRM-Free MP3 Downloads @ AmazonMP3 (USA Only) | AmazonMP3 (UK Only)
PROCOL HARUM has no upcoming shows, according to LAST.FM syndicated events and shows feed

PROCOL HARUM discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

PROCOL HARUM top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.89 | 272 ratings
Procol Harum
1967
4.06 | 259 ratings
Shine On Brightly
1968
3.55 | 207 ratings
A Salty Dog
1969
3.52 | 139 ratings
Home
1970
3.29 | 120 ratings
Broken Barricades
1971
3.88 | 192 ratings
Grand Hotel
1973
3.37 | 113 ratings
Exotic Birds And Fruit
1974
2.78 | 87 ratings
Procol's Ninth
1975
2.97 | 97 ratings
Something Magic
1977
2.42 | 63 ratings
Prodigal Stranger
1991
4.19 | 35 ratings
The Long Goodbye
1995
2.97 | 67 ratings
The Well's on Fire
2003

PROCOL HARUM Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.05 | 106 ratings
Live In Concert With The Edmonton Symphony Orchestra
1972
4.00 | 16 ratings
BBC Live in Concert
2000
3.57 | 7 ratings
One More Time
2003
3.97 | 22 ratings
In Concert With The Danish National Concert Orchestra And Choir
2009

PROCOL HARUM Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

3.15 | 14 ratings
Live (DVD)
2002
4.13 | 19 ratings
Live at The Union Chapel
2004
4.76 | 17 ratings
In Concert With The Danish National Concert Orchestra And Choir
2009

PROCOL HARUM Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.00 | 2 ratings
The Best of Procol Harum [Fly]
1971
3.01 | 8 ratings
The Best of Procol Harum [A&M]
1972
4.20 | 5 ratings
Rock Roots
1976
4.75 | 3 ratings
Procol Harum's greatest Hits Vol.1 (Pickwick)
1982
2.67 | 3 ratings
Portfolio
1988
3.02 | 9 ratings
Chrysalis Years 1973-1977
1989
3.07 | 5 ratings
The Definitive Collection
1992
3.44 | 6 ratings
Homburg & Other Hats: Procol Harum's Best
1995
3.09 | 4 ratings
Greatest Hits
1996
4.18 | 9 ratings
30th Anniversary Anthology
1997
0.00 | 0 ratings
Halcyon Daze: The Best of Procol Harum
1997
3.00 | 1 ratings
Three Classic Albums
1998
4.67 | 6 ratings
Pandora's Box
1999
3.00 | 1 ratings
Procol Harum, The Best Of (Golden Times)
2001
4.00 | 4 ratings
Whiter Shade Of Pale
2001
3.75 | 4 ratings
Singles, A's and B's
2002
4.12 | 8 ratings
Classic Tracks and Rarities: An Anthology
2002
4.50 | 2 ratings
Procol Harum/Shine On Brightly
2002
4.08 | 6 ratings
First Four
2003
4.00 | 3 ratings
A Salty Dog / Home
2003
4.04 | 6 ratings
Secrets Of The Hive - The Best Of Procul Harum
2007
3.38 | 7 ratings
All This And More... - A 4-Disc Compendium
2009

PROCOL HARUM Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

4.78 | 8 ratings
A Whiter Shade Of Pale
1967
3.67 | 3 ratings
Quite Rightly So
1968
4.00 | 4 ratings
Homburg
1968
3.96 | 5 ratings
A Salty Dog
1969
3.96 | 6 ratings
Conquistador (live)
1972
3.00 | 2 ratings
Robert's Box
1973
3.50 | 2 ratings
Souvenir Of London
1973
3.00 | 2 ratings
Nothing But The Truth
1974
3.75 | 4 ratings
Pandora's Box
1975
2.00 | 1 ratings
A Whiter Shade Of Pale - 40th Anniversary Edition
2007

