Procol Harum

the Pale 

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Procol Harum


Maybe we're all a bit biased here: but has there ever been a more brilliantly accomplished debut album? 

'I suppose the first album was the album I was the happiest with. It was fantastic, you know; I thought all the songs were great. It was the worst recorded album, but I really like it.' Keith Reid, 1972

Gary Brooker - piano, vocal 
Keith Reid - words 
Matthew Fisher - organ 
BJ Wilson - drums 
Robin Trower - guitar 
Dave Knights - bass 
Producer: Denny Cordell



She Wandered Through The Garden Fence

Something Following Me


Cerdes (Outside The Gates Of)

A Christmas Camel


Salad Days (Are Here Again)

Good Captain Clack

Repent Walpurgis: Matthew Fisher explains the origins (title and music) of this instrumental NB this is the original, UK listing of tracks (more about this)


Liner notes: To be listened to in the spirit in which it was made 

Items of interest: The original UK album did not feature A Whiter Shade of Pale: it was added for the American version. 

This necessitated a change in the classic Beardsley-influenced album sleeve, which, like the Salty Dog and Home artwork, had been executed by Dickinson, who went on to marry Keith Reid. 

The advertisement (right) relates to the 1973 A&M re-release of the album, and was originally printed in Rolling Stone

Variant versions: Good Captain Clack as it appeared as the 'B' side of the Homburg single differed by one gong-beat from the version on this album. 

The 1997 Repertoire re-issue of
this album: A Whiter Shade Of Pale

Some of these songs first recorded with Ray Royer and Bobby Harrison
(replaced by Robin Trower and BJ Wilson)

Images from the Russian pressing

The Italian job; the American version

Was it ever released in stereo? See here and here;
and here's a version with stereo bonus track

Read an eyewitness account of one recording session for this album

The words of this album, provided by Keith Reid for this website

About the film Separation, which featured Salad Days

About the Salvo re-release of this album About the 'Plus' re-release of this album

Audiophile re-release (2003) with bonus tracks, two discs on 200 Gram vinyl

A Record Collector review in 2002 about the BGO re-issue

A curious box-set version

Double CD reissue with bonus-tracks, 2015, from Esoteric

A Canadian Deram mono album autographed during the 1991 tour by the album's writers Gary Brooker,
Keith Reid and Matthew Fisher (thanks, Guy Campeau, from Montreal)


Ridiculous and upsetting re-ordering of the songs for this 'stereo' US release on reel-to-reel tape



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