A Whiter Shade of Pale

I don’t think many of the videos in this blog have millions of views. This video does, and I’m glad for that. Knowing that a piece of music from 50 years ago still has an influence is comforting. Knowing that this song was influenced by music from 300 years ago is even better. I would hope that Bach would be proud that people paid attention.

This is another instance of me knowing only a single song by the band showcased here, but that’s not really important. This is about this song and this performance. I remember when this song hit the radio. It was at a time in my life when I was just getting woke to music. Even though I was barely 8 years old, I remember the effect this song had on the listener. It was different than everything else from that time. I think because of that and the quality of the song, many bands panicked. The bar had been raised. You start to hear echoes of this song in subsequent Beatles’ and Stones’ songs, and you can’t help but think that The Doors and The Moody Blues were influenced by this song. The 60s used some instrumentation that died in later decades. Jazz horn sections and the Hammond Organ to name a couple. This might be the best Hammond Organ song ever.

This is a live performance of the song A Whiter Shade of Pale by the group Procol Harum. Well, Procol Harum and a full orchestra and choir. When I see a band cover its own song 40 years later I tend to cringe. Well, you never know. In this case, Gary Brooker shows what an old man’s voice can and should do. It’s almost better than the original. The 60s had a ton of good singers, I would confidently add his to any list. I hope this song is still being played in 300 years. I think that would be justice.


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