Procol Harum - Polydor 1967
In a highly original way Procol Harum succeeded in combining raw rhythm'n blues with classical music. With Keith Reid's dark mysterious lyrics and Brooker's soulful voice these 1967 recordings sound as attractive and relevant as ever. Their sound is quite unique, and it's hard to mistake these early Procol Harum recordings from any other band's output.
This version contains all tracks from both the American 11 tracks version and the European 10 tracks release. Actually several tracklistings of the album were released, but the the most important difference was whether they contained "Homburg" or "A Whiter Shade of Pale". Some versions also missed "Good Captain Clack".
Among the othe bonus-tracks you'll find the B-side to "A Whiter Shade of Pale", ""Lime Street Blues", a great R&B track. A single version of "Homburg is also there ( very hard to tell the difference from the album version).
Early versions of songs later to appear on their second album "Shine on Brightly" are also included. All great and highly interesting. The original version "Magdalene" has only survived from an acetate, so the sound obviously is not as good as could hoped for. Otherwise all tracks sound great.
It's very hard to bring out tracks from the original album, as they all in different ways are the highest quality. Obviously their to early hit-singles stand out, but in the same vein you'll find outstanding songs like "Salad Days" and "Repent Walpurgis". The bluesier side of the band is shown on tracks like "Something Following Me" and "Cerdes", but even these two have the classical "PH" feel to them. Among the up-beat tracks "Conquistador" and "Kaleidoscope" are the closest you get straight-forward rock-music. "Mabel" and "Good Captain Clack" are Procol Harum at their most unceremonious. An incredibly strong album.