Procol Harum

the Pale

PH on stage | PH on record | PH in print | BtP features | What's new | Interact with BtP | For sale | Site search | Home

Keith Reid: a 1967 French collaboration

Frans Steensma

Michel Polnareff (1944) was a very famous French pop singer in the sixties. His father wrote a couple of songs for Edith Piaf. Michel himself had a few huge hits in 1966 with La Poupée Qui Fait Non, L'Amour Avec Toi and Ta Ta Ta Ta.

This paragraph is now superseded, but do read it ... But, like many other great French singers, Michel wanted to make it big in the rest of the world too. Originally we assumed that our French superstar went to London in the summer of 1967, looking for a songwriter who could add English words to his music. It seemed logical that he would seek out the most famous songwriter (especially in France, where AWSoP scored better than in any other country in the world) at the time, none other than Keith Reid.

However Keith Reid informed BtP (Summer 2008) that the writing of Time Will Tell considerably predated the formation of Procol HaRum, and that his words were brought together with Polnareff's music thanks to the efforts of Keith's publisher, David Platz.

The result was the single: You'll Be On My Mind / Time Will Tell (AZ Records), both credited Polnareff / Reid. Time Will Tell was also part of the EP Polnareff, where it's credited on the sleeve as M. Polnareff - Keith Reid, while on the label it says: musique - Michel Polnareff, paroles - Keith Reid.

It was definitely aimed at the international market as the single sleeve in Germany explicitly stated: Michel Polnareff singt in Englisch! Despite all these efforts the single sank without a trace. Later the two tracks also appeared on the album Michel Polnareff. After this Polnareff didn't work with Reid again.

Michel had another stab at international fame when he released in 1976 two albums on Atlantic: Michel Polnareff and Lipstick. Again he failed.

Many thanks, Frans!

More Reid collaborations outside Procol Harum More writings at BtP from Frans Steensma

PH on stage | PH on record | PH in print | BtP features | What's new | Interact with BtP | For sale | Site search | Home