Procol Harum

the Pale

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 Procol Harum's first year in the NME

Label-shifting: 19 August 1967

These excerpts from New Musical Express, kindly selected for 'Beyond the Pale' by Yan Friis, show the rebirth of Regal Zonophone as a rock outlet, and an early BJ curiosity. 

NME 19 August 1967:

Front page: Full page advertisement for Jimi Hendrix Experience and their new single Burning Of The Midnight Lamp.

NME Top 3:

1 (1) San Francisco, Scott McKenzie
2 (3) I’ll Never Fall In Love Again, Tom Jones
3 (2) All You Need Is Love, The Beatles

30 (17) A Whiter Shade Of Pale, Procol Harum (the last and 13th week on the NME Top 30)


9 (7) A Whiter Shade Of Pale, Procol Harum

From the coverage of The Windsor Festival (where Arthur Brown set himself on fire by accident among other things), at the end of the long piece there’s some backstage gossip: … A new Procol Harum called Barry came and told of cabbages that talk to him …

News pages:

Move Set For Salvation Army Label – Procol Too?

EMI is reactivating its Regal Zonophone label – for several years the main outlet of Salvation Army material – with a completely new and progressive pop image. First release under the new banner will be the Move’s first single since leaving Deram – and an announcement that Procol Harum had also joined the Regal stable was expected yesterday (Thursday). It is believed the label will become largely the exclusive outlet for all material produced by and for Denny Cordell.

Because of the imminence of the Move’s Flowers In The Rain release – out next Friday (25th) – the group’s switch to Regal Zonophone was officially confirmed this week. Procol Harum’s future outlet is still the subject of speculation, but it is virtually certain the two former Deram groups – both recorded by Denny Cordell’s company and sharing the same manager – will continue under the same banner.

Regal and Zonophone were originally separate labels, but amalgamated in the 1930s to become EMI’s cut-price outlet. After the war, the label was then revived specifically for Salvation Army recordings – its one appearance in the NME Chart was with the Joy Strings’ It’s An Open Secret in 1964. It now looks destined to become EMI’s answer to Decca’s Deram.

Tipped for the charts by Derek Johnson:
Jimi Hendrix Experience, Burning Of The Midnight Lamp
Eric Burdon & The Animals, Good Times
Ken Dodd, Mine (Kiss Me Goodnight)
Engelbert Humperdinck, The Last Waltz

Tailpieces by the Alley Cat:

…Why should Procol Harum leave Decca? … Procol Harum’s hit described by Mick Jagger as Whiter Shade Of Bach! …

Read more from the first year of Procol press

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