The Best of Procol Harum (1972) poll

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Pioneers of proto-prog? Proud princes of perilous pretension?

Poll Results

OptionVotes
A Whiter Shade of Pale 4
A Salty Dog 4
Conquistador (live) 4
Homburg 2
Long Gone Geek 1
Shine On Brightly 1
In the Wee Small Hours of Sixpence 0
Quite Rightly So 0
Lime Street Blues 0
Whisky Train 0
Simple Sister 0


Halfway there but for you, Sunday, 25 April 2021 13:58 (two weeks ago) link

There's only two short threads on this band, so I thought they haven't been overdiscussed.
I can see someone voting for anything on this list except the three b-sides. The songs from this were staples on the local classic rock station's 1965-1975 Sunday afternoon programming.

Halfway there but for you, Sunday, 25 April 2021 14:01 (two weeks ago) link

It's almost definitely "Conquistador" (even though I'm not sure I recall this live version) but I'll try to listen to the whole thing before voting.

Sequel to Sadness (Sund4r), Sunday, 25 April 2021 14:08 (two weeks ago) link

Seems maybe to be live in Canada, so...

Bewlay Brothers & Sister Rrose (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 25 April 2021 14:24 (two weeks ago) link

I only know "A Whiter Shade of Pale" and "Homburg" tbh. I thought I knew "Conquistador", but I don't recognize it after all.

Authoritarian Steaks (Tom D.), Sunday, 25 April 2021 14:37 (two weeks ago) link

Of course we didn't have classic rock stations.

Authoritarian Steaks (Tom D.), Sunday, 25 April 2021 14:37 (two weeks ago) link

The only Procol song I really like (other than the obvious) is Pandora's Box, which isn't on here as even though it dates from this era it wasn't recorded until later. So Whiter it is.

john p. coltrane in hot pursuit (Matt #2), Sunday, 25 April 2021 14:42 (two weeks ago) link

Oh, it's the version of "Conquistador" with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra? I think that's the only version I know, actually. Maybe it fit the MAPL criteria for Cancon? It's the song I always heard on classic rock radio. Still brought a smile whenever I hear it at the Beer Store pre-COVD.

Sequel to Sadness (Sund4r), Sunday, 25 April 2021 14:43 (two weeks ago) link

The live "Conquistador" was their other hit in the states.

blue whales on ambient (C. Grisso/McCain), Sunday, 25 April 2021 14:45 (two weeks ago) link

Although checking wiki, I see "Homburg" went to #34 Pop, so they actually had 3 Top 40 hits here.

blue whales on ambient (C. Grisso/McCain), Sunday, 25 April 2021 14:48 (two weeks ago) link

How did they get connected with Edmonton's (of all places') symphony orchestra?

Sequel to Sadness (Sund4r), Sunday, 25 April 2021 14:50 (two weeks ago) link

I don't own anything by this band but I always enjoy them when I listen to them. I sometimes regret missing the chance to seem them from the fences at Bluesfest a couple of years ago.

Sequel to Sadness (Sund4r), Sunday, 25 April 2021 14:51 (two weeks ago) link

*see

Sequel to Sadness (Sund4r), Sunday, 25 April 2021 14:51 (two weeks ago) link

Listening to the original studio version of "Conquistador" now, it seems oddly stripped down.

Sequel to Sadness (Sund4r), Sunday, 25 April 2021 14:55 (two weeks ago) link

Yes, this live version was their second big hit, and probably prompted the release of this greatest hits record (with a picture of a spiral galaxy on the cover, to convince buyers that they were some kind of cosmic space rock). Gary Brooker was talking somewhere about writing the orchestral arrangements on the plane to Edmonton!

I'm pretty sure that Keith Reid was the first full-time non-performing lyricist for a rock band, unless you count some of Brian Wilson's early collaborators. It shows how much rock had changed in 3 years - can you imagine any of the British Invasion groups with a poet in their ranks?

