Coming this Friday! Three fantastic new reissues from Procol Harum – Grand Hotel, Exotic Birds and The Prodigal Stranger.
Grand Hotel – Released in March 1973 the album was the first to feature a line-up of Gary Brooker (piano, vocals), Alan Cartwright (bass), Chris Copping (organ), Mick Grabham (guitars) and B.J. Wilson (drums) and was remarkable for its musical diversity and was hailed as “A masterpiece of musical perfection and lyricism” by the NME weekly music paper. From the sumptuously orchestrated title track, to compositions such as ‘For Liquorice John’, ‘Fires (Which Burnt Brightly)’, ‘Bringing Home The Bacon’, ‘Toujours L’Amour’ and ‘Robert’s Box’ – “Grand Hotel” defied classification but remains one of Procol Harum’s best loved and most admired works.
This expanded two disc edition includes five bonus tracks, (three previously unreleased), taken from the early recording sessions, along with a DVD (NTSC / Region Free) featuring a previously unreleased performance filmed for RTBF television in Belgium from November 1973. The release also features a replica of the book included with the original LP of “Grand Hotel” and a further lavishly illustrated booklet featuring material from Gary Brooker’s personal archive and an essay by Procol Harum authority Roland Clare featuring comments from Gary Brooker.
Exotic Birds – Released in April 1974, the album was the product of a series of recording sessions beset by power cuts, the result of industrial strife during the winter of 1973. Despite having to work around these difficult conditions, “Exotic Birds and Fruit” would prove to be another fine collection of material written by Gary Brooker and lyricist Keith Reid, featuring such classic tracks as ‘Nothing But The Truth’, ‘As Strong As Samson’, ‘Beyond The Pale’, ‘Butterfly Boys’ and ‘The Idol’. The album would reveal the line-up of Gary Brooker, Alan Cartwright, Chris Copping, Mick Grabham and B.J. Wilson to be in fine, inspired form.
This new expanded three CD edition of “Exotic Birds And Fruit” includes the original album (with two bonus tracks), along with two additional discs featuring the band’s entire performance for BBC Radio One’s In Concert show from March 1974 and a previously unreleased 65 minute live set recorded at January Sound Studios in Dallas on July 5th 1974 for KZEW FM.
The Prodigal Stranger – The album was released in August 1991 following a fourteen year hiatus by the band and saw a reunion of Gary Brooker, lyricist Keith Reid, organist Matthew Fisher and guitarist Robin Trower. With assistance from Dave Bronze (bass) and Mark Brzezicki (drums), “The Prodigal Stranger” was a welcome return by Procol Harum and a strong collection of songs.
This new expanded edition of “The Prodigal Stranger” has been newly re-mastered and includes three previously unreleased bonus tracks; two demos from 1990 and a live recording of ‘Holding On’ for SWR Radio in Germany in 2003.
The release also includes an illustrated booklet featuring material from Gary Brooker’s personal archive and an essay by Procol Harum authority Roland Clare featuring comments from Gary Brooker.