Procol Harum

One More Time

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Friday Music's reissue of Procol Harum's One More Time brings to U.S. retail an album originally available only through the band's European fan club. It is a live recording made February 13, 1992, in Utrecht, Netherlands, featuring the reunited group assembled 15 years after the initial breakup to make the new studio album The Prodigal Stranger. That is, the lineup approximates the reunion lineup, with original members Gary Brooker (vocals/piano) and Matthew Fisher (organ) joined by guitarist Geoff Whitehorn, bass player Dave Bronze, and drummer Mark Brzezicki. Original guitarist Robin Trower was on The Prodigal Stranger, but he did not agree to join the promotional tour. The show as heard on the CD is a 75-minute, 13-song set that includes several of the songs on The Prodigal Stranger ("One More Time," "Man with a Mission," "The King of Hearts," "All Our Dreams Are Sold") sandwiched in among standards from Procol Harum's heyday, including "Shine on Brightly," "Homburg," "Grand Hotel," and "A Salty Dog." This is a no-nonsense, efficient reading of the material with little crowd interaction. Brooker naturally takes center stage most of the time, re-creating his soulful vocals of Keith Reid's ponderous and poetic lyrics. Whitehorn makes an impression with his guitar solos in "The Devil Came from Kansas" and Trower's "Whisky Train" (which also features a Brzezicki drum solo). Fisher takes over at the end on his own instrumental "Repent Walpurgis," from the first Procol Harum album, a majestic if gloomy closer. It's hard to believe the band didn't play its signature song, "A Whiter Shade of Pale," at the show, but it is not included here.

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