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PROCOL HARUM

Crossover Prog • United Kingdom


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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 : : :

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Buy PROCOL HARUM Music


Procol Harum - Greatest HitsProcol Harum - Greatest Hits
Remastered
A&M 1996
Audio CD$9.47
$6.99 (used)
Best ofBest of
Import
Imports 2014
Audio CD$12.97
$16.27 (used)
In Concert With Danish National Concert OrchestraIn Concert With Danish National Concert Orchestra
Eagle Records 2009
Audio CD$9.35
$8.46 (used)
Broken BarricadesBroken Barricades
Import
SALVO 2009
Audio CD$6.98
$5.87 (used)
Live in Concert with the Edmonton Symphony OrchestraLive in Concert with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra
Import · Remastered
SALVO 2009
Audio CD$6.30
$13.40 (used)
Live at Union ChapelLive at Union Chapel
CD+DVD · Import
SALVO 2013
Audio CD$10.52
$10.98 (used)
Grand HotelGrand Hotel
Import · Remastered
SALVO 2009
Audio CD$6.30
$5.46 (used)
HomeHome
Import
Jvc Japan 2012
Audio CD$34.41
$35.40 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
The Best of Procol Harum [A&M] (Cassette, 1987) US $5.57 Buy It Now 1h 19m
* ROBIN TROWER in the line fire PROCOL HARUM AMCY-31 JAPAN PROMO CD US $49.99 Buy It Now 3h 15m
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PROCOL HARUM - Grand Hotel ~ GATEFOLD VINYL LP US PRESS + BOOKLET US $28.70 Buy It Now 5h
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PROCOL HARUM Grand Hotel LP US $11.24 Buy It Now 9h 22m
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Procol Harum - Procol's Ninth - Very nice E+ LP US $7.00 Buy It Now 10h 5m
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PROCOL HARUM Orig 1967 self-titled LP w POSTER SHRINK STICKER NM- US $150.00 Buy It Now 11h 37m
Procol Harum "A Salty Dog" 1972 MFP LP/ UK Release US $7.99 Buy It Now 11h 50m
Procol Harum Exoctic Birds & Fruit LP EX+ Vinyl "White Label Promo" US $10.99 Buy It Now 12h 29m
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Procol Harum - Long Goodbye: Symphonic Music of - NEW CD US $40.00 Buy It Now 12h 37m
PROCOL HARUM a salty dog ( rock ) - uk - US $5.99 Buy It Now 12h 38m
1972 PROCOL HARUM The Concert with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra 8 track tape US $0.72 [0 bids]
13h 49m
PROCOL HARUM - A WHITER SHADE OF PALE / DERAM CDN US $6.47 Buy It Now 13h 49m
RARE UNPLAYED PROCOL HARUM-GERMAN ISSUE "Grand Hotel" LP 1973 GATEFOLD W/BOOK US $19.99 [0 bids]
14h 19m
ROBIN TROWER-IN CITY DREAMS Greek LP NM PROCOL HARUM 1977 US $9.99 Buy It Now 14h 49m
PROCOL HARUM-GRAND HOTEL UNIQUE Press GREEK EX+ US $9.99 Buy It Now 14h 51m
PROCOL HARUM - GREATEST HITS VOL. 1 / IN MINT COND! CASSETTE / / / / YES / ELP US $11.14 [0 bids]
15h 9m
Live in Concert With Edmonton Sym Orchestra, Procol Harum, Good Original recordi US $17.74 Buy It Now 15h 16m
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LP PROCOL HARUM "BROKEN BARRICADES" A&M SP 4294 (1971) Die Cut Cover US $11.99 Buy It Now 15h 43m
PROCOL HARUM - SELF-TITLED ALBUM (1967) - DERAM - DES 18008 - VG+/VG US $6.00 [0 bids]
15h 58m
PROCOL HARUM- LIVE IN CONCERT WITH THE EDMONTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA. BROWN A US $9.92 [0 bids]
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16h 25m
PROCOL HARUM - PANDORA'S BOX - 7" VINYL 1975 CHRYSALIS US $5.02 Buy It Now 16h 25m
PROCOL HARUM, CONQUISTADOR / LUSKUS DELPH. ORIGINAL 1972 SINGLE US $1.66 [0 bids]
16h 48m
PROCOL HARUM, PANDORA'S BOX / THE PIPERS TUNE. ORIGINAL 1976 SINGLE US $1.66 [0 bids]
16h 48m
PROCOL HARUM- LIVE IN CONCERT WITH THE EDMONTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA. BROWN A US $12.99 Buy It Now 16h 50m
PROCOL HARUM All Our Dreams Are sold PROMO Radio DJ CD single 1991 MINT US $19.99 Buy It Now 17h 24m
SYMPHONIC MUSIC OF PROCOL HARUM THE LONG GOODBYE CASSETTE TAPE US $0.99 [0 bids]
17h 26m
PROCOL HARUM "SOMETHING MAGIC" 1977 RARE STEREO ALBUM CHRYSALIS RECORDS CHR 1130 US $20.00 [0 bids]
18h 31m
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PROCOL HARUM: Broken Barricades (Rock & Pop A&M SP-4294 Vinyl LP) US $4.94 [0 bids]
1 day
PROCOL HARUM: Self Titled (Rock & Pop Deram DES-18008 Vinyl LP) US $4.94 [0 bids]
1 day
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PROCOL HARUM LIVE IN CONCERT EDMONTON SYMPHONY ALBUM -SP4335 US $13.50 Buy It Now 1 day
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America, Procol Harum, Three Dog Night, Seals & Crofts - 45RPM Record Lot - 1972 US $0.99 [1 bids]
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PROCOL HARUM Nine years before 4 page article 1976 Music Press cutting/clipping US $20.15 Buy It Now 1 day
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1 day
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Procol Harum Live With The Edmonton Symphony Orchestra US $6.99 [0 bids]
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1 day
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procol harum a whiter shade of pale 1972 uk fly label 7" vinyl single US $12.58 Buy It Now 1 day
Procol Harum Procol's Ninth vinyl LP 1975 Chrysalis Records VG+ US $7.95 Buy It Now 1 day
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1 day
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1 day
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1 day

