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A whiter shade of pale Import

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Amazon's Procol Harum Store


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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • ASIN: B000025FUH
  • Other Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 856,149 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. Thompson on 17 May 2009
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This album is essential for just 3 tracks, A Whiter Shade Of Pale, Conquistador & Homburg.
What can be said about A Whiter Shade Of Pale? I understand that when John Lennon heard it he played it constantly and he was just as captivated as the rest of the rock world by the Bach inspired song.
Conquistador is a wonderful narration about European invaders and the damage they did in South America.
Homburg sounds great although it's difficult to know what it's all about.
The above are some of the best stuff from the 1960s, which is high praise indeed.
The rest are not for me, if only it was all in stereo.
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Mcclure on 24 Nov. 2006
Format: Audio CD
The lyrics are nonsense and the tunes are propto-porogressive rock but there is something wonderful about this album that I really love. I was never really aware of much other than A Whiter Shade of Pale form the Procols when I was young but decided to take a chance on this album because I wanted that song. It really does capture the era. The cover photographs of the band are priceless all silk blouses, long unstyled hair smoking pipes; it is a perfect picture of young men of the era wanting to embrace the new but not quite understanding how to get it right.

Fortunately the music is bang on whoever actually "wrote" the arrangement of Bach's tune which became WSoP. The current court case seems a bit odd, one in which the winner is the one who is proved to have stollen another man's work. But don't blame the Procols for that classical works are "adapted" in popular music all the time and the 1960's Blues Boomers knicked guitar solos and tunes from their living composers on a regular basis.

A great album worth having
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3 of 8 people found the following review helpful By pompeyman VINE VOICE on 17 Dec. 2007
Format: Audio CD
I am sure there were a few disappointed punters who bought this LP at the time. Not only did the original version leave off WSoP but there were precious few tracks that sounded anything like it. The nearest is Repent Walpurgis, an instrumental, and the best track ( after WSoP that is now on the cd).Much of the rest is more bluesey than would have been expected I am sure at the time, its not without merit, ( Conquistador is another excellent track), but is really just a curio of its time.. Their real masterpiece is the next one, Shine On Brightly, and the third is also well worth getting, Salty Dog. Unfortunately Matthew Fisher left after that one, and so did the band's inspiration. They have been very average ever since. I am pleased that Fisher won his court case as Brooker, Reid and co obviously did not appreciate his worth to the band. As far as the 4 bonus tracks are concerned, they are a waste of time apart from the brilliant Homburg which is available on their various compilations anyway.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 16 reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Much more than just "A Whiter Shade of Pale" 28 July 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
PH's debut album was supposedly rather hastily cut, but you would never know it by listening (mono recording notwithstanding); aside from the Title track (which wasn't even actually on the original Deram label PH debut LP), there are moments on this album that hold up so well today that they really make you wonder why this group never achieved the kind of stature their talent obviously merited. Give a listen to (Outside the Gates of) Cerdes (arguably the finest cut on the disc) and you'll hear it all: top-of-the-line vocals and piano work by Brooker; the haunting Hammond organ of Matthew Fisher; the emerging brilliance of Robin Tower on guitar; the trademark mythological-lyrical poetry of wordsmith Keith Reid. This cut alone is worth the price of the disc and tells much of the PH story in a remarkably succinct manner. Then there is "A Christmas Camel"; the original (and much more interesting) version of "Conquistador" and, among others, the wonderful! concluding instrumental, "Repent Walpurgis" (I heard PH perform this live in Columbus, Ohio back in '70; the episode still lingers as one of the strangest and most chilling musical moments I have ever known). If you are at all interested in PH's music, this disc is the place to start and one should plan to tarry here for quite a while. Put it in your basket.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
One of the great rock albums! 1 Mar. 2007
By Kindle Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Ketih Reid, Procol Harum's lyricist, labels this album the best the group produced, and who am I to disagree? Listening to the album tonight, almost four decades since I was enthralled by the album as a teenager, I am amazed at its durable quality. I listen to only a few rock albums of my youth, but none more than this one. The combination of stunningly vivid and eloquent lyrics, fabulous keyboard and lead guitar playing, and wonderful variations on great themes from classical music make this album one of my favorites of all time. Thirty-nine years on, this album thrills me very time I listen to it.
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Procol who? 27 April 2007
By The One and Only Josh - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
The year of 1967 was an incredible year for music. You had Disraeli Gears, Sgt. Peppers, The Doors, and many other amazing albums. Oh and you also get "A Whiter Shade of Pale" released by Procol Harum. Procol Harum is one of those forgotten bands of the 60's, lost in the big names of the Beatles, Stones, and The Who. But they should not be forgotten and what better way to commemorate them by picking up "A Whiter Shade of Pale" which happens to be one of the finest albums, dare i say, ever made.

