Procol Harum is an English rock band formed in 1967 with a unique style that combines progressive rock and baroque pop with a touch of R&B, blues, and blue-eyed soul. The band's original lineup consisted of Gary Brooker, Keith Reid, Matthew Fisher, Ray Royer, Dave Knights, and Bobby Harrison, with numerous personnel changes over the years. Prior to the formation of Procol Harum, Gary Brooker had co-founded The Paramounts, an English R&B group that had a hit in 1964 on the U.K. charts with The Coasters' "Poison Ivy." Three other former members of The Paramounts - Chris Copping, Robin Trower, and B.J. Wilson (March 18, 1947 - October 8, 1990) - also served for a time with Procol Harum.
Procol Harum made its U.S. chart debut in 1967 with the smash hit, "A Whiter Shade Of Pale," which is the band's best known song. With a stately melody that is loosely based on the second movement of J.S. Bach's Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D Major, this oldies classic, which prominently features Matthew Fisher on Hammond organ and the soulful vocals of Gary Brooker, holds the record for being among the Top 30 best-selling singles of all time. Procol Harum followed up soon after with the similarly-styled "Homburg" (1967), which became a U.S. Top 40 hit. The band had another Top 40 hit in 1972 with the bracing and evocative "Conquistador."
Procol Harum continued to chart in the U.K. through the mid 1970s and released ten albums before disbanding in 1977. The band reformed in 1991 with original/early members Gary Brooker, Keith Reid, Robin Trower, and Matthew Fisher. The current lineup is a quintet led by Brooker.
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- Conquistador 1972
- Homburg 1967
- A Whiter Shade Of Pale 1967
(This song later also became a hit for the Hesitations (1968), R.B. Greaves (1970), and Hager, Schon, Aaronson, & Shrieve (1984).)
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