Procol Harum: 1st Album ... Plus ! WESTSIDE WESM 527
British 60s popsters best known for four-million selling, nonsense-worded megahit ... America had Jefferson Airplane's White Rabbit, but for Britain, Procol Harum's A Whiter Shade of Pale defined the way LSD turned pop into psychedelic gobbledygook. They turned standard R&B into eclectic dabbling: ballads, vaudeville and classical pretensions, while Matthew Fisher's fabulous Hammond organ trilled alongside Gary Brooker's world-weary delivery. Yet they have no defined place in 60s rock culture, and no album endlessly eulogised (none of their 10 made the Top 10) as they lacked pop genius in depth.
This 1967 début has sumptuous atmosphere and melodic riches, but it suffered from a live-in-the-studio feel, and, as was the habit in those days, omitted their Number 1 and its equally majestic Top 10 follow-up, Homburg. Both are among 10 bonus tracks, alongside unremarkable third single Quite Rightly So, plus unreleased takes of Mabel, Salad Days (Are Here Again), Magdalene (My Regal Zonophone) and Cerdes (Outside the Gates Of). (They liked their brackets, did Procol.)
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Like This? Try These.....
Jefferson Airplane: Surrealistic Pillow, RCA 1967
Yes: Time & A Word, Atlantic, 1970
The Verve: Urban Hymns, Hut 1997