3-CD set compiling Procol Harum's first four albums plus outtakes and all their singles from the same period.
We shouldn't, I suppose, blame Procol Harum for the flood of vapid British prog rock which followed. Frankly, none of their stylistic descendants' work has weathered quite as well as the group's own, partly due to the strong Dylan influence at work in the group's organ and piano based sound and Keith Reid's cryptic lyrics. Blended with their peculiarly British Gothicism, the result was a strikingly different pop sound, subtle yet stirring, with occasional lapses into the ironic, music-hall knees-up style then favoured by everyone from the Small Faces to the Floyd.
This collection takes us from their fatally belated eponymous first album, through their two meisterwerks Shine On Brightly and A Salty Dog, to the Home album, where they mutated with the inexorable rise of Robin Trower's star, from proto-prog rock to proto-metal. The only quibble would be with the removal of their crowning achievement, the title track A Salty Dog, from its place on that album to a separate CD of singles and outtakes, to be set alongside marginally altered Homburgs and more Whiter Shades Of Pale than an Eskimo could differentiate between.