"This DVD came to my attention while I was browsing the bins at an area music/book store. Because of the lack of cover notes, there was no way to know which line-up was on this DVD. I knew that Robin Trower and Matthew Fisher couldn't be here because of the presence of Grand Hotel. But as I am a worshipful fan of Procol Harum, and hadn't heard about Procol Harum:Live yet, I bought it anyway. So I have these songs many times over, why have them yet again? Well, after viewing I found that the best reason to have this DVD is to enjoy watching the idiosyncratic drum work of the late, great BJ Wilson. The first nine songs feature a lineup that was post-Trower but pre-Grabham. The final two songs are from a different performance and though no indication is given, it appears Mick Grabham is in that lineup. Video quality ranges from acceptable to lousy, the lousy portion being perhaps a purposefully "psychedelicized" filming of the band. Sound quality is acceptable as well, and the band turns out some pretty good renditions from a wide range of its oeuvre. The only song that doesn't really fit is "...Sixpence", which really needs Matthew Fisher on organ. Besides the songs in which one would expect BJ to shine, I enjoyed Pilgrim's Progress, Magdalene, My Regal Zonophone, and Grand Hotel, all of which give the viewer a chance to see Gary Brooker at work close up. Procol Harum: Live is a no-frills, low-budget production, but it gives the fan a chance to see some good footage of the mid-period line-up in action. No true Procol Harum fan should be without it! "
Great performance and better price
James R. Parrett | toronto, canada | 12/12/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Although Robin Trower is no longer in this line-up of Procol Harum, phenomenal drummer BJ Wilson is. This is my favorite PH live release and shows them playing with grit and gusto. While later DVDs such as 92, Copenhagen and Union Chapel have better production values, this is the better performance. Closer to rock and roll than the later releases, and a great price to boot."
Should please post-Trower era fans
D. Hartley | Seattle, WA USA | 12/07/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Radio Bremen has dug into thier seemingly bottomless archives again and pulled out a nice performance set by prog-pop-rockers Procol Harum, taped in 1971. Personally, I was a bit disappointed to discover that this session was apparently recorded just after Robin Trower left the group (that same year!)and was replaced by Dave Ball (there are no liner notes on the DVD case listing band personnel and it is hard to tell from the cover photo who was in this particular lineup). Don't get me wrong, Ball is a fine guitarist (that was his tasty fretwork on the Harum's classic "Live" album that yielded thier only post "Whiter Shade Of Pale" radio hit, "Conquistador") but I still yearn to track down footage of the band in thier heyday with Trower (maybe it simply does not exist?). Anyway, the band breezes through a tight set of highlights from thier career up to that point in time ("Whiter Shade..." and "Conquistador" are not included, in case you're wondering-but those tracks have been over-exposed anyway!). At that time, thier "latest" release was "Broken Barricades", and they do outstanding versions of "Power Failure" and "Simple Sister" from that album (I'm sure Ball was feeling the pressure to do justice to Trower's solos on those songs, and he does OK but you can tell he was relatively new to the group because he seems to be holding back a bit). Worthwhile for classic rock fans, others looking for a "greatest hits" package probably can live without it. Audio and video are excellent, considering technology available in 1971. The price is more than fair."
It's rare, it's raw but it rocks!
Whitters | London, United Kingdom | 08/03/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"What makes this DVD worth seeing the most is the fact you are able to witness the full force and technique of original drummer Barrie Wilson who along with Keith Moon from The Who & John Bonham from Led Zeppelin was perhaps one of the most naturally gifted drummers in rock music. The sound quality of the 1971 session is great, however the picture which for the most part is fine, is at times spoilt by the occasional and annoying studio camera effects. That minor criticism aside the band are on great form - Gary Brooker's voice is powerful and graceful, Chris Copping's hammond organ sounds crisp and clear but not overbearing, guitarist Dave Ball's riffs stand out on tracks such as 'Still There'll be More' and 'Simple Sister'. The two bonus tracks from the 1974 session `Drunk Again' and `Grand Hotel' lack the audio quality of the 1971 session which makes it sound a bit flat and not as `heavy' - the cameras seem to forget where bass player Alan Cartright is and Mick Grabham's guitar riffs suffer from the flat sound. Although there are no bonus features or glossy production values this DVD in my opinion is still a must have for die-hard Procol Harum fans."
Clean and clear ... nothing fancy.
CU82 | Atlanta, GA | 10/31/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"NOTE: There are two (2) separate DVDs entitled Procol Harum Live. The following review pertains to the Radio Bremen / Musik Laden performances from the 70's - not the 2001 DVD by the same name. * * * * *
This is not a concert DVD but it is a live performance. The setting is perfect for an intimate encounter with Procol Harum. The band's performance is amazing to watch in this type of environment as each musician is spot on in their playing. The psychedelic effects in the background are noticeable but subdued on the first nine songs and do not detract from the presentation in the least. In fact, they actually add to the performance in that it makes it perfectly clear that this was recorded in an era when such effects were part of the pop culture. The line-up performing the first nine songs is as follows: Gary Brooker - piano, vocals B.J. Wilson - drums Chris Copping - Organ, guitar Dave Ball - Guitar Allan Cartwright - Bass Tracks: 1. Shine On Brightly (* Perfect opening song featuring DB on a Gibson SG and CC on Hammond Organ) 2. In The Wee Small Hours Of Sixpence (* A real prog pop treat performed to perfection.) 3. Still There'll Be More (* High energy performance kicked off aptly by B.J.) 4. Pilgrim's Progress (* Nice performance of this Procol epic.) 5. Quite Rightly So (* Gary forgets the title momentarily but nails the vocals perfectly. Great song!) 6. Magdalene My Regal Zonophone (* A true highlight of the set.) 7. Power Failure (* Copping plays guitar on this one - B.J. gets to show his stuff.) 8. A Salty Dog (* Great song, great performance, bird calls provided by the band. Gary states he almost had a stroke on this one.) 9. Simple Sister (* Dave Ball performs with controlled aggression.)
The final two tracks are performed from the Musik Laden stage at a later date. You will immediately notice that the studio stage is much darker than the previous one as a clean shaven Gary Brooker launches in "Drunk Again". Mick Grabham is now on guitar and gets his licks in on his trusty Les Paul on these. The performance on the closing track, "Grand Hotel", is worth the price of the disc alone.
Don't be surprised if you find yourself reloading the disc for another play. I've watch this DVD several times since receiving it earlier this week and it will certainly be watched many more times in the near future. "