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Procol Harum - Live In Concert With The Edmonton Symphony Orchestra CD (album) cover


Procol Harum


Crossover Prog

4.09 | 137 ratings

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Honorary Collaborator
5 stars One prerequisite that I need to warn you before you pen an opinion about this album: remember, this was initiated and recorded in 1971 when the band stopped in Edmonton as part of their tour. At that time there was not that much an idea as merging orchestra into rock music. Oh yes, I remember Jon Lord (of Deep Purple) made an effort with his orchestral album "Windows" when rock meets classic. Or Deep Purple who made "Concerto for Groups and Orchestra" in 1969. The Moody Blues did the marriage of rock and orchestra in their legendary album as well: "Days Future Passed". In a word, Procol Harum was not the first one to do it. But, it was very rare that a rock group played with an orchestra in a recorded concert. So, please don't compare this album with Yessymphonic or Dream Theater's "Score". You might compare it with Rick Wakeman' s "Journey to The Center of The Earth", I think.

The band had been considering recording in North America, and the foresight of then-ESO Assistant General Manager Bob Hunka enticed Procol Harum to the Jubilee Auditorium. The ESO had previously collaborated with Canadian band Lighthouse for what had been an extremely successful show. Hunka was eager to find another group with which to collaborate. He said as much to legendary rock writer Ritchie Yorke at a chance meeting. Yorke immediately suggested Procol Harum.

But more than that, this recording made orchestral history. The album, released originally on A&M Records, became the first album with an orchestra to sell "gold." It eventually achieved "platinum" status - again, a first. The recording has been hard to find for a while. In 2002, the German-based Repertoire label reissued the recording on CD, digitally remastered and including a bonus track: Luskus Delph, which had been recorded at the same legendary ESO concert, but not included on the original vinyl LP.

By all measures, this album is an absolute masterpiece. By the time I listened to this album I was quite happy that "Conquistador" (5:02) was excellently performed. Even the original version I already love it very much and this time the band performed with an orchestra - it's really great! My other favorite "In Held 'Twas In I" (19:00) was performed excellently as well. It's a MUST for all of you who love classic album especially with orchestra. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Note: Some quotes from the Edmonton Journal, November 19, 1971 used without permission.

Gatot | 5/5 |


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