Incredibly it’s 45 years since Procol Harum rolled out one of the finest albums of a long and often undervalued career but the re-release of the remastered Home provides the perfect opportunity to revisit the past.
Bass player/organist Chris Copping might have come late to the Procol party but it’s his influence on the band’s fourth long player that really shines through. Added to the mix by his former The Paramounts band-mates, the intention was to rediscover a classic R&B sound. As a plan it worked a treat.
Home might not have matched the commercial success of 1969’s A Salty Dog – at least not in the UK – and yet it features some of the finest songwriting of the decade in the shape of The Dead Man’s Dream and About To Die. Mortality might have cast its shadow over this eclectic record but Procol Harum benefited from a bold new lease of life.
Gary Brooker’s exceptional vocals and Robin Trower’s dextrous fretwork ensured continuity but Home‘s appeal is that it both stretches the boundaries and stays true to the band’s glittering past.
The remastered single disc edition is a crisp reimagining of a largely ignored classic and includes the previously unreleased – on CD at least – US radio single edit of popular opener Whisky Train. Unsurprisingly it didn’t dent the charts and that was, perhaps, Procol Harum’s biggest problem: a band capable of crafting a series of gloriously immersive albums simply never unearthed the secret of singles success.
The remastered single disc edition of Home is available here. Cherry Red, via Esoteric Recordings, have remastered and re-released several key titles in the Procol Harum back catalogue.