Procol Harum - Novum album review
Fifty years since A Whiter Shade, Procol return with defiant resurrection.
Around fifty years ago, madcap DJ-producer Guy Stevens was so impressed by young lyricist Keith Reid that he created a band to record his words, starting with an introduction to singer-pianist Gary Brooker from the Paramounts. Stevens named the band Procol Harum after a friend’s cat and found the song’s title after telling his wife “You’ve turned a whiter shade of pale” at a party, but was in jail for drugs by the time the new band recorded A Whiter Shade Of Pale. The song’s simple blend of Brooker’s sepulchral vocal, Reid’s surreal lyrics and Mathew Fisher’s Bach-heisting organ chimed heavily with the blooming summer of love and shot to number one after being hammered by pirate radio, staying there for six weeks.