One-hit wonders who forgot to stop making records
Procol Harum never replicated the brilliance of their first single, A Whiter Shade of Pale, an incredible concoction of sky-skimming organ, crashing drums, poetic words and classically-inspired melody, the perfect multi-coloured soundtrack to 1967's 'Summer of Love'. From there on it was all downhill, and what started so promisingly as an expansion of rock'n'roll's boundaries rapidly became the insufferable pretension of musicians who decided that rock was beneath them.
Listening to the likes of Kaleidoscope and Homburg on this 'best of' set you quickly forget the majesty of Whiter ... (inevitably the first track) as you wish the band would, just for once, throw off their stately tempos and meaningful lyrics and boogie on down.
Interestingly one of the few up-tempo numbers here, Long Gone Geek, was originally hidden away on a B-side. Not so much a case not of 'too old to rock and roll', but rather too snotty to.
(*: one star)
Good luck with
that last sentence, readers!
Beyond the Pale has reproduced the learned Mr Egan verbatim
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