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Procol Harum - Shine On Brightly CD (album) cover

SHINE ON BRIGHTLY

Procol Harum

 

Crossover Prog

4.06 | 387 ratings

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ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer
4 stars After having initiated a new sound with their debut album, and having set their fame with the formidable Whiter, selling millions of these worldwide, Procol Harum got to work and produced their second album a year later.

It is a consolidation of their original work, based on these great dual keyboards, fine harmonies ("Quite Rightly So"), some excellent and heavy psychedelia ("Skip Softly"). The second part of this song is absolutely "Dantesque". A highlight.

There are some avoidable song as well. The bluesy "Wish Me Well (I wish I could.) and the childish "Magdalene" for instance.

The "pièce de résistance" is of course the epic "In Held 't Was In I". Something totally different from the music produced in those days. Mixing several influences (Oriental, classical). I guess one can consider this piece of work as one of the foundation of prog music. Of prog epics for sure.

It lacks maybe in unity, but considering that it was released in 1968, there were little (to none) points of comparison.

The atmosphere of "Pepper's" also had its mark on this song and for sure, "10CC" must have listened to this piece many times.The third part The Autumn of My Madness is the most melodic one. A superb vocals part and what to say about this crescendo keyboard section? My fave one.

But the whole is just a masterpiece. A phenomenal and emblematic epic. Do yourself a favor: do listen to it. For your pleasure. At times, during the fourth movement "Look to Your Soul" (when vocals become more powerful, there might even some hints for the later "Supper's").

No doubt, this track shines on brightly.

The remastered CD version features a bunch of bonus tracks of which I particularly like "In the Wee Small Hours of Six Pence". Almost a classic with these fantastic organ sounds again. And there is even an Italian symphonic track! "Il Tuo Diamante" is probably not a diamond in terms of vocals, but the music displayed is really enjoyable. Did you say keys?

Like for their debut album, I will upgrade this one from seven out of ten to four stars. Because it holds two masterpieces: "Skip Softly" (but don't do it) and of course "In Held 't Was in I". A masterpiece of progressive history. No less. Essential.

ZowieZiggy | 4/5 |

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