Procol Harum

the Pale

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Procol Harum's NME coverage ...

23 June, 28 July, 11 + 18 August 1973

These excerpts from New Musical Express, kindly selected for 'Beyond the Pale' by Yan Friis, show setbacks for Procol Harum as a showcase London gig is re-scheduled in the provinces, and a highly-uncharacteristic 45 is banned by the BBC.

NME, June 23, 1973:

Front page headlines:

VAN MORRISON FOR RAINBOW (big pic and story)
CRYSTAL PALACE: It's looking good (story)

News pages:

Procol date at Croydon
Procol Harum play their only concert in the London area this year when they headline at Croydon Fairfield Hall on Sunday, July 15 It will be their first appearance in the London district since they played the Rainbow Theatre last September. The group are scheduled to return to Britain next week following a nine-week American tour.

NME Top 5:
1 (1) Can The Can, Suzi Quatro
2 (4) Rubber Bullets, 10c.c.
3 (7) Albatross, Fleetwood Mac
4 (2) One And One Is One, Medicine Head
5 (15) The Groover, T.Rex

British Albums:
1 (2) Pure Gold, Various Artists
2 (1) Aladdin Sane, David Bowie
3 (4) 1962-1966, The Beatles
4 (3) 1967-1970, The Beatles
5 (7) There Goes Rhymin' Simon, Paul Simon

Main singles reviews by Nick Kent:
I'm Waiting For The Man, Lou Reed & Velvet Underground
Life On Mars, David Bowie
Such A Night, Dr. John
Get Down To It, Humble Pie
The Answer (Should I Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round The Old Oak Tree?), Connie Francis
Numbers (Travelling Band), Alan Hull
Wouldn't I Be Someone, Bee Gees

Main album reviews:
Fantasy, Carole King
Home Thoughts, Clifford T. Ward
Where Are You Now My Son?, Joan Baez
Skywriter, Jackson Five
Masterpiece, The Temptations
Never Turn Your Back On A Friend, Budgie
Oora, Edgar Broughton Band
Neither One Of Us, Gladys Knight & The Pips
A Wizard, A True Star, Todd Rundgren
A Woofer In A Tweeter's Clothing, Sparks
Mudanzas, Stray

NME, July 28, 1973

Front page main headlines:

What gives with Roxy? (big pic)
Free ticket for Let The Good Times Roll
Moodies tour
Stones for Wembley (story)
Clarence White tragedy (story)
News pages:

Procol date cancelled
Procol Harum, whose London Palladium gig was originally scheduled for August 19, have had the concert cancelled by the venue's management.

A Chrysalis spokesman told NME that no explanation had been given by the Palladium - but later statements by Moss Empires, who control the Palladium's booking, revealed that the theatre has been made unavailable to Procol "because we require it for our own purposes. I'm afraid there has been a slight misunderstanding."

This week Procol rush-release a single, Souvenirs [sic] of London, which is culled from the Grand Hotel album.

NME Top 5:
1. ( 1) Welcome Home, Peters & Lee
2. ( 7) I'm The Leader Of The Gang, Gary Glitter
3. ( 6) Alright Alright Alright, Mungo Jerry
4. ( 3) Life On Mars, David Bowie
5. ( 8) Goin' Home, Osmonds

British Albums:
1. ( 2) Aladdin Sane, David Bowie
2. ( 1) We Can Make It, Peters & Lee
3. ( 5) Living In The Material World, George Harrison
4. ( 3) That'll Be The Day, Various Artists
5. ( 6) 1967-1970, The Beatles

Main single reviews by Ian MacDonald:

Sweet Jane, Velvet Underground
48 Crash, Suzi Quatro
Warm Love, Van Morrison
Here I Am (Come And Take Me), Al Green
You Light Up My Life, Carole King
Are You Man Enough, Four Tops
Feelin' Stronger Every Day, Chicago
As Time Goes By, Nilsson
Rising Sun, Medicine Head

Main album reviews:
10cc, 10cc
The Tin Man Was A Dreamer, Nicky Hopkins
My Sportin' Life, John Kay

NME, August 11, 1973
Main front page headlines:

Crystal Palace changes
(small pic and story)
Lou Reed tour - full dates inside (big pic and story)
Stones gig hits trouble (story)
News pages:

New Procol date
Following the cancellation of their projected London Palladium concert, Procol Harum are now set to appear at the Brighton Dome on Monday, August 20. They will be supported by new Chrysalis signing Leo Sayer, composer of the recent Roger Daltrey hit Giving It All Away. Harum's new single Souvenir Of London is released this week.

