Procol Harum

the Pale

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Procol Harum's first year in the NME

Glowing predictions: 9 September 1967

These excerpts from New Musical Express, kindly selected for 'Beyond the Pale' by Yan Friis, show Jimi Hendrix getting to grips with Reid words, and include a brilliant review of a live PH show (next best thing since the Beatles): Repent Walpurgis left the reviewer 'limp and exhausted'

Front page: full page advertisement for Scott Walkerís first solo-album Scott under the slogan 'LP release of the yearí

NME Top 5:

1 (3) The Last Waltz, Engelbert Humperdinck
2 (1) San Francisco, Scott McKenzie
3 (2) Iíll Never Fall In Love Again, Tom Jones
4 (7) We Love You, The Rolling Stones
5 (13) Excerpt From A Teenage Opera, Keith West

Billboard Top 30: no Procol product

Jimi Hendrix interviewed by Keith Altham: amid reactions to Jimiís new single, Burning Of The Midnight Lamp, this quotation:

At his flat off the Edgware Road Jimi smiled when I expressed my bewilderment as to what it was all about.

'Iím glad there is this kind of reaction,í he said happily. 'Maybe itís a little murky in there, a bit smoky, but itís the kind of disc you put down and go back to. When I first heard Procol Harumís Whiter Shade Of Pale the meaning was very muddy. I understood about the first verse and that was all. But as you hear it again and again you begin to put the thing together.í

Tipped for the charts by Derek Johnson:

Turtles, You Know What I Mean
Martha & The Vandellas, Love Bug Leave My Heart Alone


Procol Harum on stage Ė 'Fantastic'



Watch out British fans! You donít know it yet, but an overwhelming experience is coming your way (writes Danish correspondent Sven Wezelenburg).

This week the Procol Harum played a concert in Copenhagen and the sound they created is so rich that it must be beyond most things you hear in Britain these days.

No psychedelic thing goes on; instead they play beautiful tunes somewhere in between the music of Bach, soul and modern jazz. Slowly it moves deep into your body and at the end of the concert you have dreamt yourself far away.

You may not be in the year 1967, but back in the Middle Ages. They wear hunting dress and boots, their colourful clothes reminiscent of knights and esquires at court centuries ago. What makes an even stronger impression is that they donít move even the tiniest little bit on stage. They are just there! Immobile.

The atmosphere is loaded with exciting sounds from Gary Brookerís piano and his tingling notes make small circles in the spotlight. The organ (painted red) gives you some wonderful dream-along music as well, and the lead guitarist must be one of the best in Britain. The bass player and the drummer are very good, too.

However, the words (so sincerely sung by Gary) did not come through too clearly. A great pity. However, it just makes us all the more anxious to hear the groupís first album, as they played a lot of numbers from it.

Perhaps the most surprising thing was the way they were received by the Danish audience. All very quiet during the performance, but after each song the thunder of applause got stronger and longer all the time.

And at the beginning of A Whiter Shade Of Pale, everybody clapped their hands to show their appreciation for such a marvellous disc.

I dare to predict that the Procol Harum will be the biggest thing that has happened to pop music since the Beatles.

They have so many original and beautiful sounds and so many things to offer that they will be loved all over the world.

The last number at the concert was solely instrumental, but so strong and rich that it just left you there, limp and completely exhausted.

Procol Harum is a fantastic experience.

Tailpieces by the Alley Cat:

Ö Piano replaces organ on Procol Harumís next single Ö

Read more from the first year of Procol press

Read a mocking commentary on the above from Q magazine

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