martes, 14 de abril de 2009

· "A Whiter Shade of Pale" - Procol Harum

Procol Harum are a British rock band, formed in the 1960s, which built an important foundation for what would become progressive rock, or perhaps more closely, symphonic rock. They are best known for their 1967 hit single "A Whiter Shade of Pale", which is not only a regular item on classic singles polls, but is also regarded as a seminal track in the development of pop music and particularly progressive rock music. Procol Harum have had a devoted following throughout their career; their music, although being principally noted for its classical influence, also embraces the blues and pure pop music. Based in Southend, Essex, The Paramounts, led by Gary Brooker and Robin Trower and including Chris Copping, scored a moderate British success with Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller's "Poison Ivy" in 1964, reaching number 35 in the UK singles chart. They were unable to recreate this, however, and the band fell apart in 1966. In April 1967, Brooker began working as a singer/songwriter and formed Procol Harum with non-Paramounts Keith Reid (poet), Hammond organist Matthew Fisher, guitarist Ray Royer and bassist David Knights. The band name was chosen by its original manager Guy Stevens after a friend's Burmese cat, and has been alleged to be Latin for "beyond these things", however the correct Latin translation of "beyond these things" is Procul His. At Olympic Studios, with session drummer (and non-Paramount) Bill Eyden, producer Denny Cordell, and sound engineer Keith Grant, the group recorded "A Whiter Shade of Pale." The song was officially released on May 12, 1967. With the sudden success of this single and The Moody Blues' "Nights in White Satin", their label Deram Records became known as a premier progressive rock label. With a structure reminiscent of Baroque music, a countermelody based on J,S. Bach's cantata no.140 assigned to Fisher's Hammond organ, Brooker's soulful vocals and Reid's mysterious lyrics, "A Whiter Shade of Pale" reached #1 on the British charts and did almost as well in the United States, reaching #5. In the years since, it has become an enduring classic, placing on several polls of the best songs ever. After "A Whiter Shade of Pale" became a hit, the band set out to consolidate their studio success by touring; their live debut was opening for Jimi Hendrix in 1967. Procol Harum produced a unique sound that emphasized Brooker's melancholy vocal style and an evocative mix of his eclectic piano, Fisher's elegant, church-like organ, Wilson's dramatic drumming and Trower's searing guitar, with frequent black humour and a penchant for experimentation. Musically, Procol Harum was split during all these years between Trower's guitar-driven blues rock style and Brooker's and Fisher's structured classical rock sound. the band broke up in 1977. They reunited for a single performance five months later, when "A Whiter Shade of Pale" was named joint winner (along with Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody") of the Best British Pop Single 1952–1977 at the BRIT Awards, part of Queen Elizabeth II's Silver Jubilee.


01- A Whiter Shade of Pale
02- Conquistador
03- She Wandered Through the Garden Fence
04- Something Following Me
05- Mabel
06- Cerdes [Outside the Gates of]
07- A Christmas Camel
08- Kaleidoscope
09- Salad Days [Are Here Again]
10- Good Captain Clack
11- Repent Walpurgis

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