Almanac Music: More of Procol Harum

 

 

 

1967: Grade 10 at boarding school; the Junior Boys Common Room with the old HMV radio from home a rare link to what was going on in the world; a mate, Danny, who was all over the pop music scene; an album – Procol Harum. 

 

‘A whiter shade of pale’ was, to paraphrase Col Ritchie from the other day, one of the greatest songs ever written – even if it did borrow more than a little from Bach’s ‘Air on a G string’. A majestic melody line, the melancholic lyrics, that descending bass line, the fulsome Hammond organ, the raspy vocal. It was the era in a nutshell.

 

Not long after came ‘Homburg’ with more of the same but different enough to draw us in all over again. It seemed ever so British/Continental/sophisticated. It had this callow youth hooked! Enjoy it again:

 

 

 

 

On the same album, but released as a single a few years later, was ‘Conquistador’, different in musical style (with a touch of mariachi for authenticity!) but still reflective and thoughtful in content. Here we go:

 

 

 

 

Gary Brooker and Keith Reid must surely rate among the best songwriters/composers of what was a prolific era.

 

What have you got on offer next week, Col?

 

 

To read Col Ritchie’s earlier offering on Procol Harum click here.

 

 

The Tigers (Covid) Almanac 2020 will be published in 2021. It will have all the usual features – a game by game account of the Tigers season – and will also include some of the best Almanac writing from the Covid winter.  Pre-order HERE

 

 

To return to our Footy Almanac home page click HERE.

 

Our writers are independent contributors. The opinions expressed in their articles are their own. They are not the views, nor do they reflect the views, of Malarkey Publications.

 

Do you enjoy the Almanac concept?

And want to ensure it continues in its current form, and better? To help things keep ticking over please consider making your own contribution.

 

Become an Almanac (annual) member – CLICK HERE.

One-off financial contribution – CLICK HERE.

Regular financial contribution (monthly EFT) – CLICK HERE.

 

 

About Ian Hauser

A relaxed, Noosa-based retiree with a (very) modest sporting CV. A Queenslander through and through, especially when it comes to cricket and rugby league. I enjoy travel, good coffee and cake, reading, and have been known to appreciate a glass or three of wine. As well as being one of Footy Almanac's online editors, I moonlight as an editor for hire - check me out at www.writerightediting.com.au

Comments

  1. Colin Ritchie says

    Brooker and Reid wrote some great songs together. It’s probably unfortunate they are only remembered for their one or two major hits. I think their lyrics were considered too obscure by radio programmers for their ‘pop’ audience and consequently never played. My 45rpm of ‘Homburg’ I bashed to death but not appreciated by my mates. ‘Strong as Samson’ is a classic but I doubt if anyone heard the song on commercial radio. I wonder if Reid’s lyrics have been published in book form.

  2. You are correct, Col.
    It is probably unfair that Procol Harem will be remembered only for Whiter Shade.

    Cheers Ian.

  3. Ken Richards says

    Such coincidence! Thanks for the piece. I was reminiscing with a friend over the weekend, he reflecting on his first concert, which was Procol Harum at Festival Hall. The bass made the roof rattle. I was always impressed with the orchestrated version of ‘Conquistador’, but happened on this brilliant full concert in Denmark in 2006. Gary Brooker still maintains fine voice, and the show is a cracker. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T1T-SwBfU3Y

Leave a Comment

*