More places to buy PROCOL HARUM music online Buy PROCOL HARUM & Prog Rock Digital Music online:
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PROCOL HARUM shows & tickets


  • Procol Harum + We Want Moore at La Poudrière, Leffrinckoucke on 23 May 2014
  • Freising Indoor Festival on 29 May 2014
  • Ottawa Bluesfest on 3 Jul 2014

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)

3.98 | 206 ratings
Procol Harum
1967
4.05 | 202 ratings
Shine On Brightly
1968
3.55 | 164 ratings
A Salty Dog
1969
3.55 | 104 ratings
Home
1970
3.28 | 90 ratings
Broken Barricades
1971
3.88 | 146 ratings
Grand Hotel
1973
3.31 | 87 ratings
Exotic Birds And Fruit
1974
2.68 | 63 ratings
Procol's Ninth
1975
2.96 | 76 ratings
Something Magic
1977
2.38 | 50 ratings
Prodigal Stranger
1991
4.39 | 25 ratings
The Long Goodbye
1995
2.97 | 51 ratings
The Well's on Fire
2003

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

4.00 | 77 ratings
Live In Concert With The Edmonton Symphony Orchestra
1972
4.00 | 9 ratings
BBC Live in Concert
2000
3.00 | 3 ratings
One More Time
2003
3.74 | 14 ratings
In Concert With The Danish National Concert Orchestra And Choir
2009