PROCOL HARUM Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Homburg by PROCOL HARUM album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1968
4.00 | 4 ratings

BUY
Homburg
Procol Harum Crossover Prog

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

4 stars To be exact, this was released in October 1967, as the second single of PROCOL HARUM, pretty soon after the huge success of 'A Whiter Shade of Pale'. The orientation towards the album format was yet to come in the pop business, and it wasn't unusual to release non-album singles. The British release of the "Procol Harum" LP excluded 'Whiter Shade' but -- not surprisingly -- the hit was included in the American version to boost the sales overseas. However, 'Homburg' wasn't in either of them. Nowadays it is among the best known PH songs and often indluded on 'The Best Of' compilations.

It's also among my favourite Procol songs, pleasantly melodic and slightly melancholic, with a rather slow tempo. The elegant arrangement gives the main role to Gary Brooker's piano and his vocals are in top form. Whereas 'Whiter Shade' has been covered by dozens of artists (for example the recordings of Annie Lennox or Sarah Brightman are quite beautiful in my opinion), I haven't heard many versions of 'Homburg': if I remember right, only an Italian-language cover and my countryman Pate Mustajärvi's powerful, Finnish-language cover called 'Tuhkaa', dating from 1984. (In comparison, 'Whiter Shade' has at least four different Finnish versions!)

The single's B side contains 'Good Captain Clack', a cheerful up-tempo song with both bluesy and cabaret-like flavours. It's only 1 and ½ minutes long but musically hardly worth more than that. Not up to my taste at all. The British pressing of "Procol Harum" had it but not the American pressing.

[It's a bit tricky to rate a single. Definitely 'Homburg' is at least a four-star song, but without a good B-sider or cover art I give my four stars with hesitation.]

 Broken Barricades by PROCOL HARUM album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.29 | 120 ratings

BUY
Broken Barricades
Procol Harum Crossover Prog

Review by SteveG

3 stars Broken Barricades is the fifth studio album released by Pocol Harum and is one of rock music's greatest "should have beens." As far from the twin keyboard sound of piano and Bach influenced organ that propelled the group to stardom four years earlier, Broken Barricades relies primarily on Gary Brooker's piano, BJ Wilson's drums, Robin Trower's blues based guitar riffs and Chris Copping's Jack Bruce inspired bass playing. Copping plays organ on only two songs and on one it's just on the song's coda (Simple Sister.)

This is most definitely Trower's defining statement in Procol Harum, with the band in a full-on blues rock mode that fits in stylistically with bands like Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin and even Black Sabbath at that juncture in time. The music performed on Broken Barricades is on par with some of the best from the afore mentioned, excluding a Stairway To Heaven copy. Perhaps Procol never toured with Spirit like Zeppelin did. But they did tour with the recently departed Jimi Hendrix, whose tone and styled was immediately taken up by Trower after his premature death.

Simple Sister and Memorial Drive are two of the Harum's hardest hitting and riff heavy songs and the title track is an elegant exercise in the magic of overlaying arpeggios (with a bit of Moog synthesizer snuck in.) The manic high speed Power Failure is even broken up by a deft drum and percussion solo by Wilson. Again, the music is balls out hard rock that really works. What doesn't work is Keith Reid's return to mumbo jumbo obtusely vague lyrics, which truly sinks this mighty ship.

It's understandable that Procol could never write lyrics fit for songs like Whole Lotta Love or Iron Man, but the dark esoteric and existential lyrics that fueled Procol's last album from 1970, titled Home, would have worked just as well or better with this type of harder material. A great opportunity lost, as even in a 2002 interview, Brooker couldn't tell if the title track was about a failed love affair or a tragic war story. If he didn't know, how was the public supposed to react to this crunching vagueness? Fortunately, Reid's great lyric writing would become more literal and accessible on later Porcol albums like Grand Hotel.

