Procol Harum

Beyond
the Pale

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Journey's End

Reviewed in Trouser Press


Craig Kimber writes to BtP:

Here's a review of Matthew Fisher's Journey's End from Trouser Press, an American magazine dated January 1980. This was the first 1980s issue (the actual magazine continued a few more years, if I remember correctly) and featured an article entitled "Records! Some 1970s Albums You Might Have Missed". The reviewer, Ira Robbins, was also the publisher/editorial director of the magazine.

MATTHEW FISHER : Journey's End : RCA APLI-0195

Hopelessly tagged as the organist on Whiter Shade of Pale Matthew Fisher split from Procol Harum in 1971 [sic] to launch a solo career. He never achieved Procol-sized fame, but this LP has been a personal fave since it came out in 1973.

Accompanied by Geoff Sweetenham [sic] on drums and Mick Hawksworth on bass, Fisher weaves 10 tunes full of melody and airy pop charm. The centerpiece, Going for a Song, is a sarcastic homage to his moment in the spotlight; Fisher pleads, "Just don't make me sing that song again." The lyrics are clever and bitter, while the music hints at that memorable organ riff. Fisher's voice, slightly whiny to begin with, quavers for all musicians saddled with old hits that won't die.

Other excellent tracks Suzanne, Play the Game, Journey's End (Part 1) are mixed in with lesser, orchestral pieces. The latter reveal parallels between Fisher and Alan Price; both are adept at sophisticated mood music and adorable ditties. Fisher's songs, though, pack a genuine bite rarely found in Price. It's a shame this LP never went anywhere.


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