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

3.10 | 10 ratings
Live (DVD)
2002
4.13 | 13 ratings
Live at The Union Chapel
2004
4.82 | 11 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
3.00 | 7 ratings
The Best of Procol Harum [A&M]
1972
4.00 | 3 ratings
Rock Roots
1976
4.91 | 2 ratings
Procol Harum's greatest Hits Vol.1 (Pickwick)
1982
2.50 | 2 ratings
Portfolio
1988
3.00 | 6 ratings
Chrysalis Years 1973-1977
1989
3.00 | 3 ratings
The Definitive Collection
1992
3.44 | 5 ratings
Homburg & Other Hats: Procol Harum's Best
1995
3.09 | 4 ratings
Greatest Hits
1996
4.08 | 6 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
4.64 | 5 ratings
Pandora's Box
1999
0.00 | 0 ratings
Procol Harum, The Best Of (Golden Times)
2001
4.50 | 2 ratings
Whiter Shade Of Pale
2001
4.00 | 1 ratings
Singles, A's and B's
2002
4.13 | 6 ratings
Classic Tracks and Rarities: An Anthology
2002
4.00 | 1 ratings
Procol Harum/Shine On Brightly
2002
4.05 | 4 ratings
First Four
2003
3.50 | 2 ratings
A Salty Dog / Home
2003
4.00 | 4 ratings
Secrets Of The Hive - The Best Of Procul Harum
2007
3.17 | 4 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)

4.80 | 6 ratings
A Whiter Shade Of Pale
1967
3.50 | 2 ratings
Quite Rightly So
1968
3.50 | 2 ratings
Homburg
1968
3.96 | 5 ratings
A Salty Dog
1969
3.96 | 5 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
 Exotic Birds And Fruit by PROCOL HARUM album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.31 | 87 ratings

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Exotic Birds And Fruit
Procol Harum Crossover Prog

Review by Prog 74

3 stars Procol Harum is one of my favorite bands and their first three albums should be part of every serious prog-rock collection. However, by the 1970s their albums became a rather or hit miss affair. Most of them are good, some of them great such as 'Broken Barricades', 'Grand Hotel' and of course their live collaboration with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. This album falls into the "good" category. The first 5 songs are actually quite outstanding giving one high hopes for this being another great album. Among the highlights are "As Strong as Samson" and "The Idol". The former is one of their greatest songs. Very majestic with a beautiful melody. The piano playing is especially lovely. That lovely piano playing continues on into "The Idol". This is a real sweeping epic of a song. Procol Harum's classical influence is really on display here along with their ability to craft some brilliant pop hooks. Very few bands blended classical and rock as effortlessly as these guys did. Unfortunately after the wonderfully menacing "The Thin End of the Wedge" the quality of the songs drop significantly. "Monsieur R. Monde", "Fresh Fruit" & "Butterfly Boys" are all throwaways with "Fresh Fruit" especially having some cringe inducing lyrics. Thankfully all is not lost for the closing track, "New Lamps For Old", is one of the finest songs on the album. Not quite on par with "As Strong as Samson", but brilliant all the same. Intelligent lyrics with Gary Brooker singing quite soulfully. Gary Brooker is one of my all time favorite singers and this song really demonstrates just what a powerful singer he is. This is an all around fine album with a beautiful reproduction of a Jakob Bogdani painting on the cover. The album cover is so nice that it could even be framed and hung above the fireplace! Wife permitting of course. Released in 1974, this album is probably the last good album from Procol Harum and should be owned by all fans of that legendary band.

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 A Salty Dog by PROCOL HARUM album cover Studio Album, 1969
3.55 | 164 ratings

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A Salty Dog
Procol Harum Crossover Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars On their third album, Procol Harum continue to plough the same early progressive rock furrow which they'd sketched out on their debut and polished on Shine On Brightly. At points the lack of really substantive musical development over the preceding albums threatens to make this one feel a little redundant, though there's still a lot of enjoyment to be had - the outro to Pilgrim's Progress, in particular, has a delicacy and beauty hitherto unseen in the Procol Harum repertoire. There's more straight-ahead blues this time around too, which makes this one a little more diverse than Shine On Brightly. Not their best, but not all that bad either.

