Single of the week:
PROCOL HARUM: As Strong As Samson (When You're Being Held To Ransom) (Chrysalis).
Coming across this amidst the overwhelming pile of dreck is a lot like discovering someone you know in a roomful of strangers. You know, it brings you to life again after being bored solid. Oddly enough, As Strong As Samson isn't from Procol's last album, Procol's Ninth, but from the one before that, Exotic Birds And Friends [sic], and what's more it's been remixed so you hear a lot of things previously out of aural range – like the pedal steel half-way through which contrasts well against the stately keyboards of Gary Brooker (piano) and Chris Copping (organ). And then there's the acoustic guitar finger picking which appears with a marked clarity seconds into the record. Snuggled in between the rest of the album, As Strong As Samson sounded great, but now it sounds even better and the song's lilting quality becomes more apparent each time you hear it. Keith Reid's lyrics are fortunately less obscure than usual, witness the words in brackets after the title – which didn't appear after the song's listing on the album. The group thought it wise to include them because at this stage in the record Brooker's diction becomes a little muffled. Or to put it another way, no-one could understand what the hell he was singing about. A fine, fine record.
Thanks to David Knight for the text and Per Wadd Hermansen for the image
Reviews of Procol
Reviews of the album this single came from
Yan Friis's 'Mammoth Task' of NME transcription