Procol Harum

the Pale 

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Procol Harum All This and More 

Salvo Box Set reviewed by Elizabeth Bryson

Procol Harum – a 4-disc compendiumHave you ever gotten a new album and heard  a particularly special song or musical moment that  was so wonderful  that you felt the album was worth getting if just for that one track alone? The new Procol Harum Box Set is a compilation filled with many, many wonderful musical high points. It is very special indeed and is aptly named, All this and More!

Discs one and two contain a beautifully flowing array of studio tracks and some amazing live tracks – most notably, 8 minutes and 18 seconds of The Blue Danube waltz written by the Austrian composer, Johann Strauss II. This was recorded live in 1976 and is a truly imaginative arrangement, brilliantly performed by the band.

Ahh … now the live disc!  We’ve already been taken on a journey through the magnificent musical scope and depth of Procol Harum’s music on discs one and two. A rich profusion continues on disc three – a splendid collection of live performances from 1969–2007.  They are all enjoyable on many different levels – some of the performances are absolutely stunning. To just mention a few … Juicy John Pink, a very raw, bluesy and exuberant performance, a stirring and truly majestic Rule Britannia and a very passionate performance of (You Can’t) Turn Back the Page … Many of these live tracks are seeing their first official release here. There is an abundance of musical ‘must-hears’ on this entire collection, and this disc is certainly no exception.

‘Another View’ is the fourth disc, a DVD compiling wonderful selections from various previously released concert DVDs,  but also including three songs (previously unreleased) from the  Isle of Wight concert, 2006 – rockin’ and delightful! Wish there was more unreleased concert footage included on this disc – highly enjoyable just the same.

This Procol Harum collection, All This and More is very beautifully and thoughtfully put together. The booklet that is included has very extensive liner notes, captivating to read and highly informative. In addition there is a treasure trove of  marvelous pictures to be enjoyed.  Like the music of Procol Harum, this box set is full of varying musical waves, sometimes gently carrying but frequently profoundly moving and often quite inspiring. All this and More is a genuine, soulful and remarkable gift.

Enjoy it!

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