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 The Well's on Fire by PROCOL HARUM album cover Studio Album, 2003
2.97 | 51 ratings

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The Well's on Fire
Procol Harum Crossover Prog

Review by DrömmarenAdrian

3 stars Now I have come to the end of my Procol Harum journey. Their eleventh record "The Well's on fire" was released 2003, now ten years ago, twelve years since their last one and now they were up to a one more well produced rock record that surprised me in the end. The cover shows six flaming Tellus globes.

The record is an hour long, too much I think; without some of the least interesting songs the result would have been better. The band made up by Gary Brooker(vocals, piano), Mark Brzezicki(drums), Matthew Fisher(hammond organ), Matt Pegg(badd), Keith Reid(words) and Geoff Whitehorn(guitars). This album probes an improvement since "Prodigal Stranger". This one is more progressive(in the end) and has some of the flavours of the earliest sixties Procol Harum. Unfortunately these interesting tracks come quite late on the album. Many listeners perhaps become tired with what's before.

"Weisselklenzenacht" is the best track on the album, absolutely(8/10). It's instrumental, brave and progressive and gives us the organ we heard on "A whiter shade of pale". "The Emperor's New Clothes"(8/10) is also one of the very best Procol Harum tracks. The melody is mystical and Brooker sings very good, "So far behind"(7/10) also intrigues us with a superb melody and "Fellow Travellers"(7/10) also reminds us of "A whiter shade of pale". It is an adaption of Händel's "Lascia ch'io pianga" melody which Procol Harum does very well.

Many of the other songs are pleasant and worth hearing such as "An old English dream"(6/10) and the rocky "Wall Street Blues"(6/10) or edge "Every dog will have his day"(6/10). I am not very found of the tracks: 3, 4 and 6 but the rest is worth their place.

Procol Harum was never and will probarly not ever be one of my favourite bands. Their pretentions were to small for me. Still they always did nice music and a pair of songs from every record should be picked out for their splendor and sometimes progressive ingredients. The Well's on Fire has "The Emperor's New Clothes" and "Weisselklenzenacht" to be proud of. Three stars!

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 Prodigal Stranger by PROCOL HARUM album cover Studio Album, 1991
2.38 | 50 ratings

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Prodigal Stranger
Procol Harum Crossover Prog

Review by DrömmarenAdrian

3 stars After fourteen years, Procol Harum made their next record after "Something Magic", the record "Prodigal Stranger" which wasn't something magic perhaps but quite a good rock record. The cover is sure a CD cover, boring and uninspired with kind of computer designed text. Gary Brooker sang and Matthew Fisher played Hammond organ, Keith Reid wrote and Robin Trower played guitar and Dave Bronze bass and Mark Brzezicki drums. That was the line up and the elapsing time is around ten minutes longer than a lp.

The Prodigal Stranger is not bad at all. It's an ordinary rock record with some good songs and well performing musicians. Brooker sings well and I liked the listening times. The first track "The Truth Won't Fade Away" is amongst the albums best with a pleasent main melody and the closer "The Pursuit of Happiness" is even better with great guitar and melody. "The King of Heart" is a powerful track that is alos worth mentioning. I also like "Man with a mission", "The Hand that rocks the cradle", "All our dreams are sold". "Perpetual Motion" and "Learn to Fly". The others aren't interesting enough.

The sound of Procol Harum that year 1991 didn't get the same good results that the best of the old records but absolutely in parity with some of them as "Home", "Broken Barricades" and "Procol's Ninth". It's absolutely well performed music but it doesn't lead us to any fantastic shores or new experiences of musical glory. It's absolutely not a prog record, actually there's not much in this band's history that is prog. But as good as three stars is certainly fair!

