Procol Harum

Beyond
the Pale

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Broken Barricades

Contemporary album review


Sounds, October 1971

No-one needs reminding that Procol Harum are, and have been for some time, one of Britain's most underrated groups, almost-ignored here but thought very highly of around the world and particularly in the States. Broken Barricades only further proves the band's abilities and that their following here is well-placed Keith Reid's lyrics are as fine as ever. Playmate of the Month [sic], Luskus Delph and the title track being particularly outstanding. Since A Whiter Shade of Pale which appears to have done the band more harm than good in the long run, and Homburg, Procol haven't shared much in the singles chart success but there are a number of tracks that are worth putting out which might lay the ghost of A Whiter for good. Musically Gary Brooker is a very competent vocalist and plays some nice piano passages but it's Robin Trower on guitar listen to Memorial Drive and Simple Sister and drummer BJ Wilson who come across most strongly, Chris Chopping [sic] (bass / organ) completing the band. Sooner or later Procol will no doubt gain the complete British success they deserve and until then Barricades stands out as a really fair documentation of what the band can do and have been doing for the past few years and there's no better illustration than Song for a Dreamer, a fine track with a little monologue through it, echoes, a dream like sequence and Trower playing tightly controlled guitar passages through the whole number, not too much wah wah or electronic effects.


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