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Procol Harum

Crossover Prog

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Procol Harum Chrysalis Years 1973-1977 album cover
3.04 | 10 ratings | 3 reviews | 0% 5 stars

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Boxset/Compilation, released in 1989

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Grand Hotel
2. Pandora's box
3. Fresh fruit
4. Bringing home the bacon
5. Something magic
6. Fool's gold
7. Nothing but the truth
8. Toujours l'amour
9. As strong as Sampson
10. T.V. Caesar
11. Wizard man
12. The unquiet zone
13. A souvenir of London
14. The idol

Line-up / Musicians

- Gary Brooker / lead vocals, piano, orchestration
- Alan Cartwright / bass
- Chris Copping / organ
- Mick Grabham / guitars
- Keith Reid / words
- Barrie James Wilson / drums

+ Dave Ball / spoons (13)
- Denny Brown / spoons (13)
- B.J. Cole / pedal steel guitar
- The Pahene Recorder Ensemble (4)

Releases information

CD Chrysalis F2-21705 (1989)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Lucas for the last updates
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PROCOL HARUM Chrysalis Years 1973-1977 ratings distribution

(10 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(0%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(30%)
Good, but non-essential (60%)
Collectors/fans only (10%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

PROCOL HARUM Chrysalis Years 1973-1977 reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Trotsky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Critics thought Procol Harum was a spent force in the early 70s. Matthew Fisher's departure was followed by that of Robin Trower and by the time of the fifth album Broken Barricades, nobody seemed interested. But then a live concert recorded with an orchestra (Live In Edmonton) produced a surprise hit single (Conquistador) and a new Procol Harum line-up with guitarist Mick Grabham, bassist Alan Cartwright and the redesignated Chris Copping (who moved from bass to organ) complementing the established trio of Gary Brooker (Vocals/piano), Keith Reid (lyrics) and the effervescent drummer B.J. Wilson. During the band's second run of glory, four studio albums were cut with the Chrysalis label (Grand Hotel, Exotic Birds And Fruit, Procol's Ninth and Something Magic) and this compilation does a great job of distilling those highlights on a single CD.

There are some truly brilliant songs such as the marimba/flute flavoured Pandora's Box, the majestic heart-breaking defeatist anthem As Strong As Samson, Fool's Gold and the orchestra-dominated theatrical single Something Magic all of which show that Brooker and co. still had something special going on. The rockers Toujours L'Amour, Nothing But The Truth, Bringing Home The Bacon and best of all The Unquiet Zone also show Grabham and Wilson playing very excitingly off each other. The epics TV Caesar, The Idol and Grand Hotel all have their moments, with Grand Hotel being particular strong. And finally you have the light-hearted mandolin-driven A Souvenir Of London, and bouncy tunes like Wizard Man and Fresh Fruit provide a nice balance to all the intensity.

Unlike the A&M The Best Of, which this initially complemented, this Chrysalis Years compilation doesn't have any non-album goodies. There is also the odd questionable omission such as Fires (Which Burn Brightly), Beyond The Pale, The Final Thrust and The Piper's Tune and I do feel that either The Mark Of The Claw or Strangers In Space (both from the last album Something Magic) should have been included to show the direction that Procol were contemplating heading in, when the band called a day. But overall, there are lots of goodies and not a single dud on this collection, which might be all of latter-day Procol Harum that the casual prog fan needs. ... 64% on the MPV scale

Review by daveconn
3 stars Nothing magic here, just another idol turned to grey. These CEMA Special Markets are usually as quiet as doormice, squeaking under the cracks and snuggling into the cutout bins. The Chrysalis Years were waning ones for the band, offering the challenge: Is there really a market for a Procol Harum compilation that didn't include "A Whiter Shade of Pale," wasn't called A Whiter Shade of Pale, and didn't have a catchy sticker on the cover that read "Including the hit A Whiter Shade of Pale?" They did hook me, for ninety-nine cents, but a tape has to sink pretty low to go for under a dollar. Obviously, there wasn't even much of a "special" market for Procol Harum's later songs, which I could have told you for free. "Pandora's Box" was the lone hit, the rest of these tracks coming from Grand Hotel, Exotic Birds, Ninth and Something Magic with favoritism for the failed singles ("Bringing Home The Bacon," "Nothing But The Truth"). I still wouldn't call myself a fan of Procol Harum, but I am curious, so the chance to sample fresh fruit for under a dollar is a temptation I'll indulge every time. While I got my money's worth, what I didn't get is the itch to dig deeper into the story. There's no fire for Grand Hotel in me, no need to hear the Ninth, and nothing enchanting about Something Magic that calls me from The Chrysalis Years. It's not unlike when I read The Mystery of Edwin Drood; I didn't know the ending and I didn't care. I feel the same about Procol Harum; it's not a story I followed that closely. If you are interested in their story, be patient. I might be selling my copy for fifty cents some time soon.

Latest members reviews

3 stars Not a bad collection of songs. This was actually my intorduction to Procol Harum (after "Whiter Shade of Pale" of course). I got this CD for 1 dollar and it turned out to be a good purchase. It has lead me to check out more of their work. Good tunes are "Grand Hotel", "Something Magic", "As St ... (read more)

Report this review (#445848) | Posted by mohaveman | Wednesday, May 11, 2011 | Review Permanlink

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