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Greatest Hits

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Editors’ Notes

It’s fair to say that Procol Harum’s “A Whiter Shade Of Pale” is one of the most familiar hits of the ‘60s, but far too few rock aficionados know this band’s larger body of work. Though favoring classical motifs and trappings at times, Procol avoided progressive-rock pomposity thanks to its earthy rhythms and quirky sense of humor. These recordings stand out for their distinctive musicianship and creative ambition — Procol could deliver brooding mini-operas like “A Salty Dog” and “Whaling Stories” without succumbing to excess. The secret lay in the dignified yet tormented singing of Gary Brooker, the baroque-tinged organ lines of Matthew Fisher and the stately yet supple drumming of B.J. Wilson. Added to this were Keith Reid’s surreal lyrics, well represented here by such visionary excursions as “Power Failure” and “Shine on Brightly.” After Fisher’s departure in 1969, Robin Trower’s meaty guitar work became more prominent, as heard in “Simple Sister” and “Whisky Train.” Whatever the permutations of their sound, Procol Harum were consistently interesting and often achieved true grandeur.

Customer Reviews

Great, but missing key element

It's hard to call this a "Greatest Hits" album since it's missing its greatest hit, the 1972 live version of "Conquistador" performed with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. You're better off spending the extra six dollars and buying the CD.

!!!!! I hate when i-Tunes does this !!!!!

When "Conquistador" is added to this list I'll buy it, not before!

Don't Buy

This is a typical consumer rip-off by Itunes. The best song, "CONQUISTADOR" is not included. This is not the first time that Itunes has done this.


Formed: 1967 in London, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Procol Harum is arguably the most successful "accidental" group creation -- that is, a band originally assembled to take advantage of the success of a record created in the studio -- in the history of progressive rock. With "A Whiter Shade of Pale" a monster hit right out of the box, the band evolved from a studio ensemble into a successful live act, their music built around an eclectic mix of blues-based rock riffs and grand classical themes. With singer/pianist Gary Brooker and lyricist Keith Reid...
Full Bio