Procol Harum

Live [Eagle Vision]

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Sadly, the dates of this footage aren't given anywhere on the packaging of this DVD, but the 53-minute disc features live-in-the-TV-studio footage of Procol Harum in both 1971 and 1974. The substandard packaging aside, these are good color performances, nine of the eleven songs coming from a 1971 program for the German TV show Beat Club (the final two numbers are from the 1974 program MusikLaden, also on German TV). This wasn't Procol Harum at their absolute peak, since even by the time of the 1971 filming, guitarist Robin Trower and organist Malcolm Fisher had left the lineup (replaced by Dave Ball and Chris Copping, respectively). But the group (especially singer/pianist Gary Brooker) does play quite well -- well enough, in fact, that the absence of Trower and Fisher won't be a factor for many listeners, even on material for which the studio versions featured different personnel. The absence of an audience (even a studio television audience) does somewhat flatten the ambience, but there are fine versions of a number of late-'60s and early-'70s Procol Harum songs here, including "Shine on Brightly," "In the Wee Small Hours of Sixpence," "Quite Rightly So," "A Salty Dog," and "Magdalene My Regal Zonophone." Dave Ball was gone (replaced by Mick Grabham) by the time of the much briefer 1974 clip, but these too present solid performances (of "Drunk Again" and "Grand Hotel").

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