Three years ago England's Procol Harum released a song entitled A Whiter Shade of Pale which went to the top of the pop charts and stayed there until it was topped by the Beatles.
Procol Harum has yet to have a big hit since Pale and, unfortunately, they have not been able either to live it down or to live up to it.
Pale is the song everyone wanted to hear when Procol Harum performed Friday night at Ravinia. Pale is also one of the most overrated songs the world has ever heard, but it has opened us all to great expectations from Procol Harum.
The group has given us songs superior to Pale such as Magdalene, Shine on, [sic] Brightly and A Salty Dog, but none of these have gotten the reception of Pale.
At Ravinia, Procol Harum revealed several songs from their new album, Home. Whaling Stories and Your Own Choice typify the Harum sound: sullen bass chords dropping on piano runs like a guillotine falling on marching feet, lyrics from Keith Reid that stand out like an effigy for 18th-century poets, and doses of volume dominated by the organ and followed by breaks of light Mozartian runs speeded to resemble rock 'n' roll.
Organist Matthew Fisher and lead [sic] David Knights have been replaced by Chris Copping, bass and organist. While Keith Reid is absent from touring, Gary Brooker's soulful voice comes through clearly while he performs at the piano.
Unexpected and totally engaging, Procol Harum an- aging, Procol Harum [sic] answered a standing ovation with Jerry Lee Lewis’ Whole Lotta Shakin’ and Little Richard's Lucille.
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