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 Something Magic by PROCOL HARUM album cover Studio Album, 1977
2.96 | 76 ratings

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Something Magic
Procol Harum Crossover Prog

Review by DrömmarenAdrian

4 stars I continue my Procol Harum journey and for the first time after the live album am I absolutely content with what I hear. With this (unfortunatley last) record they took a big step towards a more pretentious progressive rock. That was perhaps not what their fans had expected, and by some strange reasons have the record got quite bad ratings even here. The time had past two years since quite enjoyable "Procol's Ninth" and now they were back with an amazing cover. The music couldn't be anything but progressive with a front cover like that. We can se an old time fashioned lady without head sitting on a boat deck with an aquarium flying with a fish in the sky. I love the picture. The record was released 1977. After that the band disbandet...

Gary Brooker sung and played piano, Chris Copping played bass, Mick Grabham played guitar, Keith Reid wrote, Barrie James Wilson drummed and Peter Solley played organ and synthesizers. I would guess Solley took a great part of the changing of the sound to the better. On this Procol Harum record the band suddenly sounds modern and true progressive. They playful synths I think is a big part. But the album isn't just new thinking. I also hear tunes that sound very old, like some nice classical gentlemen piano of past times.

Especially "Skating on thin ice" sounds old in the piano, and that track is also the album's best one. The sound is idyllic and the brass feels also unique and cool. This is actually one of the best Procol Harum songs I have heard(9/10). "Somethin magic"(8/10) is also wonderful. The song is very symphonic, in a way I miss on many PH records. "Strangers in space" is some form of space rock and now they managed to do that very well(8/10). I like the organs and the crazy but calm feeling the song gives me. "The worm and the tree" is true symphonic, sometimes you don't now that it is rock and the melodies are pleasant to take part in. The piano is very old time sounding. But I miss the singing sections on this long track. It's too much of a story being told. This symphony could have been so great but now it's just 7/10. "Wizard man"(7/10) is a short ut joyful little song with country feeling and I like the optimism. "The mark of the claw" has more of the welcome synthesizer and it's dramatic rock(8/10). I am sure that 4/5 is a fair grade to this album.

"Something Magic" completes Procol Harum's classic records and I think they stopped on top. If they had done more records like this I had been more content. This seems to be a gravely overlooked work by this otherwise sometimes vapid band. Recommended!

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 Procol's Ninth by PROCOL HARUM album cover Studio Album, 1975
2.68 | 63 ratings

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Procol's Ninth
Procol Harum Crossover Prog

Review by DrömmarenAdrian

3 stars If "Exotic Birds and Fruits" almost got 3,5 by me, this one almost get 2,5 but in rating they'll get the same. Well, I don't think it's totally fair but that's the way it is. "Procol's Ninth" is Procol Harum's eighth studio record and it was released the year after the last one 1975. Unlike its precursor the cover picture isn't fantastic at all. The album is grey and the musicians look uninspired. But don't be worried, most of the songs are inspired and good rock songs, don't doubt that.

1975 Procol Harum made up by Gary Brooker, Alan Cartwright, Chris Copping, Mick Grabham, Keith Reid and Barrie James Wilson. The band is quite stable and the continuity is of course great. One thing I think could have been better with this band was if the other members had got more place and perhaps had sung a bit. It would have lifted the music. "Procol's Ninth" contains six great songs of with I really recommend two, and four less interesting, of which I recommend you to avoid two.

Firstly I must praise the opener: "Pandora's Box", absolutely one of the band's best songs ever(9/10). It's lovely in every ways, mystical, a jungle feeling and fantastic guitar and flute work. The other song I would praise is "The Unquiet Zone"(7/10). That track is really different. i like the start and the original percussion that cooperates with the song in a fine way. I also love the guitar. "Fools Gold"(6/10) is a well performed strong rock song and "I keep forgetting"(6/10) takes us the the fifties with good brass. "The Piper's Tune" (6/10) has something of Procol Harum's old sacral style in the organ and also "Typewriter Torment" is enjoyable(6/10).

Two tracks you must avoid is "Taking the time"(4/10), a very boring track, but especially the Beatles cover "Eight days a week"(3/10). It could be one of the worst covers I have ever heard. It feels totally uninspired and I wonder how they could allow each other to record it. I don't think the Beatles became proud if they heard it.

