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Weekend YouTubeology

Procol Harum performing "Repent Walpurgis" on French (?) TV, 1971. I know less than nothing about this group, but contrary to what you'd think the drummer seems like the key to this whole bagel fry. Incredible Floyd-at-Pompeii vibe to this clip: any group of the time would respect the way they come out of the noodly bit in the middle like a heavy bomber rising from the tarmac.


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Comments (10)

Jon Sawyer:

Procol Harum is great. A true hard rock band from the classic rock period with lots of sad, beautiful, melodic songs, a great singer in the vein of Steve Winwood, a piano and organ-heavy approach that nonetheless featured some pretty nice guitar bits, and a lack of rock star pretension that probably doomed them to eternal cult status despite a roughly eight year heyday that always lived up to the promise of their number-one charting debut single. And you're right about the great, unsung B.J. Wilson on drums, who supposedly turned Jimmy Page down for the throne in Led Zeppelin. Check out this version of "A Salty Dog" from 1977, especially the drum fill after the intro.


Half vodka, half salt!


Mr. Cosh, surely you are jesting when you say "I know less than nothing about this group?" After all, Procol Harem's best selling album is Procol Harum Live with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, recorded at the Jub on November 18, 1971. Conquistador still gets plenty of play on classic rock stations everywhere.

Well, look, just occasionally I like to mix things up by understating how much I know. "Conquistador" does get played a lot on the radio here.

Crid [cridcridatgmail]:

That "noodly bit" didn't happen in France, and it predates bomb-dropping rock stars.

(Don't harsh the kid over those clams: Ambitious tempo does a lot for that piece. And she's 8.)

In other news, Whiter Shade of Pale didn't come outta nowhere...

Crid [cridcridatgmail]:


That's Robin Trower on guitar. Now and then, you might have heard bits of his superb 1974 record, "Bridge of Sighs".

Don't you know that record is permanently consigned to the "Praised Mostly By Other Guitarists" bin?

Also, although the prelude is obviously intact in the above-featured tune (and is equally obviously suited to the skills of a nine-year-old), in the case of "Whiter Shade of Pale" nicking a chord progression from Bach should not be confused with actually playing or even alluding to Bach.

Crid [cridcridatgmail]:

Jus' sayin', wuddenna happened without 'im. (And if you can play it with similar fluidity [3 clams in 300 notes] by 2017, I'll give a you a year's subscription to the New York Times. No, really.)

As if there's going to be a New York Times in 2017.

Crid [cridcridatgmail]:

Better start taking lessons, huh?


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