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Grand Hotel (40th Anniversary) Original recording remastered, Extra tracks

4.6 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

Price: £7.15 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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Frequently Bought Together

  • Grand Hotel (40th Anniversary)
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Total price: £21.13
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Product details

  • Audio CD (3 Aug. 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered, Extra tracks
  • Label: Union Square Music Limited
  • ASIN: B002GNYJK6
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 13,912 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
  • Sample this album Artist - Artist (Sample)
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
By 1973 Procol Harum were looking and sounding out of step with contemporary trends. With glam-rock dominating the best-sellers and everyone seemingly in awe of Pink Floyd's 'Dark Side Of The Moon', this album was overlooked by record-buyers despite attracting some of the best reviews of the band's career. The reviews were fully justified, for 'Grand Hotel' might just be Procol Harum's forgotten masterpiece. It opens with the title track, a self-contained work of art of immense proportion telling of romancing and sleeping in an affluent hotel, the whole thing shot through with a hopeless nostalgia that reeks of decadence. Although not a concept album as such, what follows builds on these themes and begins to assume darker hues as the the songs progress towards a final plea for medical treatment. At the heart of the collection is the harrowing 'For Liquorice John', a heart-tugging account of a suicide which serves as an appropriate corrective to the preceeding tales of hotel-room trysts, drunken reverie and self-induced sickness. This is adult entertainment of a very sophisticated nature and it is significant that this record appears to have addressed the same issues as the Eagles did on 'Hotel California' some thee or four years later but in a far more assured manner. The Salvo re-issue is simply magnificent and a credit to a band which on 'Grand Hotel' achieved a creative peak that was barely noticed at the time. Now, then, would be a good time to appreciate its enduring worth.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Procol Harum were / are one of the great 60s combos, who, despite releasing a massive-selling, era-defining single in the shape of 'A Whiter Shade of Pale', never quite reached the kind of massive global success of some of their contemporaries. 'Grand Hotel' is probably their defining album, where their Classical leanings merged seamlessly with their full-on rocking notions. The title track is as rich as the foods and wines listed in the song lyric, but on tracks like 'Toujours L'Amour', their abilities to rock out as tough as anyone, with BJ Wilson's spiffy drumming and Mick Grabham's fiery lead guitar work much in evidence. There's more though; 'TV Caesar' is positivley funky, as is 'Bringing Home The BAcon', and there is not a duff track on the album. This is a great album, and this fine reissue looks and sounds wonderful.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Let's begin at the positive end: the digi-pack is appealing and Patrick Humphries' sleeve notes hit the exact right balance between introducing this album to the uninitiated and at the same time having something new to tell the long devoted fans.

Musically it is easy to criticise this album for being pompous and cold, but you have to remember that it came out at a time when popular music was at an all time low. I seem to recall the radio playing 'Tie a Yellow Ribbon' all through the summer of 1973 (or perhaps that was the year before - don't tell me, I don't want to know). So-called progressive rock ruled the other end of the musical spectrum, extremely flamboyant, pseudo-intellectual and more obsessed with playing in impossible time signatures than communicating any form of real human emotion. The nightmare seemed never ending, at least until the following year when Procol Harum released 'Exotic Birds and Fruit', by far their best effort during this period.

However, with 'Grand Hotel' we're still stuck in 1973 with a group who used to have three fine songwriters - Brooker, Fisher, Trower - but had been cut back to only one. In many ways, this incarnation of the group might more appropriately have been called the Gary Brooker Band. To make it worse, guitarist Dave Ball, who had replaced Robin Trower, was sacked immediately after the recording of the album. Instead Mick Grabham was called in to overdub nearly all the guitar parts. One of the two bonus tracks on the reissue features Ball's original part and tells us exactly why this happened. Dave Ball was and is by no means a bad guitarist, he was just desperate to kick some life into this dead dog of a record, only he couldn't find a way to do it.
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Format: Audio CD
Along with their wonderful live album with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, Harum would return to its trademark, exquisitely melodramatic essence once again with Grand Hotel--if you had any doubts of what I said, just ponder on this title.

Gone, long gone, is Matthew Fisher and after Broken Barricades--harder set, fiercely led by his guitar--Robin Trower has departed. Yet, Chris Coping on organ and Mick Grabham on guitar more than make do in replacing such essential colors in Procol Harum's music.

Whether it was that "Barricades" did not please their constituency or that Keith Reid--their full-time lyricist--was ready for a more grandiose backdrop to his ambitious scenes, Grand Hotel faithfully returned to what had made the Procol Harum's great from A Whiter Shade of Pale onwards. From it's very opening, with Grand Hotel and Toujours L'amour--To Everyone Love--the stately arrangements and Brooker's circumspect voice take over the proceedings.

The whole album moves confidently forward from there. Robert's Box, Souvenir of London, Fires--and even Bringing Home the Bacon--are tracks that may or may not become your all-time favorites but will remind you why these guys were capable of, and how far from finished they still were then.
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