Procol Harum

the Pale

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Liquorice John

on an Italian Bootleg CD

In 1989 an Italian company brought out a bootleg CD, purporting to contain the famous Liquorice John Session, on the Living Legend label. Although at least thirty songs were apparently recorded, of which thirteen were mixed by Chris Thomas and aired on Radio in the mid seventies, this CD contains only eleven cuts that could possibly have come from that session.

The credits read: Procol Harum: Liquorice John Dead and Rock and Roll Allstars with Joe Cocker on Just Like a Woman: Gary Brooker, Robin Trower, Dave Knights, Matthew Fisher, Barry Wilson, Leon Redbone, Jack Lancaster.

It contains the following tracks (spellings taken direct from the CD insert):

Kansas City (Leiber / Stoller)
I'm ready, you're willing (Cloud / Organ [sic])
Keep on Knocking (Pennyman)
Cadilac (McDaniel)
Matchbox (Perkins)
Breathless (Blackwell)
The Story about a Suite (Brooker / Reid [sic])
Everything I do is wrong (Brooker / Reid [sic])
Just Like a Woman (Dylan)
Poison Ivy (Leiber / Stoller)
Further on up the Road (Veasey / Robey)
Whisky Train (Trower / Reid)

Just Like a Woman is the excellent and familiar cut with Matthew Fisher on Hammond: there's no other sign of Matthew or Joe anywhere else on the disc; nor does the bass playing throughout sound like David Knights. Jack Lancaster's sax is audible only on the mysterious spoken track, The Story about a Suite [should be 'Suit'?]. The rest of the record is raw but very listenable: Poison Ivy is very like the Paramounts' arrangement.

Whisky Train is exceedingly like the version on Home, but not identical: there are small differences in each person's playing, one small variant in terms of structure, and it ends less expertly. Whisky Train might seem to provide a good clue for dating the rest of the set, except that the piano sound is not the same as that on the rest of the rock cuts, suggesting that it may not have been recorded at the same time.

More Liquorice John pages

About The Story about a Suite

About Everything I Do Is Wrong

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