It starts off with the classic song "A Whiter Shade of Pale" which sounds like church with all the organs played beautifully by Matthew Fisher. And those lyrics, simply majestic, Keith Reid ( who wrote all of Procol's material ) is one of the finest lyricist of all time. His words are pure poetry.

After the majestic "A Whiter Shade of Pale" we dive into the rest of the album which is also incredibly good and not just filler as some people tend to think. "Conquistador" is probably the second best track behind the opener. I also love the bass on that song. "She Wandered Through the Garden Fence" is alot of fun to listen to with lyrics that are really catchy. "Something Following Me" is more serious in tone but the lyrics once again are incredible as is the arrangement. "Mabel" is definetly a nod to Bob Dylan, "Cerdes ( Outside the Gates ) is probably the darkest song on the album but still magnificent. "A Christmas Camel" has a tone very similiar to Bob Dylan's "Ballad of a Thin Man". If there were any throwaways on this album it would be the next three "Kaleidoscope", "Salad Days", and "Good Captain Clack" but none of these songs are terrible and still manage to be listenable. The album closes on the instrumental "Repent Walpurgis" which is eerie but magnificent.

But that's not all. You also get 4 bonus songs which include two okay ones ( Limestreet Blues and Monseigneur Armand ) and two fantastic ones ( Homburg and Seem To Have The Blues All The Time.) The latter of the two includes my favorite lyric of the album "Well I owed a lot of money/I was weak and easily led/I tried to rob a bank/ The cashier shot me dead".

You may have not heard of this album, this group, or even the title song but if you like classic rock or just good music in general. Give this band a try. They might suprise you.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Voice Your Choice! 28 Sept. 2007
By J P Ryan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
"A Whiter Shade Of Pale" (1967) was a remarkable debut, standing tall even in an era that produced many striking - and classic - debuts. For awhile Procol Harum, with their two keyboard lineup and restrained, trenchant guitar work, were seen as a British equivalent to The Band, though the latter group's star has more or less continued to shine on brightly since its breakup while Procol has been somewhat forgotton aside from their classic debut single. Which is unfortunate, for Procol Harum's influence on other bands is undeniable, from Pete Townshend's comment that 'In Held 'Twas I' inspired "Tommy" to the music's obvious impact on later 'prog' rockers such as Genesis. For a real treat, check out Alex Chilton's stunning Memphis-inflected interpretation of 'A Whiter Shade Of Pale' from the Box Tops' "The Letter/Neon Rainbow" (reissued by Sundazed).
Procol and The Band shared a close timeline (1967 to 1977, or '78 in The Band's case), and yet like The Band Procol Harum had been around for several years in other incarnations. Gary Brooker was leading The Paramounts by 1962, a popular r & b band (featuring other future PH members) much admired by their peers (including The Rolling Stones, a relationship that led to Gary Brooker's involvement with Bill Wyman's post-Stones project The Rhythm Kings some 35 years later). Procol Harum sublimated their love of r& b and soul music, making it one more ingredient in a fresh and original musicasl sensibility that, (sorry) like The Band's on "Big Pink", seemed to have appeared all but fully formed when their first record was issued. With the great B.J. Wilson not yet fully integrated into the band this debut has never been among my top 3 favorite PH albums, but the originality of the songs, sense of style, and confidence are already quite evident.
Procol Harum's catalog has been reissued on CD since the late '90s. Repertoire's editions are noteable for their elegant digipaks that more or less faithfully reproduce the original artwork and include notes by Chris Welch. However, if you are considering investing in the Procol Harum catalog the Westside label issued superbly mastered editions of the first four albums during 1997 - 99. These generally have more bonus tracks than the Repertoires, as well as interesting notes (Henry Scott-Irvine) and memorabilia. Since this is the Repertoire edition, I'll mention the bonus tracks on the Westside label's CD of "Procol Harum":
'A Whiter Shade Of Pale (single version)'
'Lime Street Blues'
'Homburg' (single version)
'Salad Days (early alternate version)'
'Mabel (early undubbed version)'
'Cerdes (early alternate version)'
'Something Following Me (early alternate version)'
'Magdalene (My Regal Zonophone) (original version)'
'Quite Rightly So (early alternate version)'
'Shine On Brightly (early alternate version)'
All tracks, again, are in mono excepting three of the bonus alternates.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Beautiful 7 Jan. 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
John Lennon's favorite album to get high to features two truly great church-organ-rock-style songs, the title track and "Homburg." They just don't make 'em like this anymore, with such attempts at sophistication. Many of the other tracks are worthwhile too.
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