Wednesday, March 4, 2015

A Whiter Shade Of Pale

The English rock group, Procol Harum, recorded this song in 1967.  The groups name?  It came from the Pedigreed (think formal/fancy) name of a friend's Burmese cat.  Yep, really!

This was an unusual song, with a structure reminiscent of Baroque Music and was based on J.S. Bach's Orchestral Suite #3 in D Major.  Matthew Fisher plays the Hammond Organ and once heard, this song is hard to forget for a couple of reasons.

First and foremost is the haunting Organ Riff that opens and sustains the song.  It isnt often a rock song is based on a Bach classic!  It is instantly recognizable and combines with the rather "simple" drums and unique voice of Gary Brooker, to make the song a "one of a kind".  Second...and no less unique, are the cryptic lyrics that one struggles to make sense of!

The song Hit #1 in the UK as well as Australia, making it to #5 here in the USA.

The song is presented here in it's "Electronically Enhanced For Stereo" album version.  The original was a mono recording and this Album was produced in a manner that tried (Not very successfully) to take advantage of the rather "new" technology of "Stereo Recording".  I recorded it straight off the 1967 Album using my vintage turntable!    Check it out.

A Whiter Shade Of Pale

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