Trower is again in a class of his own with a homage to Hendrix titled Song To A Dreamer and the great bluesy album closer Poor Mohammad. But Trower was bursting at the seems and would go on to great solo success a few months after Broken Barricades was released.

Four stars for the incredible music and playing, particularly by Trower and Wilson, who seemed to be dueling for honors, with two stars for Reid's duff lyrics. That makes an average of three stars. So, three stars renders this album as merely average. What a pity.

 A Salty Dog by PROCOL HARUM album cover Studio Album, 1969
3.55 | 207 ratings

BUY
A Salty Dog
Procol Harum Crossover Prog

Review by SteveG

3 stars Strangely, this is the only album review in which I'm in complete agreement with all of PA's reviewers and collaborators, so I'll keep it short. The title track is easily Porcol Harum's, and composer Garry Brooker's, finest achievement. "All hand's on deck, we've run afloat.." from lyricist Keith Reid and we're off to see "how far can sailors fly." The beautiful orchestral arrangement, composed completely by Brooker, who has no classical training, is heart rendering, with it's emotive crescendos and swirling strings.

Unfortunately, the rest of the album drags in comparison. Two bluesy songs co-writted by Robin Trower are good as is "The Milk of Human Kindness." Mathew Fisher's attempts to equal Brooker in songwriting are worthy, but are torpedoed by being sung by Fisher himself. This worked well for Trower, who sang "Crucifixion Lane" as a John Lee Hooker-like blues singer, but Fisher just lacks the emotion, power and range of Brooker and the album would have been better served if Brooker sang Fisher's compositions "The Wreck of the Hesperus' and "Pilgrim's Progress" himself.

Sometimes, groups can be too democratic. 3 stars.

 Grand Hotel by PROCOL HARUM album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.88 | 192 ratings

BUY
Grand Hotel
Procol Harum Crossover Prog

Review by SteveG

4 stars Grand Hotel, from 1973, was as close as Procol Harum ever got to a full blown prog album, but never quite made that leap of faith. New guitarist Mick Grabham is mostly in the background on this album with keyboards, bass and drums to the fore.

First off, I want to emphasize that this album is really one of those that has to suit one's taste. It is very much a homage to the music of Eastern Europe and of wealthy aristocrats of a time nearly a century past. The title track tells about a night in one of Europe's grand hotels with a Palm Courts orchestra dishing out waltzes to those dancing and dinning in ties and tails. Featuring mulit tracked orchestra and choirs, this song's instrumental breaks are from the mind of Pocol leader Gary Brooker, who takes waltzes and minuets, that start off slowly and normally, and are suddenly sped up to break neck speed which reveals this nostalgic trip is more of a dream instead of an actual remembrance. It's also covertly avant-garde and is a treat.

Unfortunately, "Toujours L'Amore" and" A Rums Tale" are stale songs in the same musical vain as "Grand Hotel" but are cliched stories of love, loss and the eventual bottle to follow, and lack the inventiveness of the title track. Listenable as these two songs are, "TV Ceasar" is downright annoying in it's "might mouse" that rhymes with "house" lyrics (really) from the usually stellar Keith Reid.

Fortunatley," A Souvenir of London", with it's street busker take-off of guitar, mandolin, strummed banjo and an oversized bass drum kick senseless from the great BJ Wilson, is a refreshing treat. Made to be one of Procol's "funny" cast off album tunes, it's lyrics about catching the clap, in London, are beyond the pale and is quite truly enjoyable.

Procol Harum were never known for having solid albums and Grand Hotel is no exception. However, "Bringing Home the Bacon" features a soaring keyboard melody that sounds as if it was lifted straight out of the late Keith Emerson's head. Chris Copping's organ is double track with uncredited siren-like Moog synth, played by the band's producer, Ken Scott, and features a neat time changing stop/start rhythm. It's as close to a full blown prog song that band ever attempted. Only a mind numbing instrumental section is lacking. The same is true with the songs "For Liquorice John" and the Renaissance-like "Fires That Burn Brightly", which features backing "scat' vocals that are similar to the vocal hijinks that Annie Haslam and her band dubbed a "vocalise."

