Procol Harum

the Pale

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Procol Harum's comeback

Musik Express, Germany • August 1969

Hans Volkhardt sends this interesting piece, and its English translation, to 'Beyond the Pale' (September 2009): The line-up depicted on the cover (Knights, Brooker, Fisher, Harrison, Royer) is fascinating in terms of the facial expressions shown, but is not relevant to the main article; the photos that accompany the text are of particular interest because of the rare photograph of Matthew Fisher playing the guitar.

Exactly two years ago they shocked the world with A Whiter Shade of Pale. A number that's probably the best pop song ever written. Three months later they won their second Golden Record with Homburg. Another three months later their song Quite Rightly So set all the charts in a whirl. After that nothing was heard of Procol Harum. How can this trough in the band’s career be explained? Well, the group has to be blamed a little bit, too. But the audience is the main culprit.

After the song Quite Rightly So the band went to America, because they were more popular there than in Europe. But this was the thing that the European – especially English – fans held against them. That’s actually ridiculous because, in the meanwhile, huge numbers of bands went to America and even stayed there. Procol Harum hadn’t planned to stay in America. Before they left, they had released another excellent LP but Europe scarcely took any notice of it

And so the group finally disappeared from the scene. Although the record is extraordinarily good, the audience wasn’t interested in the group any longer. But all of a sudden, Procol Harum is on everyone’s lips again. They came back and released a new LP. And this record proves that their former hits weren't just a flash in the pan. The title track of the LP A Salty Dog was released as a single. With this song Procol Harum will sing their way back into fans' hearts.



Thanks, Hans

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