Over all, though, is this album absolutely enjoyable. It has its ups and downs just as other records and the ups are more important than the downs. The direction from last record downwards of course is a disappointment. I will give it three stars and look forward to listen to the next Procol Harum record!

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 Exotic Birds And Fruit by PROCOL HARUM album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.31 | 87 ratings

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Exotic Birds And Fruit
Procol Harum Crossover Prog

Review by DrömmarenAdrian

3 stars "Exotic Birds and Fruit" is another strong Procol Harum record which I like. It isn't exactly as good as "Grand Hotel" but sure in the same level with "A Salty Dog". 1974 came this seventh real album by Procol Harum and I think it is a well done work which I recommend people to hear some songs from. On of the best things with the record though is the dreamlike cover picture with exotic birds and fruit. I love the old style painting and I would like to have it on my wall. Unfortunately I don't own the vinyl.

Procol Harum here continues in the same great style like on Grand Hotel with symphonic rock songs, not especially progressive but sure special. I have'nt heard a band which sounds like this. Gary Brooker still sings and plays piano, Alan Cartwright bass, Chris Copping organ, Mick Grabham guitars, Barrie James Wilson drums and Keith Reid writes and BJ Cole plays pedal steel guitar.

The album has nine songs. All songs are enjoyable and well performed by the band. Two are really interesting and three are better than good. The best song is "The Idol" which is also one of the most progressive. I like the mighty feeling and the soundscape created within(8/10). "As Strong as Samson" is also a favourite wher I hear the wonderful organ and the emotions in Brooker's voice(8/10).

I also think that "Nothing but the truth" is a great starter with a joyful melody and nice strings(7/10) and "Butterfly Boys" is a pop song, happy and a nice pure piano(7/10). "Beyond the pale" is also worth naming with a key increase in the end and a pleasant feeling of melancholy(7/10). "The thin end of the wedge" is progressive but a bit monotonic and "Monsieur R Monde" is a well played rock'n'roll song with good guitars. I give those tracks and "Fresh Fruit" 6/10.

Over all is this a happy experience and the band sure lived with full helth 1974. This record is worth a strong three, in fact 7/10.

I know it looks like I give Procol Harum rather low ratings. I am new to the band and I don't think they're amongst the greatest musicians. But I do feel there is something fresh in this music which I am happy to hear.

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 Grand Hotel by PROCOL HARUM album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.88 | 146 ratings

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Grand Hotel
Procol Harum Crossover Prog

Review by DrömmarenAdrian

4 stars This is the most even Procol harum record I have heard so far(beside their live) and that brings it the high rating. The band's sixth studio album from 1973 is perhaps one of the best ways to experience Procol Harum. The men clothed as gentlemen with costumes matches the music very well. In the space between this and the last record the band had changed something in their appreance that made them more progressive, special and interesting. Every track has a mighty feeling of being orchestrated. Some of the fantastic feeling on the live disc had been captured and brought here and I like it. Well I lack the perfect tracks and I don't think this band can give me so much more than this, but this is absolutely enough! This orchestrated rock music with big inspiration in the vocals and lyrics.

Gary Brooker sings and plays piano, Alan Cartwright plays bass, Chris Copping plays organ, Mick Grabham plays guitar, Keith Reid is auther, Barrie James Wilson plays drums and mandolins. I must say it feels like the band has gone back to organ driven music.

"Grand Hotel", the title track is amongst the least intriguing ones, but I really appreciate the symphonic feeling(6/10). "Toujour L'Amour" is better. It's a fast and special song(7/10). "A Rum Tale" is perhaps the album's best track(8/10). That melody is wonderful and it's so stripped and fine. "TV Ceaser" is also very good(8/10). It's a mighty piece that use the orchestra well. "A Souvenir of London"(7/10) has taken a bit of country into the prog. "Bringing home the bacon" too has a fine symphonic spirit(8/10). "For Liquorice John" is darker and powerful and some beauty(7/10). "Fines"(7/10) features a female co-singer Christianne Legrand which helps this song to be quite powerful. "Robert's Box" the closer though isn't so interesting even if it's fine(6/10).

