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Procol Harum - Homburg CD (album) cover

HOMBURG

Procol Harum

 

Crossover Prog

4.00 | 4 ratings

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Matti
Prog Reviewer
4 stars To be exact, this was released in October 1967, as the second single of PROCOL HARUM, pretty soon after the huge success of 'A Whiter Shade of Pale'. The orientation towards the album format was yet to come in the pop business, and it wasn't unusual to release non-album singles. The British release of the "Procol Harum" LP excluded 'Whiter Shade' but -- not surprisingly -- the hit was included in the American version to boost the sales overseas. However, 'Homburg' wasn't in either of them. Nowadays it is among the best known PH songs and often indluded on 'The Best Of' compilations.

It's also among my favourite Procol songs, pleasantly melodic and slightly melancholic, with a rather slow tempo. The elegant arrangement gives the main role to Gary Brooker's piano and his vocals are in top form. Whereas 'Whiter Shade' has been covered by dozens of artists (for example the recordings of Annie Lennox or Sarah Brightman are quite beautiful in my opinion), I haven't heard many versions of 'Homburg': if I remember right, only an Italian-language cover and my countryman Pate Mustajärvi's powerful, Finnish-language cover called 'Tuhkaa', dating from 1984. (In comparison, 'Whiter Shade' has at least four different Finnish versions!)

The single's B side contains 'Good Captain Clack', a cheerful up-tempo song with both bluesy and cabaret-like flavours. It's only 1 and ½ minutes long but musically hardly worth more than that. Not up to my taste at all. The British pressing of "Procol Harum" had it but not the American pressing.

[It's a bit tricky to rate a single. Definitely 'Homburg' is at least a four-star song, but without a good B-sider or cover art I give my four stars with hesitation.]

Matti | 4/5 |

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