Procol Harum

Beyond
the Pale

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Procol Harum's NME coverage ...

3 + 10 October; 7 + 14 November; 26 December 1970


These excerpts from New Musical Express, kindly selected for 'Beyond the Pale' by Yan Friis, show how press interest in Procol tailed off after the Isle of Wight; later they appear on the Chrysalis roster.


NME October 3, 1970

Front page: Big full page feature on autumn shows in Britain, led by Jethro Tull, big pic of Ian Anderson, smaller pics of The Who, Blood Sweat & Tears and Pentangle.

AUTUMN SHOWS TAKE TO THE ROAD

(excerpt from front page)
Lead by the bewhiskered pop piper himself, the top bands are all hitting the road this autumn in what looks like being a bumper feast of music for British fans.

On the Jethro Tull / Procol Harum package Ian Anderson and co. are putting in their first British concert appearance for a year....

Headlines:

RIGHT SONG SAVED THE CARPENTERS
by Ann Moses

Perfection has made the Blood, Sweat and Tears all worthwhile
by Roy Carr

Tipped for charts by Derek Johnson
Fairport Convention, Now Be Thankful
Bread, It Don't Matter To Me

NME Top 5
1. ( 1) Band Of Gold, Freda Payne
2. ( 4) You Can Get It If You Really Want, Desmond Dekker
3. ( 6) Montego Bay, Bobby Bloom
4. ( 2) Give Me Just A Little More Time, Chairmen Of The Board
5. ( 3) Tears Of A Clown, Smokey Robinson & The Miracles

Top 5 LPs
1. ( 1) Bridge Over Troubled Water, Simon & Garfunkel
2. ( 3) Get Yer Ya Yas Out, Rolling Stones
3. ( 2) Cosmo's Factory, Creedence Clearwater Revival
4. ( 4) A Question Of Balance, Moody Blues
5. (10) Deep Purple In Rock, Deep Purple

WHO'S WHERE

JETHRO TULL / PROCUL HARUM [sic]: Playhouse Cinema, Glasgow (2); Free Trade Hall, Manchester (3); Colston Hall, Bristol (4).

(My comment: Are we getting closer to the Chrysalis deal here?)


NME October 10, 1970
Front page: Full page ad for two new FLY Records releases:

T. Rex, Ride A White Swan
The Move, When Alice Comes Back To The Farm

Headlines:
HOT CHOCOLATE, MUSIC CHOCOLATE!
Just the job for a cold night indoors
by Alan Smith

QUICK-RISING BREAD
by Roy Carr

MUSIC THE FAMILY WAY
... or 'How's an 'erbert like him write words like that?'
by Nick Logan

MOODY BLUES BLEEDING DEDICATION
by Nick Logan

Tipped for charts by Derek Johnson
White Plains, Julie, Do Ya Love Me
Edwin Starr, War
Jimmy Ruffin, It's Wonderful To Be Loved By You
Move, When Alice Comes Back To The Farm

NME Top 5
1. ( 1) Band Of Gold, Freda Payne
2. ( 6) Black Night, Deep Purple
3. ( 2) You Can Get It If You Really Want, Desmond Dekker
4. ( 3) Montego Bay, Bobby Bloom
5. ( 7) Which Way You Goin' Billy, Poppy Family

Top 5 LPs
1. ( 1) Bridge Over Troubled Water, Simon & Garfunkel
2. ( 2) Get Yer Ya Yas Out, Rolling Stones
3. ( 4) A Question Of Balance, Moody Blues
4. ( 6) Paranoid, Black Sabbath
5. ( 8) Led Zeppelin Vol. 2, Led Zeppelin

WHO'S WHERE

JETHRO TULL / PROCUL HARUM [sic]. Southampton Guildhall (9); Royal Albert Hall (13).

News pages:

FREEDOM, the new heavy band formed by ex-Procol Harum drummer Bobby Harrison, appears in Black Sabbath concert at London Royal Festival Hall on October 26. It also supports Three Dog Night at London Royal Albert Hall (27) and Birmingham Odeon (November 1).


NME, November 7, 1970:

(NME expands from the regular 12 or 16 to 24 pages issues)

(I just though you'd want to see this Derek Johnson-review)

Freedom, Frustrated Woman (Probe).
The debut of the trio formed by ex-Procol Harum drummer Bobby Harrison. Consisting of improvisations on a basic riff, it's nagging, insidious, almost hypnotic.