"Robet's Box" shifts gears back to the absurd, as it's about the same doctor of renown from the Beatles' "Doctor Robert." A fine ending to a unique, if somewhat uneven, and, IMO, somewhat overrated album form the great Porcol Harum. Still, 4 stars is a worthy rating.

 Procol's Ninth by PROCOL HARUM album cover Studio Album, 1975
2.78 | 87 ratings

BUY
Procol's Ninth
Procol Harum Crossover Prog

Review by SteveG

3 stars A natural follow up to Exotic Birds and Fruit, Procol's Ninth does have it's flaws. Having dispensed with producer Chris Thomas, whose productions were getting denser by the record until the reverberant "wall of sound" found on Exotic Birds and Fruit was the resulting cut off point for the band. Seeking out uber American R&R producers Leiber and Stoller, Procol recorded their cleanest and most uncluttered record since A Salty Dog. And what does work on Procol's Ninth, works wonderfully, while what doesn't is hardly bearable. Namely the album's closing track, a cover of The Beatles' Eight Days A Week.

It truly is bad enough to make one twinge. However, eight of the album's ten tracks are good, with the two worst placed at the end, so ending this listening trip early seems unencumbering.

The leadoff tack Pandora's Box, with it's exotic mix of marimba, guest flute and more of Keith Reid's esoteric lyrics, let PH have one more UK hit, getting as high as number 16 on the British charts. Fools Gold seems like more of Reid's and Gary Brooker's laments about chasing riches and the eventual fall back to earth that worked so well for the group on Exotic Birds and Fruit. Brooker's vocals are as convincing as ever, but it seems like we've heard this all before. Indeed. With Exotic Birds And Fruit, we have.

Taking My Time is a bluesy number, naturally suited to Brooker's voice, and has the unusual accompaniment of brass. Many have said, including guitarist Mick Grabham, that the band sound like Chicago on Procol's Ninth, but in fact, the brass is more New Orleans style jazz and fits even better wit the later bluesy track I Keep Forgetting. Yes, as many have said, Chris Copping's organ is relegated to the background, but if Procol Harum fans have not heard enough organ played on the previous hundred PH songs, then they truly deserve a cigar.

R&B and blues is also central to the excellent The Unquiet Zone which features Reid's take on the ravages of war, and some of Grabham's best guitar playing on the album. And this is saying a lot as he's stellar throughout the whole album and has an ear for melody and tone quite similar to Tull's Martin Barre if Ian Anderson would have let him cut loose a bit more.

The Final Thrust and The Piper's Tune are quintessential Procol Harum. The former featuring stately piano from Brooker and the later featuring Lowery Organ in place of bagpipes. Both work well with more of Reid's pessimistic lyrics to give the songs that special Procol Harum gravitas.

The less said about the last two tracks, Typewriter Torment, and the afore mentioned cover of Eight Days A Week, the better. The only thing I find off putting about Procol's Ninth is that I can only play it as a follow up to Exotic Birds and Fruit, as it has the same vibe but lacking the bombast I love so much about Exotic Birds and Fruit. I would never play it at any other time.

With that in mind, 3 stars seems right for this good but non essential album from the once mighty Procol Harum.

PH would go on to make one more album in the seventies, the dismal Something Magic before the band broke up. An album not even worth reviewing simply because the lack of objectivity that drove band to record a cover of Eight Days A Week only became worse by the time the band recorded Something Magic. Truly sad.

 Live In Concert With The Edmonton Symphony Orchestra by PROCOL HARUM album cover Live, 1972
4.05 | 106 ratings

BUY
Live In Concert With The Edmonton Symphony Orchestra
Procol Harum Crossover Prog

Review by SteveG

4 stars There are few essential live prog albums and Procol Harum Live In Concert with the ESO is certainly one in that excels on two crucial levels. First off, it's remarkably recorded and secondly, It's one of the few live albums that I've heard, Renaissance being an exception, where the band and orchestra mesh perfectly and create a certain chemistry that truly sounds as one coherent artist's vision.

