Procol Harum

Beyond
the Pale

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Shine on Brightly

Contemporary album review


International Times

In true cub reporter style, I carry a portable tape recorder. But I cheat. Most of side one is filled with my all time fave records. Which means at least fifteen minutes of Procul [sic] Harum.

PH are the all-time anomaly, a band who've had a multi-million seller, who boast an obscenely good guitarist, an immediately recognisable sound and a talented song-writing team. Yet they are only really appreciated in America. Can it be that they're too far out, beyond the bounds of British record-buyers' credibility? It wouldn't surprise me, for Harum's second LP is a little too much even for me, a fan of old.

The production is superb efficient without being overpowering, it allows that curious combination of organ, piano and stinging guitar to emphasise and project the beautifully controlled schizoid lyrics. A Bosch-like picture of a private hell that just might be paradise courses with frightening optimism from speaker to speaker. Listen especially to the operetta In Twain Held was I [sic] on side 2, particularly In The Autumn Of My Madness. It'll slay you.

In the next issue we hope to do a thing on PH as we understand they are coming to Britain some time in May. Meanwhile grab the album and suss what we've all been blind to.


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