The Best of Procol Harum (1972) poll

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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 (one year 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 (one year 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 (one year 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 (one year 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 (one year 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 (one year 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 (one year 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 (one year 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 (one year 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

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

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

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

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

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

six months pass...

Twas 50 years ago today that Procol Harum Live: In Concert with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra was recorded.

Halfway there but for you, Thursday, 18 November 2021 15:22 (eight months ago) link

three months pass...

RIP Gary Brooker

https://procolharum.com/gary-brooker-obituary.htm

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 22 February 2022 15:35 (five months ago) link

oh boy. shine on brightly, gary.

Thus Sang Freud, Tuesday, 22 February 2022 15:43 (five months ago) link

Oh no, RIP Gary.

Blu Ray Davies (Tom D.), Tuesday, 22 February 2022 15:44 (five months ago) link

I loved PH a lot as a teen, and even had the organist at my wedding play "Whiter Shade." Even though I haven't really listened to them in decades this news is making me very sad. RIP.

Three Rings for the Elven Bishop (Dan Peterson), Tuesday, 22 February 2022 15:50 (five months ago) link

i loved them as a teen too, which was long ago. i saw them on the grand hotel tour at c.w. post college. the internet tells me that steeleye span opened(!), but they must not have made a big impression on my teenage self.

Thus Sang Freud, Tuesday, 22 February 2022 16:09 (five months ago) link

Oh wow what a memory.

"She has an ibook" - direct quote (I M Losted), Tuesday, 22 February 2022 20:00 (five months ago) link

PH were great though. they played much, much louder than one would expect.

Thus Sang Freud, Tuesday, 22 February 2022 20:04 (five months ago) link

A gentler song than was typical for them:

Too Much Between Us

Halfway there but for you, Wednesday, 23 February 2022 17:08 (five months ago) link


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