Procol Harum

Beyond
the Pale

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Procol Harum pop back into the hit parade

Judith Simmons in The Daily Express, 22 September 1975


Set for a brighter shade of success

Procol Harum pop back into the hit parade from their Pandora's Box hit the first [sic!] since their sensational Whiter Shade of Pale eight years ago.

Keith Reid, now 28 has changed considerably since, as a labourer, he wrote Pale. He was withdrawn and suspicious behind dark-tinted glasses then. Now he is assured and the frames of his dark glasses are no longer National Health but gold.

Blending

Co-composer Gary Brooker, now 30, singer-keyboard player, is still solidly genial and handsome. Both men have swapped jeans for corduroys. Procol's success in Britain pleases them no end. Huge US success, involving 30 tours and nine hit albums did not compensate for being ignored here.

Reid says: 'It's frustrating when you are appreciated everywhere but at home.'

Their blending of classical chords, pop and obscure poetic imagery proved a blueprint for other groups. But the sudden fame of their first hit proved too much. They were unable to play on stage because of exhaustion, had sacked their manager and replaced two musicians.

As Reid said: 'We lost control of the situation. No one could have been prepared for that kind of sudden prominence.'

Fortunately their artistic merits have meant survival. They were in the vanguard of pop bands to record with symphony orchestras.

Reid and his wife now have a house in the trendiest part of London's Hampstead and Brooker and his wife have a farm on the Surrey-Sussex borders.

Brooker said 'We played recently in Iceland and Mexico. Next year we will be touring the Iron Curtain countries.'

Thanks to Carrie Maun for sending in this prime example of cheery tabloid pop-style.
She adds, 'the first sentence doesn't seem to make sense, but is an accurate transcription.'.


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