In the case of a group like Renaissance that spurned electric guitars, blues riffs and were pastoral, Procol Harum were a full on rock band that could boogie with the best of them on any given night, so their special orchestral collaboration, captured here, seems more remarkable when compared to groups like Deep Purple, whose live collaboration with an orchestra left a lot to be desired.

Recently departed from PH was the great Robin Trower, who would go on to his fame and acclaim as a blues guitarist, his place was taken up by the lanky David Ball who did wonders to make past Trower riffs shine. Indeed, it's said that his nervousness during the performance compelled him to a play a better lead solo than the one that was re-recorded for this album's performance of the song Conquistador. This was actually a good thing as the group, and their producer, quickly realized that what performances they had were special and never altered another in post production. What you here is what was played live.

Especially noticeable is the dynamic playing of drummer BJ Wilson who at times sounds like an orchestrated Keith Moon with magnificent drum fills on the afore mentioned Conquistador, which leads off the album and benefits greatly with the inclusion of the orchestra. The score written by vocalist/pianist Gary Brooker himself, who also did the score for the studio version of A Salty Dog. Brooker's commanding voice is in fine form throughout.

A Salty Dog is a rival to it's studio version and Brooker's stirring vocal is superior as unbelievable as that sounds, while Whaling Stories is greatly inproved over it's studio counterpart as the choir accompaniment is magnificent in the "Shalimar" verse. The proto prog song-suite of In Held 'Twas In I is the only song not improved upon as Brooker's spoken word opening naration was never compelling and lyricist Keith Reid's soliloquy seems less impressive and somewhat amateurish compared to his intriguing studio version.

The strange thing about Procol Harum Live In Concert with the ESO is that it was a single LP record release which is disappointing as it's over too soon at it's running time of 45 minutes. Also strange is the absence of the group's first megahit A Whiter Shade of Pale. Even stranger is the fact that it's not even missed, as this album's live version of Conquistador became Procol Harum's second ever worldwide smash. 4 stars.

 Home by PROCOL HARUM album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.52 | 139 ratings

BUY
Home
Procol Harum Crossover Prog

Review by SteveG

4 stars If Procol Harum have one distinguishing fault, it's the overall quality of their albums. Title tracks like A Salty Dog and Grand Hotel are classic songs they few can aspire to in the progressive rock cannon, but the remaining songs on these respective albums are hit and miss.

Home is one of Procol Harum's first albums to contain great songs all the way through starting with Robin Trower's powerful blues riffing on Whiskey Train in which the narrator pledges his divorce from the bottle for the love of his sweetheart. Gary Brooker easily laying down the requisite whiskey voiced pleading while adding color with some old time piano from the wild west. It remains one of Procol's best rock songs along with the foreboding and dramatic About To Die which features more heavy riffing from Trower mated to Keith Reid's fascination (on this album) with death. The song's stiff verse turns on a dime into a chorus that would fit easily on any early album by the Band, and is aided with rustic but compelling piano from Brooker. This also sounds inspired by the Band.

The death theme reappears on the acoustic strummed ballad titled Nothing I Didn't Know. A pining lament for a girl dumped and somehow ends up deceased, with Brooker singing how he should have died instead. With all this death in the air, you would think that home was a dreary album but the truth is that Brooker, Trower, drummer BJ Wilson and bassist/organist Chris Copping laydown such compelling music that Reid's lyrics seem almost like an afterthought.

This album's highlight is the progressive masterpiece titled Whaling Stories, where Reid's lyrics return to early Pocol Harum surrealism with an orchestra and choir adding dramatic flare to this suite-like song. Another Procol classic on par with A Salty Dog and Grand Hotel, but not seeming as grand as the other album tracks on Home are so good in themselves.

