Top positive review
7 people found this helpful
on 5 May 2010
I bought and played this to death on vinyl back in 1970 while still in the `Sixth Form'. I owned all the first four Procul albums at the time. All these LPs long-since sold when times were lean and shops to trade-in LPs were great in number - and much appreciated by folks in need!
By the merest whim one day, I accidentally found Procul on You Tube.
Remembering this (`Home') as my favourite, I sent for it via Amazon. Good move!
What a nostalgia rush! Not just that, but my favourite tracks on the album seem as fresh and exciting as back then.
So what have we got on it here, then?
A great voice leading the charge; some finely interwoven piano and organ throughout; beautifully crafted song writing; strange, yet wonderful lyrical content; pulsating rhythm section; grand guitar work, restrained where necessary, cutting loose with aplomb at other times.
Lyricist Reid's words, with their preoccupation with death and all-that-festers marry magnificently with Brooker's aching melodies. There's a major sense of drama soaring out right across the album.
Trower's more riff based compositions offer a contrast and yet still give Brooker full reign with what is, undoubtedly, one of the greatest ever rock voices.
There must have been, at this point in their career, a growing divide in the `needs' of the two obvious factions - but thankfully, on this album, all efforts seem to have been geared to making the blend work - and work it does!
Later-to-be-guitar-hero,Trower, is totally missing on `Barnyard Story' (as are bass and drums - just listen to the piano and organ make the most of the space!) and he offers a simple, yet wonderfully effective, sparse acoustic guitar on the quite charming, almost folky, `Nothing that I didn't know' which rises to a magnificent crescendo and then has a calmer petit mort to follow.
(`Whaling Stories' does this same manoeuvre wonderfully, to a far more magnificent effect, later on)
And yet Robin `goes for it' in classic manner with some fine supportive crunch chords and solo figures dotted across the other material, `Whaling Stories' for example, where his lead playing does justice to the rising tension and drama of the piece.
High drama too in `Dead Man's Dream' - another choice piece for me!
Interspersed are some driving rock songs (`Whiskey', `Still More', `Piggy') that provide the necessary contrast needed, balancing the more sombre melodies of the seriously melodramatic compositions that Brooker/Reid conjure!
It's passionate stuff - with the magnificent Brooker tearing notes out of the air in anguish at times - love it!
BJ Wilson was a fine drummer (lowest slung drummer I ever saw sat on a stool, `live') and his efforts are mighty throughout - though I would want a re-mix in parts! To my ears, the cowbell on `Whisky' seems irritating at the volume it's at (nice part, just TOO prominent!) - and his fine fills in the quiet `Nothing I didn't...' are just TOO loud - their effect would still be there if they were toned down a shade or three (my wife says they `spoil the track' for her - I wouldn't go that far myself; I forgive the minor aberration as I just LOVE the song!).
I don't underestimate Mr Copping's contribution either! Always well-chosen notes on the bass, very well played - but it's on the organ where he excels - his counter-melody and general just-right, his accompaniment flowing easily around the rest of the instrumentation - beautifully interwoven with the voice and piano, particularly.
The two bonus tracks? Backing tracks with vocals left off - not really needed - Only mileage there is, that one can wail and yell along when there's no one else in the house!
What else? Oh yes - Nicely packaged, interesting booklet with background info (Larry Adler, eh? Who'd have thought!)
All in all - a fine album - once again - to be played to death (sic) in this `Home'.
Cheers Procul! Love it! - Duncan McFarlane [...]