Procol Harum

the Pale

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A Whiter Shade of Pale

No 84 on the PopDose chart, 24 November 2008

"Every list is flawed, and ours is no exception, but remember, this isn’t meant to be a list of the best or top singles of the era — only our favorites".

1. The Beach Boys, God Only Knows

2. Stevie Wonder, Superstition

3. Nirvana, Smells Like Teen Spirit

4. Marvin Gaye, What’s Going On

5. John Lennon, Imagine

6. Otis Redding, (Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay

7. Sam Cooke, A Change Is Gonna Come

8. Prince & the Revolution, When Doves Cry

9. Queen, Bohemian Rhapsody

10. Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band, Born to Run

11. XTC, The Mayor of Simpleton

12. Marvin Gaye, Sexual Healing

13. Ray Charles, Georgia on My Mind

14. Bob Dylan, Tangled Up in Blue

15. The Band, The Weight

16. U2, One

17. Nick Lowe, Cruel to Be Kind

18. Van Morrison, Moondance

19. Aretha Franklin, Chain of Fools

20. Crowded House, Don’t Dream It’s Over

21. Prince, Little Red Corvette

22. The Beach Boys, Wouldn’t It Be Nice

23. The Impressions, People Get Ready

24. Michael Jackson, Billie Jean

25. Ray Charles, What’d I Say

26. The Beatles, Hey Jude

27. The Spencer Davis Group, Gimme Some Lovin’

28. America, Sister Golden Hair

29. Isaac Hayes, Theme From Shaft

30. Bill Withers, Ain’t No Sunshine

31. Derek & the Dominoes, Layla

32. George Michael, Freedom ‘90?

33. Queen, Another One Bites the Dust

34. Elvis Costello, Veronica

35. Jackie Wilson, (Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher

36. Def Leppard, Photograph

37. New Order, Bizarre Love Triangle

38. Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, The Waiting

39. Joe Jackson, Is She Really Going Out With Him?

40. Elton John, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road

41. Guns n’ Roses, Welcome to the Jungle

42. Otis Redding, Try a Little Tenderness

43. The Jimi Hendrix Experience, All Along the Watchtower

44. The Beach Boys, Good Vibrations

45. R.E.M., Losing My Religion

46. LL Cool J, Mama Said Knock You Out

47. The Doobie Brothers, What a Fool Believes

48. Van Morrison, Into the Mystic

49. Elvis Presley, Suspicious Minds

50. Peter Gabriel, Big Time

51. Simon & Garfunkel, The Only Living Boy in New York

52. Pink Floyd, Comfortably Numb

53. The Rolling Stones, (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction

54. The Beatles, Come Together

55. Queen and David Bowie, Under Pressure

56. Bruce Springsteen, The Rising

57. The Beatles, Something

58. Sly & the Family Stone, Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)

59. Bob Dylan, Like a Rolling Stone

60. George Michael, Faith

61. Peter Gabriel, In Your Eyes

62. Elton John, Someone Saved My Life Tonight

63. Johnny Cash, Ring of Fire

64. B.B. King, The Thrill Is Gone

65. The Temptations, My Girl

66. Peter Gabriel, Sledgehammer

67. The Dave Brubeck Quartet, Take Five

68. X, 4th of July

69. The Beatles, Ticket to Ride

70. Elvis Presley, Jailhouse Rock

71. Brook Benton, Rainy Night in Georgia

72. Tears for Fears, Everybody Wants to Rule the World

73. The Monkees, Daydream Believer

74. Marvin Gaye, I Heard It Through the Grapevine

75. Aretha Franklin, Respect

76. Aretha Franklin, (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman

77. Bob Marley & the Wailers, Roots, Rock, Reggae

78. Prince & the Revolution, Kiss

79. Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Ohio

80. Blue Oyster Cult, (Don’t Fear) The Reaper

81. The Hues Corporation, Rock the Boat

82. The Band, Up on Cripple Creek

83. Roy Orbison, In Dreams

84. Procol Harum, A Whiter Shade of Pale

It’s easy to dismiss Procol Harum as a one-hit wonder. When you say the band’s name I doubt Conquistador or Bringin’ Home the Bacon snap to mind, but Keith Reid’s seriously bizarre lyrics matched with Gary Brooker’s smoke-and-Irish-whisky voice and funeral-dirge organ combined to proclaim the death of innocence and the love generation in 1967, before the movement even knew it was on life support. A small [sic] piece of brilliance.

85. AC/DC, Back in Black

86. Joan Armatrading, Drop the Pilot

87. Simon & Garfunkel, Bridge Over Troubled Water

88. Elvis Costello & the Attractions, (What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding

89. Roxy Music, More Than This

90. The Police, Message in a Bottle

91. Etta James, At Last

92. The Kings, This Beat Goes On/Switchin’ to Glide

93. Chuck Berry, No Particular Place to Go

94. Scritti Politti, Perfect Way

95. Glen Campbell, Wichita Lineman

96. The Beatles, A Day in the Life

97. James Brown, Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag

98. Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five, The Message

99. R.E.M., Radio Free Europe

100. Tears for Fears, Sowing the Seeds of Love

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