The over all rating would be 3,56 and I will round it up to 4 stars. It's not four strong stars as on the live album but I say it again that this is Procol Harums most even and perhaps the best of the albums I have heard until now. Soon I will come back with their next one!

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 Live In Concert With The Edmonton Symphony Orchestra by PROCOL HARUM album cover Live, 1972
4.00 | 77 ratings

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

Review by DrömmarenAdrian

4 stars I continue my Procol Harum journey after five studio records of both good and bad experiences. Insted of a studio record I now have enjoyed a live rocording from 1972 an this disc is absolutely their best until then. The marriage of Procol Harum and an orchestra was exactly what their music needed to take a welcome step to a more interesting and symphonic music. Of course the choice of songs is an important part to make this album so good.

It has a fine cover picture where we can see the band and the orchestra play and it features Gary Brooker, Dave Ball(guitars), Alan Cartwright(bass), Chris Copping, Keith Reid, Barrie James Wilson and The Edmonton Symphony Orchestra.

The record has one song from Procol Harum: "Conquistador" which grows here with the orchestra and is much better than on the album(9/10). I love the melody and it's beautifully sung and the guitar fit perfect in the orchestration. From Shine on brightly we have one, but a long track "In held Twas In I" and that is of course an amazing track. This live version has a little more spirit and power than the album version and it's a pure fantastic time to listen to it(9/10). Two songs are from A Salty Dog. The title track "A Salty Dog" though was a little better on the studio record where it was a little clearer, but of course it's great also here(8/10). "All this and more" is also from that record and shows a great organ(8/10). From "Home" is the song "Whaling stories" taken and it's perfect in this song to mix the orchestra with the rock band. I love this version and I think it's very strong with a great guitar solo too(9/10). Finaly the bonus track "Luskus Delph" comes from Broken Barricades and this live version is much more powerful. The composition is lovely and the orchestra brings it to another level(9/10).

This record is very good and perhaps the best way to enjoy Procol Harum. It is really the adding of an orchestra that makes this music so good and progressive. Alone, unfortunately the band lacks the little extra and appears to just be a common rock band. I hope this was an injection that made the music more innovative in the future. I like this record very much. Four strong stars!

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 Broken Barricades by PROCOL HARUM album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.28 | 90 ratings

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Broken Barricades
Procol Harum Crossover Prog

Review by DrömmarenAdrian

3 stars The cover picture on Procol Harum's fifth record "Broken Barricades" indicades that this is a rock band or a hard rock band. So don't be surprised if you have hard to see this as a prog record. I had. Over a white fog we see the faces of the four members: Gary Brooker(vocals, piano), Chris Copping(bass, organ, synthesizers), Robin Trower(guitars) and Barrie James Wilson(drums). The record is quite short but its play time it's full of competent and well pleyed music.

I see this record as an improvement from the last one "Home". The songs are more distinct and straight and the instrumentalists do a god job. Almost nothing though could be considered prog. These eight tracks are good working hard rock songs. Broken barricades doesn't contains especially interesting songs but there are no bad stuff such as on "Home".

"Simpe sister" (7/10), the starter is one of the best. It's a heavy rock song with a great guitar solo and powerful vocals and an orchestra makes the song really mighty in the end. "Power failure" is very rocky and its biggest effort is the progressive drum solo(7/10). "Luskus Delph" has a little of the old Procol Harum feeling known from their first record, a little bit classical(7/10) and "Song for a dreamer" is the album's only experimental song. On this track the band plays with an amazing soundscape(7/10).

Even the rock song "Playmate of the mouth" is worth seven stars but the closer "Poor Mohammed" isn't as interesting(6/10). The title track "Broken Barricades" has nice piano and vocals and it is emotional but doesn't really affect me(6/10). My total statement is that this record is an improvement and the musicianship is better than before. The compositions though isn't interesting enough to get more than three stars.

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