Procol Harum

the Pale

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Greatest Hits Procol Harum

Metro METRCD038, December 2000

This is a new compilation album from the British company Union Square Music, but it draws in typical fashion on the Cube / Fly / Regal Zonophone (+ Deram) catalogue. All well and good: it is cheap and it will bring 74+ minutes of great music to new people. The liner notes by compiler Mark Crampton are extensive and ambitious, but not without fault, as you will see below.

Some of the pictures are new to BtP, though it is perhaps easy to see why they were never used in the sixties! It would make a marvellous introduction to the band if you want to persuade a friend that your obsession with their music is not a culpable aberration. It contains the alternative version of Quite Rightly So with the variant words that Keith Reid disavows, and the alternative ('Dojo') Wee Small Hours of Sixpence that very probably dates back to the Harrison / Royer incarnation of the band, which makes it a package that ultra-completists will definitely desire

A Whiter Shade of Pale
She Wandered Through the Garden Fence
Something Following Me
Cerdes (Outside the Gates of)
Salad Days (Are Here Again)
Repent Walpurgis
Quite Rightly So
Shine on Brightly
Magdalene (My Regal Zonophone) In the Wee Small Hours of Sixpence A Salty Dog
The Devil Came from Kansas Boredom Whisky Train
Whaling Stories 8 tracks from the first album, 3 from the second and third, 2 from the fourth, 


'to take advantage of the success of a record honed in the studio' ... the record came out in May, the band was rehearsing the previous winter

'more middle-brow listeners who didn't have the patience for ELP ...'
'Trower's flashy guitar quickly made him the star of the band'
'Brooker initiated a farewell tour'
'The most recent Harum-related release came in 1995' (see here)
Nice picture, though the guitarist and bassist don't appear on the record. 'Guitarist' Keith Reid is not pictured!

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