For many Procol Harum fans, this is there favorite album. It may not be my mine, but I can certainly understand their reasoning. An extremely solid album. 4 stars.

 Exotic Birds And Fruit by PROCOL HARUM album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.37 | 113 ratings

BUY
Exotic Birds And Fruit
Procol Harum Crossover Prog

Review by SteveG

4 stars "Ain't no use in preacher's preaching when they don't know what their teaching. The weakest man, be strong as Sampson, when you're being held to ransom."

Strong as Sampson should have been the Procol Harum song that knocked A Whiter Shade of Pale out of the British public's mind. At least for a little while. It was a song unusual for Procol Harum as it was filled with catchy hooks, great emotional singing from pianist Gary Brooker, and was extremely topical to Great Britain in 1974. Late 1973 was the year of the dreaded "three day work week" in Great Britain as the coal miner's union "held the country to ransom" according to the then conservatives.

And what did Chrysalis Records do? They released the song almost two years after the fact. A song that would have trumped the Strawbs' similar bash on unions, Part Of The Union, in spades.

But one song does not make an album, so let's start at the beginning. Dispensing with an orchestra and choir for accompaniment as they did on 1973's Grand Hotel, Procol Harum kept the music for this album in house and got out some of their big guns out in doing so. Exotic Birds and Fruit from 1974 was one of Procol Harum's most solid and fully formed later day albums (the eighth) and lacked the stale pretention and lack of emotion found in their previous album Grand Hotel.

One of the first songs recorded for the album, track number 8 on the original LP, was a swipe at the Chrysalis Record label management entitled Butterfly Boys, which did not go over well with the Chrysalis brass who wanted the lyrics and song title changed to Government Boys, as the Chrysalis label utilized a butterfly on their record logo. The band refused to budge and the lyrics remained. Did Procol Harum shoot themselves in the foot by doing this? Probably, but that led to a looser and more relaxed album where anything was fair game. Brooker and company found it easy to rock out on Exotic Birds and Fruit on the bombastic and catchy album opener titled Nothing But the Truth. This song rocks even with a string accompaniment. The only song on the album to have one.

Following directly is an eastern European themed song tilted Beyond the Pale. Part homage to those "strange instruments that look like the inside of a piano", according to Brooker, and part tongue in cheek, the boys have more fun trying to make pitch shifted piano, mandolins, acoustic guitars, and even a banjo sound like a cross between bouzoukis and zithers, and they succeeded wonderfully, while lyricist Keith Reid congered up visions of a Europe seldom seen (or imagined?) by Western man.

Another hook laden song with a dramatic chorus, Beyond the Pale is the perfect opener before the magnificent Strong As Sampson's heavy bass and drums roll in. Drawn in by a mesmerizing organ and piano melody in the verse and Brooker's emotive and hook laden chorus, the song is capped off with a blistering organ solo by Chris Copping. Strong As Sampson couldn't have been performed better. The band were truly angry that so much of their recording time was eaten up by energy strikes, that they mean every word they sing and their anger and frustration is released in every note played on the song. Going beyond the immediate topic of strikes, Reid lays down his most damning lyrics ever, aimed at crooked psychiatrists and lawyers, misinforming clergy and the never ending Middle East conflict between Arabs and Jews.

The theme of greed continues on the song The Idol, and truthfully, we've all heard this before, but again, Brooker, Reid and company sound sincere in their disgust about obsessive gain. Not as powerful as Strong as Sampson, the song pales in comparison, but is fascinating for it's complex chord structures and multi dubbed piano parts.

Following directly is the the most outre song on Exotic Birds and Fruit. The Thin Edge of the Wedge is built up on numerous overdubbed arpeggios and exotic figures from Mick Grabham's electric guitar with eerie piano and percussion highlights. It's one of Procol Harum's darker songs and Brooker is totally convincing relaying some of Reid's most malevolent lyrics. It's difficult to imagine Neil Young making the recent guitar layered album tilted Le Noise without a nod to this eerie psychedelic outing.

