Product Code: 126 300
Artist: Procol Harum
Origin: Germany
Label: Star Power
Format: LP
Availability: Enquire Now
Cover: VG+
Record: NM (M-)
Genre: Prog Rock , Rock U

A Whiter Shade Of Pale

Very smart clean package both vinyl and cover in great shape.

With their 1967 debut single "A Whiter Shade of Pale," Procol Harum managed a remarkable feat attempted, but unattained, by many many rock groups: creating a classic and huge-selling record that genuinely did not sound like any previous rock recording. It also become something the band themselves couldn't hope to live up to in their ensuing career, although as it turns out they did quite nicely. "A Whiter Shade of Pale" married classical and rock music, and was a key building block of progressive rock, even though it was very much a psychedelic keystone as well. The principal hook of "A Whiter Shade of Pale" -- which, after all, was a huge pop hit, hitting #1 in the UK and #5 in the US -- is its cathedral-toned organ riff, loosely based on Bach's Air on a G String. The vocal verses are yet more loosely based on that melody, though the lyrics are extremely obscure for a pop song. Obviously influenced by the free-association imagery of Bob Dylan, it did not necessarily but could have been impressions of a drug experience, and not a particularly good one, despite the soothing melody. The most famous line of the song, other than the title, is probably the one about 16 vestal virgins leaving for the coast (for California?); not that it's particularly connected to other lines of the song, it's just a nice image. Gary Brooker sings like a psychedelic Ray Charles, and really wrenches into the depths of his bellow when the tempo briefly stutters before the line "and so it was," accompanied by a similarly wrenching swirl of the organ. "A Whiter Shade of Pale" has been covered many times, despite its idiosyncrasy, by such varied artists as Michael Bolton, the Box Tops, Joe Cocker, King Curtis, Annie Lennox, Ringo Starr, and Willie Nelson.