NME Top 5:
1. ( 1) I'm The Leader Of The Gang, Gary Glitter
2. ( 2) Alright Alright Alright, Mungo Jerry
3. ( 3) Welcome Home, Peters & Lee
4. ( 7) Yesterday Once More, Carpenters
5. ( 9) 48 Crash, Suzi Quatro

British Albums:
1. ( 1) We Can Make It, Peters & Lee
2. ( 3) That'll Be The Day, Various Artists
3. ( 2) Aladdin Sane, David Bowie
4. ( 6) Now And Then, Carpenters
5. ( 9) Hunky Dory, David Bowie

Main single reviews by Andrew Tyler:
The Dean And I, 10CC
Electric Lady, Geordie
Morning Glow, Michael Jackson
Satellite Of Love, Lou Reed
Young Love, Donny Osmond
Angel, Aretha Franklin
Rock On, David Essex
Roller Derby Queen, Jim Croce

Main album reviews:
Lindisfarne Live, Lindisfarne
A Little Touch Of Schmilsson In The Night, Harry Nilsson
Innervisions, Stevie Wonder
Genesis Live, Genesis

NME, August 18, 1973

Main front page headlines:
Carly'n'James in Paris (small pic of James Taylor and Carly Simon)
A slap in the Face for Tetsu
Faces may quit Britain after government, Union ban
(big pic of Faces and story)
News pages:

Procol Harum's new single A Souvenir Of London, released by Chrysalis last week, has been banned by the BBC. As a result, it has now been decided to make the record a double A-side release, in the hope that Harum will secure some airplay on what was formerly the 'B' side, Toujours L'Amour.
The offending track was penned by Gary Brooker and Keith Reid, and comes from the group's Grand Hotel album. Reid said this week: "I can't understand the BBC's objection. The song is just about a young man's adventures abroad, and is certainly not distasteful."

A spokesman for Chrysalis admitted that the lyric might be construed as referring to venereal disease, but pointed out that any such interpretation was in the mind of the listener. "VD is not mentioned anywhere in the lyric", he added.

NME Top 5:
1. ( 1) I'm The Leader Of The Gang, Gary Glitter
2. ( 4) Yesterday Once More, Carpenters
3. ( 5) 48 Crash, Suzi Quatro
4. ( 3) Welcome Home, Peters & Lee
5. ( 2) Alright Alright Alright, Mungo Jerry

British Albums:
1. ( 1) We Can Make It, Peters And Lee
2. ( 3) Aladdin Sane, David Bowie
3. ( 4) Now And Then, Carpenters
4. ( 5) Hunky Dory, David Bowie
5. ( 2) That'll Be The Day, Various Artists

Main single reviews by Steve Clarke:
Black Magic Woman, Fleetwood Mac
Everything Will Turn Out Fine, Stealers Wheel
Hear My Train A Comin', Jimi Hendrix
Nutbush City Limits, Ike & Tina Turner
Muskrat Love, America
That Lady, Isley Brothers
Why Is Everybody Going Home, Leo Sayer


PROCOL HARUM: Souvenir Of London (Chrysalis)
Taken from Harum's recent Grand Hotel album, this has already been banned by the BBC. Its lyric refers to a well-known disease second only in popularity to piles. Gary Brooker sings about his gain over an acoustic guitar and bass drum backing. It's the kind of music I'd expect to hear a busker sing outside a Leicester Square cinema. Not one of Harum's best and not the stuff dreams are made of. A pox on you. For those who can spot the Shakespearean allusions send SAE to ...

On banjo, Rear Admiral Brooker


Brighton Dome: Procol Harum/Leo Sayer

Procol Harum don't exactly outwear their welcome on the British gig circuit, but they're beginning to play a few more dates now. They had hoped to re-establish themselves in a big way with a London Palladium concert, but the project had to be scrapped due to the venue's current policy towards rock bands. So instead, it's down the A23 to bracing Brighton. And they're supported tonight by Leo Sayer, composer of Roger Daltrey's recent hit Giving It All Away, who has just been signed to a recording contract by Chrysalis. Pictured: Harum's Gary Brooker. DJ (Derek Johnson)


Main album reviews:
Schooldays, Alice Cooper (compilation)
Roger McGuinn, Roger McGuinn
Whatever Turns You On, West Bruce & Laing
Home Made Ice Cream, Tony Joe White
Brothers And Sisters, Allman Brothers
The Alchemist, Home
Bedlam, Bedlam

And then, let's hear it for a quote from Steve Clarke's Robin Trower interview, TROWER POWER:

... Trower played with Procol Harum for their first three [sic] albums, although he hadn't joined when Whiter Shade Of Pale was recorded. I remember reading a review of the first Harum album which raved about Trower's playing on Gates Of Cerdes, and that was quite a few years ago.

"It's not that I was restricted with Procol Harum; the point was that I was playing other people's music. I just wanted to play music that I was more at home in, which is more blues-based. I'm not doing straight 12-bar blues, but that's the music I really dig to listen to." ... 

The Mammoth Task: Yan's extracts from the first 52 weeks of Procol press in the NME

Swimming Against the Tide: Yan's extracts from the remaining ten years of Procol press in the NME

PH on stage | PH on record | PH in print | BtP features | What's new | Interact with BtP | For sale | Site search | Home