Procol Harum – Procol Harum (1967)

Artist Credit
Gary Brooker Composer, Harmonica, Keyboards, Piano, Vocals
Matthew Fisher Composer, Guitar, Keyboards, Organ (Hammond)
David Knights Bass, Guitar (Bass)
Procol Harum Primary Artist
Keith Reid Composer
Robin Trower Guitar
B.J. Wilson Drums, Percussion

Procol Harum’s self-titled debut album bombed in England, appearing six months after “A Whiter Shade of Pale” and “Homburg” with neither hit song on it. The LP was successful in America, where albums sold more easily, but especially since it did include “A Whiter Shade of Pale” and was reissued with a sticker emphasizing the presence of the original “Conquistador,” a re-recording that became a hit in 1972. The music is an engaging meld of psychedelic rock, blues, and classical influences, filled with phantasmagorical lyrics, bold (but not flashy) organ by Matthew Fisher, and Robin Trower’s most tasteful and restrained guitar. “Conquistador,” “Kaleidoscope,” “A Christmas Camel,” and the Bach-influenced “Repent Walpurgis” are superb tracks, and “Good Captain Clack” is great, almost Kinks-like fun. Not everything here works, but it holds up better than most psychedelic or progressive rock.

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