Procol Harum

the Pale 

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Procol Harum • Home 

Salvo reissue No 4, reviewed by Richard Solly

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The anniversary series just keeps on come come coming along! Procol's fourth album, Home. Whilst waiting for my 2 Toofas to come from the UK I walked in to the Third World Record Shop in Sydney and picked up a copy of Home. The 3rd of August 1972. Wow what a day that was. This felt like spending a quiet nightmare in a graveyard. Being a teenager in the 70s this LP fitted my mood perfectly. When Gary Brooker sang 'As I lay down dying ...' I thought how amazing. With some annoyance when the album was reissued as a 'Toofa' with 'Shine on Brightly' it was often referred to as 'Whoosh' in the press! [see here]

With Matthew Fisher sailing off for new waters this album was stripped to the basics. A harbinger for Exotic Birds. Robin Trower contributed two excellent songs, Whisky Train and About To Die whilst Gary's were superb, Still There'll Be More being a firm fave. The lower profile of the organ doesn't seem to make these songs any less memorable. Indeed the next few years would see a resurgence in interest in all things Procol

Side Two just got better and better. Dank and musty lyrics from the Meistervisionary Inky Reid made this LP a memorable (if harrowing) experience. It's incense and earth, dying through birth, light to come from dark moon to sun. The best for last: Whaling Stories and Your Own Choice truly crowned this album. Glimpses of hope after the frightening journey.

I seem to remember Brian May mentioning the influence of Whaling Stories when the other 'Fandango' band Queen were getting Bohemian Rhapsody ready for the unsuspecting public. He also talked about Simple Sister as it happened.

This re-issue is up to standard as regards the sound. Very good indeed. Again excellent packaging. After the fabulous bonus of the live stuff on A Salty Dog the additional tracks may appear a little uninteresting, but they are worth a listen. Breathing new life into old bottles.

To me Procol Harum are a colossus astriding the mediocre world of Lilliputian music. I just wish we'd see more of them in the press and on the telly. Hopefully this splendid series of re-issues will find new listeners and new shoots of the tree will worm their way out from the tired dust of today's music scene.

Still spouting c***
Good Captain Claptrap

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