Dec 4, 2008

PROCOL HARUM - BROKEN BARRICADES (CHRYSALIS 1971) Japan cardboard sleeve JVC K2-HD mastering

1971's "Broken Barricades" is Procol Harum's fifth album, with pianist vocalist Gary Brooker & company putting aside the Hammond organ and going even more in a hard rocking direction than on their previous album, "Home" (though "Barricades" still has a pair of softer numbers). The results are awesome, as "Broken Barricades" is yet another winner from this great British band. The album's best-known song, "Simple Sister," remains an all-time Harum favorite, a classic rocker that the band still perform in concert to this day. Other great rockers include guitarist Robin Trower's "Memorial Drive," "Power Failure" (featuring an awesome drum solo by B.J. Wilson), the great rollicking fun of "Playmate Of The Mouth" and Trower's album finale, "Poor Mohammed." The classical-flavored title song is very lovely. "Luskus Delph," despite bizarre lyrics by Keith Reid, also has great power (only an outstanding singer like Gary Brooker could sing a line like "Make me split like chicken fat" and make it sound like poetry), and Trower's "Song For A Dreamer" has a very spacey, mystical feel to it. The performances by Brooker, Trower, Wilson, and bassist Chris Copping are excellent, and the songs are consistently solid from beginning to end.

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