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Procol Harum - Shine On Brightly CD (album) cover


Procol Harum


Crossover Prog

4.07 | 388 ratings

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4 stars This early Procol Harum is one of their best and has made an impact on music over the years driven by shimmering Hammond and the soaring vocals of Gary Brooker. Indeed, Transatlantic covered the epic making a statement of how essential the album is. The musicianship is always magnificent and certainly the melodies hook in to the system on every song. Parts of the album have become indispensable to the band and appear on all their compilations. There is no 'Whiter Shade' here but this is nevertheless full of equally excellent tracks.

Quite Rightly So is a great opener with Hammond and wild percussive embellishments. Trower;s guitar is always something to look forward to and he cranks out some innovative licks. Homburg is an essential song from the band and features melodic organ and a strong beat to carry it along. Magdalene (My Regal Zonophone) features grand piano and marching drum rhythms. The melancholy vocals are perfect for the sombre themes; "for once I stood quite naked, for shame I wept the tears". Shine on Brightly is another quintessential track, with a moderate tempo and the ever present Hammond organ. The lyrics are always based on the premise of a relationship break up or searching for answers. This one centres on losing sanity; "The chandelier is in full swing, though it seems they smile with glee, I know in truth they envy me, and watches my befuddled brain shines on brightly quite insane." This was before Pink Floyd's "Shine On" it has to be remembered and well ahead of its time as was the case with the band's album content.

In Held Twas In I is the complex magnum opus of the album clocking a mammoth 17 and a half minutes. Once again it features lots of organ but the lengthy jamming is a key feature and shows the band at their best. Overall, this is one of the greatest Procol Harum albums in their lengthy career. They were never a one hit wonder despite their reputation.

AtomicCrimsonRush | 4/5 |


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