The boys generate a thick, heavy sound and a pounding beat and this, coupled with the intriguing vocal, makes it hard to credit that only three of 'em are involved. Very good of its kind.


NME, November 14, 1970:

Front page:

Pics of Don Fardon, Andy Williams & Dionne Warwick meet Princess Margaret, Roger Cook & Kenny Everett, The Hollies, Peter Noone & Herman's Hermits.

Headlines:
When 4 am concerts at an East End launderette starred -
SIMON and GARFUNKEL IN LONDON 1964-5
by Judith Piepe / Roy Carr

INDIANS STRUCK OIL AND SO DID DON FARDON
by Alan Smith

JIMI HENDRIX BECAME HERO THAT NIGHT IN OLD MONTEREY
by Danny Holloway

CARPENTERS SUFFERED WITH ENGEL
by Ritchie Yorke

Main albums reviewed:
Family, Anyway
McDonald and Giles, McDonald and Giles
Amon Duul II, Yeti
Quicksilver Messenger Service, Just For Love
Greatest Show On Earth, The Going's Easy
Kevin Ayers & The Whole World, Shooting At The Moon

Tipped for charts by Derek Johnson
Free, Stealer
Jackson 5, I'll Be There
Carpenters, We've Only Just Begun
Rolf Harris, Mary's Boy Child
Badfinger, No Matter What

NME Top 5
1. ( 1) Woodstock, Matthews Southern Comfort
2. ( 2) Patches, Clarence Carter
3. ( 6) War, Edwin Starr
4. ( 5) Black Night, Deep Purple
5. ( 3) Me And My Life, Tremeloes

Top 5 LPs
1. ( 2) Led Zeppelin Vol. 3, Led Zeppelin
2. ( 1) Motown Chartbusters Vol. 4, Various Artists
3. ( 4) Bridge Over Troubled Water, Simon & Garfunkel
4. ( 5) Paranoid, Black Sabbath
5. ( 3) Candles In The Rain, Melanie

Tail-Pieces by the Alley Cat

... How about Procol Harum's hit retitled by Don Fardon: Whiter Shade Of Paleface?! ...


NME December 26, 1970

Front page:
Pics of Pete Townshend, Keith Moon, Lulu and Canned Heat.

Headlines:
HOW WELL DO YOU KNOW YOUR POP?
Try this fun to enter quiz and find out!
by Nick Logan

NEIL DIAMOND ALMOST KILLS HIMSELF ON STAGE
by Jim Smith

Ten Years After album designed for you joy
Watt reviewed by Richard Green

Tipped for charts by Derek Johnson
Elvis Presley, You Don't Have To Say You Love Me

NME Top 5
1. ( 2) When I'm Dead And Gone, McGuinness Flint
2. ( 1) I Hear You Knocking, Dave Edmunds
3. ( 8) Grandad, Clive Dunn
4. ( 5) It's Only Make Believe, Glen Campbell
5. ( 3) Cracklin' Rosie, Neil Diamond

Top 5 LPs
1. ( 2) Led Zeppelin Vol. 3, Led Zeppelin
2. ( 3) Andy Williams's Greatest Hits, Andy Williams
3. ( 6) Bridge Over Troubled Water, Simon & Garfunkel
4. ( 4) New Morning, Bob Dylan
5. ( 1) Motown Chartbusters Vol. 4, Various Artists

Half page Chrysalis ad on page 10

saying Happy Chrysalis, and showing 23 small black & white pics of the label's roster including Procol Harum and T. Rex (why T. Rex?).


My comment:

And that's 1970 for you. It looked good for a while midway, but Procol lost its steam when we hit late autumn. Strange they didn't do more touring than those few dates with Jethro Tull. Strange, strange, strange.

During the last three months of 1970 you could read more about Freedom in the NME than PH.

Who knows what those guys were thinking. Why didn't they push harder in the U.S. when they had a Top 30 album on their hands? Why didn't they use that fact to advertise themselves in Britain? And why didn't they play more 'live' in Britain? Same old story year after year. It's as if they didn't want any success.

And we all know that 1971 wouldn't be any better. That was the year that they blew it with the first lousy album of their career.


The Mammoth Task: Yan's extracts from the first 52 weeks of Procol press in the NME

Swimming Against the Tide: Yan's extracts from the remaining ten years of Procol press in the NME


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