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Procol Harum

"Whiter Shade of Pale" was an organ drenched ballad based on a Bach cantata (since Beethoven had been done, it was time to roll over Bach). Keith Reid's "I'm trying to be a poet" lyrics were image laden and effective. Gary Brooker's vocals had a soulful quality, which is not surprising, since the band evolved out of an R&B unit called the Parliaments.

Procol Harum's second contribution was the up-tempo "Conquistador." Again, Reid's lyrics stood out. Using the conquistador as an allegory for modern life, the song was filled with Spanish orchestral touches and thunderous crashes for maximum dramatic effect. Overall, pretty good. Clearly, it was the best song the Moody Blues never did.

Procol Harum managed to outlast the '60s and released no less than six albums in the subsequent decade. Having disbanded they were absent in the '80s but reformed for the '91 set "The Prodigal Stranger."

Another decade came and went before "The Well's On Fire" dropped.

"Novum" was the band's first studio album in fourteen years. The '17 effort was their first not to feature Reid's lyrics.

Procol Harum Discography

Studio Albums:

1967 Procol Harum
1968 Shine On Brightly
1969 A Salty Dog
1970 Home
1971 Broken Barricades
1973 Grand Hotel
1974 Exotic Birds And Fruit
1975 Procol's Ninth
1977 Something Magic
1991 The Prodigal Stranger
2003 The Well's On Fire
2017 Novum

"A Whiter Shade of Pale" is what Procol Harum is remembered for. "Best of Procol Harum" has it and a lot more. Albums "Salty Dog," "A Whiter Shade of Pale" "Shine On Brightly" and "Grand Hotel" are strong and surprisingly consistent Art Rock ventures with "Grand Hotel" being the most accomplished.

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