Halfway there but for you, Sunday, 25 April 2021 15:52 (two weeks ago) link

A Salty Dog is worth listening to if you don’t know it. Probably will vote for Conquistador though.

that's not my post, Sunday, 25 April 2021 16:13 (two weeks ago) link

i went with a salty dog. the drum entry alone. those rich chords. really nicely put together, perfect prog. just one more iota of bombast would have pushed it over into kitsch.

Thus Sang Freud, Sunday, 25 April 2021 16:56 (two weeks ago) link

I'm pretty sure that Keith Reid was the first full-time non-performing lyricist for a rock band, unless you count some of Brian Wilson's early collaborators.

Didn't the Grateful Dead have a non-performing lyricist? And then there's Pete "Pirates" Sinfield too, although maybe he started a bit later.

john p. coltrane in hot pursuit (Matt #2), Sunday, 25 April 2021 17:51 (two weeks ago) link

Reid & PH got together about six months/a year before Robert Hunter was working with the Dead, and around two years before Sinfield & Crimson.

Pete Brown working with Cream might just predate Reid, but he wasn't a full-time.

blue whales on ambient (C. Grisso/McCain), Sunday, 25 April 2021 18:14 (two weeks ago) link

Cream are almost the opposite phenomenon - by my count, they had five non-members who wrote original lyrics on their three albums (with Pete Brown making the most notable contributions).
I'm not sure at what point in Dead history Hunter went from "guy who writes lyrics for Jerry" to full-fledged group member.

Halfway there but for you, Sunday, 25 April 2021 19:07 (two weeks ago) link

bernie taupin maybe worth mentioning too, though he met elton '67 compared to '66 for reid & procol harum.

Thus Sang Freud, Sunday, 25 April 2021 19:21 (two weeks ago) link

I was thinking of lyricists of "band members" (although Bernie appears in the band photos on Rock of the Westies, at least).

Halfway there but for you, Sunday, 25 April 2021 19:24 (two weeks ago) link

A friend texted me (with the old needs more cowbell joke) whisky train the other day. Cowbell was cool but I did not love the song

Heez, Sunday, 25 April 2021 19:36 (two weeks ago) link

later obv but blue oyster cult had partnerships with a lot of outside lyricists (richard meltzer, patti smith, michael moorcock, john shirley), and sandy pearlman did production songwriting, conceptual stuff, imagery, lyrics, you could argue he was the band leader though not actually in the band

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Sunday, 25 April 2021 19:43 (two weeks ago) link

though they were around as soft white underbelly in 67, then stalk forest group and some of the early boc material dates to the early days

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Sunday, 25 April 2021 19:45 (two weeks ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

System, Friday, 30 April 2021 00:01 (one week ago) link

"Homburg" is an improvement on "A Whiter Shade of Pale" in terms of lyrics, performance, production and dynamics. "A Salty Dog" doesn't remind me of any other "rock" record except John Cale's "Paris 1919". I'd hate to see either of them ignored.
I've seen a few reviews that criticize Gary Brooker's singing. He's no Steve Winwood in terms of range and power, and there's a certain emotional inflexibility to his style, but I think he's particularly skilled at putting over the funny or witty lyrics, and I wouldn't attribute the failure of any Procol Harum song to his vocals.

Halfway there but for you, Friday, 30 April 2021 03:22 (one week ago) link

"Homburg" is better than WSOP and Gary Brooker is a good singer. Also John Cale wanted to work with Chris Thomas on Paris 1919 because of his work with Procol Harum

Authoritarian Steaks (Tom D.), Friday, 30 April 2021 11:59 (one week ago) link

I've never heard the word Conquistador pronounced as "con-kwis-ta-dor" before. I'm assuming that's a UK thing, and not the result of everyone involved failing to correct Gary Brooker's pronunciation?

enochroot, Friday, 30 April 2021 23:57 (one week ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll's results are now in.

System, Saturday, 1 May 2021 00:01 (one week ago) link

Interesting, I thought there'd be at least one Robin Trower partisan to vote for "Whiskey Train".

Halfway there but for you, Saturday, 1 May 2021 00:13 (one week ago) link


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