British Groups continue to dominate the world scene, and one of the most spectacular success stories has been written by Procol Harum, who from the pinnacle of their giant hit, Whiter Shade of Pale, slipped temporarily into the pop backwater.
In the past few years they have come storming back, though, and now enjoy a reputation both here and in America as one of the most inventive groups.
Their use of various musical formats particularly with symphony orchestras has put them at the top of the tree, and their last LP, Live with the Edmunton [sic] Symphony Orchestra, was a million seller.
They are back again with a new album, Grand Hotel (Chrysalis), and it should be another huge seller.
Procol Harum have a new guitarist on the LP Mick Grabham, who founded Cochise, has replaced Dave Ball and their music is as fresh as ever.
Once again Gary Brooker and Keith Reid have written all the songs, with Reids songs a telling cross between whimsy and satire.
And the orchestration, using a rock format augmented by strings, is beautifully balanced. Grand Hotel is a five-star product.
Photo [generic] with caption: Procol Harum back from the backwaters, plus symphony orchestra, on Grand Hotel
(Thanks, Phil Skerratt, for lending your Procol scrapbook to BtP, and Jill for typing)