Led by pianist/singer Gary Brooker, this 1971 Beat Club Workshop showcases the band at the height of the career. The show features B.J. Wilson on drums, Chris Chopping on Organ, Dave Ball on Guitar, Allan Cartwright on bas... more »s and Gary Broker on piano and vocals. Two bonus tracks, Drunk Again and Grand Hotel were added from a 1974 appearance. This is Procol Harum at their best and a must for any Procol Harum fan.« less
"I've been a Procol Harum fan since the 60's but have never had the chance to see them live. This DVD makes up for that. The performance is top notch with the same band that recorded the live concert with the Edmonton Symphony. The band is very relaxed and the intimate setting of the sound stage allows one to see the equipment and performances very well. The last two songs are from a later date and feature guitarist Mick Grabham who was in the band when Grand Hotel was recorded. Check out the Les Paul sunburst guitar that he's playing. The Les Paul "bursts" have become the holy grail of collectible vintage guitars. The sound quality is very good. My only complaint is the somewhat cheesy psychedelic video effects that are added sporadically. I'd much rather just see plain footage of the band. This is minor though, and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this DVD to any Procol Harum lover."
A Must-Have For All Procol Fans
windycitytarheel | Wheaton, IL USA | 04/12/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It's a very pleasant fact that for we rock n' roll geezers that much video footage from "back in the day" is being put into DVD format--just by benefit of this move nearly every dvd will be an improvement over earlier videos. As a Procol Harum fan of 30+ years I was quite pleased with this DVD. The sound and picture are not quite top-notch when compared to something recorded recently with digital technology (see for example the recent Moody Blues "Live at the Albert Hall" dvd), but it is still very good. As for the content, close to 90% is the 1971-vintage, "Live With the Edmonton Symphony" line-up with Dave Ball on guitar and Allan Cartwright on bass performing a variety of Procol classics from 1968-1971 ("Shine On Brightly" thru "Broken Barricades"). To round things off, the band ca. 1974 (minus Ball, plus Grabham) performs "Grand Hotel" and "Drunk Again." The musicianship is tight throughout. It's good to know that there is quality footage in existence of this great and sadly underrated (and near-forgotten if you listen to any "Classic Rock" station) band from its prime and that its available to fans."
4 Stars for uniqueness alone
excelsa | Tucson, AZ United States | 09/03/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"First let me say I'm a dyed-in-the-wool 'Procol Harumian'. I saw them in person in 1970, close to the time this video was made. (Of course no Robin Trower on this Musicladen video :(Still and all, despite the fact that this set of works was shot in a TV studio with no audience, it is one of the few extant examples of what Procol was like back then. For that alone 4 stars suffice.There is something lost, of course, in playing in a quiet TV studio for a bunch of cameramen and soundmen! I would have rather seen them in front of a real audience in a large venue like San Antonio was in July 1970 when I saw the real Procol Harum that existed in toto. That was before the ineffable Robin Trower left.This video has alot of 2nd album songs, interestingly enough. But also "Simple Sister" from the Broken Barricades album 5. And the inevitable "A Salty Dog". The band itself sounds a bit thin but Gary Brooker's vocals are amazingly truthful to the records. He sounds just like Gary Brooker! And it is neat to see the late Barrie Wilson.So all told, while not the greatest video, it is better, much better than NO video. And it really does take me down Memory Lane."
"5" because there wasn't a higher number available
Brent | Ohio | 11/01/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In all honesty, I cannot be anything but obsequious when discussing Procol Harum (and I can't even say that about the Rolling Stones, who I spent more than a quarter of my life trying to..."replicate.") And although this DVD displays Procol Harum with its weakest lineup (unfortunately, their most commercially successful lineup, though), that with David Ball pulling the most incredibly tortured faces while playing "wee-wee-diddly-SQUEECH" on his Gibson SG - still: Procol Harum merely breaking wind is better than 99&44/100th of anything else available. OK, that being said, when my wife bought me a DVD player for my birthday, this was also the first DVD she bought - but it IS kind of funny when she asks me, "hey, isn't that the group that did 'Whiter Shade Of Pale?'" And I also do not appreciate the truncated performance of "Simple Sister," played without either the dramatic "buildup" part that precedes the guitar solo, or the solo, itself. Thank Heaven, however, the final two segments showcase the group in its most prolific form, that with guitarist-extraordinare Mick Grabham. The song "Drunk Again" is kind of like, "UHhhhhhhhhhhhhhh," a la The Beatles' "Magical Mystery Tour" or the Stones' "Satanic Majesties," but the performance of "Grand Hotel" is nothing but SUBLIME: during that little "orchestral" part between the two Rachmaninoff-esque "rapidly accelerating tempo" parts, Procol's late, great drummer, BJ Wilson plays the part on a mandolin. I guess Gary Brooker WASN'T exaggerating when he credited BJ with performance of "22 Mandolins!" in the liner notes to "Grand Hotel" after all, huh?"
Stand Up and Cheer
windycitytarheel | 06/22/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"That's what I would have done if I saw this concert in person. Sadly, I was never able to see PH in concert, but this DVD gives some solace, thanks to the folks who had the intelligence to release this show. Now I can show people why 'Power Failure' is awesome, not just have them listen to it. BJ's drumming is immaculate. All songs are amazing, thank you Gary Brooker! Thank you Procol Harum, all of you!"