Pandora's Box

Procol Harum

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Pandora's Box Review

by Richie Unterberger

It makes no bones about it in the packaging so it would be churlish to get upset, but this collection of first album-era stereo mixes and alternate versions is strictly for Procol Harum collectors only. The ten-track CD has previously unissued stereo mixes of five songs from the Procol Harum album; an instrumental version of "Pandora's Box," date of original recording not given (good distorted guitar and organ dueling, though); "previously unissued alternate stereo mixes" of "Wish Me Well," a song from the Shine on Brightly album, and the single "In the Wee Small Hours of Sixpence"; a long version of "Repent Walpurgis," another song that appeared on Procol Harum; and the alternate stereo version of "A Whiter Shade of Pale." You'd have to be a major Procol Harum worshiper to be able to keep track of the significant differences between these and the commonly circulated versions, and if anything the more familiar takes and mixes seem to be significantly superior on the whole. But what the heck, it's nice to hear "A Whiter Shade of Pale" in a slightly longer version that actually doesn't fade, but comes to a full-rounded ending. The sound quality is very good.

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