Few artists have had as great an impact with their debut single as Procol Harum. Mesmerising and perplexing in equal measure, ‘A Whiter Shade Of Pale’ remains the perfect distillation of the possibilities of psychedelia in that brief period when British pop seemed to promise a summer of love that would last forever. As this book reveals, from the start, Procol Harum envisioned a post-psychedelic landscape. Via Gary Brooker’s classically inspired melodies and soaring, soulful vocals, lyricist Keith Reid told harrowing stories of voyages into the darkness of the soul, through graveyards of the damned, and to the depths of madness, via classic albums like A Salty Dog and Grand Hotel.
Aided by musicians of the calibre of organist Matthew Fisher and guitarist Robin Trower, Procol Harum invented and mapped out the interplay of those two instruments, soon to explode into prog rock’s epic structures, and pioneered the integration of band and orchestra that helped break the boundaries separating young musicians and the establishment. It’s all here in Scott Meze’s guide, from the first note to the last of a legacy that cries out to be heard.
Scott Meze is a psychedelic music obsessive born in Britain but based in Tokyo, the music connoisseur's capital of the world. Scott Meze has never knowingly tripped the light fandango. However, he did once successfully chat up a girl by reciting ‘The Miller’s Tale’ to her. He is the author of books on Soft Machine and Nektar in the On Track series.