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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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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
4 stars Funnily, this album got (as the debut did also) a released in the US (on A&M) a full trimester before it did in its homeland. But by that time, the volatile British industry had classified Procol as a two-hit wonder, and was simply not paying attention. Such a shame really as Procol was still well ahead of the game with this stunning sophomore effort. This album got a release with this green psychedelic artwork in a full gatefold, while the later UK issue will have the brown and pink piano drawing in a single sleeve.

If the first side of the vinyl is made of shorter tracks including the future single Quite Rightly So, most of the tracks are of a high calibre, but the highlight of the album is Skip Softly My Moonbeams were the tracks stops halfway, to let the descending bass line in an organ drone and Brooker dishing out Spanish inspired piano, while Trower picks up one of his memorable solo and Wilson slowly rebuilding the structure, and the track ending in a sabre dance. Grandiose.

The second side of the vinyl is made of a 17-min multi-movement suite (in the first half of 68, this is most likely the first of its kind) In Twas Held In I. And what a bloody masterpiece this track is and not surprisingly, it inspired many suite of the greater groups (most notably Genesis's Supper's Ready, more on that later ;-). Starting out with a great monologue over an organ drone, the tracks takes off in a grandiose style with a Tchaikovsky-esque piano, sitar and choirs intervening before a second monologue (a rare appearance of Keith Reid interpreting his text). Then comes in one of the craziest moment in prog with the bizarre teatime At The Circus were the ambiance is at its madness much the same way, Gabriel will bring out Willow Farm in Supper's ready some four years later. Autumn Of My Madness is one of those superb moments (with Fisher singing his track)where the songs dips shortly with atonal guitars, before Trower takes the cake on a melody of the first movement. Brooker is again present for Look To Your Soul and Fisher rounds off with its Grand Finale, which is truly one - Fisher admitting lifting it of Haydn, but it is done tastefully.

Ideally to get this album with the green US artwork (for ex: the repertoire label re-issue), you will also get as bonus tracks an Italian version single, and some homburg version. It is a bit frustrating to choose the best possible version of the album on Cd format, but thankfully there are no weak sounding version as there is for the debut album.

Extended CD review

Wow ! I get a second chance to say what i think of this great album. actually James says it all well before me so read him instead or read my review on the other edition of this album. Please note that this is none other than the british cover of their second album that was so far ahead of its time with a full blown 17 min + suite in 1968 ! Yeah , man ! 1968. So you ask why I gave only four stars here , where I gave five stars on the other. Well , there was less clouds in the sky the other night, when I counted them. Actually , I grew up with the green psychadelic cover , so i have a little (tiny, very tiny) trouble getting used to this (still good ) cover. So I shall give another half star.... you happy , now ??????

Sean Trane | 4/5 |

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