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had been eagerly awaiting the first Salvo from Salvo and am very pleased with
the result (apart from a couple of anorakesque niggles!)
Firstly the packaging. I don't know whether it's because I'm from that era but a CD in a cardboard gatefold cover seems more precious, something to cherish. Both albums have been lovingly put together with pictures, sleeve notes etc.
Procol Harum being in pink is a majestic touch. Given the album is in mono a great job has been done in tidying it up. The stereo versions are excellent and vastly superior to the ones that turned up on the Westside Pandora's Box CD. It would have been nice to have the stereo AWSoP, Cerdes and extended Walpurgis but overall this re-issue is wonderful. Perhaps one day the four-verse AWSoP will appear.
Understandably Blue is an extremely good song. I'm very
pleased this has been re-discovered.
Shine on Brightly is similarly brilliantly put together. Just a couple of things that puzzle me. the 'single' of Quite Rightly So doesn't appear what it seems. Anyone expecting to hear the version with different words is going to be disappointed. It sounds like a mono version of the album track to me! The other thing is that most of us are familiar with the two versions of Sixpence. You only get one here. You do however get a cracking backing track version. Perhaps the other slower 'more stately' one will turn up on A Salty Dog.
These backing tracks are very, very good quality indeed and sad as it may seem I can see myself armed with a bottle of Rioja hiding in the back room singing my heart out to the 'Gary-oke' backing tracks.... Thankfully we don't have children! Our swords are still blunted sharp enough!
All in all both CDs are well worth it. Lovely sound, good trawl through the vaults, lots of info, good packaging etc. They also give you a chance to re-visit old glories. I have always considered Shine on Brightly to be Procol's most stunning album. In Held 'Twas In I says more in 18 minutes than the church has in 2,000 years, if you understand what I'm trying to say.
Let's hope all the interest in Procol in 2009 will bring new listeners to this truly marvellous band. Given recent press coverage I'm sure a lot of people still have to go to a wedding or a public lavatory to hear Procol. But there is life beyond the pale.
Fred Schröter responds to the review above:
Richard Solly wrote 'Shine on Brightly is similarly brilliantly put together. Just a couple of things that puzzle me. The 'single' of Quite Rightly So doesn't appear what it seems. Anyone expecting to hear the version with different words is going to be disappointed.'
Actually I would have been disappointed if it was version with the different words again. The original 1968 single I own is the same version as the one that has now appeared on this excellent re-issue if I may say so.
I own a Dutch version of Quite Rightly So. This version must be the same as the English version according to the information pressed in between the end groove of the single. A Regal Zonophone single with a Stateside label, another subsidiary of HMV.
I first came across the version with the slightly different words with an alternate take of In The Wee Small Hours (the slower version) on an American compilation, which indicated that this was the single version. [read this article!]
Funny thing is: Quite Rightly So in the album's stereo version sounds different from the one I have on the stereo vinyl album.
I think these re-issues are the source for a lot of
discussions. That will keep the Procol music alive, I think.