Procol Harum

Beyond
the Pale 

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Procol Harum • Salvo

The first 2009 reissue reviewed by Mark Paytress in Mojo


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Procol Harum
(three stars)
Procol Harum

SALVO Procol's flop debut now stakes its claim as a psych-era mini-classic.

Sgt. Pepper did without Strawberry Fields Forever. Pink Floyd's Piper At The Gates Of Dawn saw little need for See Emily Play. But the decision to omit the hit of summer '67 from Procol Harum's debut LP proved disastrous. Record company shenanigans delaying its release until January 1968, by which time Procol's dreamy baroque pop was sounding distinctly passť, hardly helped matters either.

Now doubled in length and shored up by the inclusion of the band's second hit, Homburg, a stereo Conquistador and of course A Whiter Shade of Pale, this lost chapter in British psych-pop now makes a fine companion piece to The Zombies' Odessey And Oracle.

While the Procol set dives deeper into neo-classical territory (Repent Walpurgis clearly borrows from Bach and Tchaikovsky), it also wears its sources more clearly – Dylan on Something Following Me and A Christmas Camel, and a soulful shade of Steve Winwood in Gary Brooker's voice throughout.

Mark Paytress

Caption
Procul [sic] Harum: something medieval this way comes.

One point for quoting Shakespeare, minus twenty-three points for spelling the bloody name of the band wrong


 


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