Monsieur R. Monde is a raging rocker that shows off drummer BJ Wilson and bassist Allan Cartwright to great effect as well as showing the muscle of Grabham when he really wants to rock out. Unlike his predecessors, which includes the great Robin Trower, Grabham seems to serve the songs instead of competing with them and this particular song is the better for it. Fresh Fruit is a fun bouncy number penned almost entirely by Brooker and is filled with witty double entendres. The album closer New Lamps for Old is the perfect closing track for this album as it's slow organ and piano bring to mind early Porcol Harum and shows that the band remember where came from musically.

The original vinyl release of Exotic Birds and Fruit was flawed and hard to listen to due to poor mastering, but any new remaster from Castle Records to Salvo have proper EQing that lets producer Chris Thomas' dense but dynamic sound mix shine.

I'm not sure if Exotic Birds and Fruit is an essential prog album because I'm not really sure if it is really a prog album to begin with. But it's a hell of a rock album that anyone from a Styx fan to a Yes fan, I'm sure, would appreciate. 4 stars.

 Broken Barricades by PROCOL HARUM album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.29 | 120 ratings

BUY
Broken Barricades
Procol Harum Crossover Prog

Review by Boojieboy

3 stars Although this has strong production and sounds great with the 2009 remastered Salvo version, the songs are boring to me. Most of the songs repeat the same melody over and over. There's not much change within the songs. Some of the songs sound like they are trying like other bands (Bad Company on Memorial Drive, and Steppenwolf on Playmate of the Mouth). The only high points are the lush Luskus Delph and the rockier Simple Sister.

Of all the Procol albums, this is musically one of the most tedious and bland. Even though it sonically sounds great, the music isn't very inspired or adventurous.

Thankfully, Robin Trower left the group after this one. He had been holding back the group, trying to get the band to go in a bland blues-rock direction. Freed of this, the group soared on the next two albums with orchestra (Live at Edmonton and Grand Hotel).

 Grand Hotel by PROCOL HARUM album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.88 | 192 ratings

BUY
Grand Hotel
Procol Harum Crossover Prog

Review by Boojieboy

5 stars I rarely hand out 5-star ratings, but this album is grand enough and majestic enough to give it the edge. Also, all songs are worthy of listening to (not skipping over) and have something to offer. The remastering of this (2009, Salvo) gives it the sonic palette that brings it to the point of fine art. The packaging is nice too, with multipage libretto book of pictures, notes, and recording/background information. Production was handled by master producer Chris Thomas.

There's a nice variety and diversity to the songs which gives the album color and depth. Here are short summaries of the songs:

Grand Hotel - Big production with orchestra. A slower song that doesn't rush, because you don't need to rush grandness.

Toujours L'Amour - An uptempo song, with some interesting chord changes.

A Rum Tale - Quieter song featuring piano and some fun lyrics by the band's primo lyricist Keith Reid

A Souvenir of London - Mostly acoustic song where the band tries for a street musician feel. A lighthearted, fun song.

Bringing Home the Bacon - Probably the most rocky song on the album. Features some tasty drumming by ace drummer BJ Wilson. There is an exciting prog-like keyboard part that occurs between major song sections.

For Licorice John - This has phased piano to give a drowning sound/effect that goes with the lyrics. Highly English.

Fires (Which Burn Brightly) - Maybe a lesser song overall, but still featuring a very European sound.

Robert's Box - A most straightforward song to end the album, but still containing some interesting ideas.

Having heard all of their albums, this one defines what Procol Harum is/was all about. They never reached higher than this. If you get one album, this should be it.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition.

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

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — jazz music reviews and archives | MetalMusicArchives.com — metal music revuew and archives